Perhaps the origins of this Bach remedy need no introduction, for it is taken from the infamous Willow tree.

There are around 400 species of this deciduous tree and shrub and they thrive in moist soils, wetlands and cool climates.  The tree will search deeply in its widespread roots for water to feed from, which is unsurprising when we compare that a Willow state will find ways to root deeper in its surroundings to feed from its own problem.

Although the Bach remedy isn’t taken from the species of ‘Weeping Willow’, I find it easier to remember its purpose when we look at it from this point of reference.  For Willows do weep.   Whether physically through crying, or through their self-obsessed behaviours, they have a tendency to see the sadness in life’s lessons and difficulties.  They are self-pitying, self-denying and all consumed, often with a sulky, sullen or miserable disposition.  There’s an air of pessimism about a Willow, though unlike Gorse they often haven’t even tried for a period before losing hope, as they’re more likely to have given up at the first hurdle.  Perhaps as soon as they have been given a diagnosis they have surrendered to the sadness or unfairness of that.  Or perhaps when life just feels too tough they have become all consumed by it and internalised that pain to the point where it’s difficult to escape.  Willows will feel that they have been dealt a tough hand in life, that life is unfair in many ways and they don’t deserve their fate.  They are resigned to their luck, or rather lack of, and often won’t try and make changes to steer their thoughts or paths into a more positive direction as a result.

Willow’s are not only the hosts of a self-administered pity party, but often the only one invited!

Don’t get me wrong, like every Bach remedy, the feelings presenting may well be justified.  Especially in the case of chronic illness, where I believe you have every right to feel sorry for yourself and to not see a way out.  Battling a daily disability of any kind makes life even harder to manoeuvre, and therefore it’s easy to subconsciously slip into a Willow state of mind.  There is a feeling of unfairness, ‘poor me’ or injustice.  But when unbalanced, these feelings grow roots, and they become deep resentment and bitterness, which only feeds into illness and gives it permission to sprout deeper problems and additional metaphorical trees that become harder to chop down!

Living in a Willow state can be based on an unrealistic view of the world around you, almost as if you are working from everyone else’s ‘show reels’ rather than their very unenviable reality.  As listed in Healing Herbs, “Bach inferred that Willow people are concerned by their success in the material world.”  We see ourselves as the victim in a wallowing Willow mindset and it can be a very dark and sad place to be.  Feeling as if everyone else is enjoying life whilst we battle health, demons, addictions or troubles of any kind, magnified if we do not feel that others deserve their good fortune.  Willow is a place of resentment, of bitterness, of darkness and more importantly it’s a place of ego and self-centredness.  Perhaps without meaning to be, a Willow can’t see how their attitude when left unaddressed for too long, can become a bit of an energy hoover to be around or someone who people wish to avoid due to their inability to pull themselves out of it.  It’s not a sympathetic depression, and more of an inability to take personal responsibility, for the Willow is often the one sabotaging their own success, and keeping themselves imprisoned in darkness.

Willows are consumed by their state of mind and can be sulky in nature.  I find its a remedy of self-sabotage and sometimes can come from a fear of success, so we keep ourselves small and consumed by our pain.  Whether that be resentment, bitterness or sadness.  They will be feeding into every negative emotion and nourishing and giving their illness (or potential illness) more and more fuel to take over their lives.  It’s lonely and it’s difficult to admit when we’re in a Willow state, as it’s one of the remedies that often gets given bad press (blog to follow about this!)  But it’s deeply restorative when taken.

When we feel down we tend to think of Gorse, Sweet Chestnut or Gentian (to name but a few) but don’t underestimate what a sad and lonely place willow can be.  When we’ve reached a place of Willow we’re often all consumed by our own negatives, insecurities, demons, health complaints and outlooks.  We are usually at the stage where our self talk is critical and the way we see the world is through a tinge of resentment and unfairness.  We see others getting the opportunities we want and we see life in an unrealistic way, putting ourselves at the centre of that poverty.  It feels like a place of giving up and giving in, as there is a loss of hope that I think can be as strong as the aforementioned remedies.  Because we feel down, sorry for ourselves, fed up and like life has dealt us the crappiest of hands!  What have we done to deserve this fate?  Why are we here nursing our wounds when others seem to breeze through life unaffected and unscathed?  Any question that usually has an undertone of ‘why me’ or ‘poor me’ indicates Willow!  There’s a sense of injustice and it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

When you get to Willow I think it’s because you have often ignored the warning signs to intervene  in the flow, and to balance characteristics and emotions.  You’ve given too much love for example and not nipped it in the bud with Chicory.  You’ve not set clear boundaries or expectations and missed the call of Centaury.  It’s a domino effect and Willow passing moods can often be avoided with continuous, regular and appropriate remedy selection.  Of course with every remedy there are deeper layers, and Willow can sit there for some time, especially when there have been big let downs, heartbreaks, ill health or trauma.

There’s a real anger and frustration with Willow.  But unlike Holly, it feels more of an internalised loathing that comes from the depths of unjust, and I believe it’s often felt before a big energetic breakthrough.  It’s not outwardly angry at others and more of turning this in on oneself and clouding the way we see the rest of the world as a result.

I have picked Willow as the focus this month as I have seen it in a collective, including my own behaviour, perhaps on a much subtler scale than I have mentioned here.  I have seen those who have missed remedies they should have taken and as a result perhaps haven’t set clear boundaries for themselves or their businesses.  Through missing these earlier indications they have slipped into resentment towards those who have unsurprisingly taken advantage of their good natures.  I have seen those who haven’t learnt lessons and therefore become bitter about situations, blaming others and not taking any personal responsibility.  I have seen those consumed by their own limitations in illness and as a result falling into a dark place of injustice, not allowing them to see that those who seemingly do well around them are battling just as much as them…but perhaps aren’t screaming about it quite so much.   I have seen those who speak with venom and bitterness, because they haven’t been able to forgive themselves or others as their past traumas resurface for healing.   It’s a subtle Willow that runs through the air at the moment, and it’s unsurprising whilst we all realign and adjust to the many energetic changes and challenges we’ve had to deal with recently.  Social media, politics and TV are becoming triggers for Willow and whilst we tend to think of Holly for jealousy, there can be a green streak in a Willow, but they will more come from the stance of ‘it’s not fair’ and ‘poor me’.  Linked more to Chicory, Willow is a place of ego and self-centred behaviour as I mentioned before.  It’s all about the Willow state and they struggle to celebrate in others successes or to connect meaningfully with others as a result of being too lost in their own affairs.  It’s a real place of negativity breads negativity and bitterness attracts bitterness.

At this time we are being encouraged to forgive.  To forgive ourselves and to forgive others.  Forgiveness is a fundamental part of healing and Willow is the key.  I link Willow to Holly and Chicory as I feel all three remedies are amazing for the heart chakra by encouraging forgiveness and to invite heartfelt connection to our lives.

Willow really shouldn’t carry the bad press it does.  A lot like the tree, Willow can bend, and it can adapt, finding the positives in its surroundings and own ability.  We all find life too tough to deal with sometimes and we all struggle to move on from past traumas with pure forgiveness in our hearts.  As a result we stay locked inside these triggers and prisons, even when we think we have moved on.  Those battling disabilities need Willow even more, as my darlings life is that much harder for you, and Willow can be such a natural state as a result of your personal fights to survive and be heard.  It’s less about wallowing or weeping with Willow and more about replacing the darkness of that water with light, soaking that up into your roots and very being.

Forgiveness sets you free.  Willow sets you free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system.  Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively.  These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive.  Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.

 

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