An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Besom Chant by Ed Fitch

Filed under: Paganism and Spirituality — feyMorgaina @ 01:00

The internet is a great thing. We have come to depend on it for information we could not have been able to find elsewhere. Or so we think. I often engage in research on various topics. I have a thirst for knowledge and learning and use the internet on a daily basis. Consequently, it never fails that I stumble across inaccurate or incomplete information on the internet. This happened already regarding the authorship of certain important Wiccan literature. Please see a message I posted on a private message board, but have saved on this website as “portervaliente.htm”. This time, it is the Besom Chant by Ed Fitch, commonly used by the Wiccan Church of Canada (WCC).

As Handmaiden for the semi-private women’s group run by Tamarra James, I must learn the Besom Chant for my role in ritual. As a Wiccan studying to become a Priestess one day in the Odyssean tradition of WCC, I should know the Besom Chant anyway. Thus, I feel I can be an authority on the Besom Chant and its authorship or source. I first stumbled across a version of the Besom Chant on the internet while searching for a chant on Brighid for which I know the lyrics because I wanted to find the author. (Sadly, I did not find it.) However, I found a web page crediting the Besom Chant to “Lady Tamara” (I am assuming they mean Tamarra James, even though they misspelled her name.). A quick Google search for “besom chant” pulls up 630 results. A further search within that for “ed fitch” pulls up 3 results, with only one page crediting Ed Fitch as the author ( (Now, this is the point where I start ranting about how the “majority rules” is not an appropriate rule of thumb to apply to the internet.) At least, one web page had the decency to admit they did not know if it was in fact Lady Tamara who wrote the chant. (I will be writing the site owner’s and giving them the link to this blog entry.)

So, I suppose it is up to me to set the record straight because if I know Tamarra well enough by now, I’m sure she would not want to take credit for someone else’s work. It’s just not a nice thing to do. Besides, I do have a photocopy of the Besom Chant originally “written in the hand of Lady Tamarra” (note the second ‘r’ in her name) and she credits Ed Fitch as the source for the chant. The first copy I received of the Besom Chant was from the public class held at WCC and this copy too also credits Ed Fitch. Ed Fitch is the author of The Rites of Odin, a book of which I have a copy. The short bio in the book’s cover states that he was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca in the 1960s. This would likely make him a contemporary to Tamarra James and would easily explain how she received the Besom Chant from him.

Now, seeing as the Besom Chant has managed to find itself on the internet and that it IS available to the public as part of WCC’s public classes. I feel I am not breaking any oath of secrecy by posting it on here with the correct authorship. At least if people are going to use it, they should have the correct version and should know the source.

The following is the Besom Chant as originally written down by Lady Tamarra (I have made some minor spelling corrections):

Besom Chant by Ed Fitch

Besom, besom, long and lithe
Made from ash and willow withe
Tied with thongs of willow bark
By running stream at moonset dark
With the pentagram indited
As the ritual fire is lighted
Sweep ye circle deosil
Sweep out evil, sweep out ill
Make the round of the ground
Where we do the Lady’s will.

Besom, besom, witch’s broom
Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom
Rid ye Lady’s hallowed ground
Of demons, imps, and Hell’s red hound
Then stand thee down on her green earth
By running stream or Mistress’ hearth
Til called upon by sabbat’s rite
To cleanse once more the dancing site.
So mote it be.

The foregoing being said about the internet notwithstanding, I do think the internet is useful. I just would prefer if people would attempt to check their sources. It is, after all, a nice and honest thing to do.

Okay, end of rant.

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