The Willow Tree
by Imré K. Rainey
At this point in the Wheel of the Year, we have experienced the rejuvenation and rebirth of Birch, the rise of energy and the sowing of seeds and goals in Rowan, the premature urgings for movement in Ash, and the burst of life in Alder. Now, we stand before our kindred, the Willow, which has long been associated with the Crone, or death, aspect of the Triple Goddess.
The time of protected learning ended in Alder. Willow symbolizes the virtues of learning through experience. In order to fully assimilate the experiences to come in the moons ahead, it is necessary to release burdens from the past which will hinder our growth in the future. The rules and opinions which governed the past may no longer hold for the future: past convictions often become obstacles impeding progress. In this way, the Willow represents the death, or release, of the past in order to wholly integrate experiences and lessons in the future. This does not mean, however, that the fruits of past achievements should be forgotten. Those achievements got you here and will provide the foundation for the experiences to come.
Willow also brings with it the desire to abandon the past and the present in search of new beginnings. Look carefully at where you are standing physically, emotionally, and experientially. Survey your environment and the people whom you affect. The glyph for this moon is, “I am a hawk on a cliff.” If the time is right and the possible outcomes have been sufficiently examined, spread your wings and fly off into new horizons of experience.
Be aware, however, that this may not be the right time for flight. If so, sit back and wait; do not act hastily. The lessons needed for growth may lie within your reach now, and later, as the Wheel of the Year turns, you will know the appropriate time to move. In the meantime, you may want use the energies of this moon for rebirth, or rededication to your goals.
Willow’s “stay or go,” “do or don’t” energies can lead to indecision and confusion. Also, if our desire for flight is not satisfied, we may begin to resent others whom we perceive are doing things we can’t. Yet, most often during this month, resentment surfaces without reason or provocation. The Willow itself can be a remedy for these feelings.
Allow yourself to quietly sit with a Willow. Listen to the voice of the wind as it rustles through the Willow’s leaves. Watch the images that form within your mind. Talk to the Willow and accept her guidance. Allow the energies of the Willow to guide you through the movements of the moons to come.