|After my first Birch gathering trip. Sorry for the bad picture quality.|
In the popular mind, Witches were said to fly to their Sabbats on broomsticks (though stangs, staffs, goats, cats, bales of hay, plants, etc were also said to serve as the Witches' steeds.) In reality, in magical lore the broomstick is usually seen as a cleansing or purifying tool, and it's not uncommon for the Witch to sweep out the ritual circle or compass before or during a rite. Traditionally, the handle was made of Ash wood for protection, the twigs were made of Birch for purification, and the Willow represented the Goddess. Now, obviously, the broom can also be seen as a phallic symbol, and the act of putting it between one's legs and "riding" it should bring to mind obvious fertility-related symbolism.
I have a broom now with an Ash handle, but its bristles are broomcorn and not birch twigs. I like the one I have, but I am happy to be making one myself and I look forward to having it done. I will keep both and use either one as the mood strikes me. I will be posting two more entries with step-by-step instructions when I get my wooden handle and Willow selected. The final result should look something like this....