13 N-getal – The Reed (Elm)

n’Getal (pronounced ‘NYEH-tal’)

Represents letter(s): NG

Divinatory meaning: Health, harmony, balance

Associated Tree: Reed (In Great Britain, the Reed is a variety of elm that doesn’t grow in North America. The Order of the Elder Grove uses the slippery elm for this letter)

Healing Properties: In Britain the dwarf elm, which is the ogham reed, is known as the reed tree. In North America, the equivalent would be the elm tree. Powdered bark from the slippery elm tree can be made into a type of milk for those who are lactose intolerant. In a tea, this powdered bark is a mild sedative. It also eases an upset stomach. A poultice of elm leaves aids in treating poison ivy, and the inner bark of the slippery elm can be made into an infusion to reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes.

Magical Uses: The elm is the tree of the Goddess in her aspect as Crone. Elm is feminine and it is considered a tree of the fey. Since the faeries love to sing and dance, elm magic works for anything involving music. It is also a powerful magic for divination. Elm is associated with our darker impulses, and elm magic can be used to draw these out so that they may be dealt with in constructive ways rather than destructive ways. Twigs of elm worn in a bag around the neck are said to give the wearer the gift of eloquent speech. Tie a yellow ribbon around an elm twig and toss it into a fire to keep people from gossiping about you. Mix two parts dried elm bark with one part ground poppy seeds to make a powder that will give you the power of invisibility. Grind the ingredients together using a mortar and pestle at midnight during a new moon. When you have mixed the two into a fine powder, sprinkling a little on your head and shoulders is said to render you invisible.

An elm staff may be used to repel lightning and thunderstorms. Elm wands and staffs are also good for any magical working concerning rites of passage, especially when those rites concern passing from this world to the world beyond. This power makes it a favorite wood for psychopomps; those who conduct the souls of the dead to the Land of the Young to be reborn. Elm may be used for any type of faery magic and is good for coming of age ceremonies. It is especially good for croning or saging rites.

Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Pwyll, Arawn

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