An older term for a "broom" in England, today it refers only to a ritual broom that is usually made by hand. The besom is a tool used for the spiritual cleansing of an area, such as a compass round, room, or an entire area inside or outside the home.
NOTE: A besom is used only for spiritual cleaning, and not for physical cleaning. During a cleansing ritual, it is important that the bristles never touch the floor, but are kept no closer than a few inches above the floor.
Often a besom is made of birch twigs tied to an ash stave handle. However, a besom's bristles can be made of straw, thin or regular twigs, or other such material. The handle can be of the same twig material or a wooden branch.
The cleansing of an area is performed by starting in the middle the area and sweeping outward as you walk deosil (clockwise).
A besom is also a traditional ritual tool used during handfasting ceremonies. The happy couple jump over the besom. It is later placed on the wall, usually in the front room or living room, near the front door.
The besom can be charged as a talisman and placed on a wall near or above the front door to serve as a protection against negative energy or unfriendly spirits. The bristles are always pointing upward so the good energy does not run out.