Ogham Study Group

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Donata
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Ogham Study Group

Post by Donata » 28 May 2006, 12:28

Welcome to our new Ogham Study Group!

Please post here re the Ogham.

A big 'thank you' to Fitheach for agreeing to moderate this sub forum!

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Donata

Edited to change topic to a Welcome! 6/6/06
Last edited by Donata on 07 Jun 2006, 03:18, edited 2 times in total.
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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The Ogham Woods

Post by Fitheach » 28 May 2006, 20:34

There are many paths into the Ogham woods.  And though you may visit the woods many times, no journey will ever repeat itself.  There are new trees, vistas, hills, streams, bridges, paths, and pools to explore.  The denizens of this magical wood will appear in many forms - birds, animals, plant spirits, gnomes, ghosts, or the faeries themselves.  There is no catalogue of possibilities, they are limitless.

My own woodland journey began in my neighborhood in rural Maryland.  We lived in “Paint Branch Farms”, a suburban development surrounded by unattended farmland that had gone back to wilderness.  At the end of the road was an old weather-worn, wooden stile that arched over the rusted barbed wire fence leading to the abandoned farm. Tall pine trees crowded against the fence, obscuring the view of the farm from the road.  The adventure began when I climbed to the top of the nearly dilapidated stile, crossing from my stable, predictable world to the mysterious Other World that fired my young imagination.  

The land was not tilled, but taken over by high grass and weeds.  There were gentle rolling hills where we rode our sleds in the winter.  The woodland that once separated fields and farms had followed the streams and expanded over the years.  There were stands of pine that created a carpet of needles that crunched under my feet; oaks that wore scarlet robes; and maples in glorious orange and yellow shawls.   A plethora of woodland plants lived under the trees, and a kingdom of squirrels and small burrowing animals. A canopy of vibrant bird life filled the woods with song.  There were slow moving shallow streams with darting minnows, crossed by rickety wooden planked bridges, handrails long decayed.  

After traversing the overgrown fields, the grassy hills, the border of trees, the twisting main path led west, deeper and deeper into unknown territory, following a rocky stream.  In all my childhood, I never found the “end of the woods”, and imagined it covered the world.  The path going uphill to the north I imagined led to the North pole; the trail leading south, I was sure ended in the South American jungles.  One journey led me to a dirt road, with a fenced meadow on the other side.  I climbed carefully through the barbed wire fence, ready to explore the meadow and the woods on the other side, when I noticed a laconic black bull, who lifted his giant head and gazed at me.  Before he could take a step in my direction, I was back over the fence, in the safety of my own woods, none the worse but for the torn jeans.

Many of our back yards were bordered by extensions of this primordial woods.  Beyond my back yard was “Lightning Tree Woods”, named for the riven oak that was sundered during one summer lightning storm.  The clap of thunder and strike of lightning was so violent that it threw my father, who was working in the garden, to the ground.  

The path to school led between neighbors’ houses, past back yards, and through a stretch of woods bordering the school.  The schoolyard fence was bordered with bushes of honeysuckle, where we spent our spring recesses harvesting and sucking the delicious honey-flavored flowers.  The dark woods beyond was said to be haunted by an evil old man who lived in a shack, and shot truant school children on sight.  Needless to say, none of us explored this patch of woods!

Those woods have been long ago cut down, making way for new housing developments.  The old farm house and barn are gone, along with the fence and stile; the toboggan hills bulldozed and flattened.  But the magical landscape still exists in my memory, meadows, streams, and hills, and I still climb that rickety stile and travel the path through those ancient woods.

A recent email from my friend, Frog, who still lives in the old neighborhood for over half a century!
“Now, about the trees ..... first of all, it was originally McCullocks’ Farm. There were three spinster sisters living there for just about forever and when the last two got really old, they sold the farm to the new development people.  The trees in Paint Branch are lots of different ones - where your old house is, it's mainly HUGE old oak trees.  Closer to New Hampshire Avenue, and throughout, really, are Sugar Maples and Silver Maples, both of which turn beautiful yellows and oranges in the fall.

There are a lot of poplars, too.  A lot of the pines have been cut down because they're so messy with their pine cones and/or needles everywhere - people can't grow grass or flowers under them because they're so acidic.  Trees have life durations, too, so a lot of them just plain got old....
But the REALLY neat trees of Paint Branch were the dogwoods - remember how each of the three streets were lined with them way back when?  They're life spans are pretty short, so most of them are gone.  Some loyal people have replaced their dying ones, but it's not the same when everyone doesn't do it.  It's still a beautiful neighborhood, though!”
Moving to California, one of the first thing I did in 1972 was join the Sierra Club.  I hiked, biked, rafted, swam, climbed, and camped throughout the 70’s and 80’s and got to know California’s magnificent landscape, flora, fauna, and most impressive – the incredible giant trees – Redwood and Sequoia.  I fell in love with the native California Oaks, which are a relative of my own Maryland’s lovely White Oaks.  

As I got involved in my own spiritual path, both Wicca and Druidism, I learned to appreciate trees on an even deeper level – their connection to Faery, folklore, sacred wisdom and spirituality.  I started to learn about the Celtic Ogham and read voraciously any book I could find on the subject (see bibliography).  I have traveled to Great Britain several times, England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and concentrate my photography on their sacred lands and trees. I have traveled through a Druid forest in Kerry, Ireland, and among the sacred trees of Glastonbury.  I am now nurturing my own ogham grove in my yard with Apple, Yew, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Elder, Rowan, as well as Redwood, Pine, and California Oak.

As Druids we study the significance of the sacred trees as they relate to our spiritual path.  The ogham trees lend their deep wisdom to spirituality, seership, and healing.  I have studied Celtic Reiki with Pamela Jordan and Martyn Pentecost to discover how to use the essence of the tree spirits to heal on many levels, including the global level.  Trees, I’ve discovered, are generous souls who are happy to work with any other form of consciousness toward the betterment of our fragile world.

Bibliography

Blackthorn, Lore and the Art of Making Walking Sticks, by John Murchie Douglas, Alloway Publishing, Ayr, Scotland, 1984

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham,  Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 1985

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries: The Classic Study of Leprechauns, Pixies, and Other Fairy Spirits by W. Y. Evans-Wentz

The Spirit of the Trees, Science, Symbiosis and Inspiration, by Fred Hageneder, Floris Books, Edinburgh, 2000

The Heritage of Trees, History, Culture and Symbolism, by Fred Hageneder, Floris Books, Edinburgh, 2001

Tree Wisdom, The Definitive Guidebook, by Jacqueline Memory Paterson, Thorsons Publishing, San Francisco, 1996

The Wisdom of Trees, by Jane Gifford, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2001

The Healing Energies of Trees, by Patrice Bouchardon, Journey Editions, Boston, 1999 (doesn’t refer to Blackthorn, but has much information about healing with trees, in general)

Celtic Tree Mysteries, Secrets of the Ogham, by Steve Blamires, Llewelyn Publications, St. Paul, 1997

Root and Branch, British Magical Tree Lore, by Mélusine Draco and Paul Harriss, Ignotus Press, London, 2002

Warriors and Guardians, Native Highland Trees, by Hugh Fife, Natural Heritage Series, Argyll Publishing, Argyll, 1994

The Book of Ogham, the Celtic Tree Oracle, by Edred Thorsson, Llewelyn Publications, St. Paul, 1992

Ogham, the Celtic Oracle of the Trees, by Paul Rhys Mountfort, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 2001

The Physicians of Myddfai, Ancient Herbal and Other Remedies Associated with a Legend of the Lade of the Lake, Translated by John Pughe, published for the Welsh MSS Society, Llandovery, 1993

Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition, An Ethnobotany of Britain and Ireland, by David E. Allen and Gabrielle Hatfield, Timber Press, Cambridge, 2004

The Ogham and the Universal Truth of the Trees, by Suzanne La Cour and Dean Montalbano, Leaping Lizards Publishing, Orlando, FL, 2005

Irish Trees, Myths, Legends and Folklore, by Niall Mac Coitir, The Collins Press, Cork, 2003

Ogham and Coelbren, Keys to the Celtic Mysteries by Nigel Pennick, Capallbann, Berks, UK, 2000

Walking and Working Sticks, by Theo Fossell, The Apostle Press, Buckinghamshire, 1986

Oracles:

The Celtic Tree Oracle, a System of Divination by Liz and Colin Murray, St. Martin Press, New York, 1988

The Green Man Tree Oracle, Ancient Wisdom from the Greenwood, by John Matthews and Will Worthington, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 2003

Ogham, The Celtic Oracle, by Peter Pracownik and Andy Baggott, Urania, Switzerland, 2004

The Voice of the Woods (see below)

Websites:

Green Man Essences:  http://www.greenmanessences.com

http://www.shee-eire.com/Herbs,Trees&Fu ... sheet1.htm

The Tree Org, UK:  http://www.the-tree.org.uk/

Irish Blackthorn Walking Sticks:  http://www.lollysmith.com/irblwast2.html

Voice of the Woods:  http://www.pixelations.com/ogham/index2.html

The English Cottage Garden Nursery:  http://www.englishplants.co.uk/trees.html


Celtic Reiki websites:
 
http://home.universalclass.com/i/crn/7775.htm

http://www.nrgassoc.com/home_study/index.htm

Catalog:

Oikos Tree Crops:  http://oikostreecrops.com
Tha gliocas an ceann an fhitich
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Post by Donata » 28 May 2006, 22:05

What a magickal childhood you had! thank you for sharing.

I have Usui Reiki, Master level. Would I gain much more from the Celtic Reiki? I looked up the class you took, and it's not open for enrollment just now.

I also was fortunate to grow up in a rural setting, until high school. Then my parents sold the farm (they never farmed it) and moved into the city of Buffalo. They also bought a summer cottage on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, just over the Peace Bridge. Our area was Windmill Point, a rocky beach at best. This was lucky! we were left alone by beach seekers. A small wood grew near our point, and I loved it, as you loved your woods. I love my little woods today, and the waterfall at the rear. I know for me, living in nature enhances my Druidry.

How marvelous to have a Grove of so many different trees!

I look forward to your sharing of more of your knowledge of the Ogham!

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

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The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Post by Fitheach » 28 May 2006, 23:02

For the most part, I still rely on Usui Reiki, which I've used since the '80's.  Celtic Reiki offers information channeled to British mystic, Martyn Pentecost, on how to use the ogham symbols to heal.  I am fascinated with the ogham, so I am integrating the Celtic Reiki into my practice.  As you may have noted on other boards, there is a lot of resistence to integrating a Japanese and Celtic system together!

I had wanted to investigate Druid energy healing a while ago, thinking to use the symbols carved on the ancient stones, when Oakwyse pointed Celtic Reiki out to me, and I went for it!
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Post by Donata » 29 May 2006, 00:05

Please keep us informed as to how it works for you!

I've been using Reiki since late 80's - I use it daily.

Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Post by Fitheach » 29 May 2006, 04:45

When Mikao Usui saw the Reiki symbols in a vision, he was in touch with otherworldly healing spirits, who transmitted the information in a Japanese Buddhist form that he could relate to.  All modern Reiki practitioners "descend" from this tradition, but this mode of healing goes back to the beginning of human history.  I think Usui opened the door to what is possible, to what our ancestors once knew and practiced, and what we can explore and recapture within any framework that is relevant to us.  I don't know that ancient Druids practiced this type of healing (it isn't documented), but it is consistent with what I do know about them - they had the knowledge of the Oaks, and part of that knowledge must have been about healing.

I think those same healing spirits are always available to us, and they work with consciousness - and not just human consciousness.  I see all living things as our healing allies, and I relate particularly well to trees.  There are all kinds of Reiki modalities now - archangels, crystals, flowers, etc.  I think these are bridges of consciousness that we can all key into.  The objective of Reiki and all energy healing modalities is healing on a personal and global level.

One of the things I did in England and Ireland in the past years, and have continued to do, is an "energy exchange" with trees.  I simply put my hands on the trunks, my forehead to the bark, and go into a light trance.  We are both conduits of healing energy, we can exchange and act as healing allies.  I leave something of myself with them (often a couple of strands of hair for their bird's nests), in exchange for their unique vibration, which, hopefully, stays within my hands.  So, for instance if I want to use the energy of Hawthorn to heal, I can mentally connect with the essence of Hawthorn using the image of one of the trees I communed with.  And they can call on my energy as well.  I use the ogham symbols as a key - a conduit to my Druid ancestors and the spirit of the trees, to unlock the healing energy and let it flow.  It is an amazing feeling!

I am constantly stroking or playing my harp for my beloved ogham garden, baby trees that are still in their tubs until we can plant them, and they are flourishing!
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Post by SidheAingeal » 29 May 2006, 05:08

Does anyone know of some really good sets of Ogham to work wth? It's something I am looking into.
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Post by Donata » 29 May 2006, 13:53

Found these sites through Google where you can purchase Ogham sets:

http://www.merlinscave.net/ogham.html
staves -with or without book $25-$35

http://www.electriccelt.com/Merchant2/m ... =793-+VOTW
round wood chips w/book $35

http://www.ancestorsdrum.co.uk/oghamcrafts.htm
UK site with sets for sale.

Or look up the Ogham and wood burn or carve your own on wood disks.
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

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http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Post by Creirwy » 29 May 2006, 14:00

Just thought i'd add another idea for Ogham sticks - popiccle (sp?) sticks you can buy to make your own ice lollies. They are ideal for writing on with a marker pen, cheap and easy to use! They are a wonderful tool as you can write the letter, the tree and the odd word or two to jog your memory.

Just another idea :)

C
x

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Post by Fitheach » 29 May 2006, 16:08

Thanks Donata!  I just ordered a new ogham set.
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Post by SidheAingeal » 30 May 2006, 02:44

Creirwy wrote:Just thought i'd add another idea for Ogham sticks - popiccle (sp?) sticks you can buy to make your own ice lollies. They are ideal for writing on with a marker pen, cheap and easy to use! They are a wonderful tool as you can write the letter, the tree and the odd word or two to jog your memory.

Just another idea :)

C
x
Fab idea!
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Post by Fitheach » 04 Jun 2006, 03:02

Making you own ogham is really the best way.  This is a great idea!  Thanks, Creirwy!
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Post by Donata » 04 Jun 2006, 03:13

Hi Fitheach,

I'd love to see posts/threads re each ogham if you'd like to start it!

BB
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In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


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Post by Fitheach » 04 Jun 2006, 06:36

I love what's happening in the Tarot sub forum, where we study one tarot card a week.  That's kind of what I had in mind for the Ogham forum.  Starting with Beith, and working down through all 25 ogham, (including the alternate trees/shrubs).
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Post by Dryadia2 » 04 Jun 2006, 16:46

Donata wrote:Hi Fitheach,

I'd love to see posts/threads re each ogham if you'd like to start it!

BB
Donata
Fitheach wrote:I love what's happening in the Tarot sub forum, where we study one tarot card a week.  That's kind of what I had in mind for the Ogham forum.  Starting with Beith, and working down through all 25 ogham, (including the alternate trees/shrubs).
Fantastic!  What a great idea! :clap:

:dryadia: /|\
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Post by ShropshirePagan » 05 Jun 2006, 20:43

Fitheach, thanks very much for your post and your bibliography - it will provide a lot of information for me in my studies!

Blessings

Elaine x
...the turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour. The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour. And I can feel it.

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Post by Beith » 06 Jun 2006, 23:32

Hi Fitheach, Hi Donata,

Great idea! Right Fitheach got the ball rolling on a "Beith" thread and I've added to it so it's over to the rest now!

Just coping in something from my "ps" to my post on Beith...
....question..do you think, given that there's likely to be at least 25 threads on this if indeed all ogam characters will be discussed, that it would be worthy putting as a sub-forum just like the tarot one above? Although conscious of the growing number of fora, I think as a subject itself, it is large enough to merit it. what do you think?
If there's scope to open a sub-forum above like the tarot one, I'd suggest to do it. (there's nothing wrong with more fora I guess once they're architected in a cascade so it's easy to find them...just as Selene and co have done with the others in Celtic Studies.

I look forward to seeing more ogam posts! Great stuff!
Best wishes
Beith

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Post by Merlyn » 07 Jun 2006, 00:05

An Ogham sub-forum sounds like a great idea.
 The Ogham is only introduced for many reasons as it is a study in-itself.
It is one of the oldest forms of writing and has been developed into an oracle.
The associations with tree lore are very valid and deep in Druid lore as we know it today.
Learning the tree associations can help greatly in associating with the energy of a grove or forest.
Books on tree identification and yearly cycles help us understand trees and give us insight on how to care for them and how to help them.
Knowing trees in this more intimate way also helps us preserve the environment they support; Humans, Animals all kinds of life really and forest progression.
Geographical differences require working with trees which are not in the Ogham, and learning the Ogham will help people find the spirit of the trees, no matter what or where they are.
I could go on & on...

I strongly support this idea.

Merlyn  :wink:
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ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

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Post by Fitheach » 09 Jun 2006, 04:57

Thanks, Merlyn!  There is a strong movement to discover "local ogham trees".  I hope this forum can expand to include those, too.  This could include native folklore and medicine.  California Redwood is a powerful tree, dominating the landscape.
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Re: Ogham Study Group

Post by MiriamSPia » 09 May 2011, 13:58

Donata,

I find I am being very slow with the ogham. The good news is that where I now reside in Germany, all of the ogham trees are alive within 5km of my home. Some of the trees I have a stronger instinctive kinship for. I tended to take this for granted until I realized that one of the other friendly German Ovates has a kinship for some of the ogham trees that I really don't feel as intuitively friendly with. For example: I love oak trees; she told me she is not even into them.

The letters, themselves. One reason I got into druidry Donata, is that I have a lot of British ancestry and a little Native American. The druidry is the closest thing, other than Wicca, around that I think is most likely to unite these 2 different types of energy in the best way as they have more in common. One tough thing to admit, which I have learned somehow is true, that 'those crazy Catholics' underwent centuries of efforts to actually integrate a wide spectrum of native tribal peoples and at least some aspects of their religious attitudes and cultural practices. So, there is some kind of real legitimate connection. Anyways, I also have a 25% Scandinavian genetic rating - typical American ethnic "mutt" - in my case its mainly 'Northern': plenty of rain, green trees, mammals, dark and or cold in Winter. I have worked with Futhark but find the ogham foreign.

Do you have any tips for developing maybe a friendlier attitude with the ogham? I did live in the UK for 5 years in the 1990s as a 'loop' in genetic reality and even spawned in North London, England.

Anyways, the tutor coordinator made it clear she feels i need to make more progress with this and some of the other aspects of the Ovate training before she wants to let me have the rest of the gwers.

Any insight will be appreciated.

Miriam *the American Ovate in Germany

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