Willow – Moon – Illusion
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 weakness is also our strength 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 of the moon, sun and life itself. The moon provides light as a reflection of the sun; in turn water reflects the light of the moon. In some ancient cultures the moon was the “masculine seed” or “lunar bull” that impregnated earth each night so she could give birth to the sun each day.
The moon is also associated with the sacred feminine and lunar cycles. Selene, the Greek moon goddess also called “mene” inspired words such as; men, mense, menstruation and month.
Moon Gods and Goddesses like Thoth, Sin, Artemis and Luna represent the ongoing and dynamic life-giving relationships between female/male, night/day, dark/light.
The genus name Salix comes from the Celtic word Saille (near water). In the ancient Ogham tree alphabet willow represented the letter “s” known as sail. Druids created wands from willow branches because of their ability to transcend light and dark. In Chinese, Japanese and Taoist traditions willow was used to communicate with spirits.
The weeping willow (Salix x sepulcralis) is named for its drooping branches that release “teardrops” in the rain. Willows can drink up to 100 gallons of water a day, making them strong yet flexible.
Willow has been used as a source of medicine for over 3000 years. Its leave and bark are a source for salicin, named for the genus Salix (willow). Salicin is an anti-inflammatory agent and is the active ingredient found in aspirin.
Message: Willow encourages us to weep as we release deep-seated memories that have hurt us. Willow reminds us of our strength and tenacity as we surrender to our innermost fears in order to reconnect with our intuitive wisdom. Wisdom is often born of pain as we move through various phases of our life. Sadness, grief, anger, fear and loss bring valuable insights. By reclaiming and rebalancing our light and dark self we can feel peace within us.
Challenge: 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.