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What about is ogham trees?


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Ogham, or Oh-am, is a system of 20 letters utilize by Ireland from a minimum of the 4th to 9th centuries AD. It can be discover on over ogham trees 300 archaeological finds throughout the country. Ogham stones – fields and on hilltops such as the one picture here on Mon. Brandon in County Kerry provide views into Ireland’s ancient history. The majority are border markings or monuments etch with ogham trees evocative inscriptions of their commissioners. Another ogham stone on St. Brandon is carve with lines and and ogham text “of the minister Rónán son of Comgán,” while various others have even more cryptic dedications like “Belonging to one of the Three Sons from the Bald One,” or for “He Who Got Born Of The Raven.”

Illustrations by Yuri Leitch:

Oh, what? I imagine you say. Imagine walking across dark moors covered in gorse and bracken. A aged standing stone emerges from the swirling mist, with weird marks around the edges. What is it? Who threw it there? What does it say?

By Gurnam Bubber.

Rooted securely in the dirt, it appears to be a part from the landscape, a portal to the ancient and our imagination. You might have just stumbled upon a stone monument bearing an unidentified script dubbed ogham.

Ogham is an alphabet found on monumental inscriptions from the fourth to sixth centuries AD, as well as manuscripts from the sixth  to ninth centuries. It was mostly use to write Basic and Old Irish, but also for Old Welsh, Pictish, and Latin. It was found on the high medieval Briatharogam practice of granting tree names to specific characters.

Ogham stone in graveyard:

Each letter is just a cluster of a few straight lines carve along a stone’s vertical edge.”

Dr. Quinn note that ogham was use to write personal names in possessor form (So-and-So’s), on the borders of standing stones, and as memorial/boundary markers. However, instances in Early Irish (and later) culture show characters drawing ogham on sticks to transmit messages, record information, and perform magic.

There are around 400 existing ogham inscriptions upon stone monuments across Ireland, Scotland, and Western Britain. Pembrokeshire, Wales, has the highest number outside of Ireland.

Its origins have long been question. Dating ogham can be challenging at times. Though the alphabet is assume to have been invent earlier, proof suggests that the majority of surviving ogham inscriptions in Ireland date from the fourth or fifth century.

The myth associated with the letters of trees:

No study of oaks in Irish folklore as history is complete without mentioning the letters of the Ogham alphabet. This ogham trees is the traditional Irish script, and numerous specimens may still be discover on standing stones over the island. These inscriptions primarily date from the third to fifth centuries AD.

Wikimedia user David Hawgood uploaded a photo of the Ogham Stone in the Irish National Heritage Park. (Photo: D. Hawgood)

The written system was a contrast to the predominantly oral aspect of early Irish civilization. The Brehon laws are an example of its primarily oral nature. Julius Caesar observe that the Celts “commit to memory an enormous amount among poetry…they consider it unacceptable to commit their studies on writing…lest it be vulgarize and the memory of scholars get impaired.”

Where to visit the Ogham stones:

These stones are easily located in Ireland using a decent map. If you don’t want to get your feet dirty, there are stunning examples on exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland in Dublin, but the greatest collection at University College Cork. Those from further afield need to not miss outdoors, considering that the Ogham as 3D program has chronicled them all online!

Another notable sight is the Dunloe Ogham Boulders near Killarney in Kerry, which contains eight stones from the fifth and sixth centuries. Berthold Strucken took this photograph.

Origins of Ogham:

According to old stories, the Celtic lord of eloquence, Ogmios, created it.  Others believe it was develop by early Christian populations that struggled to transcribe Gaelic notes into Latin letters.


“This is another on Glennie Kindred’s excellent handwritten and hand patch booklets, written as an accessory to ‘The sacred tree’. Glennie investigates the 20 foliage of the Ogham, as documented in the eleventh-century books of Ballymote, and provides a practical approach to connect with the specimens themselves. She walks people through the steps of crafting Ogham sticks, explains the vitality and spiritual direction of each tree, and demonstrates how to speak with them for mental growth and healing.

As any druid would know, trees are in desperate need of our help and involvement. This book, written in the author’s kind and loving language. Describes how we can talk with, learn from, and work with our tree relatives’ energies.


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