Reed Ngetal

By: Bruce
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Reed Ngetal

Pronounciation: Ngetal as in (Petal)

Moon Phase: 12th Moon of celtic calendar (October to Samhain)

Moon Name: Harvest, Blood, Hunters moon

Letter: Ng

Title: Shrub

Height: (mature) up to 9ft 3mtr

Influence: Female / Androgenous

Age: Continuous re-birth

Shape: Spindle fountain

Legend: Food for Samhain. Encourages co-operation between worlds. Positive action.

Medicinal Qualities: Tummy problems, ankle or feet swelling, constipation, irritable bowel, mental health issues.

The Reed (Typha Latifola) is perhaps the plant that has colonised the world and succeeded where the Celtic nations didn't. The information gathered here is from locations across the planet and from this we can summise as to how and what the qualities of this plant were at the time of the Prydain Druids.
It is one of the few foods that can be harvested throughout the winter and will provide nutritious food for the winter months. Evidence from across the entire Celtic regions expands, to starch grains being found on or near grinding stones from as far back as 30,000 years ago meaning ground flour was included as an essential part of their diet. Possibly along with egg shell this was the mythical druids disc that so much has been written about.

The feathers from the bulrush seed absorb fluid and with the seed can be abrasive, it would have been used to clean and cure animal hide. The abundance of feathers available made these an obvious source for stuffing mattresses also as a soft lining, so to line the inside of a babies crib or insulate shoes would have been common place. Once dried these feathers would have been used as tinder for fire, also once the stems had been dried they make excellent incense sticks and being slow burning make a great way of keeping the home fire burning and releasing a soft white smoke as an active deterrent against flies and other insects. The inside of the stem contains starch, by slow cooking the stem and root comes syrup, by baking then grinding comes flour, also such is the versatility of this plant that it povides enough sustenance in 15 to 20 roots or new stem per day for the adult body to survive. Early Saxon coracles are known to have been made with the reed, the Paiute Indians of Northern America do to this day make small flatillas from this plant utilising the leaf, stem and syrup as a bind and waterproofing for their boats.
(On a personal note, I wonder if it would be possible to build a boat from reeds and once finished with it... eat it? I will wait for someone with more knowledge than I to confirm this theory. lol)
The stem of a bulrush is as straight as an arrow because it literally grows straight up, many a lazy bowman has used the reed as an arrow it's light weight allows it to be carried on the air and as such will travel great distances. A natural bolt for a crossbow means deadly accuracy, a point well delivered.
To see a Reed in full plume ready to shed its seed is a wonderful sight, with the pure white feathering shedding umbrellas carrying seed. It is easy to understand why the fae have been associated to this plant. The pike or salmon swimming through its roots seeking and searching. The Moses basket is called so because Moses was pushed out into the Danube, a basket expertly made in an instant from "The Reed."

The seed nests into the earth waiting for water and is capable of laying for years without disturbance, the water inspires it to grow, even in deep water and against the tide it will grow straight up to touch the air. It grows from the earth through water to touch air and is sacred for this reason. The power of three, where the land touches the water and air. Once the seed is airbourne it will find it's place to nest and to wait.

Copyright Bruce October 2012