Celtic Ogham

 

The Celts were the only people to use ogam, using it as a form of secret communication, yet it was also used for divinatory purposes. Examples of Ogam can still be seen today, carved on stones scattered throughout the British Isles and the European mainland. Some of the stones are only name tags referring to great heroes in history or used to mark boundaries, but some are clearly of more mystical purpose. Ogam itself is a very complex language capable of many different subtle layers, some of which are lost to us, through its associations with trees different elements and colours one word could mean several things and in the hands of a true bard many political undercurrents could be construed that could crush the mightiest conqueror.
The celts themselves were
a fiery creative people, quick tempered and renowned as fearless warriors. This stemmed from their religious beliefs which the afterlife was an integral part of. This belief also had a proficient effect on their culture and most notably their art. The Celtic mythology and art made a profound impact and influence through out Europe. Celts still survive to this day their descendants can now be found in Scotland, Ireland (which has always been the centre of their world), Wales and parts of Brittany and Spain.
 

The word ogham (pronounced OH-am or OH-yam; the former pronunciation is probably most common, but a native speaker of Irish has claimed that the latter is correct) has been used to refer to:

  • An alphabet of twenty-five characters used for stone and wood inscriptions in Celtic Ireland and Britain.

  • A group of twenty sacred trees that give names to the letters of the ogham alphabet.

  • A calendar of thirteen months named for some of the trees.

  • A purported system of hand-signing used by Druids that relates to the alphabet.

  • A system of divination in Celtic paganism that may or may not relate to the alphabet.

The ogham alphabet is often called "beth luis nion". This is somewhat like the word "alphabet"; it comes from the names of the first, second, and fifth letters. The letters consist of one to five perpendicular or angled strokes, meeting or crossing a centre line. The form of the letters allows them to be carved easily on objects of wood or stone, with the edge forming the centre line. Most ogham inscriptions come from Ireland and Scotland.

The Ogham Alphabet

The alphabet consists of 20 letters, arranged in 4 groups of five, though five more letters were added at a later date. The letters themselves were constructed from a series of straight lines incised across a single stave(a.k.a druim). These were usually written using the edge of a stone as a stave from the bottom > up they would then run right over the tip and down the other side(they were read from left to right)...this sometimes makes ogam very difficult to translate.
Branch ogam was usually carved on a branch of the specific tree it is related to, the way it is inscribed is in the same vein as the stave version. This is the most commonly used for divination purposes, for those of you that wish to create your own ogam set, gently collect a branch from the specific plant, stave the end of slightly and carve into the exposed wood. These would then be cast or picked from a bag. If they are cast the relation between the overlapping twigs and the ogams meanings are to be integrated.

 

  OGHAM LETTERS TREES
  Standard name Graves Pennick Thorsson Everson English name Scientific name
Beith Beith Beth Beth Beithe Beith birch Betula pendula
Luis Luis Luis Luis Luis Luis rowan Sorbus aucuparia
Fern Fern Fearn Fearn Fern Fern alder Alnus glutinosa
Sail Sail Saille Saille Sail Sail willow Salix alba
Nion Nion Nion Nion Nin Nuin ash Fraxinus excelsior
Uath Uath Uath Huath Huath hÚath hawthorn Crataegus spp.
Dair Dair Duir Duir Duir Dair oak Quercus robur
Tinne Tinne Tinne Tinne Tinne Tinne holly Ilex aquifolium
Coll Coll Coll Coll Coll Coll hazel Corylus avellana
Ceirt Ceirt Quert Quert Queirt Cert apple Malus sylvestris
Muin Muin Muin Muin Muin Muin vine Vitis vinifera
Gort Gort Gort Gort Gort Gort ivy Hedera helix
nGeadal nGéadal Ngetal Ngetal Ngetal nGétal reed Phragmites australis
Straif Straif Straif Straif Straiph Straif blackthorn Prunus spinosa
Ruis Ruis Ruis Ruis Ruis Ruis elder Sambucus nigra
Ailm Ailm Ailm Ailim Ailm Ailm white fir Abies alba
Onn Onn Onn Onn Onn Onn gorse Ulex europaeus
Ur Úr Ura Ur Ur Úr heather Calluna vulgaris
Eadhadh Eadhadh Eadha Eadha Edad Edad poplar Populus tremula
Iodhadh Iodhadh Idho Iodho Idad Idad yew Taxus baccata
eabhadh Éabhadh     Ebad Ébad    
Or Ór     Oir Ór    
Uilleann Uilleann     Uileand Uilen    
Ifin Ifín     Iphin Ifín    
Eamhancholl Eamhancholl     Phagos Emancholl    
Eite Eite       Saighead feather or arrow  
Spas Spás       Bearna space  


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Celtic Ogham

 

Celtic Ogham

 

The Celts were the only people to use ogam, using it as a form of secret communication, yet it was also used for divinatory purposes. Examples of Ogam can still be seen today, carved on stones scattered throughout the British Isles and the European mainland. Some of the stones are only name tags referring to great heroes in history or used to mark boundaries, but some are clearly of more mystical purpose. Ogam itself is a very complex language capable of many different subtle layers, some of which are lost to us, through its associations with trees different elements and colours one word could mean several things and in the hands of a true bard many political undercurrents could be construed that could crush the mightiest conqueror.
The celts themselves were
a fiery creative people, quick tempered and renowned as fearless warriors. This stemmed from their religious beliefs which the afterlife was an integral part of. This belief also had a proficient effect on their culture and most notably their art. The Celtic mythology and art made a profound impact and influence through out Europe. Celts still survive to this day their descendants can now be found in Scotland, Ireland (which has always been the centre of their world), Wales and parts of Brittany and Spain.
 

The word ogham (pronounced OH-am or OH-yam; the former pronunciation is probably most common, but a native speaker of Irish has claimed that the latter is correct) has been used to refer to:

  • An alphabet of twenty-five characters used for stone and wood inscriptions in Celtic Ireland and Britain.

  • A group of twenty sacred trees that give names to the letters of the ogham alphabet.

  • A calendar of thirteen months named for some of the trees.

  • A purported system of hand-signing used by Druids that relates to the alphabet.

  • A system of divination in Celtic paganism that may or may not relate to the alphabet.

The ogham alphabet is often called "beth luis nion". This is somewhat like the word "alphabet"; it comes from the names of the first, second, and fifth letters. The letters consist of one to five perpendicular or angled strokes, meeting or crossing a centre line. The form of the letters allows them to be carved easily on objects of wood or stone, with the edge forming the centre line. Most ogham inscriptions come from Ireland and Scotland.

The Ogham Alphabet

The alphabet consists of 20 letters, arranged in 4 groups of five, though five more letters were added at a later date. The letters themselves were constructed from a series of straight lines incised across a single stave(a.k.a druim). These were usually written using the edge of a stone as a stave from the bottom > up they would then run right over the tip and down the other side(they were read from left to right)...this sometimes makes ogam very difficult to translate.
Branch ogam was usually carved on a branch of the specific tree it is related to, the way it is inscribed is in the same vein as the stave version. This is the most commonly used for divination purposes, for those of you that wish to create your own ogam set, gently collect a branch from the specific plant, stave the end of slightly and carve into the exposed wood. These would then be cast or picked from a bag. If they are cast the relation between the overlapping twigs and the ogams meanings are to be integrated.

 

  OGHAM LETTERS TREES
  Standard name Graves Pennick Thorsson Everson English name Scientific name
Beith Beith Beth Beth Beithe Beith birch Betula pendula
Luis Luis Luis Luis Luis Luis rowan Sorbus aucuparia
Fern Fern Fearn Fearn Fern Fern alder Alnus glutinosa
Sail Sail Saille Saille Sail Sail willow Salix alba
Nion Nion Nion Nion Nin Nuin ash Fraxinus excelsior
Uath Uath Uath Huath Huath hÚath hawthorn Crataegus spp.
Dair Dair Duir Duir Duir Dair oak Quercus robur
Tinne Tinne Tinne Tinne Tinne Tinne holly Ilex aquifolium
Coll Coll Coll Coll Coll Coll hazel Corylus avellana
Ceirt Ceirt Quert Quert Queirt Cert apple Malus sylvestris
Muin Muin Muin Muin Muin Muin vine Vitis vinifera
Gort Gort Gort Gort Gort Gort ivy Hedera helix
nGeadal nGéadal Ngetal Ngetal Ngetal nGétal reed Phragmites australis
Straif Straif Straif Straif Straiph Straif blackthorn Prunus spinosa
Ruis Ruis Ruis Ruis Ruis Ruis elder Sambucus nigra
Ailm Ailm Ailm Ailim Ailm Ailm white fir Abies alba
Onn Onn Onn Onn Onn Onn gorse Ulex europaeus
Ur Úr Ura Ur Ur Úr heather Calluna vulgaris
Eadhadh Eadhadh Eadha Eadha Edad Edad poplar Populus tremula
Iodhadh Iodhadh Idho Iodho Idad Idad yew Taxus baccata
eabhadh Éabhadh     Ebad Ébad    
Or Ór     Oir Ór    
Uilleann Uilleann     Uileand Uilen    
Ifin Ifín     Iphin Ifín    
Eamhancholl Eamhancholl     Phagos Emancholl    
Eite Eite       Saighead feather or arrow  
Spas Spás       Bearna space  


Click the banner to return to page listings!

copyright ©2008 Empathy's Mystical Occult Site
design from made by mel