Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Celtic month of Willow

This morning I went down to the creek to take some pictures of the willow trees down there as they swayed in the wind.

Their silvery leaves rippled in the breeze, looking every bit like babbling water .

Witches have long been associated with the willow tree, probably because in the dark, their gnarled trunks look like old crones walking about.

Life is sacred, but what makes it sacred? It is the coming together of all the essential elements and the properties that they create. We cannot do without any of them. We need water, fire, air, earth and spirit to survive.

This month I am thinking about the willow tree and its connection with water. Water symbolizes our dreams, emotions and visions. A willow tree branch is an excellent tool for divining water. Since the willow tree is affiliated with the moon who controls the tides and since the willow loves to grow near water, it follows that it is a perfect choice. Interesting that we are receiving such a lot of water in Tennessee right now. Too much water is flowing our way and we won't need a willow branch to divine it for the moment. Since I got here we have had a lot of rain and a lot of sun.

You could also say that there is much emotion in the world today, much sadness as well as much joy.

Just as we can use the willow tree to find water, so we can also ask for its help with our emotions. The branches of the weeping willow bend downwards. It has the power to empathise with our tears. Likewise the wiccan tool for water is the chalice. This tool is also associated with the willow tree and is used to catch our tears.

During a 'Celtic sacred grove handfasting' (wedding), the officiant calls upon Arianrhod, the Lady of the Moon.

The willow is the sixth tree of the grove, the tree of enchantment and intuition.

The weeping willow is a native of China, having been introduced to Britain in the eighteenth century. The Chinese see the willow as a herb of immortality for it has the ability to grow from the smallest branch stuck into the earth.

Some beings are drawn to the willow tree. The Wryneck birds like to nest in it.

Dryad fairies like to live in it.

As I get older I have turned away from the Christian religion that I was brought up to believe in. I no longer want to go through a priest to reach God. I no longer want only to believe in a masculine deity. I want to spend more time and energy on Mother Earth. I question why I should believe in a religion which is steeped in the culture of the middle east when there is such an abundance of spirituality right here on my doorstep. I no longer want to worship a man hanging on a cross, I would rather hug a tree.

All these issues have been going round in my mind for some years now.

I am happy in my nature spirituality. There is so much to explore and so much to re-learn in life. My heart sings with the joy of all of it.


References from 'Tree Wisdom' by Jennifer Memory Patterson

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Why not sit down with me beneath a tree and discuss this interesting religion. I'm listening...