Reed – introduction to Ogham

From Ireland Calling

It is widely believed in academic circles that reed is a modern, neo-pagan introduction to the Ogham, much like the tree calendar itself.

It was first promoted as an Ogham by Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess. However, the reed’s importance to Celtic life and folklore are indisputable.

Reed gained a reputation as a protective tree from its use as thatch for the rooftops homes.

For this reason it was also made into talismans and charms believed to protect the wearer from evil. Mats were often woven out of reeds which gave the house a sweet smell, associating the reed with cleansing the home.


The Druids also used reeds to make writing implements and paper, thus associating the reed with knowledge, scholarship and wisdom.

Physicians would use reeds as tools for administering treatments but arrows, the weapons of death, were also made out of reeds. Because of these two contrasting uses the reed gained an association with both death and healing.

Souls of the ‘otherworld’ join the living…