A Short Introduction to Celtic/Druid Ogham or Ogma Alphabet and How to Use it For Divination

The Celtic’s used a writing system called Ogham or sometimes spelled Ogma which dates hundreds of years BCE (Before the Current Era). Most of the time the credit for the alphabets origins are given to the Druid Priests. As only they could read the meanings of the “Ogham Staves” when they were thrown. The Ogham alphabet consists of 25 different symbols which in turn are associated with specific trees or shrubs.

The alphabet can either be written vertically or horizontally but the actual marking for the symbol or letter always appears on the same side and location on the straight line that all the symbols/letter stem off of.

The Ogham Staves are used as a form of divination. You can use them the same as you would Runes or Tarot cards. To make Ogham Staves they should be craved into a piece of the tree or shrub they are associated with, all 25 pieces of wood should be the exact same length and when possible diameter.

How to use the staves is simple you hold them together in both hands, and roll them on your palms while you ask your question of them (be sure to keep your question clear and concise). When you feel it is time and with the question firmly fixed in your mind you let the staves drop from about 4 to 6 inches off the ground. Those closest to you are the future, the middle ones are for the present, and those furthest away are read for the past which led up to the present which will lead into the future.

Here is a picture of the alphabet writing, name of symbol/letter, and which tree or shrub is associated to it:

Other examples of the alphabet:

Here is are the symbols/letters on the tree or shrub they are associated with:

This is the first in a series of posts on the use and meanings of the Ogham alphabet and staves. I will also be posting an Ogham Symbol for the day starting Monday, August 13th both on here and on WOTC.

If you have questions about this topic please write to LAdy Beltane at covenlifescoven@gmail.com Please put Ogham Question in the “Subject line”

 

Oracles & Divination in Druidry

The Druid took four wands of yew and upon them he wrote Oghams, and by his keys of poetic wisdom and through his Ogham he divined that Etain was in Bri Leith
with Midir.

Tochmarc Etaine

In ancient times Druids used many methods of divination: from simple weather-witching to the sophisticated interpretation of bird flight, from the observation of animal behaviour to the interpretation of planetary configurations. Almost certainly each of the four elements was used for augury, as they were used for healing. It is likely that the signs and associated feelings conveyed by earth cast on a sheet or drum-skin were read as a fortune teller might read the tea-leaves, and the shapes of passing clouds or of the images found in the fire or in gazing into pools of water were undoubtedly further sources of inspiration. We know the term the Irish Druids used for cloud divination – Neldoracht – and we know too of more complex methods of divining used in Ireland, including Tarbhfeis, which involved the diviner being wrapped in a bull’s hide to aid their clairvoyance.

For the rest of this article go to:

http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/teaching-and-practice/oracles-divination-druidry