First reading with the Celtic Wisdom Sticks

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I pulled one of the Celtic Wisdom Sticks to see what this oracle has to offer me for this week.

I drew Saille (Willow) and got East on the indicator stick. Before I go and read the text in the companion book, here are a few words about my associations with both the tree and the direction.

Willow is a feminine tree to me, and it makes me think of the moon although I couldn’t say why exactly. It may be something I picked up somewhere. I’m also thinking of weeping willows and the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter novels which I find a nice twist on the concept. We actually have a willow tree in front of our house. It is a favorite spot for the squirrels that live around here. I also know that willow bark contains some substance that is similar to aspirin. Wikipedia tells me (among other interesting things) it’s effective against fever and aches and that it’s called “salicylic acid,” from the plant genus Salix. Apparently, there are also members of the same tree family called sallows. All these terms seem linguistically related to the word saille. Then there’s a Bach flower essence from willow which seems to be related to feelings of self-pity for a perceived lack of success and the treatment thereof.

East as a direction symbolizes new beginnings to me, and is associated with the element of air.

Together, these two could be about a new start in some or all of these areas.

The book confirms some of the above information and reminds me that willows grow best in wet areas. For Saille in East it gives me this bit of oracular text.

It is time to conclude some plans and to let other things go.

The availability of time together with the opportunity to finalize a project is often lacking because energies are stretched. In order to reach completion, non-essentials often have to be dropped. Regardless of a sense of things unfinished, now is not a time to complicate matters, but an opportunity to focus on conclusions.

Question: What essential factors can be finalized?

Interesting how this focuses on conclusions rather than the beginnings I thought of! There are a couple of things I have been putting off (not concluding), mostly because I wanted to do them right, not just do them any old way. I can see how that kind of perfectionism may stand in the way of finishing things.

I’m a bit disappointed that the book offers so little in terms of tree lore, especially when it comes to any traditional associations. Then again, there still seems to be some debate as to whether ogham has traditionally been used as an oracle at all, so that could explain the lack. I really need to read the introductory chapters of the book and find out more about ogham…

I’m not yet sure what to make of this as an oracle. It doesn’t seem to offer instant “aha” moment like many illustrated things. I believe I need to gain some more experience with a question that makes it easier to check meaningfulness. I also may need to get used to this particular kind of non-visual and highly symbolic oracle. The whole reading procedure reminds me of a simplified I Ching reading, so that could be an interesting comparison (not that I have much experience with the I Ching, mind you).

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