Moder Letter: S
Ruler of the 5 Lunar Month
April 15th – May 12th
In divination Saille highlights that we cannot evolve without change. Life often includes lessons and changes which we find unpleasant and distasteful but they are an important part of the human experience. It is important to give yourself time to rest and come to accept the experience you have just had. By steadily internalizing new information and facts allows you to build a foundation and greater understanding. Somethings need to be learned by repetition. Allowing yourself some flexibility in your spiritual life will also allow you to be more flexible in your mundane life as well, this will allow you to appreciate the cycle of life and experience.
Origin: there are several species of Willow including native, non-native and hybridised varieties This post will focus on the native species of Pussy (Goat) Willow. For more detail on other species please visit the Woodland Trust website.
Common names: goat willow, pussy willow, great sallow
Scientific name: Salix caprea
Most commonly found in damp ground, such as by lakes or open stretches of water, mature pussy willow trees can grow up to 10m in height and live for up to 300 years.
Unlike most willows the leaves are oval rather than long and thin and these appear after the formation of emergence of catkins. Individual trees produce a single type of flower, male and female, and rely on pollinators such as the purple emperor butterfly for cross pollination.
The bark is grey-brown and develops diamond-shaped fissures with age. Twigs are hairy at first but become smooth, and can appear red-yellow in sunlight. Male catkins grey, stout and oval, becoming yellow when ripe with pollen whilst the female catkins are longer and green. As the flowers develop into fruit the downlike seeds are dispersed on the wind or amongst the parent tree’s roots as the branches droop to the ground.
Themes: Resonance and harmony
Birds: hawk, Snowy Owl
Deity: Hekate, Cerridwen, Selene, Brigid
Saille Saille SailleSuggested Galdur
Saiii Illl Saiii Illl
Sss Sss Saiii Illl
Saille Saille Saille
Willow is strongly connected to the moon so willow wands are well suited to any ritual invoking lunar energies or for journeys into the subconscious and/or Underworld.
Willow can help in the understanding of ancient teachings, helping the student make inspired leaps of imagination. Through the willow the student can access the emotion underlying the wisdom, helping them access this information in their own time.
Sleeping with a willow wand or charm will aid you in connecting with your dreams, increasing their potency and deepening their meaning. By studying these dreams with an open mind may result in revealing and healing emotional problem which are causing tension in your life.
Given its connection to mourning, willow is particularly effective when such things are cause by grief and loss. In this case the person in mourning may wish to carry a willow charm or talisman on their person.
Mythology and Literature
One of the beliefs of the witch hunters of the medieval age was that the Willow was the tree held most sacred by Witches. This was in part because of it’s long association with healing but also because of its connection with goddesses such as Hecate, Goddess of Witchcraft and teacher of the sorceress Circe.
Later western traditions show willow as a sign or omen of unlucky love and the sadness of parting, particularly when a parting was brought about because of war. The sprigs of weeping willow were worn in the hat or pinned to clothing, evoking the image of the wearer being bowed down in their grief.
Connected to this, crosses made of willow were made for Palm Sunday and each pew was adorned with a piece of willow for the congregation to take away with them. The drooping branches foreshadow the loss which is to come but their green shoots serve to remind the bearer that new life is soon to emerge.
Who is she adorned in moonlight’s veil –Weeping by the Willow Tree – Excerpt Written by Adam M. Snow
This beauty with skin so fragile and pale?
I see her within a dream surreal,
Weeping by the willow tree.