S~Saille~Willow The willow in the Tree Alphabet, stands for the female and lunar rhythms of life. It is water-seeking, with a preference for damp, boggy areas, river banks, or low-lying meadows. It is an imposing tree, with a thick trunk covered by dark gray, heavily ridged bark. Its spreading branches create a very full shape, and its leaves are long and slender and covered with silver hairs that give the whole tree a shimmering appearance. The willow is sacred to the moon goddess, who rules the month of February, the willow month. The festival of Imbolc is held during the willow month, one of the two female fire festivals in the yearly cycle. The willow was also used as a protection against damp diseases. Its grooves wereconsidered so magickal that priests, priestesses and artisans sat among the trees to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills, and prophecies. The willow (helice) gave its name to the Helicon, abode of the nine muses, the orgiastic abode of the Moon Goddess.