Willow/Saille: I am a hawk on a cliff - for cunning 

According to Graves (White Goddess, pg. 209), this is an appropriate glyph for Willow because Saille is the month when birds nest (Graves, 209). 

Sparrow Hawk The "hawk on the cliff" is held to be the same as the kite, the bird sacred to Boreas the North Wind.  In Greek legend, his Thracian sons Calais and Zetes wore kite feathers in his honor and could transform themselves into kites.  What links kite to hawk is the Egyptian hieroglyph for the North Wind, which is a hawk.  The Welsh word for hawk is gwalch, similar to the Latin falco, or falcon, which is also a type of hawk. The mystical Gwalchmai ('hawk of May') are all related to the hawk of Willow (Graves, 209).

Willow is a time of first movement, and the hawk on the cliff represents this.  He is perched on the cliff, ready to take off, but not yet flying.  The hawk, an air symbol, also tells us that we have come fully out of the watery depths of the last four moons. 

The Willow tree is also sacred to Hecate, Minerva, Hera, and Persephone, all Death aspects of the Goddess.  This may seem strange in the spring of the year, but remember the hawk, as a bird of prey, is a bringer of death.    

The hawk also plays a role in the Romance of Gwion-- the boy who was eaten by the wild hag Cerridwen and reborn as the miraculous child Taliesin.  Gwion goes through a number of transformations to escape the fury of the Goddess.  These transformations run in seasonal order, as do the corresponding forms that the Goddess took to pursue him and finally catch him.  At first Gwion was a hare in the autumn coursing season.  She became a greyhound bitch.  Then he was a fish in the rains of winter, and She was an otter.  Next, he was a bird in the spring when the migrants return, and She became a falcon (or hawk).  Finally, he became a grain of corn in the summer harvest season, and She consumed him in the shape of a high-crested black hen - the red comb and black feathers showing her to be the Death Goddess (Graves, 400).   

A last thing to mention is that Hecate, the Death Goddess, has as her messenger the Owl, which leads us into the next moon, Hawthorn.  (www.faeriefaith.net) 

Celtic oral tradition lists the oldest animal as the Hawk of Achill.  As with other birds, the hawk is a messenger between the Otherworld and this world.  However, it is of greater skill and strength than other birds.  It symbolizes clear sightedness and longevity of the memory.  If you hear a hawk cry during a journey, be alert to upcoming situations that need boldness and decisiveness to keep from being thrown off balance.  (www.tylwythteg.com) 

Hawk teaches us to be observant and to pay attention to what we may overlook.  This could mean a talent we do not use, a blessing for which we haven't expressed gratitude, or a message from Spirit.  (www.rainbowcrystal.com) 

Hawk is the messenger, the protector and the visionaries of the Air.  It holds the key to higher levels of consciousness.  This totem awakens vision and inspires a creative life purpose. 

A Hawk totem is filled with responsibility because Hawk people seek the overall view.  They are aware of omens and spirit messages. 

Hawk - The hawk is a messenger. He drifts upward on the currents and circles high overhead.  Like eagle, he knows the big picture but can also dive down to examine the details of life.  If you hear a hawk cry, it is important that you pay attention.  Listen for the message.

While hawks vary in size and appearance and live in many different environments, it is to the environment that we must look to learn of his nature. 

They have the ability to soar and glide on the currents and this is one of his messages.  He also teaches us to fly at great heights while also keeping our feet on the ground. 

They are often harassed and attacked by smaller birds, which tells us that if hawk is our totem we need to be aware of that.  It could be they are attacking our ability to soar!   

They often live in the same area their whole lives and typically mate for life.  They are incredibly protective of their homes. 

Red-tail helps us to balance our energies as we grow and will help us discover our true purpose in life.  Those of us, who carry this energy, need to be very aware of our tendency to be forceful in how we express ourselves.  We need to be aware that our words may be strong and powerful, but that they may also tear and kill.  (Animal Speak, Ted Andrews, pg. 152-155) 

The Sparrow hawk is about the same size as a Kestrel and has a similarly long tail but its wings have rounded not pointed tips and are shorter as if not fully extended.

Whether soaring or gliding, Sparrow hawks have a characteristic flap-flap-glide action.

After the Kestrel, the second commonest raptor in Britain, occurring largely in areas where there are trees. Not present on the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland Isles. Some birds occur on passage and in winter from the continent.