Moon Days: Willow, Sacred Tree of the Moon

Happy Moon Day! My lovely friend Kim at Red Moon Mama is helping me out today and talking about the beautiful Willow Tree and its association with la Luna. Sigh... enjoy :)


Willow: Sacred Tree of the Moon

By Red Moon Mama

"I am a willow of the wilderness,
Loving the wind that bent me."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

White Willow (Salix alba) ~ Black Willow (Salix nigra) ~ Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

* * * * *

The willow is one of the most instantly recognizable trees with its pendulous branches gracefully swaying in the breeze. I know it’s one of the first trees that I learned to identify as a young child!

Come along with me as we take a closer look at this ‘tree of enchantment’ and discover some of its mystical, magical and medicinal properties. I will even share how you can make your own willow bark tincture to relieve a variety of ailments. Let’s get started…..

The Mystical Willow

Willow is the tree most associated with the moon, the element of water, the Goddess and all that is feminine, thus making it the tree of dreaming, intuition, the subconscious and deep emotions. The willow has much to teach us in its associations with our feminine aspects. By spending time with willows, or using the wood to make a talisman; by taking it as a tea, tincture, or as a Bach Flower Essence, we can deepen this connection to the willow.

If you decide to spend time with willow trees, try doing so during the full moon. This can increase the potency of any insights and understandings that you may gain. This was something the ancients used to do too! Groves of willows were considered so magical, that poets, musicians, and priestesses would meditate within them to enhance their visionary skills and to gain inspiration and clarity of mind. Being in the company of willows was believed to promote psychic and intuitive powers, making dreams more vivid.

But more than anything else, ‘willow moon energy’ puts us in touch with our feelings and deep emotions, and it is the ability of the willow to help us to express these, let them out, and own them. This is the power of the willow’s essential energy.

The Magical Willow

In traditional spells, willow leaves are used to attract love. The Gypsies (Romani) use willow to divine future husbands, and an old custom for rejected or abandoned lovers was to wear willow in their hats! Why not try to attract your own love with this simple Willow Spell for Love. Just take three long supple branches of willow, braid them together and then fasten it into a circle with pink, red or white ribbon. Place a picture or the name of the person you love in the center and then put it next to your bed. 

If you have lost touch with your dreams or wish to increase the potency of them, make a willow wand and sleep with it under your pillow. Not only will you will find that your dreams become more vivid and meaningful, but the wand will protect you on the journey into your subconscious as well. Willow wands are also wonderful to use for any ritual or magic associated with the moon.

Willow Correspondences:
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Stone: Moonstone
Bird: Owl
Color: Silver
Sabbat: Beltane

Many ancient goddesses are associated with the willow tree: Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, had a sacred willow grove. The Greek sorceress Circe had a riverside cemetery planted with willows that was dedicated to Hecate and her moon magic. Hecate, most powerful goddess of the willow and water, presided over the magic of the dark side of the moon.

The Celtic goddess Brigid was guardian of an eternal flame that burned within a sacred enclosure at Kildare. This hallowed precinct was surrounded by a protective hedge of interwoven willow branches that only women were aloud to enter. A peeled willow wand was one of the choices for the ‘Brigid’ doll in Scotland during Imbolc. The willow is also associated with the Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone, as well as Artemis, Diana, Selene and Luna respectively.

Use willow in magic for: love, fertility, safe childbirth, healing, protection, luck, moon magic, divination, and psychic abilities.

The Medicinal Willow

Willow bark has been used for it’s pain-relieving properties for thousands of years and was the tree (along with elder) most used by healers, the Wise Women of ages past. The White Willow (Salix alba) is famous for its rich salicin content, which is an active ingredient in today’s modern aspirin.

An infusion or tincture of willow bark helps to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. An astringent tonic rich in tannins, willow slows diarrhea and helps stop internal bleeding. The infusion can even be used as a gargle to ease a sore throat, and as a wash to heal bleeding gums, cuts, burns and sores.

Applied externally, it softens growths, such as calluses, tumors, warts and corns. A poultice of willow bark heals cuts, sores and wounds and it can also be applied to heal the navels of newborns. :)

The willow flower essence can help us accept responsibility and forgive others. It can assist in letting go of blame, bitterness and resentment.

Please note, that those with a known adverse reaction to aspirin should avoid taking willow bark. Also, please avoid willow bark if you have a medical condition in which aspirin is contraindicated.

Make a Tea

Steep 3-teaspoons of the bark in one cup of cold water for two to five hours, then boil for one minute, and strain. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup and enjoy.

Make a Willow Tincture

The method I use for making herbal tinctures is the traditional or “simpler’s” method. It is super easy and doesn’t require any math calculations, scales or measuring cups. 

~White willow bark, fresh* or dried (Salix alba)
~100 proof vodka (100 proof is the perfect ratio of alcohol to water)
~Pint canning jar with tight-fitting lid
~Cheese cloth or muslin
~Amber glass bottles (1-ounce is a good dispensing size)

* If you are collecting fresh willow bark, collect it in the spring time, being careful not to ring the tree or it will die.

How To:
1—Place the herb in the canning jar.

2—Pour the vodka over the herb. Completely cover the herb with the vodka, and then add an additional two to three inches more liquid. This allows room for the herb to swell as it soaks up the liquid. If the herb starts to emerge above the liquid, just add more vodka. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.

3—Place the jar in a warm, dark place and let the herb and liquid steep for 4 to 6 weeks.

4—Shake the jar of tincture daily. This not only prevents the herb from packing down on the bottom of the jar, but adds a bit of magic too. During the shaking process, I like to recite little chants, wave my wand or a feather over it. You can even shake the jar under the moonlight while  chanting to the Moon Goddess!

5—After the herb is done steeping, strain it. Line a glass bowl with cheesecloth or muslin, then use the cloth to wring out every last drop of the herbal essence. Reserve the liquid, which is now a potent medicinal tincture! Be sure to return the spent herb to the earth, by composting it, or leaving it in the dirt to decompose.

6—Rebottle your tincture in individual amber glass bottles and label it.

Tincture of willow bark can be taken 10 to 20 drops, up to four times a day. Tinctures can be administered directly under the tongue or diluted in water, tea or juice.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the willow, the sacred tree of the visionary, dreams, intuition, psychic powers and of course….the moon.


Thank you so much Kim! I am definitely going to make this tincture! Do go check out her blog and shop!

Love and Blessings,
Marissa Moondaughter