Please be reminded that we are offering an amazing workshop tomorrow evening at 8:30pm EST. Hope to see you there!
Ogham Enchantment, Wednesday, December 2nd, 8:30 - 10:00pm EST With Robert Pacitti, Grand Pendragon
Join us as we explore the magic of Ogham as a powerful tool of enchantment and connection. This workshop does not focus on Ogham as a method of divination but explores how we can focus our relationship with these symbols and their associated trees in to a framework for bringing magic in to our lives. All AODA members and friends of the AODA are welcome to attend.
Meeting ID: 451 260 8842 One tap mobile +19294362866,4512608842# US (New York) +13017158592,4512608842# US (Germantown)
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Since I didn’t stay for the whole workshop, I don’t know if this was discussed. There are differences between the meanings and the order of the fews in the workshop handout and the Druidry Handbook and Druid Magic Handbook, AODA’s source material. Especially, the elemental attributions are quite different. How do people address or reconcile those differences?
The references that I gave in the back of the packet are a great start!
I would also check out the work of Yuri Leitch - he has an interesting approach that builds off of the Robert Graves work with The White Goddess. He has a Facebook group called “The Ogham Grove” which he contributes to often.
I am assuming you are talking about the placement of Fearn, Saille, and Nuinn in the first aicme being flipped. There are two early versions of the Ogham script, the 'Beith-Luis-Nin" and the “Beith-Luis-Fearn.” I simply used the one I was more comfortable with, and both are considered correct. This is an excellent addition of information to add if I do the workshop again at some point!
As far as the meanings, while the Druidry Handbook was certainly referenced, there is a whole world of poetry that surrounds the meanings of the Ogham - and for seven interpreters we may get seven different interpretations. There is in fact a beautiful magic in there when looking at the “word webs” that many authors have used to describe each Ogham. JMG’s work and the Druidry Handbook are simply another wonderful ingredient in the interpretive stew of magical Ogham.
I do not recall making any specific elemental associations to the Ogham other than the obvious, e.g. the watery nature of Willow. If you’re referring to the fewstaves and Elemental Balancing, those are not used as representative of the elements, but as a conjunction with them.
But alas, I share your thoughts on your original question!
Ogham has taken the same winding journey that Druidry has, and there have been many hands involved in its evolution, which is why I think it works so well as a Wildcrafted magic. To pinpoint one definitive interpretation through its past with the Irish, Pictish, and Welsh influences, on top of the addition of the mythological lore added by Robert Graves and the Neo-Pagan movement… that would be a tough thing.
I meant a couple of things–first, the difference in the first aicme, BLNFS or BLFSN. I first encountered the Ogham through the Druidry Handbook, which uses BLNFS. So then it was rather confusing when I saw other versions. It’s up to me to choose which I want to work with, which is OK, and I take it that AODA is not officially endorsing one or the other.
But the bigger difference is exactly summed up in your comment that Willow is water–that’s what it means to me, but the Druidry Handbook gives the elements “earth of air.” On one hand, I like having an orderly system for divination, which the DH has (like the tarot, with its nice orderly combination of elements and numerology). But earth of air for Willow? That actually put me off Ogham for quite a while. When I gave it another try, I decided that it wasn’t primarily about the actual tree. That’s the only way I can make sense out of it at this point.
I haven’t had time yet to look closely at the handout, which is lovely, by the way. I was assuming it was similar to OBOD’s material. The elemental attributions (e.g., Willow is water) seemed pretty random in OBOD’s booklet for the Ovate grade. Someday when I have time I’ll do a real comparison, which I’m sure will bring me deeper understanding of how I want to use the Ogham.
Rob, thanks for sharing your knowledge and material with us!
I started researching this work about a year ago, and asked JMG this exact question at that time, “Where did the elemental association for the Ogham come from in the Druid Magic Handbook?” His answer was simple: that was what spirit gave him.
I didn’t take any information from one source, but from dozens. I would highly suggest the book Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie. Erynn takes a purely Irish perspective, but does an amazing job of demonstrating the poetic nature of the Ogham. After researching, I found this book to be “the best,” and it carries many endorsements.
Deep down, many of these associations seem to come from the Doctrine of Signatures which Dana spent some time talking about during the workshop, much like the Physicians of Myddfai. The process has evolved, but still very useful.
Please share any insights you have on the Ogham along the way. I am very interested in hearing your perspective.
“I… asked JMG this exact question at that time, “Where did the elemental association for the Ogham come from in the Druid Magic Handbook?” His answer was simple: that was what spirit gave him.”
Aha–so I won’t find this system in any other book. That’s helpful to know. Thanks for the info. At some point I will do a comparison of his system with the booklet I got from OBOD (if I don’t purchase other books on Ogham… I have a lot of books to read!).