The popular icon of a witch is an ugly old woman riding across the sky on her magic broomstick and wearing a pointed hat. But as with all mythologies there is an element of truth behind the image. Witches ride brooms, because brooms are magical. Many superstitions abound in Chinese culture about brooms. The use of brooms should only be for cleaning the house, shop etc. Traditional Chinese culture holds that a broom is inhabited by a spirit, thus explaining why it should not be used for games, playing etc. The broom should not be used for cleaning the household gods or altar as this is disrespectful. These objects are cleaned with a cloth or a special small brush. During the Spring Festival, Chinese custom prohibits the use of the broom for three days from New Year’s Day, as it is thought that use of it will sweep away the good luck the new year brings.
A Yoruba ideology forbids beating a person with a broom especially a male. The belief is that a man beating with a broom will be rendered impotent and fruitless. To beat a person with a broom will rain bad luck upon that person for years. The curse can however be lifted by rubbing the part of the body hit several times. The broom should never touch the head: this is very bad luck. In gambling, the spirit in the broom is sometimes invoked by ‘threatening’ it until luck in gambling ensues. The broom is also sometimes used in temple rituals. Here, the person’s whole body is swept with the broom in front of the deities and the broom then beaten. This functions to remove bad luck.
I read the article of Femi Aribisala titled: “APC and the Spirit of WitchCraft“. Aribisala said and I quote: “In Yoruba folklore, it is a bad omen for the broom to stand erect; it must lie on the ground. The taboo is that if it stands erect, it will be used by evil spirits to bring bad luck. The occult design here was fitted for APC electoral purposes. The party used its cultist broom to sweep away good luck from Nigeria in the person of Goodluck Jonathan. This means its success at the polls portends a bad omen for Nigeria.” Unquote
This article sets me on a thoughtful lane on effects and after-effects of use of many brooms during campaign in the country. I was reminded of Festac ’77 that imported many idols into Nigeria; most of them with wicked streaks of destruction, pains, and spirit of poverty. Some of the evil spirits of those wicked Idols are still operating in Nigerian land, sea, and sky spaces till today. With this in mind, I saw reason in Aribisala’s article; even though I do not believe Nigerians have been demonized.
It is time for Nigerians to take a critical look at the myth and reality of brooms and their uses. ACN used brood of brooms as the symbol of the party. The coalition of parties that formed APC adopted this symbol. A choice for a political party symbol is pre-determined for the party looks at a symbol that will make people choose the party. The culture of the people is tied to their theocracy and already, there is politicization of religion in Nigeria. A political party intends to win at elections so the first selling-point to the people is the choice of their symbol. The symbol has a meaning both spiritual and physical. A party’s symbol is more than a design of Arts.
Broom is magical in the world of occult. By definition Occult is: mysterious, secret, hidden, and concealed. In Deuteronomy 18:9-16, the Bible condemns as ungodly all occult phenomenon and practices. The occult seems to deal with:
• mysterious/secret rituals;
• powers beyond the normal human sense; and
• the supernatural realm of demonic forces.
The common list of occult practices would at least include
2. Spiritism (necromancy)
3. Witchcraft (sorcery, drugs, magic arts etc)
4. Astrology and horoscopes
5. Divination/soothsaying (fortunetelling/palm reading)
There are only two possible sources of supernatural power in the world – God and Satan. Even then Satan’s power (which should not be underestimated) is limited by God. Satan as ruler of this world system and evil age has been given great freedom to work his evil ways. Eph. 2:1-2, 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 10:2-5, Daniel 10:1-21, Ex. 7:8-13; 1 Sam. 16:14- 15, Acts 13:4-12, 16:16-40, 19:11-20; Rev. 9:1-6, 9:21, 22:15. These passages confirm the absolute reality of the occult and of supernatural power – both good and evil.
There is also a lot of deception, trickery, and illusion around, which is man made, but which looks occult. It takes a very discerning, spiritually mature person to tell the difference – 1 John 2: 20-27. For example superstitious people may be because of ignorance, or fear of the unknown or unexplainable or in fact may trust in magic (sorcery-magic arts). There has been an increase in occult activities which has given rise to pseudo (false) sciences such as para-psychology which attempts to explain supernatural phenomena in scientific ways.
Why so much interest in occult?
• Satan is more active than ever in these end-times – 1 Tim. 4:1-2
• The weak, false version of the Gospel preached so often provides fertile ground for the occult.
• People are naturally curious about what they cannot explain. Movies have popularized the occult and many people are fascinated by the unknown “dark” side of life.
• The spirit of Anti-Christ and the deception of sin in the world today leads people astray – 1 John 4:1-6
• The occult offers personal involvement in exciting, unusual things.
• The occult promises to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and the mind
All genuine occult practices are sourced in Satan and will be fully manifested in the Great Tribulation period – 2 Thess. 2:5-12; Rev. 13:1- 18.
All occult beliefs and practices leave out the God of the Bible
Since Ancient days, Brooms have been associated with Witchcraft when not used at home for cleaning purpose. Witchcraft refers to the practice of magic arts using evil, black magic powers, drugs, casting of spells, causing sickness and death, etc. It takes many different forms. Historically and traditionally witches and wizards attribute their “powers” to Satan and often pledge their allegiance to him. Witchcraft involves mind and will control. Some witches are either demon possessed people or demons manifested in a human form. That they seem to exercise mysterious evil power is beyond question. Many tribal people have a witchdoctor or medicine man.
Wtchcraft is Satan inspired, demonic activity which the Bible consistently condemns and warns against. For one can easily come under the sinister influence of Satan by playing around with witchcraft. Many Bible passages condemn the practice strongly as being detestable to God – Deut. 18:9-16, and Gal. 5:19-21. I sincerely hope that the brood of brooms that symbolizes APC has no link with the occult as stated by Femi Aribisala in his write-up. Nigerians should pray seriously to be free of any occultist influences. God saves Nigeria. God bless Nigeria.