A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Three

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

ogham-nion
My Nion Ogham stave ~ photo by i.macy

We shall now come to the ruler of the third lunar month [18th February – 17th March] in the Celtic Tree Ogham, Nion [Nuin], which represents the Ash tree.  It is also the fifth letter of the Ogham alphabet.  As the Ash tree is known for the powers of protection, health, courage, and of matters concerning the sea, Nion also represents these matters. The primary function of this blog is to acquaint you with using the Ogham for divination purposes and not to get into the many differences of the Ogham letters themselves or where they came from.  I merely write about the most commonly used Ogham letters for divination and how you can interpret them, although it is not contained to the interpretation solely of which I give you here.  The beauty of the Ogham is that it can be interpreted by the seasoned veteran in many ways.  However, this is hopefully as good a place to begin as any and I hope it is a good aid to those first learning Ogham divination.

Representations:   Protection, Health, Courage, Sea Travel and all Matters of the Sea

Ogham Letter:  N

Number:  5

Colour:  Pale Blue

Tarot:  The Hanged Man

Animals:  Butterflies, Common Snipe [Celtic:  Seahorse]

Plant:  Wood Anemone

Divination Meaning:  Remember that for every action, there is a consequence, and these affect not only ourselves but others as well. What we do in our life will carry into the future and possibly even beyond. Every one of our words and deeds has some kind of impact.  Your actions echo in the cosmos as a stone thrown into a pond causes ripples. Know that you and the world are interconnected. Be aware of the effect of your actions.

How to Mend the Problem:  Is what we are doing now in line with what we should be doing? Is the resistance we face self-created? Take a moment to listen, to pay attention to what is happening around you. Don’t let the beat of your own drum drown out the music of the Universe.  Endeavour to become aware that all things are connected. Balance your need with the Earth’s and then act accordingly with love and respect.

The Ash is a great tree when employing the law of attraction in your life. If you have a life-dream or goal, focus upon it and see it flourishing under the Ash – this will increase the speed of the desire coming to you.  As many of you know, the Ash tree is the great Yggdrasil in Nordic mythology as well as the most sacred tree of Celtic mythology.  “As above, so below, as within so without”.

You can catch up the first two blogs, Part One and Part Two by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to those whom wander this way x

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

Experience

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination Part One

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @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
Beith Ogham from my set ~ by i.macy

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.

My Ogham Set
My Celtic Tree Oracle and handmade Ogham set ~ photo by i.macy

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.

Number:  1

Colour:  White

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

Sources

The Celtic Tree Oracle by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

Experience

The Magickal Vine…or Blackberry Bramble?

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Muin Ogham


This is going to be a tricky write, I have a feeling! For most of us who go by Robert Grave’s Ogham trees from the Celtic Birth Trees list, we all know that the tenth lunar “month” is Vine and its Ogham “Muin”, the 10th letter. However, as I noted in my travels to research this “tree” or lack thereof, I find that the Vine is not necessarily meant to be a vine of the grapevine type after all! The Druids classified anything with a woody stalk as a tree, and so therefore it is listed vines amongst the sacred Ogham ranks. Furthermore, grapevines typically come to mind when discussing vines, but it was more likely the Blackberry vines that captured the hearts of the ancient Celts. In my findings, Muin does not mean “vine” but according to Robert Graves means any thicket of thorny, winding bramble of plant and which further supports the idea that Blackberry, which is a prolific plant in most of Europe and the British Isles, is the likeliest for Muin. And, as the Ogham alphabet originated in Ireland, it is also less likely that it means vine – such as in grapevine – because grapes had never, at that time at least, been successfully grown in Ireland. However, as we can use Vine or Blackberry interchangeably for Muin, we shall stick to Vine for the writing of this blog. Also, before I move on and forget to mention, Vine is the Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 2nd September and 29th September.

Grapevine Groves Nursery
Grapvines, grovesnurseries.co.uk

It is widely thought by some that Vine is the correct source of wood for Muin because of the grape and wine. Wine has been used for centuries for both Pagan and Christian ritual. Writer Erynn Rowan Laurie, Authoress of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, reckons Muin pertains to communication whilst Liz and Colin Murray, The Celtic Tree Oracle, say Muin is about prophecy. John Michael Greer, a neo-pagan American author, writer of The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study, agrees all round but also believes Muin is a stave [or few as some call it] of not only insight but intoxication, as well. Not to put too fine a point on it but if you drink enough wine, you will have some great insights from your intoxication…and most of us are very communicative at the time! Mind you, I don’t think this is what they have in mind…Although, Robert Graves does say that the grape is indicative of “joy, exhilaration, and wrath”. He also says that wine is the “poet’s drink” of “poetic inspiration” and may send one “spiralling towards immortality”.

I think you may now understand why I thought this may be a difficult write. There is little, if any agreement upon the meaning of Muin, not even the wood can be agreed upon!

Magickal Properties:
The Celtic meaning of the Vine in Druid lore is rife with symbolism. The Vine is a theme repeated over and over in Celtic art. Interconnections and winding vines are commonly seen on tapestries, writings, knot work and carvings. This indicates the symbolism of connection, eternity, and diversity. – Rebirth and Reincarnation
In the Druid perspective, the Vine earned its symbolism from its growth patterns. They recognised the Vine grows opportunistically and would dig in wherever feasible to gain a strong foothold to assure its own growth – Protection
This is a powerful metaphor of “going with the flow” or “start as you mean to go on”. In other words, it is a message that when we observe the best of our environment/situation and stay in a relaxed, flowing state of mind, we can most likely gain our highest advantage. – Spirituality
The ever-watchful Celts also recognised the Vine’s predominant growth formation is in the shape of a spiral which is symbolic of consciousness, development, renewal, and growth. – Regeneration

402_grapevinetwigs
grapevine twigs – Google images

You can use Vine in protection poppets, incenses, and witch bottles like any other wood as well as to make amulets from.

And, of course, Vine makes a great wand 😊 Just ask Hermoine Granger!

Correspondences:
Planetary: Moon
Zodiac: unknown
Energies: rebirth, reincarnation, regeneration, spirituality, and protection
Gender: Masculine and Feminine
Deity: Considered sacred by the Tuatha De Danaan Gods of Irish Mythology
Animal: White Swan

Many thanks for reading and we hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Vine. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Wikipedia.com
Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, by Erynn Rowan Laurie
The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray