From Roots to Leaves, Branches to Bark
The Goddess Tree Grows
Willows which by water stand
Ease us to the Summerland.
Tree of Enchantment, Tree of Witcheries
Fifth month of the Celtic Tree calendar,
April 15th - May 12th
Fifth consonant of the Ogham alphabet - Saille
There once was a Willow, and he was very old,
And all his leaves fell off from him, and left him in the cold;
But ere the rude winter could buffet him with snow,
There grew upon his hoary head a crop of mistletoe.
All wrinkled and furrowed was this old Willow's skin,
His taper finger trembled, and his arms were very thin;
Two round eyes and hollow, that stared but did not see;
And sprawling feet that never walked, had this most ancient tree.
~Julianna Horatia Ewing, "The Willow Man"
Symbolism: Resonance and Harmony
Birds: Hawk, Snowy Owl
Deity: Persephone, Hecate, Cerridwen,
Artemis, Selene, Luna, Diana, Brigit
Folk names: Osier, Pussy Willow, Saille, Salicyn Willow, Saugh Tree, White Willow, Witches Aspirin, Withe, Withy
Willow bark contains salicin, or Salicylic acid, used to make aspirin. Infusions from the bark have long been used as a remedy for cholls, rheumatism, and fevers. Willow sap applied to the skin can remedy acne, and a strong decoction of boiling the bark and leaves in water can be rubbed into the scalp for dandruff.
New Moon magick, creativity, fertility, female rights of passage, inspiration, emotion, binding. Love, Love divination, protection, healing. Willow is also known as the tree of immortality because of its ability to re grow from a fallen branch in moist ground. A wand made from Willow wood has many uses: sleep with it and have more vivid dreams, use it to draw down the moon, protection for underworld journeying. Magickal Brooms, witch's brooms are traditionally bound with a willow's branch.
"I am a willow of the wilderness,
Loving the wind that bent me."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
THE CELTIC TREE ORACLE
by Liz and Colin Murray
The Willow in the tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. She is water-seeking, thriving from preference on the damp margins of lakes and streams or across the low-lying water meadows. Water and the tidal movements of the sea are governed by the pull of the moon. The moon in its monthly rhythms is female, contrasting with the male sun's daily and yearly turnings. In several ways, the Celts held women in higher regard than we do today. On the material level, women were property owners, and whoever controlled the property controlled the marriage. Women of all types and appeared in the Celtic pantheon, the spiritual strength and life-giving qualities given by both female and male recognized equally. There were many colleges of Druidesses - learned women and teachers - respected especially for their gifts of seer-ship, often expressed through dreams, or night visions.
art by Cicely Mary Barker
The Fairy Bible
by Teresa Moorey
The willow fairy can be grumpy and tricky. The Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings were lulled to sleep and almost killed by Old Man Willow, and while fairies are rarely so ill- intentioned, the willow fairy is not always kindly.
The willow fairy may leave the tree at night and follow travelers, muttering and mumbling, which can be rather frightening to those who do not understand.
Willow has profound wisdom to offer, which humans rarely appreciate. It is deeply mystical and in tune with the music of the waters, all around the globe. Salicylic acid, which is used to make aspirin, comes from the willow, and the willow elves are associated with knowledge of medicinal herbs and healing.
Approached with respect, willow is a wonderful teacher and will whisper to us if we listen. It is important to be still, and to understand that human perceptions are shallow. Imagine the questing roots of willow, seeking the underground streams that flow to and from the earth-girdling oceans. Nighttime is best to commune with this spirit in meaningful dreams.
Willow Knot Spell
from Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan
To have your spell wish granted, you are to stand under the graceful branches of the willow on the night of a full moon. Blow a kiss to the moon and state your wish out loud, as you gently tie a loose knot in one of the supple branches. Then, while gazing up at the rising moon, repeat this verse:
Under the Lady's moon, shining so bright,
Willow tree, hear my request on this night.
In this willow tree, I now leave a marker,
Grant me love and happiness, and bring much laughter.
Close the spell with these standard Craft lines:
By all the power of three times three,
And as I will it, so mote it be.
Friday April 17, 2009 - Waning Half Moon in Capricorn
Friday April 24, 2009 - New Moon in Taurus
Friday, May 1, 2009 - Waxing Half Moon in Leo
Friday May 8, 2009 - Full Moon in Scorpio
The willow seeks out water, and is often found near streams or above natural underground wells. Like no other, this tree is associated with the Moon, in all her phases - and so symbolizes the change of our feelings and "moods" as time passes.
Born under the sign of the willow, you are an instinctive creature - in fact, you often react primarily from your "gut response" rather than on intellectual information. Watch the rhythm of your moods carefully and pay attention to your dreams. Their symbolism will help you navigate throughout life.
Written by Kim Rogers-Gallagher, and Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2000
Weeping Willow, The Melancholy
Beautiful but full of melancholy, attractive, very empathic, loves anything beautiful and tasteful, loves to travel, dreamer, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with, demanding, good intuition, suffers in love but finds sometimes an anchoring partner.
Green Man Tree Oracle
The Leaf on the Water
by Ouan Tsi (1007-1072)
The wind tears a leaf from the willow tree;
it falls lightly upon the water,
and the waves carry it away.
Time has gradually effaced a memory from my heart,
and I watch the willow leaf drifting away on the waves.
Since I have forgotten her whom I loved,
I dream the day through in sadness,
lying at the water's edge.
But the willow leaf floated back
under the tree,
and it seemed to me
that the memory could never be effaced
from my heart.
The Faces of WomanSpirit
A Celtic Oracle of Avalon
by Katherine Torres, Ph.D.
Trust All is here and now.
Connect with the Hand of Goddess.
Let Divine Mother Transform you.
Be an Example in the World.
Willow asks you to bend with her into the path of retrieval.
Follow the labyrinth trail, connect with the power of wisdom and the rhythm of your soul, and return to your ordinary world strengthened. You will find that your awareness of your purpose is stronger and your intent cannot be broken by the spell of someone else's desire.
The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
Sing all a green willow.
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
Sing willow, willow, willow.
~William Shakespeare, Othello
I release that which no longer serves me. I am at one with my environment.
I honor the energy of willow for the lunar rhythms within me as a woman.
I will recognize and heed my own body's cycles.
So mote it be.
This letter is a labor of love, from Gwendolyn
Permission to share freely, please in its entirety, with links and credits
Feel free to contact me: email@example.com
from Moon Bee Acres
There is a branch for you to sit upon with a beautiful view.
Climb up into her arms, and stay for a spell.
Feel her roots, her bark, her branches, her leaves.
She is shade, shelter, a home, a hide-away.
She is an escape.
She rocks you to sleep in your hammock.
She holds up your birdfeeder, your wind chimes, and your decorations.
She embraces anyone who loves to climb.
In the spring she offers life, and in the fall she gives her own.
She does not judge.
She just is.
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