This is the third post in the Celtic Tree Calendar series. The modern Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the idea that each of the letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. The calendar consists of 13 lunar divisions with a different tree representing each 28 day period.
On April 15th we welcome the Celtic month of Willow (Salix) or Saille (the 5th letter of the Ogham alphabet).
Much more exciting than Tax Day, don’t you agree?
The genus name, Salix, means to be near water and all 400+ trees and shrubs in this genus are water babies.
Willows love to be near water. In fact, their roots will seek out underground water carrying pipes if there are no natural water sources around.
With their exceptional ability to find water, Willows make excellent dowsing rods.
Isn’t is fitting that Willow is the tree for April, the month known for its rain showers?
Willow’s relationship to water also means she has a strong connection to the moon and the feminine energies of birth, creation, and intuition.
Willow is a wonderful friend to the pollinators. Her flowers, called catkins, are a valuable source of
nectar for early pollinators and she serves as a gracious hostess for the larvae of the Mourning Cloak butterfly, which overwinters in Maine as an adult.
If you’re wondering where the name Pussy Willow comes from, this is the name given to the smaller species of Willows whose young spring catkins are furry and soft.
Associated with growth and healing, Willows have been a source of medicine for over 3000 years. Their bark and leaves contain salicin which has anti-inflammatory properties. In the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin.
Besides healing, Willow’s properties include energy clearing, and protection.
It is said that a Willow planted near your home will help ward away danger, particularly the type that stems from natural disasters like strong storms and flooding.
They are often planted near cemeteries, perhaps as a way to keep the evil spirits out. 😊
One way you can clear your home of unwanted energies and creatures is to sweep it with a bundle of willow branches and leaves.
Do you have some wet or problem areas in your landscape? Want to incorporate live art? Think about Willow. She’s great at controlling erosion, serving as a living fence, or being created into a sculpture or basket.
Everyone needs flexible and versatile friends like Willow.