Celtic Month of Reed/ Ngetal- October 28-November 24
The month of Reed represents the mysteries of death and the hidden roots to all life it is sometimes called the “tree of doom” although it’s by no means a tree! But most of all it is the symbol for Samhain which is the beginning of the Celtic New Year.
Reed is a marsh growing plant and while it is not considered a tree, it was named as such by the druids. This was due to the fact that like a tree, reed has a deep, dense root system. While reeds are found all over the world. From the humble reed the Druids made sacred darts and arrows. Pens were also crafted from reeds and were a sacred symbol of wisdom and scholarship. The reed can reach 12 ft. in height in marshy areas and usually in thick stands. The dried stalks produce a dry rattle that can have an eerie sound. The roots and seeds can be ground into flour. The the Celts and later people of the British isles, also used this plant to thatch their roofs. A well thatched roof kept all kinds of weather out and depending upon the kind of reed you used a reed roof could last for 15 to 75 yrs. And in many places woven reeds make beautiful baskets. Reeds were also a cheap substitute for candles, if you soaked them in fat they could be burned.
“There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.”
~ William Sharp
In mythology reed is connected with Pwyll the ruler of the Underworld. Pywll was given a sacred stone for safekeeping. This Stone was said to represent the divine power of The King and Queen and thus this humble plant was associated with royalty. Ancient Mediterranean people also associated reed with royalty as did the Egyptians. They made scepters from reeds and if the scepter broke it was thought that the King had lost both virility and vitality.
In magic Reed has the following uses: Growth, Healing, Harmony, Willpower, Loyalty. Reed is said to be useful when one is ready to expand their awareness both spiritually and mentally as well as balancing your energy. And as a herb for Samhain it can be used in spells for travel to the otherworld and for Shamanistic soul retrieval.
- Reed, although not a tree but a grass-like plant, is usually associated with Samhain, the Celtic New Year.
- The Reed Moon means winter is approaching. It is a month of turning our energies toward hearth and home. The tree symbolizes family, fidelity and trust.
- Reeds are burned to honor household spirits and a family’s patron deity; and in ancient Scotland, a broken reed was an omen of familial betrayal.
- Reeds may be placed through your home, especially the kitchen area, to bring the blessing of unity to your family.
- Reed represents the turning within that we must undergo to nurture our souls hunger for spirituality.
- The reed’s qualities include protection, spiritual progress and hunger for truth
“Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.”
– Blaise Pascal
People born during the month of Reed can be cocky, arrogant and uncompromising which gives them a forceful energy. Reed people are not competitors but rather the catalyst that makes things happen because they have great dramatic flair and plenty of passion. This dramatic flair helps them to role play well and you will rarely see a Reed person show weakness although on the downside they can take great pleasure in pointing out weakness in others. However they are fantastic caretakers of both property and family and make strong friends. They are half of a dual sign in which the other half is made up of Ivy (which is the next Celtic Month). As a magickal name Reed is wonderful for caregivers or if you wish to give your personal energy a boost.
Names: Sedge, Sweet Flag,
Animals: Kingfisher, Wild Goose, Owl
Element: Air, Earth and Water
Deities: Pywll, Rhiannon, Morrigan, Poseidon, Coventina, Manannan Mac Lir, Arawen, Pluto
Sacred Stone: Jasper, Chysophrase, Aquamarine
Color: Light Green
Written by CatSister/LBolotin 2010 from the following resources:
The New Book of Magickal names by Phoenix McFarland
Flower and Tree Magic by Richard Webster
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The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/
Sacred Spirals (the place where all paths meet)