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Ogham Studies - Phagos (Beech)

Posted: 13 Apr 2007, 00:09
by Fitheach

Posted: 13 Apr 2007, 01:21
by Dryadia2

Posted: 08 May 2007, 14:32
by DaRC
The Beech Hangar

many places along the South of England there  have these Hangers - a stand of trees most of which are Beech that hang over the tops of hills.   On the chalk hilltops in the South of England it is hard for trees to grow due to the shallowness of the soil, Beech has shallow roots and thus thrives in places where other trees struggle.  
The most famous in Sussex was, and soon will be again, on top of Chanctonbury; an old Romano-Celtic sacred site: ... nbury.html

However, from mine and my family's POV, down the hill from the top is a more important site which we call "nature's playground".  It is a circular grove of Beech trees that has been a favourite place to visit for local people for many years - I have seen carved initials in the tree trunks of friends and lovers from over 65 years ago - doubtless higher up the trees there will be older ones.  The tree roots that hold the hillside together have become exposed through erosion.  This has created a child's labyrinth of under tree hiding places and small gaps that only they can wriggle through.  Perfect for games of hide and seek.   There are always at least 3 rope swings tied from the branches of various trees.   The latest is as good as any roller coaster - you stand by the tree with a branch under your bottom and swing out suspended 15 or 20 feet above the ground, but you need a friend to haul you in once the ride has stopped!

I remember coming there as a teenager and youth, during the day and for late night campfires but the trees have always felt welcoming and protective.   It is a grove of such good spirit; whilst Chantonbury up top is a more serious place where many have reported feeling uncomfortable (although I have never felt it) these 8 trees bring joy and happiness to all who linger there.  
The Beech is associated with learning, particularly through it's use and name as Book, this little grove has taught many a Sussex local that the woods are a fun and natural place to be.  It has helped people overcome fears and witnessed many tears, like some great kindly teachers they stand to teach the generations the oldest of knowledge.

Cheers, Dave.

Posted: 09 May 2007, 01:51
by Fitheach
Thank you for these wonderful stories, DaRC!  Perhaps you could post a digital picture here?

Posted: 09 May 2007, 16:24
by DaRC
My wife's the family photographer - but next time I'm going past I shall take some less family pic's  :o

Cheers, Dave.

Posted: 27 Jul 2007, 02:28
by ayslin1
Hello Dryadia2, I have a question.
It may be obvious for you in the northern Hemisphere, but down here EVERYTHING is different.

I got your website link and just loved it,
It has many nice pictures that I can´t find in books over here.
Are all the trees the same kind of the ones in Britain? Or just the same family?

As I´m in the middle of the OVATE grade, I´m trying to gather all the info and good picture I can to relate it to the trees in Brazil. A friend of mine (she is a biologist here in Brazil) is going to help me with the specific info.

Bright Blessings

Posted: 27 Jul 2007, 16:00
by Dryadia2
ayslin1 wrote:Hello Dryadia2, I have a question.

Are all the trees the same kind of the ones in Britain? Or just the same family?...
Actually, most are the same genus, but different species.  Some are the same family, if there is no equivalent genus in my area.  Also, a few (i.e. ivy, reed, furze/gorse, heather) are Native to the British Isles, and there is nothing similar in the U.S.A., so I proposed substitutes of what we have here that look (or seem) similar.

The mainpage is a comparison between the Traditional trees and plants of Great Britain (in the left column), and my suggested Native Texas equivalents (in the middle column), with suggested U.S.'substitutes', for species not found here at all (in the right column).

The whole page needs to be re-done, as the columns are not aligned properly. It took me over a year to create the webpage, and I used more than one browser and font type, which caused the columns to be out of alignment.  Also, apparently, folks with smaller monitors (less than 22"), will get a 'wrap-around' effect of the words, and I don't know how to fix that.  It seems I will need to re-type the whole thing over again, which will take quite awhile, and I have other priorities in my life, at this time, that need my attention first.

So eventually, I hope to fix the mainpage.
The 'About Oghams' page needs some re-wording too, with references.
At least the 'tree' pages are finished (links on left side of the webpage).

Thanks for having a look, and I'd appreciate any other comments, suggestions, etc.

Peace and Blessings,
:dryadia: /|\

Re: Ogham Studies - Phagos (Beech)

Posted: 24 Dec 2007, 20:13
by Jingle
I walk across the carpet of orange and brown leaves. Wet with recently fallen rain, and surrounded by mist, they are a mix of American Beech, Pin Oak, Black Oak and Birch. Many of the Beeches in this wood have been carved by people wanting to leave their own personal mark on the forest. The silver bark has such a long memory, that the tattooed skin will hold the messages for a lifetime.

Up ahead to the north is a young beech, its trunk perhaps 8 inches in diameter. It's lowest branches are just over my head, and bare but for a few golden leaves still hanging on. More than any other trees in these woods, the beeches hang on to their leaves in defiance of the cold. The leaves sing a beautiful song as they crackle in the wind. This tree is untouched by the pocket knives of lovers and defacers, and the smooth wet skin is speckled with emerald moss.

Overhead a turkey vulture soars on a ferocious wind which thunders through the canopy. In the distance, the scolding of squirrels arguing over a fallen beechnut can be heard.

Gently, I press my palms against the tree and close my eyes, open to what the tree has say.

A warm breeze wafts over me as I begin to see what the tree has to tell me:

In the distance is a green hill, steeply sloping and covered with green grass. My thoughts turn to the solstice and the festival of Alban Arthan. Alban Arthuan. The coming of the light. The coming of Arthur. Atop the hill a tall figure mounted on a white stallion holds aloft a banner of silver and gold. The steed paws the top of the hill, and steam from his warm breath engulfs the pair in mist. Dressed in lavender and crowned with a circlet of silver leaves, the king waits erect in the saddle, until he is sure he has my attention. Is this Arthur? Is this the Child of Light? Is this the return of the Oak King? Here, in a wood nestled within urban Pennsylvania, I see the great King of the Light, The Bear, the North, the Return. The memory of the American Beech is longer than its silver skin. It is connected and holds the wisdom of the ancestors. With a single nod, the king and his mount turn and descend the northern slope, slowly vanishing from view as the last sparkle of the silver crown fades into the distance.

Around me, the sound of raindrops drum against the fallen leaves, and I return once again to the dormant wood. I see at my feet, a perfect golden leaf. A gift for the remembering of this day. Just beyond the trees behind me, the members of the Coille dhe Darach Dhubh are arriving. A crane flies overhead as we gather to begin our celebration of the festival of Alban Arthan.

Hail the Light. Hail the King.

Re: Ogham Studies - Phagos (Beech)

Posted: 13 Apr 2008, 22:38
by Clamhan
My staff was cut from a fallen Beech about 12 months ago - the tree had appeared to have fallen in one of the freak storms early in 2006 and I came across it on one of my rambles. Perhaps I was led there.

For me, Beech has always had a protective and stablising influence and its my constant companion on those solitary woodland rambles that I seem to find myself on.

Gary :old:

Re: Ogham Studies - Phagos (Beech)

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:36
by Blaiddwen
Beech is definately one of my trees. At a nearby state park there are many mature Beech's to be found, on some of them, there are natural fissures in the bark that can be seen as Ogham. Perhaps this is how Beech became associated with books in the first place, if you can find a grove of older Beech, try reading what they have to say. :wink:

Re: Ogham Studies - Phagos (Beech)

Posted: 11 Nov 2010, 20:50
by MiriamSPia
First I read the other posts. Where I live now, in NW Germany there seems to be more beech than where I come from, unless its just that I hadn't noticed, which is possible. The beech are often forced into hedges - both here in NW Germany and in Southern England. Its because I've actually lived there. I don't feel I should claim knowledge i don't have. In the winter, it might be hard to differentiate from some of the other trees, but that is a matter of detailed knowledge and nothing more.

For me, a lot of it is that I like the way they smell. Looking at our Ogam book, distributed by OBOD I see that we should be cautious about substitutions mainly because - how will others know whether we did it by virtue of healing properties or the plants of by some other category. I hadn't thought about at all at first.

I'm not sure what to recommend for the Brazilian except that if the trees are that different that for that person the ogham is really just an academic exercise and perhaps it should be replaced for real druidry with the closest local thing they have to "a tree alphabet that also indicates medicinal trees". Maybe the old local shaman have something like it. The Bible says that individuals and groups should be judged in accordance with their we see the good reason for tolerating cultural differences. The Brazilian should use what works in Brazil not what would work in England but won't work in Brazil.

Re: Ogham Studies - Phagos (Beech)

Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 11:31
by Serpentia
Beech in German is Buche and they are probably the single most typical tree here in the middle of Germany.. there's whole regions named after them and the Romans used to call this region "Buchonia". They are considered the Grandmothers of the Woods, they protect and nurture and care for the woods they are part of. They are supposed to give rest and relaxation to travellers that find shelter under them.

I will look deeper into the Germanic tree lore now and see what else I can maybe add. This is an interesting twist, with the international significance of the trees. I like it!