By Isabella @TheWandCarver
If you are already quite knowledgeable about divination with the Celtic ogham, you will already know everything I’m planning to write over the next few weeks. You might even be helpful to me in future blogs by pointing out something I’ve missed; therefore, I heartily welcome any useful comments to that effect. All I aim to do really is to explain the fundamental bits regarding the Ogham alphabet and what each one means, both in its tree name and what it can mean in divination. There are books with which to learn all the nuances of this ancient Celtic divination method but many whom have read my blogs concerning the Celtic tree Ogham have asked that I be more specific about the how-to’s and whys of Ogham divination. I hope this ten-week series exploring each Ogham alphabet to the best of my ability will shed a proper light on the basics people want to know. Also, keep in mind that as I write, I am only speaking of the twenty Ogham letters used for divination, although in total, there are twenty-five Ogham letters in the Ogham alphabet.
Writer’s Note: You can use the Ogham letters written on paper if you do not own a set, or you can make your own set from wood. Most traditional kinds of sets will have each of the twenty Ogham alphabet written or pyrographed onto the wood of the alphabet itself. There are many sellers of Ogham sets as well, alas, not in my shop as I am not always able to find all the woods necessary at the same time. Just know that it is that simple to start off so cost should not be a factor in keeping you from enjoying this form of divination.
Beith corresponds to the letter B in the English language, and as you may have guessed, it is associated with the Birch tree. It is the Birth Tree Ogham of those born between 24 December and 20 January. It is pronounced “bey”.
You will often see an Ogham letter with an inverted “<” at the bottom. This is called the “reversed feather”, or, Eite Thuathail. The Eite, “feather”, is also used at the beginning of a full sentence written in Ogham letters, with Eite Thuathail at the end of the sentence, as we would use a full stop in an English alphabet sentence. I use the Eite Thuathail, as does many Ogham makers, to denote the bottom of the letter, as you will notice on the Ogham Birth Tree pendants we create.
The Birch tree is often called ‘The White Lady of the Woods’ and ‘The Goddess Tree’. From this we know the feminine aspect of this Ogham is strong. It is a nurturing, protecting, and loving essence within the tree and the Beith meaning. It has been long associated is the bringer of promise, light and new beginnings.
How to divine with the twenty Ogham staves, or “fews” as some call them is quite simple. Fill a bag, hat, or box with your staves. Draw out one at a time without looking for a total of three staves. These will give you your reading. You can use this method for your own purposes or to do readings for other people.
You do not need to pull three Ogham staves if you only wish to receive an answer for one question. For instance, I like to pull one Ogham stave each morning for insight on how I should handle various problems or for what I need to do about one situation. However, for some readings you will want to pull three – past, present, and future.
Below I have for you a brief explanation of Beith. I will tell you that there is much more you can learn about the Ogham but for purposes of simple divinations to get you started, I think what I can tell you here is enough. However, I shall try to list links, videos, and books as I find them at the end of each blog to put you in touch with a higher learning, if you will.
Representations: New beginnings, change and release, rebirth, purification. A guardian of new beginnings, bringer of hope and protection.
Tarot: The Star
Animals: The Pheasant and white cow
Plant: Fly Agaric Mushroom
Divination Meaning: You must rid yourself of negative influences [and people], and bad thoughts to begin a fresh new start.
How to Mend the Problem: Using your own mental powers, fix your mind on your desire and imagine the result of what you need to do. A strong desire to be successful in ridding yourself of your problem[s] is imperative to making your reading come true. For a new beginning, hold the Birch stave and focus on the white of the wood as it stands out and away from the distractions.
And that concludes today’s information. I will post Part Two* on Thursday [* link will work on Thursday]. I hope this has been a helpful bit of information to those wishing to either know a bit more about learning Ogham divination or just to understand why certain things are done as they are. What I tell you in these blogs about each Ogham alphabet only skims the surface. You can learn ever so much more just by doing. And, also, by spending time with each Ogham stave made of the woods they represent, you will find you gain many insights just from the woods themselves. I love the Ogham because it is an ever-evolving learning process. I hope you will enjoy it as well. Please be sure to give me a follow to keep up with my newest blogs [2 per week]. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
The Celtic Tree Oracle by Liz and Colin Murray