Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Like a silver spiders egg, ripe for breaking into silken life, Willow carries ornate pods of re-birth at every bend + twist + re-direction. Willow is the watery stream warped into bone, liquidity in a skeleton. Willow is the word of grace on a rigid tongue.
'salix' may derive from Celtic language meaning 'close to water' or from Latin meaning 'spring outward + grow quickly', both are poignant. Willow is the water wood, dancing ballerina through the soil embankments and up out into the atmosphere around its gracious, bending body. The fabric of willows being is soft pliancy, muting harsh edges, cooling what is brash.
We know Willow most well in medicine today as the origin salicylin, of aspirin. We know it as the twig women clenched between their jaws in childbirth, as the staunch of blood-wounds [contains vast amounts of vitamin C which is profoundly beneficial in wound healing] and as the wet cloth to a fever; dousing rising fire is her magic. Thus quintessential for the rigid + inflammed + hot + bothered and angry. Willow is cooling: bitter: drying: tightening yet promoting of flow: changeability: water: nutrition [she is famine food].
Known lovingly as 'the tree of enchantment', willow truly is the Argentine enchantress, swan of the lakes. Traditionally associated with weeping + grief, willow is the hand held in our transition from pent anger through release and out into forgiveness.
Bend like the willow in your life: if a stream is changing direction for you, grieve, but don't build a damn.
Who would benefit from willow medicine?
Those who find themselves crippled and at stagnation in their grief, sorrow, loss. Those whose own life-river-flow has been damned with dense emotional wood. Willow is pain-medicine- physical or other- for the human who finds themselves rigid in emotion and in need of flowing forward. This human might have liver-heat, angry and taught and potentially explosive emotions jagged at the edges of their stagnant being. They are hot, bothered, stuck, stiff with un-moved emotion that might manifest in physical and mental anguish.