When most people think of brooms, they think of them in the terms and imaginary of some European lore. However, Broom Lore goes back way before the European. In fact, when you Google search Broom magic, you will not find much that will take you back to the herbs that ended up creating what we know as the Broom. What you will find are stories of broom rides at different ceremonies and moon phases. You will find a witch with her broom, and you will even find that sabbat rituals are discussed
This is not surprising as Broomcorn is something that in Indigenous to Africa. What you may be interested in learning is the Sorghum (the grass that brooms are made from) is also one of the key products in the production of Molasses. Molasses is some thing that is very important to African American Folk Magic or what we know as HOODOO. Grasses such as Raffia, Palm, dragon's blood, and Sorghum are thought of as representations of the wilderness. This is important because before colonizers set up in the continent the spirit in everything was seen. So, when products were taken from nation they were thought to carry the spirit of nature within them as well.
The spirits of the forest are considered wild because they reside in the wilderness. The wilderness is equatable to the world Nature as far as ancient African linguistics go. There are also spirits that live in the forest of Africa that are similar to the fairies or pixies in European lore. However, the African one do not hold the same visual appeal as the European entities. Since, these spirits are wild they are not generally welcomed into civilized society. However when there are performances, harvest festivals, fertility rites and purification activities happening these spirits are welcomed. Since, these spirits are thought to hang around the doors of homes it is not advisable and not good manners to sweep our drop your wash water outside your front door. This is seen as an invitation to the spirits to wait around for your discarded things. Both the door ways and stoops are cleaned everyday with spiritually charged herbs to repel these spirits from the doors.
As mentioned before the grasses that have been mentioned are used in different ritual. They also represent certain deities and their power. These customs made of grass were used to enhance their duties in the spiritual realm. Babalu Aye is one of the Orisha that is very strongly revered in the Yourban tradition. He is the deity of Infectious disease and Health. When you see him he is often covered head to toe in Raffa. This goes to show how deeply revered the grass spirits are. This grass covers a deity of this multitude. The Broom that he carries is used to spread the seeds of illness. He can sweep illness in or he can sweep it away.
The fear of the Broom became part of the African American culture when African arrived to America from the slave trade. Boom straw was considered to be extremely healing. It was one thing that was used to heal a new ear piercing. Broom stray was also used for cutting warts. After the wart is cut it is placed over the laceration in a cross to encourage healing. Now because Brooms are pieces of the wilderness they have a very strong temperament. This is why, they are also looked at as being very protective.
You always want to rest your broom face up. This will keep the broom from becoming angry and ushering in bad-luck, injury, pain and loss. For instance if a broom falls and you step over it, that is a sign that death is going to follow you, so is taking a broom into a house is a way of bringing in death to the family of the house. When you treat a broom properly it can bring in and enhance the energy of prosperity, happiness, and luck.
When you move into a new house the first thing that should enter the house is your broom. You can do this by carrying it under your arm, or throwing it into a window. Speaking of throwing a broom into a window; you never take an old broom to a new home. If, you have no other choice then you throw the broom into the how through the window. This will take some of the negative energy away. Essentially what you are doing is bring the old dirt and misfortune from the old house to the new.
If you find that you are about to have some bad vibes in your home to the point of argument, you can take your personal broom and hold it under your arm. This way you are shielded against arguments. In the event that an argument or fight does happen tuck the broom under your arm and throw it inside the door.
When it comes to working with the spirits, sweeping after the sun goes down is not the best idea. Spirits are thought to come through the floors, (one reason why floor washes are so important in Hoodoo) so when you sweep at night it disturbs them from being able to move around like they would while the house is at rest. Also, hanging a broom over a doorway invites your ancestors to speak to you when they are ready.
One should always keep separate their broom for cleaning and their magical broom. The practical reason for this is that the magical broom isn't used for sweeping physical trash. Therefore, if you had to leave your home for some time, then you could put your magical broom in your bed and go on your trip knowing that your room is protected. This also alludes to bed lore. Leaving a bed unmade or unattended for a long time is an invitation for some unwanted entities to pay it a visit.
This is just some of the Lore on African Americans and brooms. Look out for Part II soon.
Until then enjoy this video of the Wild Nature Spirits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G_jjElg9jc