Celtic Calendar: Reed Moon Month
October 28 – November 24
The Celtic Moon month of Reed prompts you to withdraw from the outer world, to look within yourself and reconnect with the past.
Reed is typically used to make wind instruments, and this time of year, its haunting sounds are sometimes heard when the souls of the dead are being summoned to the Underworld. The Reed Moon was called Negetal, pronounced nyettle by the Celts, and is sometimes referred to as the Elm Moon by modern Pagans. This is a time for divination and scrying. If you’re going to have a seance, this is a good month to do it.
This month, do magical workings related to spirit guides, energy work, meditation, celebration of death, and honoring the cycle of life and rebirth.
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 honor 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 spells that will release old energy, and burn symbols of illness and negativity in your bonfire on Halloween. 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 summoning the spirits.
Modern-day wind instruments have developed from 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 honored the plant that gave them shelter, making the reed a symbol of royalty and protection.
In the depth of winter, you need to recharge. As you tend to stay indoors a lot during the cold season, this is a good time to both focus on and bless your home.
REED MOON MAGIC
Harness the power of the plant of protection and divination during this lunar month. Using Reed magic can help you to connect with your ancestral roots or let go of the past.
Ancestor Spirit Altar
Use this ancestral ritual to connect with your ancestors and other loved ones who have crossed to the spirit world.
You Will Need:
- Ancestral images
- Three white candles
First, place the ancestral images on a table, with flowers and candles. Light each candle in turn and offer after each in the following order.
I honor the Ancestors of my Blood.
I honor the Ancestors of my Heart.
I honor 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.
You Will Need:
- Freshly cut reed
- A black ribbon
1. Visualize yourself within a circle of white light.
2. Tie a knot in 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 it down and burn it.
Samhain Reed Spell
If you need help in letting go of something from your past, use a little reed magic at Samhain (October 31).
You Will Need:
- Sea salt
- Fireproof dish
2. Sprinkle sea salt on the surface of the water and say, “River of birth, river of death, I honor 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, visualize the old energy being 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.
Try bringing some reed magic into your life with these traditional rituals:
- Leap over a small bonfire to leave behind the old year.
- Eat an apple at 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.