Friday, 28 October 2011

Celtic Tree Month of : Reed

Reed/Broom/Furze  Oct 28 - Nov 23

Also called "Physician's Power".  Although not an actual tree, the profusely growing reeds were used in everyday aspects as well as spiritual aspects of the Celts of the British Isles.  Used within the building of homes, the reed which is a natural insulator helped during the winter months to help keep the cold at bay, they also lasted for years as parts of the thatched roofs and for this was ascribed the protection aspect.  

The reeds were also crushed and used as 'rushes' a floor covering, they helped to give off a cleansing smell to the home, hence the purification aspect.  During windy days, when the winds blew through the reeds, it created a tone, which the hearer believed was a message being sent from the Otherworld.  Flutes, pipes, & whistles were carved from Reeds and were used especially bu the Bards of the time, as it created a special sound when played.  Reed also had other practical applications, it was also used in broom (hence it's other name), arrows, mats, baskets, and perhaps even writing implements 

   
Irish/Gaelic name: giolcach/ giolc
Ruling planet:  Pluto, Moon, Sun, Mars
Abilities: Protection, communication, purpose, purification, clarification,
Seasons:Autumn, Spring
God/Goddess:  Lugh, Cernunnos, Mannannan Mac Lir, Epona, Morrigan, Callieach Bheur
Aspect: Masculine
Correspondences:  
Bird: Cormorant, 
Element:  Fire
Ogham/Rune:  n Getal, nGeadal

Uses: These are some ideas of how to incorporate Reed into your life

Old Healing Lore:
  • A decoction of the young branches and seeds, can be used to aide in relieving gout, sciatica (longest nerve in the body becomes inflamed or overstimulated); as well as painful joints, frequent bouts of fever and it is believed to also help in relieving malaria symptoms.  
  • It also works as a diuretic and a kidney cleanser as it aides in breaking down kidney stones. 
  • When the reed is heated over a fire, a oil appears which can be used to relieve toothaches.
  •  If the oil is collected and allowed to cool it's a good way to cleanse the skim of lice
Caution: If the dose is too strong, or too much is taken it can cause violent vomiting.
Lore:  Most older homes of the UK have a gorse bush hedging, these helped during the early days of laundry care as it held the clothing in place(they didn't fly away). The hedging could also be cultivated to be used as burning timber, although as a "wood" it burnt ouy quickly.  
 although like the plants of the mint family once planted and rooted this plant took over and was very hard to remove.

When the Winter came, gorse was mashed and used to help feed the cattle, feral/free ponies also ate the gorse bushes.  You can also use it to protect newly planted vegetable gardens or newly sown seeds from birds.  

Magical Uses:
  • Use to sweep your ritual area to purify and protect it.
  • Burn the shoots and blooms to help calm wind in elemental spells
Fun Facts:
  • In the olden days, when the Scots and Irish were travellers of the land, they would change winter camps not by the date on the calender but the appearance of the gorse flowers.
  • In Wales, gorse is supposed to guard against witches
  • Gorse is added to bridal bouquets to bring in fertility aspect to the new couple
  • The flowers were used as a dye, & was made into whiskey; the Danes used it to make beer
  • The gorse was once used to capture gold flecks from the rivers, after they were covered in gold the branches would be burned and the nuggets captured and used.  
Resources:
Druidry.org
Celtic Tree Mysteries by Steve Blamiers
The Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom by Caitlin & John Matthews

My personal book of shadows
Victorian Farm



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