The water-loving willow tree is associated closely with the moon, intuition, spirituality, emotion, dreams.
…all that belongs to the intangible realm of the water element. There’s a reason Buffy’s Willow Rosenberg is so named! Willow is known as the “witches’ tree,” and is used in all kinds of spells, especially enchantment and binding, and for journeying into the underworld.
Ruled by the moon, willow also help us deepen our connection to our intuition and spirituality. This power is particularly strong in spring, when energy is rising and moving outwards. Here in the UK, spring’s stirrings can be are slow to get going, but it’s impossible to miss the sudden bursting forth of the willows that grow abundantly here, long shoots growing inches each week. These past weeks, the willow’s beautiful flowers — grey, furry little catkins — have appeared all over these wavy branches.
Like a truly magical wand, a fresh-cut branch of willow pushed into the earth will grow roots and shoots and grow into a new tree! You can imagine this sudden flowing of energy, this rising of feeling, as something that can help you clear emotional blockages, get in touch with your feelings, or access your intuition (and weeping willows are especially associated with grieving).
Working with willow:
You could cut yourself a willow wand (greet, ask and thank the tree as you do!) and place it on your altar or sleep with it under your pillow to deepen your connection to your inner wisdom.
Or simply sit under a willow tree and allow yourself a moment of peace and reflection. Have a full-moon gathering (or party of one) beneath a willow-tree.
You can burn willow bark as an incense to aid your creativity, sleep with a willow twig under your pillow for vivid dreams.
Willow is used to make a fine charcoal for drawing…try it!
If you want to “draw down the moon” in a full-moon ceremony, choose a willow wand.
This time last year I spent a lot of time weaving willow fences using the long, fresh green shoots — I found cutting, sorting and weaving the willow incredibly relaxing and meditative. You can make something more fun than a fence, though! Cut a few shoots and try weaving them into any shape you fancy…let your intuition guide you. Use your willow art to decorate your altar, or burn it as a symbolic release or offering.
This post originally appeared as part of Autostraddle’s Witch Hunt series.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.