XVIII. Willow – Moon

 Willow – Moon – Intuition

Genus: Salix – Family: Salicaceae

Willows signal a time when our subconscious fears and dreams are surfacing, creating anxiety about our future and ourselves. Willow reminds us that our strength is also our weakness as it connects us with the depths of our fears and vulnerabilities as well as our truths and resilience. Willow encourages us to see our self-deceptive and destructive patterns as illusions that have held us from realizing our full potential. Becoming conscious of our innermost selves allows us to reclaim our intuitive wisdom and skills.

Willow’s association with the moon guides us into the realms of intuition, dreams and the subconscious mind. Willows flourish on the edge of water as mystical gatekeepers between the moon, water and life itself. The moon provides light as a reflection of the sun and water reflects the light of the moon, this is symbolic of how reflections can be both real and deceptive.

The genus name Salix comes from the Celtic word Saille for white willow, Salix alba. Saille (near water) was seen as a lunar tree, in the ancient Ogham tree alphabet it represented the letter “s” known as sail. Druids used willow branches as wands because of their ability to transcend light and dark. Willow has been connected with Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic, associated with the moon and the ability to speak with spirits. In Chinese, Japanese and Taoist traditions willow branches are used for communicating with the dead and warding off unwanted spirits.

The iconic weeping willow (Salix x sepulcralis) received its name because its drooping branches release “teardrops” in the rain. A mature willow can drink up to 100 gallons of water a day. Willows can bend without breaking signifying that it is a strong yet gentle spirit that inspires us to sweep away the illusion of fear on our journey toward higher consciousness.

The willow’s leaves and bark have been used as medicine for over 3000 years as the source of salicin. Salicin, named for the genus Salix works as an anti-inflammatory and is the main ingredient in aspirin. Ancient cultures from around the world used willow as a remedy for aches and pains, reminding us of its healing potential.

Message: The spirit of willow encourages us to weep and bend as we release deep-seated memories that haunt us. Wisdom is often born of pain as we move through various phases of our life. Sadness, grief, anger, fear and loss can be our greatest teachers. Willow signals a time of strengthening our resolve to search for deeper meaning and purpose in our life.

Blocked: Feeling lost in the enchantment of our daydreams, or becoming rigid with fear. Feeling unable to trust in our selves or our dreams. Work with willow to release the tears, fears and sadness holding us from believing in our self.