White Willow Bark Meaning, Healing, and Magical Uses

Asurnipal, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Asurnipal, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the Masters’ Grimoire of Magical Herbs page for White Willow Bark.. Here you will learn everything you've ever wanted to know about this herb including White Willow Bark's magical uses, White Willow Bark physical healing, and emotional healing properties, plus its use in meditation, White Willow Bark lore and legends, and much more!

Introduction to White Willow Bark

Andreas Plank, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Andreas Plank, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

White Willow or Salix Alba, is a species of Willow native to Europe and Western and Central Asia. The name is derived from the white tone to the undersides of its leaves. It is a medium sized to large deciduous tree that grows up to 10-30 meters tall. It’s trunk can be up to 1 meter in diameter and has an irregular, often leaning crown. The bark is grey-brown and deeply fissured in older trees. The shoots are typically grey-brown to green-brown. 

The leaves are paler than most other willows. This is due to the covering of very fine, silky white hairs on the undersides. The flowers are produced in catkins early in the spring and are pollinated by insects. The flowers are dioecious, meaning they have male and female catkins produced on separate trees. The male catkins are 4-5 centimeters long, female catkins are 3-4 centimeters long and lengthen as the fruit matures. When they mature in midsummer, female catkins make numerous small capsules, each containing many minute seeds that embed in white down, which aids in wind dispersal. 

White Willow is usually only found in wet or poorly-drained soil at the edge of pools, lakes, or rivers. It’s wide-spreading roots take up moisture from a large surrounding area. White Willows are fast growing and short-lived. They are susceptible to many diseases, including watermark disease caused by bacterium and Willow anthracnose, caused by fungus. These diseases can be problems for trees that are grown for timber or as decoration. 

The wood of White Willow is tough, strong, but also light weight. It has minimal resistance to decay.  Charcoal made from the White Willow was once important for gunpowder manufacturing. The bark tannin was used in the past to tan leather. The wood is also used to make cricket bats. White Willow wood has a low density and lower transverse compressive strength.  This allows the wood to bend and this is why it is used to make baskets. 

White Willow Bark contains indole-3-butyric acid, which is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth. Willow trimmings are sometimes used to clone rootstock in place of commercially synthesized root stimulator. It has also been used for ritual purposes by the Jewish peoople on the holiday of Sukkot. 

The sacred number of White Willow Bark is 60.


White Willow Bark Magical Uses and Purposes

Ruslan Kastani, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Ruslan Kastani, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

White Willow Bark in accordance with the I Ching can be used for magical purposes to promote boundaries, barriers, self-discipline, restriction, regulation, parameters, definition, constraints, quotes, enclosures, and exclusion. It is all about protection of the self and others. 

White Willow Bark is used in dream magic, love and protection spells and rituals. It is also used to keep away evil spirits. White Willow trees are known as the tress of enchantment. It is also recommended to use when wishing to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Burn along with sandalwood at a waning moon to conjure spirits. All parts, not just the bark, of the White Willow can be used to protect against evil. It is also good for dream scrying and soothes fears and worry. You may add White Willow Bark to any sachet or charm to increase its potency. 

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Healing with White Willow Bark

White Willow Bark Physical Health Benefits

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Willow has been used for many years by herbalists for various illnesses and ailments, although there is no medical proof of its effectiveness. One of the first references to White Willow was by Edward Stone, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, in 1763. This note was due to his accidental tasting of the bark and finding it to be bitter. It reminded him of Peruvian Bark which was used to treat malaria. After researching the dispensaries and books on botany, he found no suggestion of willow ever being used to treat fevers and decided to experiment on his own. Over the seven years, he successfully used the dried powder of the White Willow Bark to cure “agues and intermittent fevers” of about fifty people, although its effectiveness was increased when combined with quinine. 

Stone’s findings have been largely ingrained by the medical profession and also herbalists. There are reports of two pharmacists trialing his findings but found no evidence of its’ effectiveness. By the early 20th century, Maud Grieve, a famous herbalist of that era, did not consider White Willow to be a cure for fevers. She described the use of the bark and powered root for its tonic, antiperiodic, and astringent qualities. She recommends its use in treating dyspepsia, worms, chronic diarrhea, and dysentery. She considered tannin to be the active ingredient. 

Spiritual Healing with White Willow Bark


White Willow Bark can help focus on intuition. This is a great tool to have when doing spiritual healing. It’s use for dream scrying can also be beneficial for taking spiritual journeys and protecting us on them from evil energies and spirits. 

Emotional Healing with White Willow Bark

MurielBendel, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
MurielBendel, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

White Willow Bark is good for emotional healing as it protects us from evil energies. This will guard the heart from any evil attacks or curses placed upon the user. It’s powers of influence on the subconscious mind can help soothe worry and anxiety. 

White Willow Bark for Chakra Healing

chakra healing

White Willow Bark is associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra. 

The Solar Plexus is the energy distribution center, the first of the chakras of relationships. This chakra is located between the ribcage and navel. It controls the immune system and digestive systems. When in balance physically you have strength to fight infections, are free of allergic reactions, and are able to use the nutrients you ingest.

When it is out of balance physically you will have low tolerance to infection, suffer from hormone disorders, or have low tolerance for many foods.


Spiritually, when the solar plexus is in balance you are free to interpret the world through your own thoughts and emotions and not live in fear of violating the dictums of others.

When the solar plexus is out of balance spiritually you will feel fear: fear of the displeasure of others, and disappointing others, or fear of subordinating your life and pleasures to the will of others.



Color Energy of White Willow Bark

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The color energy of White Willow Bark is silver and sometimes white.  Much like pure white, silver is the color of the moon, the feminine, the night, introspection, the cyclic nature of life, coolness, stillness, magic, and ambiguity.

Silver is a mirror, a reflection, and a path to the inner consciousness. Silver is a priestess to gold’s high priest. It is gray, but a reflective gray. It is lonely, altruistic, and aloof. It is a mystery.

White is the color of the feminine gender, manifested as the Goddess in many cultures, and, as such, the color of the world of birth, and regeneration. It is the color of the full moon reflected on a snow-covered field. It is cold, but a sleeping cold that is inconspicuously reflecting great heat. White is the color of freedom and the color of hope.

White is often the color used for the spiritual world; one that is sensed but not seen. It offers illumination, innocence, purity, and unity. This color is one said to bring Moon energy and the ability to release you of burdensome inhibitions.


Angels Associated with White Willow Bark

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White Willow Bark is associated with two different angels, Bethnael and Shelathiel.

Bethnael, the Guardian of the Twenty-First Mansion of the Moon and Capricorn. 

Shelathiel, Master of the 9th Tarot Card, The Hermit. 


White Willow Bark and the Goddess

goddess and herbs

The herb White Willow Bark is associated with the goddess Tefnut - Egyptian goddess who brought life giving from the sky to the lands below. She was also considered the sun Goddess and the Eye of Ra. She can provide nourishment and help bring your goals and desires to fruition. 


White Willow Bark Birth Herb


White Willow Barkis the birth herb for those born on January 10, January 22, January 24, January 31, June 21, August 1,  and December 16.

If you were born on one of these dates, you might find that you have a particular attraction to White Willow Bark. You may feel drawn to it. Those with the birth herb of White Willow Bark will likely find it more powerful and intuitive to work with.


White Willow Bark I Ching Hexagram


White Willow Bark is associates with the 60th I Ching Hexagram that is “Setting Limits”. This hexagram encourages setting boundaries. It urges to stick to pre-made limits and learning to have constraint and self-discipline. It encourages us not to compromise in order to stay true to ourselves and not overburdening ourselves financially, physically, or mentally. 


White Willow Bark Astrological Sign


The zodiac sign associated with White Willow Bark is Taurus, the earthy bull. This grounded sign likely finds itself attracted to this grounded herb. White Willow Bark can help Taureans feel more stable and balanced. Some Taurus-born may find the scent of White Willow Bark to be inspiring for creativity or may even work as an aphrodisiac. Shop for Taurus Crystals and More +

In Moon Astrology White Willow bark is associated with the 23rd Mansion of the Moon, the Mansion of the Trees.

When the Moon is in the 23rd Mansion, we all need to be naturalist for the time. Find a way to do your part to help preserve the natural beauty and bounty of Mother Nature. Work in a garden, volunteer on a ecology project or nature center. The Earth is your mother, and the energy today is one of nurturing that relationship, as we have no where else to go Using White Willow Bark in your magic each month while the Moon is transiting the Mansion of the Trees brings special energy to this herb. 


Uses of White Willow Bark in Feng Shui

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The bark of the White Willow brings us  bring us wood energy. Wood element energy is the creative energy of motivation, personal growth, and renewal. Like the time of the new moon and the Winter solstice - wood energy is new beginnings, hope, and rebirth Use the stems of the (herb) when you need the energy of starting new ventures successfully.White Willow Bark is associated with Earth Energy as the roots of the Oak tree are strong and stable. 



Uses of White Willow Bark in Talismans and Amulets


White Willow Barkcan be used to make talismans and amulets for a variety of needs including Citizenship, Earth, Deal with Grief, Humanity, Deal with Indifference, Deal with Loss, Memory Improvement, Accessing Past Lives. Recover Memories, Rehabilitation, Responsibility, Sensitivity, Service, Stability, Deal with Superficiality, Temperance,  and HealingEmotional Wounds.


Using White Willow Bark in Divination

White Willow Bark is used for dream scrying. This is a form of divination found in your sleep. For this kind of divination to be successful it is important to keep an active journal of your dreams. This is especially true when utilizing White Willow Bark.


Meditation with White Willow Bark

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White Willow Bark is useful for meditation as it provides a protected and safe place for you to meditate. You are free to clear your mind and make a more beneficial universal connection when you are safe from harm. White Willow also inspires dreams which is a useful tool when meditating. 


Lore and Legends of White Willow Bark

lore grimoire

According to Druid symbolism, the Willow tree is associated with Monday. It is also associated with the activity of bees and is also references as the Honey Tree. The Willow is considered to be sacred amongst Irish trees and also sacred to the Druids. 

In Jerusalam, the worship of Jehovah at the Feast of Tabernacles was called the Day of the Willows. Willow branches were carried in processionals and used to roof small temporary shelters during the celebration. The branches were later burned in the Temples. 

In Ancient Greek mythology, Willow is sacred to many Underworld goddesses, including Persephone, Circe, Hera, and Hecate. It is also associated with Artemes, Ceres, Mercury, and Belenos. Helicon (which the Greek word associated with Willow) is the home of the Nine Muses who inspire art and sciences. 

The connection of the word Willow and the terms Wicce, Witchcraft, and wicker are notable. Willow has been associated with witches and also wicker with Druidry. Wicce actually means to bend which is a term used associated with willow branches. 

Orpheus was said to receive his “Gift” by touching Willows in a grove sacred to Persephone. Because of this, many types of artisans go to groves to touch the willows to receive inspiration for their craft. 

Cranes are known to nest in willow trees, because of this, willows with nesting cranes is a symbol of a very happy domestic life. 

The Fire Festival of Brigid or Imbolc is held during the month of the Willow. 

Funerary flints shaped as Willow leaves have been found in graves from the Stone Age. This shows that Willow Trees have been part of human history for a very long time. The tree has been associated with death, grief , and cemeteries and also unrequited love. The leaf can be worn as a charm to protect against jealousy. 

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by Theresa Peters

Theresa Peters is an (almost) life-long Alaskan. She is a writer and artist for the Crystal Inner Circle and has been studying crystals and their metaphysical and magical properties since she was a teen. Living in Alaska she has grown to appreciate the magical qualities of nature and the way the effect it has on all living things.

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