"Legends of witches flying on brooms go back as far as the beginning of the Christian Era. The earliest known confession of a witch flying on a broom was in 1453, when Guillaume Edelin of St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, stated that he had done so. In 1563, Martin Tulouff of Guernsey said to have seen his aged mother straddle a broomstick and whisk up the chimney and out of the house on it, saying "Go in the name of the Devil and Lucifer over rocks and thorns". In 1598 Claudine Boban and her mother, witches of the province of Franche-Comté, eastern France, also spoke of flying up the chimney on a stick. The belief of flying off through the chimney became firmly embedded in popular tradition, although only a few people ever mentioned doing so. It has been suggested that this idea was connected with the old custom of pushing a broom up the chimney to indicate the absence of the housewife. The Germanic goddess Holda or Holle is also connected with the chimney.
Other indications that lead to the popular belief that witches actually flew on broomsticks can be found in an old custom of dancing with a broom between the legs, leaping high in the air.
Some authors claim that the oldest known source of witches flying on broomsticks is a manuscript called "Le Champion des Dames" by Martin Lefranc, 1440. This might be one of the oldest images representing a hag on a broomstick, but it is certainly not the first. A wall painting from the 12.th century in Schleswig Cathedral (Germany) shows the Norse deity Frigg riding her staff.
From the Roman world there are reports that mention witches flying on broomsticks as well as having used ointments, as early as the first century. They were called Straigæ, and the Lamiæ from Greek culture had similar characteristics. Later in Roman history, the goddess Diana was the leader of the Wild Hunt: "It is also not to be omitted that some wicked women, perverted by the Devil, seduced by illusions and phantasm of demons, believe and profess themselves in the hours of the night to ride upon certain beasts with Diana, the goddess of pagans, and an innumerable multitude of women, and in the silence of the dead of the night to traverse great spaces of earth, and to obey her commands as of their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on certain nights".
Similar beliefs existed in many parts of Europe. So flying through the air, evidently, was a deeply rooted mythological theme, associated with the free roaming of the spirit, the separation of soul and body.
The broomstick is a female and male symbol, "the rod which penetrated the bush". Its symbolism and interpretation is therefore purely sexual."
The Witchy Crypt