by guest blogger Nan De Grove
The connection between the natural world and the metaphysical dimension of wisdom and guidance is an ancient tradition. In the Celtic cosmology each month was dedicated to a tree or plant that was seen as a portal into parallel worlds of magic and meaning. The month of November, the twelfth month in the Celtic year, is the reed month. A reed is a common plant, often growing unnoticed on verges—a slender stalk in a marsh or swamp. Cattails and water plants like papyrus are examples. The reed seems to have to do with a liminal state—between solid ground and water. It brings to my mind the Star Card in the Tarot: the healing pool, the sense of hope and illumination in a dark time.
Reeds of various kinds were once used for making arrows as well as flutes—the mythic Pan pipe, with its haunting sound. Reeds can be woven into charms to hang on trees outside, saved to decorate the yule tree indoors or to burn at the Winter Solstice.
The Full Moon of November 6th took place at 3:23 PM MST, and falls in Taurus with the Sun in Scorpio, reflecting the symmetry and balance that runs through the cycle of the zodiac. These opposite signs express the paradox of death and life, fertility and barrenness, outer form and the essence or soul veiled behind it. Even with our glorious, lingering Indian summer here in Colorado, death is on full display in the garden, with bare trees that only yesterday had golden boughs, and blackened, bloomless buds. The garden in late Autumn offers a poetic melancholy, but a promise too, of renewal, with seeds safe in the earth waiting for Spring. As the year wanes and night falls early, we are drawn inward to contemplate and evaluate the year’s doings and undoings. Now is the time when we gather the last of the harvest, take note of where plants thrived or not, and envision a plan for next year. As always, the garden is an alchemical vessel and a metaphor for life’s endeavors.
Nan De Grove is a gardener, painter and astrologer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.</strong