Modern Witches do not rely on their brooms for flying, nor do they use their cauldrons to make slimy, noxious concoctions. These tools do have a purpose in magickal spells and rituals, however.
The besom is a long-handled tool with a bundle at one end once made from the broom plant, which grows plentifully on European heaths and sandy pastures. Known for its yellow flowers and angular branches, broom is ideal for bundling. Thus, the instrument made of the broom plant and a stick also came to be known as a broom. The broom is present in the folklore of various countries and cultures. Since Roman times, it has been associated with feminine power and magick. Prior to childbirth, women used a broom to sweep the threshold of a house both for protection and to prepare the way for the new spirit to enter. Gypsy marriage rituals included jumping over a broomstick to ensure the couple's fertility; this ritual neatly marked the line between single and married life.
Wiccans use the cauldron for both symbolic and practical purposes. Cauldrons appear in many mythological accounts; for instance, Odin received wisdom and intuitiveness from a cauldron, and Celtic legend mentions a cauldron of regeneration for the Gods. These types of stories, found in a variety of cultures around the world, give us clues about the origins of the cauldron's modern symbolic value. Specifically, Witches see the cauldron as an emblem of the womb from which all life, and many other gifts, flow. The three-legged cauldron represents the threefold human and divine nature.
What are cauldrons used for?
Witches have many practical uses for cauldrons. For example, they may use a cauldron to cook magickal foods and to hold beverages. Additionally, the cauldron can be filled with fire, flowers, or other items at specific times of the year to honor the point in the Wheel of the Year that a festival or alter commemorates.
A brazier is a good alternative for a cauldron. The word brazier is from a French term meaning "live coals." A brazier is a fire-safe container that can hold a small fire source or burning incense. Braziers are ideal for indoor rituals and spells where fire is a key component.