Plant Magic: Wisdom from the Green World

Whether you live in a city or the countryside, the magic of plants can be found everywhere and sometimes where you least expect it. Be open and explore the magic that surrounds you.

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In the Celtic Tree Calendar, it’s the Month of Reed

Following the wheel of the year through the Celtic tree calendar, October 28th begins the time of reed and its ogham character Ngetal. This period (until November 24) can be a time of unexpected changes and challenges that require adaptability. It a time for grabbing the bull by the horns and taking control. Through focus and determination, we can restore our worlds to harmony.

The reed represents adaptability and the ability to bend with circumstances rather than break. While this may seem like giving in or surrendering, biding time with determination enables us to reach our goals. Be aware of and proactive to changing situations.

While reed does not seem like a prestigious enough plant to be ranked with trees, to the early people of the British Isles it was an extremely important component for warm, dry homes. Reed and its cousin and cattails have provided material for roof thatching, arrow shafts, musical instruments, and many other domestic items. These plants are associated with health and healing, knowledge and learning as well as one’s unfolding destiny.

Place several long stalks of reed or cattails in a tall vase in your bedroom to enhance passion and sex especially if there are issues in a relationship. For protection in ritual or spell work, cut six equal lengths of reed to lay out in two triangles to form a pentagram on your altar. Stalks of reed or cattails on your altar will help you to connect with ancestors. Burn a piece of reed to honor any household spirit as well as to bring unity and loyalty to your family. Pull apart a cattail flower spike to make a protection sachet/amulet that you wear during journeys to other realms.

Common reed (Phragmites australis syn. Phragmites communis) is a grass with round, hollow stems that can reach a height of thirteen feet. Its long, flat leaves are narrow and pointed. Plume-like flowers with tufts of silky hair grow on little spikelets in midsummer. After the leaves break away in autumn, a bare stem is left standing through the winter.

Cattails (Typha latifolia) can grow four to eight feet tall and also have flat, blade-like leaves. Its dense, brown, cylindrical flowering spike stays on the plant through autumn before breaking up into downy, white fluff. Reeds and cattails are found in marshy, wet areas.


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The author of over a dozen books, Sandra is an explorer of history, myth, and magic. Her writing has been featured in SageWoman, The Magical Times, The Portal, and Circle magazines, Utne Reader and Magical Buffet websites, and various Llewellyn almanacs. Although she is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, she travels a solitary Goddess-centered path through the Druidic woods. She has lived in New York City, Europe, England, and now Maine where she lives in an 1850s farmhouse surrounded by meadows and woods.  


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