I was wondering today if there was any truth to the Witch stereotype of flying on brooms, or any wood for that matter. This could just be one of my fluffy thoughts of the day, but i was curious and this was the first place i thought of to ask.
Stereotypes are sometimes derived from Hollywood ideals, some are just myths passed down like a game of telephone. Throwing fire from thin air, levitating, flying on brooms just simply can't happen, because it isn't physically possible.
Though, to be somewhat related, some witches or practitioners use brooms to "sweep" negative energy out of their homes.
If you want to look at it in another way too, you could view "flying" as a form of spiritual travel. Staves, which can be made from wood, and wands (also can be made of wood) can be used to go induce this through rhythms. One could also use a broom for this purpose.
It's not an uncommon practice to read folklore, myths, and sagas to derive practical practices. Recon faiths are a great example of this.
As has already been stated there are brooms in the form of besoms, although they are not used to fly. Instead they are used in the home to sweep away negativity, in a form of cleansing rather than flying.
Wood is also used in wands, for the handles of athame's and bolines (although these can also be made from other materials), it can be used in runes, pentacles, etc..
Each wood is given different magickal properties, these can be used when choosing wood for a purpose, much like making a wand, although not everyone considers these properties fact they can be very useful when making choices about wood type.
i've heard you jump over a broom and ancient man must of seen this and thought witches could fly. [hearsay has triumphed once again!] truth is we cannot fly on brooms, or anything [no matter how convenient that might be] brooms [aka besoms] are used, but not for flying, its to sweep away negative energy.
most stereotypes like pointy hats, green skin, turning people to toads, are just old myths. though some do own a lot of cats [black optional] it's a choice, not a mandatory thing. i think the only modern stereotype that applies is owning a bunch of incense, candles and/or crystals. i remember watching a lot of reaction videos to fox news when they spent 5 minutes badmouthing pagans and 99% of what they said was wrong. every response [rightfully so] was outraged, except for the point about having a lot of incense. it was quite funny to see so many videos of people practically foaming at the mouth in rage only to stop and go '... fair point on the incense...' and continue on their tirade.