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Celtic Tree Wisdom.The Willow Tree : Saille

The willow tree Birthwood is for birthdays from 15th April until 12th May.

The willow is the 5th consonant of the Ogham alphabet and is represented by a vertical lines with 5 lines to the right ( see below). It is known as the tree of enchantment and has a strong power often associated with the moon. It is a water loving tree, liking damp or watery places and is associated with Moon magic, known as a Moon tree sacred to the White Lady. Its groves were used for magical ceremonies where druids could gain inspiration and prophecies. The willow is used for wishes, love, healing, protection, fertility and magic for women.

Medicine and Magic

The willow tree has medicinal, magical and practical elements. For example the willow bark contains salicin which is used to make Asprin and bark infusions are used as a remedy for rheumatism and fevers. If willow sap is applied to acne it can help reduce the inflammation and a strong brew its of bark and leaves can be rubbed into the scalp for dandruff.

The willow is also known as the tree of immortality because it can re grow from a fallen branch in moist ground. Willow wands were used to sleep with to have more vivid dreams and it can be used to draw down protective energy from the moon especially if journeying to the underworld. A witches broom is traditionally bound with a willow's branch and wrapped around birch twigs.

The willow can be used for wishes. So first ask permission of the willow while standing under her at a full moon and tell her of your desire. Blow a kiss to the moon then take a pliable shoot and tie loosely in a knot while making your wish. When the wish is fulfilled return and untie the knot and thank the willow and leave a gift. Or you can use this wish below.

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

By all the power of three times three,

And as I will it, so mote it be.

"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

The willow can be planted to prevent flooding and can be used to protect river banks from erosion due to its prolific root system.. Willow has long been the main tree used in basketry and fences due to its pliant nature. . The wood has been used for cabinets, all types of furniture, barrels and prized for cricket bats. According to Druidic stories, two scarlet snake eggs were hidden within the Willow. The Universe was hatched from these two eggs, one containing the Sun, the other the Earth, relating to both cosmic birth and the birth of mankind. Traditionally, in spring rituals, these were replaced by hens’ eggs, coloured scarlet for the Sun and eaten at Beltane.

" Notice that the stiffest of trees is most easily cracked, while the willow survives by bending in the wind"

- Bruce Lee


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