The ancient Celts didn’t have a written language, but they had a mysterious set of sigils known as the Ogham. These sigils were used to represent certain trees and shrubs, and eventually developed into letters. Let’s take a closer look at the significance of ogham both as an alphabet and as magical sigils.
What Are the Ogham Sigils?
The ogham sigils are estimated to have been used between the 4th and 10th centuries CE to write on giant stone monuments. The symbols were written vertically along a line and read from the bottom to the top. There are around 400 such stones that have survived to this day, found throughout Ireland as well as in the western regions of Britain. Most of these ogham stones showcase personal names.
The ogham sigils are called feda, which means trees—and sometimes nin or forking branches. The alphabet originally consists of 20 letters, divided into four groups, or aicme, each containing five letters. The fifth set of five symbols, called forfeda, were only a later addition.
The ogham alphabet is inspired by trees, which forms the mytical basis of these symbols. Hence the ogham alphabet is also called a …