Reed, although not a tree but a grass-like plant, the Druids believed the Reed to be a tree because of its dense system of roots. It is usually associated with Samhain, the Celtic New Year. The Reed Moon means winter is approaching. It is a month of turning our energies toward hearth and home. The tree symbolises family, fidelity and trust.
Reeds are burned to honour household spirits and a family’s patron deity; and in ancient Scotland, a broken reed was an omen of familial betrayal. Reeds may be placed through your home, especially the kitchen area, to bring the blessing of unity to your family. Reed represents the turning within that we must undergo to nurture our souls hunger for spirituality. It’s qualities also include protection, spiritual progress and hunger for truth.
The Reed deity is Arawen (or Arawn), King of the UnderWorld, also known as “King of Hell” and “God of Annwn.” His name means “silver-tongued.”
Also associated with the Reed is Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed (in what is today known as Wales). His chief court was said to have been at Arbeth. Strongly associated with the OtherWorld, he was the occasional ruler of that Realm (an honor he shared with Arawen), at which times he was bestowed with the title “Lord of Beyond.” Pwyll was given “The Stone” (one of four treasures) for safekeeping. “The Stone” symbolized the right of monarchs to possess divine power. Animals connected with the Reed are the Owl and the White Hound.
The Owl – These birds were most often associated with the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The Owl was often considered a guide to and through the UnderWorld, being a creature of keen sight in darkness and a swiftly-silent hunter. The Owl could help unmask those bent on deception or seeking to take advantage. In the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, Gwrhyr encountered an Owl as one of the oldest creatures in his search for the Mabon (Divine Child). In another Celtic legend, Blodeuwedd, Maiden of Flowers, was transformed into an Owl after plotting to kill her husband Lleu. An Owl before a gateway was once said to be representative of the transformation of the soul
The White Hound – A title of honor for Celtic chieftains and representative of the Dogs which guarded the lunar mysteries. Hounds in general symbolized enduring loyalty and guarded the entrances to the Underworld.