What are your nine powers? Name them… five…

lightening broom: our lady of vitality

I arise today through

The speed of lightning

it disturbed me


who held everything 


for so long

i grew too quickly

no-one’s fault


the nature of magic

i always wondered if

you knew

i was a little



i knew i

intoxicated you

who wouldn’t have been?

but hallucinations

can’t last forever

i died a little

after that first


three flowers broke the spell

i was always going to

have to shape-shift

after that

it’s not your fault

you just couldn’t 

hang on in there

you should have burnt

me to calm the breeze

but you threw me 

into the air

and i raised the wind…

i raised hell

and swept you out

the door

just like i swept you

off your feet

a lifetime ago


Broom, she is vitality. Cytisus scoparius. She is a broom in so many languages. Besom, butchers-broom, balais, besen. And that is how we have put her to use. Sweeping. Sweeping to clear in ritual too. She holds purification and protection spells. Can exorcise ghosts and poltergeists. You burn her to calm the wind and throw her to raise it.

In German, as in Scottish, the later use of besen and besom, respectively, was different. Both terms aimed at women, maids or young servant girls contemptuously, deeming them unworthy characters or of loose morals. The domestic unleashed on us.

I don’t get the impression that she cares much, if at all. She is a large shrub that grows quickly. Invasive in some parts of the world where she has been a later introduction. She covers disturbed areas well. Sometimes we have called on her to do exactly that. She also spreads along highways and in meadows. She is hardy. She has wide, branching roots and think, tenacious stems. She dies back in dry weather to preserve her energy. But serves us well as erosion control holding the earth together around her. She has a fibre like flax. Once was used to make paper and cloth. She smells of vanilla. Sometimes she was the wedding bouquet. She can make you a decent coffee substitute. If you want.

In the tale, Tamlane, 3 broom flowers break a spell. A true love is brought back from a fairy queen in the underworld. His human love triumphs. The power of 3s.

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