Friday, December 23, 2022

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Willow

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Gender: Feminine
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Powers: Divination, Fertility, Fidelity, Grief, Healing, Love, Lunar Magic, Protection, Psychic Abilities, Rebirth
Magical Uses and History: There are over 400 species of willow trees around the world, which has resulted in a unique and varied history. Among the druids and Celtics where it was associated with fertility, rebirth, death, and strength. One of the most well-known Celtic myths involving the willow is the story of the Celtic moon goddess, Arianrhod. According to the myth, Arianrhod was the daughter of the god Beli and the sister of the god Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Arianrhod was a powerful and revered goddess, known for her beauty and her ability to shape-shift into various forms. One day, Arianrhod was approached by a mortal man named Gwydion, who asked her to bear him a child. Arianrhod refused, stating that she had taken a vow of chastity. However, Gwydion persisted and eventually convinced Arianrhod to change her mind. Arianrhod agreed to bear Gwydion's child, but only on the condition that Gwydion never speak the child's name. Gwydion agreed, and Arianrhod gave birth to a son, who was named Lleu Llaw Gyffes. However, Arianrhod became enraged when she discovered that Gwydion had tricked her into bearing a child, and she cursed the baby with a series of terrible fates. First, she cursed him to never have a human form, saying that he would always remain a creature of the air. Next, she cursed him to never have a weapon to defend himself, saying that he would always be defenseless. Gwydion was devastated by Arianrhod's curses, and he vowed to do everything in his power to break them. He searched far and wide for a way to break the curses, and eventually, he found a solution in the form of a willow tree. Gwydion knew that the willow was a tree associated with rebirth and renewal, and he believed that it had the power to break Arianrhod's curses. He took a branch from the willow and fashioned it into a spear, which he gave to Lleu Llaw Gyffes as a weapon. With the help of the willow spear, Lleu Llaw Gyffes was able to defeat his enemies and prove himself as a brave and powerful warrior. The willow tree became a symbol of his strength and victory, and it was revered as a powerful force of magic and transformation. As such, willow can be used to strengthen spells and ensure victory, especially those related to fertility and rebirth.

The willow is also often associated with water which is likely due to the fact that willow trees are often found growing near bodies of water. In fact, its Latin name Salix is derived from sal meaning “nearby” and lis meaning “water.” In Fung-Shui, willow branches are sometimes used to locate water underground, much like dowsing rods. Due to its association with water, the willow is regarded as a tree of healing, fertility, and life, so much so that it's said that the willow tree that stands in the city of Cheon-an grew from a walking stick made of willow that was stuck into the ground. This leads to the willow being associated with death and rebirth as its ability to regenerate and grow new branches is seen as a metaphor for the cycle of life. As such, willow can be used in spells for rebirth and renewal. Furthermore, willow branches were traditionally hung over doorways or windows to protect against disease, illness, and negative energy, an association that likely arrived not only from its association with water but also its medicinal uses, specifically in treating pain.

Its connection to water and healing also lends to the willow’s association with the Moon. The willow is seen as a lunar plant, with its branches and leaves containing the energy of the Moon. This association is often linked to the willow's ability to bend and sway in the wind, which is thought to represent the fluid and ever-changing nature of the Moon's phases. As such, it can be used in lunar spells and rituals to represent balance, femininity, peace, and change. Willow’s connection to the Moon also associates it with divination and psychic abilities. Willow branches, leaves, and bark can be used in divination rituals to connect you with the Otherworld, and the leaves are sometimes used in spells designed to promote clairvoyance and psychic awareness.

The willow is also often associated with love and relationships. In many cultures, the willow is believed to have the ability to attract love and promote fidelity in relationships. Willow can be used in love spells and rituals or carried as a talisman to attract love and bring good fortune in matters of the heart.

Finally, the willow is associated with death and the passage of the soul. In Celtic folklore, the willow was not only the tree of life but also the tree of the underworld. Its branches were said to be able to guide the souls to the next life and ease the soul’s passage from life to death. Weeping willows were often planted in or near cemeteries and used in funeral rites, thus associating them not only with death but grief and mourning as well. Its downward-hanging branches were said to be weeping and some folklore suggests that is a willow grew large enough to cast a graze-sized shadow, a family member would soon die. In England, willow wood was often used to make gallows, and therefore using willow wood to build your home or boat would bring disaster. Despite these negative associations, the willow is also believed to be a potent protector and guardian against lightning, disaster, disease, and evil spirits.

Willow can be used in a number of spells including:
    Protection Spells
    Spirit Communication
    Healing Spells
    Fertility Magic
    Rebirth Spells
    Dream Magic
    Love spells

Medicinal Uses: White willow bark is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, pain, inflammation, and pain. Willow bark contains a number of compounds, including salicin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. When taken as a supplement or applied topically, willow bark can help to reduce inflammation and swelling in the body, making it an effective treatment for conditions such as arthritis and acne. Furthermore, The salicin in willow bark is converted to salicylic acid in the body, which is a common pain reliever. In fact, the chemical structure of salicylic acid is similar to that of acetylsalicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin. As a result, willow bark has been used to treat a variety of pain conditions, including headaches, back pain, and menstrual cramps. Some studies have suggested that willow bark can help kill bacteria and prevent new growth, making it an effective treatment for topical wounds and skin infections. While generally safe, willow bark can interfere with certain medications, especially blood thinners, and should not be used if you are allergic to aspirin or have hemophilia, stomach ulcers, or kidney or liver disease.

Preparation and Dosage: Internally, white willow bark can be taken as an infusion or as a tincture. To make an infusion, combine 2 teaspoons of chopped willow bark with 1 cup of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes then allow the mixture to infuse for 20-30 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. As a tincture, take 1-2 milliliters per day. Externally, willow bark and leaves can be made into a poultice or salve and applied directly to minor cuts, skin infections, or acne.

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willow, herbalism, herbal remedy, magic, witchcraft, herb magic, green witchcraft, hedgewitch, herb magic, herb magick, magick, magic, occult, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan

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1 comment :

  1. Thank you for posting this. Very informative and much appreciated, Willow.


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