Celtic Tree Calendar - May by Heather
Willow Moon - April 15th to May 12th
The Willow moon was known to the Celts as Saille, pronounced Sahl-yeh.
In the Celtic Tree Calendar, it denotes the 5th month of the year, a month regarded as particularly holy to the Goddess, due to Her life restoring energies awakening and are at this time of year (in the Northern hemisphere), becoming increasingly evident in all realms of nature. The Celts specifically associated willow with the three Matronae (Mothers), who can be called on for –
Home and hearth
More recently the Triple Goddess, as popularized by Robert Graves (1944), in the guise of Maiden, Mother and Crone, particularly the Crone, is also linked to Willow.
Willow is a tree of magic, enchantment, the Underworld, resourcefulness, purification, growth, healing, and resurrection.
The Willow grows best when there's lots of rain, or next to water sources. It is believed that a Willow planted near your home will help ward away danger, particularly from natural disaster such as flooding or storms. They were also planted in or near cemeteries, as it was believed that the spirit of the Willow would guide the soul to the Underworld.
Willow is renowned for its vitality and self-regenerating powers, even cut and seemingly dead branches will come back to life when planted into the soil. This quality of regrowth is utilized in the practice of pollarding. The newly sprouting, flexible twigs, known as withies, are regularly harvested, and woven into baskets and light furniture. Witches often make their brooms with her life-giving withies. However, the wood itself is susceptible to rot, even though Willow loves to grow by the water's edge.
Two of my fellow Hearth Guardians have written about Willow, their blogs can be found here -
The Woodland Trust
Picture from Upsplash