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White willowWhite Willow Bark
Salix alba

This is a Moon plant, probably because of its love for water (it prefers to grow near streams) and because the undersides of its leaves, which are shown when the wind blows, are white.  It is said to be one of the 7 sacred trees of the Irish and was important in Druidism, and its branches were woven into baskets to hold sacrifices.  It was connected to death-associated figures like Morgan le Fay, Cailleach, and the Morighan, and in the 19th century was popular for graveyard planting.  In Greek mythology, this tree is sacred to Hekate, Circe, Persephone, and Hera (check out the incense recipes here).  The besom was bound with willow in honor of Hekate. This tree is considered to represent handcrafters, since it is one of the primary fibers used in basketry.  It is said be effective for contacting the spirits of the dead when combined with sandalwood and burned during the Waning Moon.  Four speciesIn Judaism, where many nature-connected celebrations remain intact, the willow is one of the four species of plants, together with palm, myrtle, and citron, that are shaken in each of the four directions at the fruit harvest festival, Succot, in order to make the winds blow and bring the rains for the next season.  This tree are a traditional guardian of the home amongst the Celts, and sitting in a grove of willows is said to inspire eloquence, inspirations, skills, and prophecies. Because of its Moon connection, this herb is good for dream scrying and is considered soothing for frights and worries.

In Herbalism

Willow has also been used medicinally for centuries.  It contains salicin, from which aspirin is made.  A tea of white willow bark makes a good facial astringent.  This plant is also known as osier, saille, and witch's aspirin. White willow bark comes in slices about 1 inch long.

White willow bark
1 oz. $3.00


 
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2004, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission
 

Greco-Roman God and Goddess Incense
Frankincense
Myrrh
Pine
Rose petals
Sage
White Willow Bark
Cypress

Hieros Gamos Incense (To honor Zeus and Hera at the Gamelia and at weddings)
3 parts frankincense
2 parts rose petals
1 part aromatic herbs (A combination of equal parts of lavender, sage, thyme, and marjoram)
1/2 part myrtle
1/2 part white willow bark
1/4 part storax