After reading on Willow, I decided to go down into the horse pasture and ask the resident willow trees for a gift of a branch.
I was about to leave when I bent down and saw a dried branch. When I put my hand on it, it almost dropped into my hand. Grenwinae said he had touched it before me and was told to leave it alone; it must have been left for me.
Now I have a branch to help me navigate the next part of the emotional journey I need to make. I need to put some thought into how I will shape it for a healing wand.
Grenwinae has more luck talking to trees. I asked him what Willow would want as a thank you if I took a branch. She wasn’t keen on a pruning but answered milk or wine. That night, under the moon, I gifted Willow with Coconut Milk.
The Willow has obvious connections with water, as it is often found growing near water (Celtic name of saille: sal meaning near and lis meaning water). Other names include Osier, Pussy Willow, White Willow, Witches’ Aspirin, Withy, Tree of Enchantment, Saille, Salicyn Willow, and Saugh Tree.
According to Ted Andrews Nature-Speak, if you have a piece of Willow it will react to the presence of water (i.e grow warmer, cooler, vibrate etc…). Willow wands are often used for dowsing (like attracts like).
According to The Healing Power of Trees (Sharlyn Hidalgo) Willow is linked to the Bee and the Dove. The Willow is connected to the Moon, the Feminine, and also the animals of Hawk and Owl (according to one website but not found in any other reference I can find so more research is called for).
Willow is supple and slender like the Maiden; Willow’s ability to reproduce easily by a branch being set in the ground is her Mother aspect; and her gnarled bark belongs the Crone. Whether or not it is the physical manifestation of the female trinity, Willow has often been associated with witches and used for wands.
Willow is tied to creative inspiration and is linked to strengthening your dreams and meditation states. This may be why she is also connected to poets and bards. Sleep with willow under your pillow to intensify your dreams and learn from revelations from what was hidden or obscure.
Andrews writes in Nature-Speak that Willow’s healing abilities is multi-faceted utilizing herbology and aromatherapy. These are two areas I’ve always been interested in, have pursued in the past and will be writing in some future blog entries.
Willow Wands are powerful in the area of wish making, all sorts of water work, and helps us understand how our inner thoughts affect external events. Willows messages are always multi-layered. Another interesting correlation is Andrews writes that Willow increases Clairaudience, which is exactly the talent I seem to have with my Animal Guides.
Willow is strongly aligned to the expression of emotion, suffering and loss so healing can take place. As one source wrote: Willow’s gift is tears. To “wear the willow” was to put a willow branch on your hat indicating openly your loss in love. Willow accepts your feelings and doesn’t judge. It can be used to work through past pains and deal with difficult emotions; something I’ve been told over and over again I need to be doing.
Right now I know that Grenwinae and I will be temporarily separated due to work: I’ll be in Oklahoma and he in Missouri until the right job materializes. Because we have had past times when we had to separate (also due to work) and things did not go well, there is an expectation on my side of grief, suffering, doubt, loss and more.
I will have to navigate this emotional maelstrom over the next few months and if the worst happens, perhaps even another year. Already I am feeling out of sorts, overwhelmed and irritated with knowing this is about to happen.
I’ve always shied away from feeling the full pain of these separations. Instead I’d cry a few tears or just get flat out angry. I’ve felt the emotions of grief, without the addition of my anger/blame, would overwhelm me, burying me, causing me to become irrational and to lose my intellect.
I’ve known for some time that I needed to release – a deep down release to purge it all out. What scares me the most is that no matter how much I do get out there seems to be more to vent: the bucket that refills itself – but instead of enjoying the plenty I just want the bucket to be EMPTY!
Willow has a lesson to teach me here – experiencing and the letting go. I will be working with this branch to help me get where I need to go.