Saille: Willow – 5th Month: 15 Apr – 12 May
Willow is the tree of boundaries. She is Brighid’s tree who, in Welsh, is called Ffraid.
Brighid is a fire goddess; she has three faces – blacksmith, healer and poet. As Briga, she is the patron of warriors who are guardians of boundaries both in the everyday world and between the worlds, they guard the thresholds of transition and are called Brigands.
Boundaries are vital. Without them we don’t know who, what, where, when or how we are. They enable us to distinguish between self/not-self … so we know which is our shit and what belongs to somebody else that we have been carrying for them. While we carry someone else’s shit we disable them from dealing with it! It also weighs us down and so makes it really hard for us to deal with our own shit. If we can’t tell which is which we’re in a right old mess!
We learn boundaries by knowing opposites, knowing the duality and the difference between I and Thou; to know light you must know dark, to know in you must know out, to know here you must know there. It’s all about knowing “self” from “other”. Brighid teaches us to find, keep and guard our own boundaries with the aid of her brigands.
Elen Sentier is author of Trees of the Goddess.