Willow Tree

*Nature-Speak/Ted Andrews
Keynote: Be flexible and look for connections; trust inner visions.

Willows are fast growing trees with a bitter and astringent bark. All varieties have limber twigs and branches. There are a number of varieties, some which fall into the tree category and others into the shrub category. The black willow is one of the largest in the world. The weeping willow is a favorite among many people for its beauty and it has inspired many a poet.

The PussyWillow is also one of the favorites in the willow family. A powerful plant, PussyWillow has an essence that can help us in divination and reading signs. In fact, it is good for almost any form of divination. It is tied to the archetypal energies of the future. It reminds us that there are promises yet to be fulfilled. It renews and revitalizes, awakening the inner fires of hope and inspiration for that is yet to come.

All willows grow best in moist areas, and they are often found along ponds, streams, marshes and wetlands. These habitats should be studied as well for anyone to whom the willow appears as a messenger. Willows are water loving, and water is an archetypal symbol of the feminine energies of birth, creativity, intuition and the moon.

Willow is a magical and healing tree. Its name literally means "convolution," and there is a convolution of energies associated with it. It stimulates an energy of healing on many levels, especially though in the areas of herbology and aromatherapy. And its meanings to us are often multidimensional. There is rarely a single message from willow. It is always multiple and many layered.

Willow awakens felxibility and encourages many avenues of exploration when it appears as a messenger. It aleerts us to powerful opportunities for commun ication, and it has ties to all deities of other worlds and other traditions. The willow tree is associated with the goddess Brigid of Celtic mythology, and Willow's spirit can help us invoke and align with those energies. It is also linked to Orpheus who brought to Greece the teachings of music and Nature and magic.

Willows also awaken clairaudience - hearing of spirit. In Europe are tales of travelers being frightened at night while walking through the woods. They made claims of willow tree spirits following behind them, muttering in their ears. When the gift of clairaudience first begins to awaken, the sounds are like a soft muttering.

Willow makes one of the very best dowsing tools. This is partly due to willow's strong connection to water. Just carrying a piece of willow in your pocket can make you more sensitive. When you are near a water source, you will feel that piece of willow. For some people it vibrates. For others, it gets warm or cool, but there is always a response from it around water. Wands made from it are powerfully effective for wish-making and all water magic. When properly worked with in meditation and magic, willow wands and staffs help us realize the very intimate link between our thoughts and external events in our life.

Willow alerts us to new opportunities to learn and explore. It encourages a flexibility of thought, and its energies. Willow is associated with an awakening of the feminine energies, of going into the darkness of the womb and activating greater expression of them. Its spirit opens "night" vision, or vision of that which has always been hidden or obscured. It reminds us to use the rhythms of the Moon to look for dream messages of importance. Willow always stimulates great dream activity. And her message always involves learning to trust our inner visions.

*The Master Book of Herbalism/Paul Beyerl
Among the Chinese, the Willow is an Herbe of Immortality, for even the smallest piece of a branch is capable of bringing forth another tree. It is said the Hebrew peoples, as they wandered through Babylon, came to the Willow and hung their harps upon them, and wept to return to their homeland. The Druids used the pussywillow, and thought it appropriate for charms and protection. There are many who think a pussywillow makes an excellent magickal wand, and others who take their tool from the mightier tree.

Anciently, it was the Willow which was site of the birth of Hera, a most honored Goddess. It is said that Orpheus turned to the Willow when passing through the underworld to receive the virtue of eloquence. The Willow is today a patron herbe of those involved in communication.

Willow is sacred to Hecate, Hermes, and all deities of the otherworlds, and may be used as a Funereal Herbe. For safe passage into another life, one must plant a Willow during their lifetime so that it will still be alive at their death.

Willow is the herbe to work with rock crystal, to charge the stone and give it protective healing virtues.

*The Language of Dreams/Patricia Telesco
Symbolic of flexibility and tolerance because of its supple branches. Wishes and magic. An ancient willow want, topped in a star, and carried by the Greek goddess Helice was a cosmic emblem connected strongly with the moon, divination, and the Mystery traditions. Pain's abate. Herbally, willow bark is a substitute for asprin. The weeping willow represents personal mourning or sadness. Remember the lessons of the willow, however, that also shows us how to bend without breaking. Do not let grief break your spirit.

*Magical Herbalism/Scott Cunningham
Folk Names: Tree of Enchantment, Witches' Asprin, White Willow, Withe, Withy, Salicyn Willow, Osier, Sough Tree, Asille
Associated Deities: Artemis, Ceres, Hecate, Persephone, Circe, Hera, Mercury, Belili, Belinus
Basic Powers: Healing, wishes
Specific uses: A wand made of willow is used in healing rituals. The willow is used as the binding on the Witch's Broom. Called "Tree of Enchantment" in the language of the Witches, it is most often used to bring the blessings of the Moon into one's life. Plant a willow in the garden, preferably by a natural spring or river. It will guard your home admirably. The binding of the Witches' Broom is often made of soft, pliant willow branches. Bear a sprig of this plant and you will be free from the fear of death. Tie a knot in a willow branch to serve as a physical representation of your Intent for a spell. When the wish has been granted, untie the knot and then use it again for a new spell.

*The Secret Language of Signs/Denise Linn
Willow trees are extraordinarily graceful and fluid. Are you able to bend and move with the circumstances of your life? Learn to be more flexible. The willow is often a sign of grieving or sadness because of its name, "weeping willow," called htus because of its long, hanging branches, which to some peole appear as though they are drooping with sadness.

*On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain
Willow pertains to tenacity.

*Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions/Zolar
Willows are held symbolic of melancholy and foresaken love. Once popular was the custom of wearing a willow garland when one had been jilted.

Pausanias, the Greek historian (second century A.D.), writes of a grove sacred to Persephone, where willows and poplars grew. Orpheus, in the underworld, is also described as holding a willow branch. On Circe's idland, there was said to be a grove of willows from which corpses hung.

Willows are often planted in cemeteries to suggest immortality, and in China, coffins were once covered with willow boughs.

In Ireland, the so-called PussyWillow was held one of the seven noble trees of the land and was believed effective against magical charms.

Tradition holds it unlucky to take the catkins or pussies indoors. Yet others hold it good luck, if they are brought into the house on May Day.

In northern England, an unmarried girl was advised to take a willow wand in her left hand, leave her house secretly, and run three times around it saying: "He that's to be my good man, come and grip the end of it." On the third time around her house, she would perceive a likeness of her future husband, who would come and grasp the end of the wand.

In folklore, the willow was reputed to be a cure for rheumatism, since it often grew in wet places, and whoever carries a piece of willow bark is held to be protected from suffering.

The willow tree is also throught to gossip. No one should reveal a secret in front of it, or they will soon hear it repeated by the wind.

In the Far East, tradition holds that, should a girl sleep in the shade of a willow tree, she will find herself pregnant. A Russian belief holds that whoever plants a willow tree digs his own grave.

Last, in the Victorian language of flowers, the weeping willow was symbolic of mourning. The water willow, however was said to represent freedom.

Edited 1 time by CinnamonMoon Mar 24 09 10:55 PM.