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”

 

The Ogham

The Ogham

The word Ogham (pronounced OH-yam) has been used to refer to:

A group of twenty trees, sacred to the Druids, that give names to the letters of the Ogham alphabet.

An alphabet of twenty-five characters used for inscriptions on magickal tools in Celtic Ireland & Britain.

An alphabet of twenty characters used for divination and hand-signing in Celtic paganism.

A calendar of thirteen months named for each of the sacred trees.

Below you will find a modern-day interpretation of the Celtic tree calendar. Besides using trees as a way of telling the seasons, the druids used them for many other things. These are called Oghams. Linked to this calendar, you will find much more information on each individual ogham or tree, including the meanings of each during divination.

Oghams were often used by the Celts of olde as a tool of divination, yet they were also used as an alphabet to inscribe many things. First, you must make your own set & inscribe each letter on something made of wood. (Some use stone or tile.) Then place them in a bag for storage. Now when you are ready to use them in divination, find a quiet, peaceful place to sit. Meditate briefly on the question that you want to ask. Then draw out 3 of the pieces and see what the correspondences are. This should help you determine the answer to the question. You may also use them to inscribe your name on your magickal tools or to write in your Grimoire or Book of Shadow, just to be on the safe side & so no one can understand your writings. Oghams are also often used on amulets and talismans.

ogham-alphabet