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 Ogham

My Approach to

Discover an even deeper connection through the whispers of ancient wisdom

Forest

Once you have been practicing a mindful connection to nature, you may feel drawn to explore a deeper spiritual connection. This is where I begin the conversation about Ogham (pronounced Oh-am).

One could spend a lifetime researching the original purpose and meaning of Ogham, and I have included some wonderful resources for further enquiry at the bottom of this page for you to explore should you feel called to do so. However, whilst I have studied it and continue to do so, for the purpose of my work I am interested in its role in contemporary holistic wellbeing. I am currently studying the Bard level of Druidry; however, this is not a prerequisite for developing a spiritual connection to the trees. It is one path of many.

If any ancient wisdom is to find relevance in a modern era, it needs to adapt to the contemporary challenges of the time, whilst maintaining its core wisdom.

 

I urge my workshop participants to find their own connection to this beautiful practice. I am decidedly anti-woohoo with my work. I take a pragmatic approach to any healing modality I have explored and look for provenance and potential to make a real difference to wellbeing.

While I will  tell you the universally accepted qualities represented by the Oak (Duir) for example, I want to help you to personally connect with each tree and have your own conversation with it. This is how Ogham survives and flourishes.

 

This is how Ogham whispers an ancient wisdom we have disconnected from and brings us home to an authentic purpose.

Mindful Connection

Bare Trees in Fog

Discover Ogham

Ogham is an ancient Celtic script dating from around 4th century AD, although some scholars date it back to 1st century AD. It is surrounded by mystery and intrigue, and we cannot know for sure it’s purpose. However, The Book of Ballymote discusses it’s use as a secret sign language. There are around 400 examples in the UK and Ireland, which is home to most.

The original Ogham or Celtic Tree Alphabet contains 20 characters or fews, each representing a specific tree or plant and here you can begin to sense how we can work with Ogham to nurture a deeper sense of connection to the trees and nature in general.

Originally, Ogham was written vertically, designed to be written on stones and wood. It was structured  in four groups called aicme’s. Each aicme is named after it’s first character. A fifth aicme was added around the 7th century AD when Ogham was used in manuscripts.

 

Right is an illustration from a book written and illustrated by Gennie Kindred, “The Tree Ogham”. It is a wonderful illustration and remember to read from bottom to top and left to right!

OghamScript_edited_edited.jpg
Image by K. Mitch Hodge

Let us address the names of the characters or fews. This script originates from Ireland and most utilised in the Celtic lands that were claimed and renamed by what is now England. Whilst it takes some time to learn the Celtic names, I will always keep them present in my work. Just as I know Uluru to also be called Ayres Rock, the original name is crucial to honour in the study of this practice. My approach is to offer both to you, however the choice is of course yours when you personally work with Ogham.

In Summary

Ogham is so much more than an ancient alphabet. For me it is the beginning of infinite conversations with the trees and a deeper spiritual connection to nature.

The Celts had a profound spiritual connection to the trees and worked with them for healing and divination (guidance). I cannot stress enough that you do not need to be a wiccan or a Druid to find this path of connection infinitely rewarding. I would wager that if you have read this far, you have experienced a spiritual connection to at least one tree in your life and can begin to imagine how embracing Ogham in your nature connection could be hugely rewarding and healing.

A deeper understanding

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