Sunday, 21 April 2013

Willow Tree

There are lots of varieties of willow; White, Goat, Crack, Grey and Sallow are all indigenous to the UK.  Druids especially valued the Goat Willow for this ability to transform from silver to gold, a kind of natural alchemy that they called “sunshine fire”. The Weeping Willow is not native however it was imported from China in the 18th century.

The Willow is a common sight growing beside rivers, ponds and lakes and above underground water sources; they carry with them an amazing watery energy which gives them the name of the Moon Tree.

The willow is sacred to the triple Goddess, especially Cailleach the old Crone aspect; she represents the dark side and wisdom. The Willow in the Tree alphabet stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. Water and 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.

As well as favouring watery places the Willow growth is somewhat prolific.  If you were to cut a branch and plant it into the ground, wit would easily root and grow into a new tree. For this reason, the willow is strongly linked to new growth, regeneration and inspiration.

Willow was used in the annual purification ritual of "beating the bounds" (defining the parish boundary) and the birch twigs of a witch's broom were traditionally bound with willow thongs. It is also sacred to the moon with willow wands being favoured for lunar magic and ritual. It is also thought that placing willow under one's pillow, especially around the full moon, helps promote night visions. The willow is sacred to poets and bards as a tree of inspiration. 

Medicinal Uses

Willow bark contains salicin, or Salicylic acid, used to make aspirin. 
Infusions from the bark have long been used as a remedy for chills, 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.
A tea or incense of willow bark can be used to help connect with the divine feminine energy within each of us as willow is a strongly feminine tree. 

Ogham Name : Saille
Letter- S
Month 15th April – 12th May
Color- Bright Colors
Animals- Hare, cat, hawk
Planet: The Moon
Gemstone: Moonstone
Flower: Primrose
Diety: Morgan le Fay, The Morrigan , Cailleach

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