Wednesday, 12 May 2010
The Willow Tree - Healing
Tomorrow we start the Celtic tree month of Hawthorn, but before I leave off thinking about the Willow Tree, I want to visit one more time. This time I am thinking about the healing qualities of willow. Did you know that aspirin is derived from the bark of the willow tree? and where would we be without that, I wonder?
Willow has always been used to protect against diseases caused by damp conditions. The bark and leaves contain salicylic acid. Gypsies have long known of the qualities of the willow tree bark, giving it as a bitter drink for the relief of ailments like rheumatism, influenza and headaches.
Culpeper advises us to 'slit the bark from the willow in flower and collect the water from the tree.' which is good for problems of sight, dimness and soreness of the eyes. It is also good for clearing spots from the skin.
The Bach Flower Remedies, see one of my previous posts, advise using it to clear severe discontent, both with yourself and with others. Irritability, fault-finding, self pity, unhappiness and resentment as well as jealousy and other such negative emotions are dealt with by willow.
I like the idea of going back to my roots, trying to put myself into the position where I have to think about what I would do if, sort of scenario...
So, thinking about the willow and its affiliation with water, it is just one more step to see why the moon is so important to the willow. The moon is responsible for controlling the tides and willow is a water tree. Now, suppose I was an ancient being and I depended on rain to water my crops, it would follow that I needed to ask the moon and the willow tree for help. I wouldn't be able to tune in to the weather channel and see what sort of weather was coming my way. I would have to devise a different method. If I looked in the sky and saw no clouds, I would be worried. So by honouring the tree and through it, the moon, I would use the energy in me to make contact with the element of water and ask for rain.
A good way to do this would be to cut a willow knot. Use the knot as a visual aid to your wish, or spell; honour the tree and the moon (Goddess) and if the intent is for good, not evil, then your wish will be fulfilled.
There is so much we can do with what we already have instead of rushing off to the shop each time we need something.
There is so much more to the willow, but tomorrow I will be turning my thoughts to the hawthorn. Will you travel with me as I go down the country lane and discover what this next tree has to offer?
Source: 'Tree Wisdom' by Jacqueline Memory Paterson