The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves.
Today, according to the Celtic Tree calendar, we enter the month of The Reed.
The Celtic Tree Year is divided into thirteen lunar months. Each has a tree (or in this case, a shrub) specific to it, as well as an astrological inference. Because lunar years quickly get out of synch with the Gregorian solar calendar, modern practitioners often assign fixed dates to these months.
Some scholars dispute any actual existence of this Ogham-based Celtic tree calendar, which was popularized by Robert Graves. However, many modern Witches and Pagans have adopted its ideas, for there is great value in measuring time in harmony with the Moon’s feminine cycles.
The Reed, called Ngetal by the Celts (“nyettle“), is identified with the submerged or hidden dryad, and can be thought of as the hidden roots of all life. Reed represents the turning within that we must undergo to nurture our spirits. The Reed is associated with the mysteries of death, and it is no accident that its month is when we observe Samhain. For now is the time when the boundaries part between the beloved dead and the living of this world.
Therefore, the Reed Month is most favorable for communication with ancestral spirits and the strengthening of all family ties. Its magickal associations are with fertility, love, protection, and family concerns. Like this astrological time of Scorpio, it is ruled by Pluto.
Samhain is the final harvest, and The Reed reminds us that Winter is approaching. It is a month of turning our energies toward hearth and home. The Reed symbolizes family, fidelity and trust.
Traditionally, reeds are burned to honor the household spirits and a family’s patron deity. In fact, in ancient Scotland, a broken reed was an omen of familial betrayal. You might wish to place reeds throughout your home, especially in the kitchen, to bring blessings of unity to your family.
The time of The Reed is a time of Fate and Destiny. It is associated with the hero of the Mabinogion, Pwyll (“pooeel“), who trades places with the Lord of the Underworld, Arawen (corresponding to Pluto). So this is the time of deep prophecy, communication with spirits, and the ability to face our shadow.
The Reed month is an especially good time to honor The Morrigan, Hecate, Rhiannon, and The Cailleach. The Celtic month of The Reed ends November 24.
More Samhain magic tomorrow!