As an energy structure, the willow’s trunk has a different arrangement of, you could imagine this as, energetic capillaries which makes it more open, less structured on the inside, the “crack” brittleness for which it is known being only on the outside to give it form. Within, it remains an open system analogous to an energy body where the chakras are free flowing as one. This is how its famed quality of bending in the wind, of being soft enough to weave and curve into baskets, is made possible. Through this uninterrupted, fast-moving open system, the roots draw telluric energy up from the ground and into the branches and leaves in its familiar fountain-arrangement at a rate that is more like fast-flowing water than other trees. The leaves, having no barbs or jaggedness but being, rather, long and smooth, are like a water-slide to any rain water that comes down. When those leaves break the water’s fall to earth, they make contact without any undue friction or rub; and water is the master of taking on the energetic qualities of that which it makes contact with and delivering that frequency on to its next destination. Thus the water takes on the as near-as-possible pure telluric, yin, energy of the earth and carries it back down to earth, to the root system and the surrounding ground or anything that should happen to be positioned beneath it, and probably somewhat broader than that, into the water chain, as a particular frequency of energy that we don’t see enough of in our modern lives. This frequency is feminine in its quality and equates to healing or pure “beingness”, coming into us like a soothing balm.
There is another source of energy, more masculine in nature, which comes “in”, as it were, from the sun and the broader cosmos. When this interacts, say, with another kind of tree or a human being, it is typical for that organism to “meet” it half way with a “ladder” of internal structures made up of capillaries or cells (and, we can take that deeper, chakras) with slow-moving transitions between them which have been organised to a blueprint modified by our creative intention…the intention to “do” something. Such an intention underlies whatever we happen to manifest, whether it turns out looking like something we envisioned or planned to happen or not! This is the yang energy at work, fully required for the creative act to become manifest as object or event since the rub between masculine and feminine creates the spark that brings something into being. It is the same mechanism of friction by which electricity is generated and it is, naively described, a sort of marital arrangement between yin and yang at the point where they meet as their most opposite qualities, sometimes (though not always) seeming like a hotbed of conflict, yet always creating something out of that “rub”. Thus, we tend to create within ourselves, our life circumstances and environments many areas of such intersection and rub, which become the landing lights of the cosmic yang, guiding it home; like flagposts saying “over here, over here, we need more electric action here!” So it is drawn most directly to such places, to intersect with the yin-oriented telluric energy that comes up from the earth, and together, in these areas of our lives where friction occurs, we create outcomes through the “marriage” of masculine and feminine; manifesting a kinetic force that makes things happen in a sequence of events.
In the human system, we tend to draw down this masculine force though our crown and down into the area of the solar plexus where it can most spaciously meet with the upcoming telluric energy. So they stir together in the hot-pot cauldron of our middle, where they can so often manifest the kind of over-wrought anxiety and ill-health that is the outcome of lives made too full of the kind of “rub” that leaves us paranoid, wired and overworked. Whilst the meeting of these energies is desirable, since it is what allows for manifestation to take place, we can allow these particular rub areas to take over and draw endless amounts of that “doing” energy into ourselves at the expense of our equally important “beingness”, which is what knows how to nurture, repair and keep us in the flow of divine inspiration. One without the other looks like sickness and there is an epidemic sweeping us as more and more emphasis is given to one kind of energy without the balancing effect of the other. Sometimes, the feminine aspect does not even make it as far as the heart chakra before it stalls at a lower point and so we become top-heavy in our masculine qualities and our hearts become brittle or prone to crack open explosively, having not been tended to for far too long by this softer, more intuitive, aspect. Conversely, when the feminine is able to move freely all the way through the chakras and the masculine does likewise, they can integrate aspects of each other in boundary-pushing creative ways and merge fully to make a complete union of themselves at our higher heart, which can utterly transform our experience.
In order to heal, we sometimes need the deep, telluric energy that is a manifestation of the feminine aspect to come up through our “roots” and to flush through he whole of our system without any of the rub-factor that generates the circumstancial furniture of our lives being used to grab onto it for creative purposes in attempted merger with the masculine aspect. At such times, even the gentlest of meetings with the masculine can feel all too much and we long (at some level that we often fail to acknowledge) to just surrender to the flow and let everything slip out of our white-knuckle grip. This can resemble a sort of death as we stop all but the most fundamental activity to just “be” in its purest sense; when, really, it is a rebirth. Like flushing out an old plumbing system that has started to hiccough and vibrate whenever it is in use, our whole energy system requires that one-way flush to occur, and for this to be repeated for as long as it takes, for deep and lasting healing to take place. Once we have re-mastered its free flowing emergence, we can integrate it more fully than ever before.
We do that, to an extent, when we meditate or stand by a river, or with our bare feet on the soft earth, or go on certain holidays or an actual retreat…whatever we do to pause frenetic lives that consist of always thinking we have to have an action plan in every waking moment; we have to let even that go and just allow unstructured emergence to occur. So challenging to achieve; since the urge to “do something with” the beguiling soft energy that starts to flood through our newly opened energy system in these circumstances can become very hard to resist, so we start to plot and plan how we will utilise this new creative insight…and there we have it, the moment has already slipped away! So, for example, we sit meditating and we go soft in our minds, experiencing a huge wave of new clarity or inspiration coming into us from a different source to our normal well-troden route of the mind…and so, now, we can’t wait to “make something or it”, to take our treasure and make it more manifest by sharing or creating something from it; as I know the feeling of oh-so well. Because of this propensity to “act” on the first sign of inspiration, we often don’t allow telluric energy to rise fully through our chakras and so it only gets so far; often only as far as our most “stuck point”, where our biggest area of “rub” resides so, yes, typically that is the solar plexus, or the heart, maybe even only as far as the sacral chakra where the yang comes down to meet it and create whatever it is that feels most obstructive in our lives, coloured by that energy centre’s preoccupations. The yin gets stuck there, the yang seems to want to oppress it and there is no movement in either direction, which shows up in our lives and our health. Then these patterns of behaviour become learned and so we find we are still recreating them, and from them, even many years after doing what we thought of as “the work”, such as meditation, to make things flow.
This is, in part, because the urge to have both masculine and feminine in union within us can feel so pressing, on any terms, that we will agree to them rendezvousing wherever they feel most comfortable to meet or have made their usual, habitual, often most “secret” (as in outside our conscious awareness) place for this to occur, and not always driven by highest aspirations. In otherwords, we have accepted second best or a poor substitute for the full merger of masculine and feminine that is really posible if we make room for this to occur. This is how the beginnings of health issues get started and then made manifest in the most hidden corners of our bodies (or in our world at large); they are the outcome of the distorted creation urge of an energy-organism that has forgotten how to be even-handed in the way that it draws energy in from two very different angles, both of which are equally necessary to its short term wellbeing and long term transformation. We gobble up everything that comes to us through our heads but we forget what is designed to meet it half way; and so we sometimes have to stop all else to relearn how to let this forgotten aspect through from where it resides, right beneath our feet from deep in the earth.
So, the willow reminds us how to just let the feminine earth-energy up, through and out the other side without engagement; just for a time, until we know how to recognise when it is occurring again (so we can use it much more) and to allow it to rise higher than the limits of where it has been hitting a ceiling at all of our stuck points until now. It’s about seeing if we can draw it all the way through so that it goes up the very crown of us and comes out of the top like a fountain of energy that immerses and bathes us in creative potential to a whole other degree than what we are typically used to. Its about emergence, not achievement or domination over something (which drive so many of our creation impulses) and this is what feels so unique when you are in the experience. And it’s not that the masculine aspect withdraws to allow the feminine to take over but that the masculine, as it were, pulls back to the edges (like the bark of a willow tree) to become the vessel in which the feminine can fully explore her potential, which is all to do with birth and renewal. An essential part of this cycle is that part of it is deeply immersed beneath the surface of the earth; a return to the dark places before rising again…and again…and again…, an innate yet, to some extent, forgotten process of rebirth and transformation; one which we constantly see demonstrated by seeds that are buried deep in the earth before emerging as new growth only to return once more to the earth in order to begin again. We have become so fixated upon what we see as the death part of this process that we have forgotten about the regeneration that goes on in that deep dark soil.
If there is some part of us that fears “losing it” (in both senses of the phrase) when we allow this telluric energy to flow so freely through us…as though some part of us wants to grab it and hold onto it as “posession”; but also becuase we fear it will unleash some deep, dark, unruly part of us that we must keep in order…we can be reminded that by letting it go all the way, it will only return to us tenfold. Just as the energy that the willow has drawn all the way up its trunk, into its highest branches and down into the tip of every most-undefined leaf falls back to the ground like happy tears as rain takes on its frequency, like a self-replenishing fountain of energy, we see with out mind’s eye a torus at work…for the circuit is made perpetually complete as that water lands on the earth only to repeat as it delivers the energy to the soil and back up the root once again. Even without rain and when there is merest breath of air to make soft music in its fronds, this circuit of renewal continues for the tree. Far from being the non-event that it might seem it is THE event, the very self-renewing energy source of the universe at work, made manifest as a reminder that we too can do this; we are fully equipped. Anything that happens to plug into that system, by the lucky chance of being beneath that tree, can feel it as the mirrored recharge taking place in their own thirsty body, which also knows just what to do with these complementary aspects of creation, which merge in them, and as them. Its energizing effect is somewhat like standing beneath a waterfall; and by touching such a tree with wide open intentions, we can feel that healing energy come into our own circuitry and become the agent of resetting whatever has become most distorted, blocked or unhealthy in our field. We remember, for once, not to create plans, opinions, drama, assumptions, demands, expectations, excuses, reasons, thoughts, words or even moods if we can avoid it…but how to just let it all go soft and come up and through us freely, as it wants to, without structures to hold onto it; since this is not about ownership now but about free energy, straight from source. The emergence that happens, then, becomes manifest as us, as we are reminded how.
Over many hours afterwards, we might feel the emotional release of many years of deep blockage become soft and gently shift, no more than loose silt on the river bed now, having been reminded of their impermanence in the cycle of life. No longer fixated with holding structure, these most-persistent ailments and traumas can gently surrender back into the cycle of reuse as we feel our chakras join forces to flush out what is not ours, becoming one in their consensus of flow, watched over, without construct, by the higher heart. From this zero point, we get to choose how we design the next structures of intention that will go out to greet the incoming energetics of the universe…as we surely will, at some point; once we are fully ready to start creating again. For now, just allowing all to be soft, unattached, unlabeled, undefined, no action necessary, no need to share a thing with anyone as coherent thought, not even ourselves, is all there is. The perfection of this unfamiliar state of pure beingness is allowed to swell and fill up every minutest space of us. The sweet cathartic release of tears to the ground is perhaps what the willow is best known for, having shown us how release our own.
Written from a pool of deep inner remembrance following a powerful encounter with a very substantial weeping willow tree in an ancient churchyard and the cathartic experience I had immediately following that. I woke from my meditative slumber to find this post already intact and wanting to be shared (but only afer I had surrendered to it fully for a very long time…); I haven’t over-thought it.
Additional thoughts…being the willow tree in “real life”
In the above post I talked about the willow tree and what it “told” me about how the soft flow of the feminine can be drawn up in and through the physical form as a source of great healing and inspiration. I also talked about how the masculine “steps aside” to allow this to happen, forming, as it were, the sides of a vessel that holds space for that healing process to take place. When we only get so far in this healing process, because life’s harsh realities seem to come in to meet it, halting it in its flowing and cleansing process at whatever stuck point or “stop sign” we have created inside of ourselves (a sort-of point of perpetual resistance; often, but not always, found somewhere around the area of the solar plexus) this half-way house of having introduced more flow into our lives and yet only getting so far can feel agonising like we are being torn in two. It can also manifest as an array of illnesses. It’s like we find ourselves trapped in a catch-twenty-two where, in proportion to how soft and flux we try to be in order to encourage the consciousness-expanding, heart-opening process that we are giving our all, the outside walls of our existence only become more brittle and eggshell-fragile, or imalleable like a clunking suit of armour (this varies from one person to the next). So there we are, at one level, blissing-out on ever more expansive perspectives that allow us to take in the far bigger view of who we are and the vast array of experiential options that we now know are available whilst, on the other, we never felt more limited or even trapped by “real” circumstance.
I can offer two scenarios to demonstrate versions of this. One is my own, where in proportion to how “evolved” and in flow I feel, my body only seems to be in ever more stiffness and pain that holds me back in what I really want to do and how I would like to enjoy my life. The other is my husband’s scenario where, in proportion to how deeply he dives the yogic path and his deep longing to live a very different lifestyle, the one that has made him a slave to earning a steady income and being “the responsible, reliable, relatable” business person fits like a tighter and less comfortable “suit” than ever; its mechanisms and bureaucracy more ill-fitting by the day, even while there are still “softer” parts of the job that he genuinely loves. In my own case, I see how the body has had to step up to a task of holding me in some sort of shape against all odds, as I have surrendered nearly everything I thought I was to the process of exploring the hidden, most amorphous depths of who I really am and this has only put more strain on me, physically, than my body can easily cope with in relatively short time, it seems. In his, the requirement for one of us to hold things together so we could raise a family and keep a roof over our heads through all these years of inwardly dismantling everything we thought we knew into molecules in order to virtually begin again from the consciousness roots up has put even more stress on him than would otherwise have been there by this point in his career had he not “woken” to other perspectives. So, whilst this concept of the masculine aspect serving as vessel into which the feminine can pour herself sounds wonderful as the abstract ideal, it can prove wearing and almost devastatingly destructive in the reality…especially at the point when you have got very far along the route of this new dynamic having “held the fort” for some times and still no ultimate breakthrough in outer reality, apparently, near at hand. Both of us have felt very much on our last legs lately; him with workload pressures that don’t feel like a fit with what he really envisions for his life at this stage and me with a body that contradicts all the progress I feel I have made inwardly by producing ever more external pain and limitation to deal with. If both of these stuck-points seem analogous to where we are as a planet right now; that is, more expanded and aware than we have ever been yet never more tied-up the knots of heinous circumstance, then I suspect that is no coincidence. Collectively, I think we probably all have our version of this playing out right now; and the way we handle that, the very breakthroughs we make, will feed back into the collective evolution that is well underway. If that also feels like a moment of the collective breath being held awaiting the outcome then that is also no coincidence; and we are each playing our part via our own personal evolution through “ordinary” circumstances like these.
Back to that willow tree; I was shown how when the feminine rises up up up past all these internal blockages made out of past-trauma and old beliefs, and keeps on rising until it has gone all the way through to the crown, something extraordinary happens. Like a cup overflowing, the “liquid” of the feminine overspills the edges of the “cup” and suddenly cascades all around the edges, like a fountain or yes, once again, like the weeping willow tree with its sweeping fonds of smooth foliage encouraging the process to keep continuing, round and around like a torus. Once, lets say, water is drawn up through the roots from the earth and up up up through the trunk into those curving branches and then down to the tips of those leaves that sweep the ground, as we see all the more viscerally when the rain comes down and drips from them like tears of relief, bringing its energetic load back down into the soft filter of the earth and to those very same roots as before ready to begin the process again, we have our analogy. When the feminine aspect gets to the point that it not only fills the vessel but overspills it, the masculine aspect that has been working so hard to hold things together until now is now is fully encased, you could say embraced, by the female aspect which now holds and cushions it; supporting him where no time ago he was supporting her (reference to gender is no more than a writing device in this context; these two aspects are universal to all of us, regardless of our sex). With this, the reciprocation is complete, wholeness is achieved, healing takes place and transformation occurs; no need for recap or to postmortem what happened “before” since all that is done with now, everything “comes right” somehow, and with no need for recompense, apology or explanation. It might have looked like break-down was occurring for a while so we are taken into the depths of our fear but the result it that a new reality has been entered into where all that came before is wiped clean.
This, in its way, solves the paradox of how the feminine aspect is at once that which is deep, dark and hidden within the earth and yet is also the all-that-is aspect of the universe, way beyond label and form. We see, in this analogy, how she can be both of these, simultaneously, and how that which supports her is at once cradled by her; is found both within and without her, as the masculine is also to her. Once we get this arrangement sorted out in ourselves, it can have such a profound effect upon our own heart, our nervous system, our emotional and physical health, our longevity; in short, it transforms us. Once we roll that out into our daily lives, our interactions, choices, the way we handle situations, where we place our focus, everything we are about, it transforms that too but it requires us to be trusting enough to allow that absolute softening to everything we once believed to occur… Unsurprisingly, once we start doing this en masse, remarkable things start to heal, shift and transform in our outer world, rippling out like a healing balm to influence all aspects of human existence. Keeping to the analogy of the willow tree, it’s as though its boughs stretched out even wider than ever, like a giant healing fountain that we all get to stand beneath like a veritable tree of life that has been reactivated.