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I Love Me A Weeping Willow

Updated: Apr 26

For the past month, I’ve been weirdly obsessed with the idea of making a Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) essence.  See below for a few pics of the lovely tree I found this week.  

This Willow is growing out of an old stump - which struck me as particularly apropos given that the Willow essence (according to Bach) helps us forgive past injustices and move on with life.  It offers relief when we feel resentful, bitter or sorry for ourselves.  And here we have a tree, springing back to life after being cut down.

I’ve said this many times before, but unusual things always seem to happen when I’m making an essence.  My experience with the Willow the other day was pretty uneventful overall, but the drive home was another story.  I narrowly escaped a traffic accident involving 4 other cars.  I was the only person in the vicinity to drive away, unscathed.  I think everyone else will be okay, but it was dodgy. I was shaken up for a while afterwards.

As a “forgive and forget” essence, maybe Willow has some application in a situation like this accident. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. I think it's interesting at least to make note of any themes, events, people, emotions, thoughts, etc. that materialize around the ritual of an essence's creation. Circumstances surrounding an essence-making experience often seem to speak to the essence’s area of influence.

For example, the morning I made a Milk Thistle essence for Delta Gardens, I happened to see a woman and man arguing outside my house as I was bringing the essence back from the garden.  Lots of screaming, swearing, accusations, etc. At DG, we use the Milk Thistle essence to help release pent-up anger…and this couple was certainly in the throes of that process.

I also pay attention to how I'm feeling when I make an essence, as my own internal state often tells me something about what the essence can do. A lot of DG students have asked me if it's okay to make an essence if they're not feeling particularly balanced, and I say...yes. 100%. Whatever state we're in is so often related to - or may be helped by - the essence we're creating.

A few final words about this Weeping Willow...I'm so grateful that I discovered the tree and grateful that it hadn't passed its prime, flowering-wise. You can see in pic #1 that the flowers (catkins) turn upward even though the branches droop. Most other catkins (Birch is a good example) hang down and look a bit like dangly earrings. As a rule, catkins, in essence terms, indicate some kind of letting go or release. So with the Weeping Willow, we get the gesture of release AND the gesture of uplift. In other words, we should let go of our old stuff...and be glad.


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