Under the Reed Moon

Tonight as we enter the midway of the month, I’m remembering that in November the ancient Celts found themselves under the Reed Moon.

Each month has a moon, usually named after a tree, corresponding to the attribute that the month brought to the wheel of the year. Now, while reeds are not technically “trees,” November was illumined by the reed moon because reeds, when wound together, created tough blankets that would be used for both floor and roof, for both basket and rope.

They are tough as trees when braided.

Reeds were emblematic of how November was a weaving of worlds, ushered in by Samhain and All Saints, the ancestors and the babies creating a tapestry of existence that was most clearly felt as the shadows lengthened and the hearth blazed. For the ancient Celts life existed far into the past and far into the future, and the cycle of life was always rolling. Reeds reminded them of this: woven together to be one whole, and when wind blew over the open reed they believed they could hear the howling voices of the ancestors calling to them from the other side of the veil.

These, of course, became wind chimes and porch pipes.

The Reed Moon inspires us, with its long night-shine life, to remember those who have gone before, the ache in our bones a reminder of their unseen, but ever-felt, presence.

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