Swept Away
Autumn 2017
Swept Away is put together by Bethany Ridenour of Bristle & Stick Handcraft Brooms. It is a love letter to brooms and includes a schedule of my upcoming broommaking classes as well as a collection of writings on brooms, sweeping, and the magic and ritual of cleaning.

Practical Magic
    ~Moons Spath

I have always been a practical kind of maker. Things that are for use and wear are things my heart gravitates towards. A handmade bag or vest, a useful wallet or scarf.....things to adorn the space and those who hold that space are the ways I have found myself working over the years.

And then what to behold!! A piece of witchy history, her-story, the BROOM! Over and over I found myself lingering on this most practical tool!! A thing that has brought me much sanity in space. To tidy up is to sit with what has previously been messy or unkept. Those spaces that have provided much joy in uninhibited creation and celebration and also those darker spaces of the soul that have much that must be brought out of the corners.

To sit and work in the way of creating such a useful tool is kind of the dreamiest there is.....from the choosing of the materials, to the winding of the string, to the intention to sit and create, all so deliberate and yet all feels relatively laid back, there is a sense a of pride and purpose in the sitting and doing. From the tension to the arranging, the tightening and weaving and working with the whole body to make a tool of great use and great fun, it for sure takes your heart for a fun ride! To be swept up in what you’re making, to know you are making an instrument that carries great power in the realm of doing and carries a lot of intention in the realm of clearing.

A space of meditation and moment of just emptying out by moving energy out and making space for the new. I have always used the broom to make space in the realms of my heart, to be able to move out what no longer serves and move molecules around to make space for the new. A hearth medicine to hold space by the fire of your heart. This is where the most sacred broom sits for me.

One with a special shaped handle chosen just right in the foothills of the mountains of where I live. The ability to work with what nature provides us to make magic for the spirit and the physical realm is one of the greatest practices of practical magic. 

Sweeping As Meditation
   ~Cameron Green
When I pick up my broom, I enter into moments of contemplation.  Sweeping becomes an opportunity to slow down, to pay attention to the details, to have gratitude.  I admire the stone tiles that make up part of the floor in my home, thanking the sand, the natural pigments, and the craftspeople that created them.  I lovingly thank the Maple tree that came from someone’s yard, imagining its grace and beauty shading another house somewhere, and feeling grateful that here it is in my home now, milled, made into boards, and laid on my floor.  I sweep into the corners, pulling out the little things that disappear, bringing them into the light.  I contemplate the day, what is to be done, what was not yet accomplished, or what I succeeded in doing.  I have gratitude for my beautiful home, all the love, tears, sweat, hands, and moments that went into its creation.  I am grateful for my broom, which allows me an opportunity to be present, to reflect, to say thank you for all that I have to sweep into piles, and move along to somewhere else.    

Pick up your Broom! 

 Sweeping implements of all kinds have been used by humans since the dawn of time. Today there are many different styles of brooms all around the world that are made from different fibers. For a brief history on the corn broom check out this awesome article.


Sweeping Away the Ashes:
 ~ Kaitlyn Mays

"it was like a song playing in my head as soon as I started sweeping and watched the ashes of our cremated loved ones float away... It's what you always do when someone you love dies, you clean, you cook and you do those everyday things that give you something to do with your sadness."

Hazy clouds of chaos
Smoke thick in the air
Ashes cling persistently to the
bottom of the stair
But when the thing does settle
A witch's name is called
To hasten through the
threshold the stagnant and the 
For change they're ever 
In quiet corners they leave their mark
Making a clearing for the 
Space for life to spark

Make Sweeping a daily Ritual~
Ritual cleansing thru sweeping has been a part of my daily practice since I was a teenager. Sweeping has been one of the ways that I have worked through my trauma- It makes me feel safe and empowered in my space. I don't know were I would be without my broom. I have a deep intimate relationship with the broom and  Sweeping is one of my greatest forms of medicine. 


Upcoming Events & Broom Making Workshops

  •  October 7-8~ I will be at the Full Belly Farm Hoes Down Festival selling handcrafted brooms and merrymaking in Yolo County, CA
  • October 21~ Introduction to Broom Making at the Art of the Redwood Burl Gallery in Miranda, CA
  • October 22~ Introduction to Broom Making at the Art of the Redwood Burl Gallery in Miranda, CA (class is filled)
  • October 26th~ There is a second class brewing at the Handcraft School for this date, check the website if you are interested.
  • October 27th~ Introduction to Broom Making in Sebastopol, CA Contact Amy at for details for more details class runs from 10-2 
  • October 28th~ Introduction to Broom Making Workshop at the Handcraft School Studio in El Cerrito, CA (class is filled)
  • October 29th~Introduction to Broom Making workshop at Field Day in Oakland, CA on October 29th (class is filled)
  • November 1- Brooms & Lore For the Hedge Witch  (with Milla of The Woman Who Married A Bear)   4:00-8:30 PM at the Cult of Gemini in Grass Valley, CA (contact Cult of Gemini shop for more details)
  • November 3- A possible class is brewing for this date in Truckee, CA at Atelier check the Atelier web site if you are interested.
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Bristle & Stick Logo Drawn By Kaitlyn Mays

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