Celtic tree calendar reed

Reed Moon: Celtic Tree Calendar

The celebration of Samhain, now known as Halloween, occurs during the Reed Moon. To the Celts this month hailed the end of the year, a time to cull the livestock and to connect with ancestors. All around the world festivals that honour the dead are celebrated. During the Reed Moon, light a candle for loved ones who have died and you may receive a message from the spirit world.

Releasing old energy

The Reed Moon is a good time to use divination to gain insights into the year that has passed. Perform energy work that will release old energy, burn symbols of illness on your bonfire on November the 5th during your Guy Fawkes celebrations. Remember the Celtic year does not begin until the Winter Solstice so use this interval to dream, not to make plans for the future.

The haunting sound of reed

In the past, the reed was used to make swift-flying arrow shafts that slew both enemies and game. In this way the plant was linked to the season of death and sacrifice, in which trees shed their leaves and the energy of nature became more introspective. Many early musical instruments also used the reed to create a haunting sound that has been connected to rites for the dead and the summoning of spirits.

Wind instruments

Modern day wind instruments have developed the same principle used by original reed instruments. Whereby a current of air is vibrated to produce a melodic sound.

Other traditional uses for reed include thatching. Rooftops were thatched with reeds, and as the Celts withdrew into their homes for the winter they honoured the plant that gave them shelter, making the reed a symbol of royalty and protection.

Reed Moon energy

Harness the power of the plant of protection and divination during this lunar month. Using reed energy can help you to connect with your ancestral roots or let go of the past.

Ancestor spirit space

Use this ancestral ritual to connect with your ancestors and other loved ones who have crossed over to the spirit world.
You will need:

  • Ancestral images
  • Three white candles
  • Flowers

First place the ancestral image on a table, with the flowers and candles. Light each candle in turn offer a prayer after each in the following order.

  1. I honour the ancestors of my blood
  2. I honour the ancestors of my heart
  3. I honour the ancestors of my tradition

Meditate, letting images peacefully drift through your mind, and ask for a sign that your loved ones are still with you in spirit.

Samhain Reed energy

If you need help in letting go of something from your past, use a little reed energy at Samhain (31st October).
You will need:

  • Knife
  • Pen
  • Sea salt
  • Matches
  • Fireproof dish
  1. Go to a spot along the river bank where reeds grow tall and strong.
  2. Sprinkle sea salt on the surface of the water and say, “River of birth, river of death, I honour you. Please accept this offering”.
  3. Now choose a reed, cut it and carefully draw a symbol, or write a word, to represent what you wish to release on the reed.
  4. Light the reed in the fireproof dish and, as it burns, visualise the old energy transformed into light and disappearing.
  5. Once the reed has burned away, pour the ashes into the water and walk away, feeling fully cleansed of the past.

Protection charm

Use this reed charm to protect yourself from negativity.
You will need:

  • Freshly cut reed
  • A black ribbon
  1. Visualise yourself within a circle of white light.
  2. Tie a knot into a freshly cut reed, as it will be more flexible, and then say, “Royal reed, plant of protection, keep me safe until the new year”.
  3. Suspend the knotted reed from the ceiling using the black ribbon.
  4. At Christmas, take down the charm and burn it.

Traditional reed energy

Try bringing some reed magic into your life with these traditional examples.

  • Leap over a small bonfire to leave behind the old year.
  • Eat an apple on Samhain at midnight to dream of your spirit guide.
  • Carve out a turnip or pumpkin as a lantern of protection.
  • Bury an apple at a crossroads as an offering to the spirits of the dead.
  • Use the runes for divination or to gain insight into your current situation.
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