5th moon of the Celtic Year – (April 15 – May 12) (The Observer) – Patient, intelligent, information collector, modest. The melancholy weeping of this mourning tree often grows along the water and therefore, is associated with the Otherworld. The Willow has associations with enchantment, wishing, romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women, death, femininity, love, divination, friendship, joy, love, and peace.
The Celtic word “saille” became the word sally, meaning a sudden outburst of action, expression or emotion. Associated with mourning, because of its hanging branches, and therefore, it is also associated with death. Willows often grow near water, which may also be another reason why they are associated with the Underworld. Since willows are known for communication, this could be one reason why they were placed in graves in order to connect to the Otherworld.
The Ogham word has further connection to the Death Goddesses for the Celts. Morgan le Fay, Cailleach and the Morrighan are symbolized by Willow. These Goddesses represent the darker and misunderstood components of the psyche that require our greater understanding and recognition. The fearful aspects of the Death Goddesses challenge wisdom and strength, helping to overcome weaknesses brought about by fear.
The Seneca Indians of North America seem to have had a lengthy relationship with this Tree, calling Her ‘The Whispering One’.
In Jerusalem, the worship of Jehovah, the Feast of Tabernacles, was called the Day of the Willows. Willow branches were carried in processionals, used to roof the small temporary shelters during the festivities; the branches were later burned in the Temples.
Ogham Alphabet: Saille
Symbolism: Resonance and Harmony
Birds: Hawk, Snowy Owl
Deity: Persephone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Artemis, Selene, Luna, Diana, Brigit
Folk names: Osier, Pussy Willow, Saille, Salicyn Willow, Saugh Tree, White Willow,
Witches Aspirin, Withe, Withy