No, it’s not the white man’s equivalent to Jumping the Broom. Not even close. Jumping the Broom is a uniquely African/African-American wedding tradition. It’s also a funny, heartwarming romantic comedy from writer, producer/director, Tyler Perry. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Standing the broom doesn’t have anything to do with weddings or cool wedding traditions. It’s an urban legend I hadn’t even heard of until my writer friend, Lori Keizer mentioned it on Facebook. But once I saw her post, I had to find out more about this supposed scientific “phenomenon.”

Oddly enough, the information I found on the internet was written to debunk the urban legend. But from what I understand, a couple of weeks before and after the spring and fall equinox, March 20 and September 22, the planets and gravitational pull of the earth align in such a way that a broom can stand on its on when balanced facing south.

It sounded like a hoax to me and most experts agree.

According to Joe Ross, a professor at Texas A&M university, it’s just a balancing act. He claims anyone with patience and a broom can stand a broom on its bristles any time of the year. The broom he used is a straight broom, so I don’t know how he could tell if it was facing south or not, but he did stand the broom straight up. According to Ross, it had nothing to do with the equinox.

It doesn’t have anything to do with gremlins, elves, or some funky phenomenon caused by a planetary alignment. It’s just a well-balanced broom.

Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought. Not that I sit around thinking much about brooms. I don’t even like to think about them when it’s time to sweep. I prefer my Swiffer. Or the vacuum. But Facebook and the internet have been abuzz with stories of standing brooms. And yet, in all my internet research, I found nothing to support the claims. All of the websites, blog posts, and such, declared the standing broom myth as nonsense. “If a broom stands alone today, it will stand alone tomorrow, next week, and next year.”

That’s what I thought too. But those who believe say it’s true, especially this year because of the recent alignment of Venus, Mercury, and  Jupiter. Skeptics say it’s hogwash:  “the bristles on a broom can be spread apart in such a way that all straight brooms will stand. Astronomers say neither planetary alignments or equinoxes have any physical impact on earthly objects.”

  The broom I used wasn’t straight. It’s angled, not just the bristles, but the handle. And the only way I could get it to stand on its own was to point the handle south. Hey, my dog was impressed. She’s all but bowing down to the magic broom. lol!

Does this mean I believe the equinox is responsible? IDK. Maybe it’s like author Stuart Chase says: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” 

I’m not saying I believe, but it was a fun experiment, and you can bet I’ll be trying this trick again–after the equinox. Think the broom will stand up then?

Only time will tell…