Fairy Divination

Beth — Birch: The Birch Twig

Beginnings-Vitality-Growth

Deities: The White Goddess. Belin, the God of Beltene.

Magickal Use: Making Ogham staves. Candles. Broomsticks. Yule Logs. Besom Twigs. Birth. Beginnings. Healer of Skin and Joints.

Attributes: The moon month of Beth extends from December 24 to January 20, fixing its day just after the Winter Solstice, the Midwinter day of purification and renewal.

Color: White.

Class: Peasant.

Herb: Fly Agaric Mushroom.

Animal: White Cow.

Tree: The Birch tree is known for its beauty and splendor in the early spring, when its white bark shines through its splendid green leaves. The image of white shining through green is an archetypal vision of the Otherworld. In Keltic myth, when a human is seen wearing a green garment with white skin showing through it, it is a sure sign that the person is of the Otherworld. It is said that the Birch can protect one from being carried off to the Sidhe, or Otherworld. The Birch is also the tree of new beginnings. Birch rods were used in rituals for driving out the spirit of the old year, and in ceremonies for expelling evil spirits. New Birch trees can grow from twigs that have fallen from a parent tree. It was the first tree to grow again in the Keltic lands after the last Ice Age. It is the tree of purification, birth, and renewal. In Keltic lore, the first Oghams were carved upon a pure white branch of Birch.

Expression: Birch deals with new beginnings and the inception or birth of things. The Birch tree contains the life-giving power of the Earth Goddess and the Lady of the Greenwood. This vitality causes the birth of all things in spring each year. The energizing and vitalizing effect of this power also provides for a cleansing aspect of the Birch. It has the power to drive out evil or corruptive influences by means of its eternally vital life force. This is the original reason why Birch was used as an instrument in flagellant fertility rites.

Divination: Beth tells of the vitality present to give birth to new beginnings gradual changes. Prepare for positive growth to begin in your life from a previously unapparent source. New things are going to begin. Greater things will come from small beginnings. If not much is happening now, have faith that a new phase of activity will be coming soon. Well-being and prosperity are on the way. There is great strength and resilience deep within you. Unseen forces of growth and change are at work. There may be choices to make concerning in which direction one may need to grow. You need to avoid problems in the early stages of something. Begin to realize the new and good by shearing away the old and detrimental. Clear away all obstructions to make way for new events to take their course. Prepare for purification to occur in your life.

The Challenge of the Birch Ogham is the lack of energy and vitality needed to cause positive changes and beginnings to occur. There will be the need to deal with constant change and loss of familiar things as time goes on. You must learn to trust and to loose this fear of the unknown. There may be small difficulties in making a start, or a lack of drive. Enthusiasm may be hindered by circumstances. Failing to grow may occur due to internal negativity and negative thinking.

Luis — Rowan (Quicken): The Great Mother Goddess

Protection-Nurturing-Insight

Deities: Brighid, Goddess of Springtime, Youth, and Fertility. The River Goddess.

Magickal Use: Magickal protection.

Color: Grey.

Class: Peasant.

Herb: Yarrow

Animal: Unicorn, Bear.

Tree: The Rowan tree (also Quicken, Quickbeam, or Mountain Ash) has a powerful reputation in magick and divination. It is a tree which protects against chaos and destruction. Rowan wood is widely used as a magickal substance for protection from lightning and from malevolent enchantments. Before a battle, the Druids of old are said to have kindles fires of Rowan wood and spoken incantations over them in order to invite the inhabitants of the Sidhe to take part in their fight. Also, the Silver Branch carried by the Druids in honor of the Goddess was from the Rowan tree. "Quickbeam" means "living wood" in archaic modern English. Rowan berries are one of the "Foods of the Gods."

Expression: The Rowan gives special insight and foreknowledge, therefore it can be seen as a tree of protection against enchantments. It provides forewarnings against such enchantments, which may most practically be seen as any influence having its origins outside ourselves and of which we are not aware. It provides a magickal shield to protect against any negative or potentially harmful energies. The Rowan is the power that nourishes as well as protects.

Divination: Luis indicates that there is the need to get rid of bad influences and become surrounded by a more caring atmosphere. Guarding, nourishing and strengthening power will become available. This tree provides a temporary shield for one to regain strength and heal wounds. Within this protection, constructive and creative powers will become more powerful. Artistic, poetic, and intellectual work will be more important. Luis indicates that there may be a period of healing and recovery during a struggle. Take heart, as any destruction you encounter will only be temporary. You are to look within and seek for the insight necessary to overcome your problems. It portends that the inner vitality necessary to gain this insight is available, if you know how and where to look. Luis describes a vast sea of flooding vitality and inner nurturing waiting to be tapped.

The Challenge of the Rowan Ogham is the lack of a protective atmosphere that is much needed. Without a protective and nurturing environment, the spirit becomes exhausted and weak against attacks of stress. There is difficulty in defending oneself against harmful things. Or, on the other extreme, one may be within the grasp of a power which is over-protective. Chaos appears to have the upper hand, and constructive activity is blocked. There may also be weakness and a gloomy outlook.

Nion — Ash: The World Tree

Overview-Awareness-Actions

Deities: Gwydion, God of Writing, Knowledge, and Wisdom. Lugh, God of the Sun and Light.

Magickal Use: Wands. Spears. Lintels. Besom Stake.

Color: Clear.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Magick Mushroom.

Animal: Adder.

Tree: The Ash is a very magickal tree. It is the Cosmic Axis which links the three planes of being: the Under, Middle, and Upper Worlds. The World tree is the soul of the Universe that shamans use to ascend or descend into other worlds. It has been used in the formulation of many medicines. This tree's wood was also most often used in the construction of spears in ancient times. The Ash is a tree of some cosmological importance because of the symbolism of its curious compound leaf formation: two or four pairs of leaves tipped by a single leaf, so the large compound leaf contains either five or nine total leaflets.

Expression: From this Tree, the Great Ash, we can see the world and our lives from a broader perspective. It makes us able to function in the deep, watery places: in the Realm of the Underworlds (unconscious). It makes us able to function in the high, airy places: in the Realm of the Upperworlds (conscious). It is our flexible psychic strength. It is the weave of fate and the guardian of peace. From it we gain the intelligence and knowledge we need to act. It is also the link between the inner and outer, the upper and lower worlds. Its fivefold pattern reflects the cosmos. From this map, we derive our link with cosmological wisdom.

Divination: Nion implies the need to take care to see things in their larger context, to see the bigger picture. It is the link that we have with our higher self, who is above mundane matters and can see our lives from a different perspective. Try to get a clear overview of things. Once in a while we need to stop for a moment and get an overview of past actions so that we may become aware of their possible outcomes. Note how all actions have their reactions in the world, and note how you affect the world through your actions — both physical and spiritual. This awareness tends to remove doubt, fear and confusion. There is the need to take bold actions when action is called for. A time of conscious effort may need to begin. Though and study will awaken the mind.

The Challenge of the Ash Ogham is the inability to see things, people, and events in a larger and more universal perspective. There may be determination of influences beyond the personal sphere of perception. There may be feelings of being bound or locked into a chain of events as a result of a lack of awareness and an inability to communicate. Ignorance and stupidity may be bringing the delusion, confusion and/or instability. Things are not always what they seem and you must be perceptive enough to discern that which is true and that which is false. There is a tendency to split off from the environment, toward social or psychological isolation, and to be cut off from the world. Without a clear overview, one may not know which actions to take, and which may or may not be appropriate for the situation.

Fearn — Alder: Macha

Foundation-Inner Strength-Principles

Deities: Bran the Blessed.

Magickal Use: Foundations. Red Dye. Magick Whistles. Charcoal.

Color: Crimson.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Hartstongue Fern.

Animal: Red Fox, Stallion, Ram.

Tree: Alder is a wood which resists the decaying or corrupting effects of water. It is thought that the tree contains a fiery energy, and it is for this mysterious reason that it is able to resist water so well. The tree has the curious property of having white wood when first cut from which a red sap runs. This makes it appear to be a wounded man.

Expression: Alder implies that you may gain a great strength in any contentious situation by standing on your foundation: your own inner self and your own strong underlying principles. This Ogham is relentless and determined in its power. It indicates the very founding principles of all tradition. It tells you to remain steadfast in what you know to be true to your inner self and your principles — the foundation of your knowledge and being. If you are unsure of what these founding principles are, Fearn indicates that you should passionately seek your true inner self.

Divination: As an oracle, Fearn carries the connotation of listening to one's inner voice as a means to make decisions, create stability, and plan for the future. Now is not the time to rely on the opinions, thoughts, and feelings of others. Remain open, listen to your inner voice, make yourself open to your creative side, and you could gain the inner guidance needed for overcoming any problems. When all voices on the outside are harsh, listen to the kind voice within. There may be the need to keep a youthful approach. Music and poetry may be involved. In order to make a decision, you will receive the help you need from deep within yourself. Receive spiritual guidance only from your own inner self.

The Challenge of the Alder Ogham is not being aware of what your inner voice is trying to tell you. You are being overly influenced by forces outside yourself. There is a loss of contact with the inner voice and insight. You may encounter inner feelings of doubt, and you may tend to be overextending yourself. There may be danger and dispute, and you need to have the knowledge of when to remain steadfast and when to allow and encourage change in life. You may not have the beliefs and principles needed to make this decision. This comes from a lack of connectedness with one's true inner self. You may also have a tendency to fear defeat to such an extent that your courage is impaired. Not being open to events brings inner blockages. You are in an uninspired state, unable to take heed of your inner voice and there may also be a lack of direction.

Saille — Willow: Arianrhod, The Silver Moon

Intuition-Emotion-Hidden Influences

Deities: The Moon Goddess.

Magickal Use: Wands. Baskets. Wattles. Binding Besoms.

Color: Bright, or Fiery.

Class: Peasant.

Herb: Moonwort.

Animal: Hare, Cat.

Tree: The Willow is a tree fond of watery places. Because of this, it is associated with the powers of the moon, emotion, and with divine figures who correspond to the moon. It was the tree sacred to the Greek Moon Goddess Hecate. Branches of Willow are often used as divining rods — especially for "water witching." The traditional Witches Besom is made of three woods: Birch twigs for the broom itself, Willow to bind them together and to hold them to an Ash stake. Willow has several medicinal uses as well, often to relieve ills caused by malevolent magick.

Expression: The Willow is a sign of intuition, Emotion, the unconscious, and sometimes deception. It is the unfoldment of psychic powers. In the Willow is the gift of cunning — of the skillful and subtle use of mental powers to have your aims met. It is also the upsurge and power of raw emotions, rising and falling as the moon does in her course over the month.

Divination: Saille indicates that there may be unforeseen emotions, and passions, influencing you (or those you love). Now is a time of enchantment and magick. You have something to learn from hidden influences, emotions, or an unknown person. There may be a dip in the deep dark pool of your own subconscious. To get a clearer view of events, things or people, use your emotion and intuition rather than cold logic. This lesson may be pleasant or unpleasant, but it will be of great benefit. Dormant abilities and emotions are awakening. You are urged to seek out the hidden influences in your life. You have the emotional flexibility needed to adapt to changes.

The Challenge of the Willow Ogham is the tendency to ignore the unconscious, the emotions, or the hidden aspects of the personality. Loss of intuition may lead to rigid attitudes about life. Or, on the other hand, the emotions or unconscious message may be too strong and undermine attempts at success. In either case, you need to get in touch with your emotions rather than suppress or over express them. You may be ignorant of an important aspect of yourself which remains hidden and cries to become known. Or you may be attempting to use logic in a situation where it is necessary to rely on emotions. When the intuition and emotions are not fully used to the extent of their powers, fluctuations may not be dealt with successfully. Also, relationships between sexes may be full of misunderstandings.

Huathe — Hawthorn or Whitethorn: Lord of Balance

Compensation-Sexuality-Misfortune

Deities: Olwen, Goddess of Spring and Renewal.

Magickal Use: Hedges. Magickal protection.

Color: Purple.

Class: Peasant.

Herb: Primrose.

Animal: Goat, Dragonfly, Dragon.

Tree: In Ireland, the Hawthorn grows around and over wells, and these are the object of certain folk rites involving the tearing of one's clothing and hanging the shreds on the branches. It is said that the destruction of a Hawthorn Bush will bring about disaster for the one responsible. In Keltic lore, Hawthorn bushes are entrances to the magickal Otherworld. Their fearsome thorns make them powerful symbols of protection. There is another aspect to this tree for the white blossoms of the Hawthorn are the symbol of female sexual power. Their scent is that of the Flower Maiden Herself. This Ogham is the power of magickal sexuality, the creative union of male and female.

Expression: The Hawthorn represents the protective doorway to the Otherworld. It has a destructive form when either the powers of enchantment are abused or the Faery Kingdom disturbed. This often brings misfortune to the unwary traveler. To tamper with the powers of the Otherworld in a negative fashion will always bring misfortune. However, this Ogham has a positive side as well. It is also the Flower Maiden awaiting her union with the Green Lord. He waits unseen in the flourishing greenwoods. This is the power of magickal sexuality, the creative union of male and female. It is the raw power of love which attracts two (often opposing) forces together.

Divination: Huathe in its positive aspect portends a reward for past actions. There will be an encounter with the positive things in life, the inhabitants of the Otherworld, and the Faery Folk. The power of this Ogham is the doorway to their underground kingdom full of riches and gold. An inner search for happiness may occur, much like a traveler’s journey into the Underground Kingdoms of the Lord and Lady of the Faeries. You will begin to fully realize your human potential. The active forces of life are at their greatest power now. Stimulation and positive energies are entering your life. There may be an encounter with the power of love and lust in all its forms. There will be a discovery of the ties that bind two people together in a harmonious union. Now is a time of love, sexuality, and erotic pleasures.

The Challenge of the Hawthorn Ogham in its negative aspect is the misfortune that arises from past careless behavior. You may have taken too much time to "smell the roses" and disaster has occurred. There may also be the tendency to rush ahead too quickly and not enjoy time with loved ones. There is a need for gestation and patience, and the discovery of spiritual value. No positive changes will occur because of a lack of stimulus and sexual boredom. Intellectual and physical sterility are a danger. Unfulfilling love affairs, or obsessive eroticism may cause distress. There may be enforced inactivity, which will eventually give rise to new opportunities. Be wary of secretly be sabotaging your own efforts due to a lack of self-esteem and a sense of self-worth.

Duir — Oak: The Oak King

Strength-Endurance-Truth

Deities: Lugh, God of the Sun and Light. The Thunder God. The Dagda.

Magickal Use: Doors. Building timber. Cleansing. Strengthening.

Attributes: The moon month of Duir extends from June 10 to July 7, containing the high point of the year, the Summer Solstice, esoterically known as the door of the year; the day on which the Oak King was burned alive.

Color: Black, and Dark Brown.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Mistletoe.

Animal: White Horse, Lion, Salamander.

Tree: The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and it is said to "court the lightning flash." Its roots are said to extend as deep underground as its branches rise into the air, which makes it emblematic of a God whose law runs both in the Upperworld and in the Underworld. It was one of the most sacred trees to the Druids, who gave particular attention to its parasite, the mistletoe. At the winter season, the mistletoe could be found hanging throughout its branches. The Oak symbolized life, endurance, and strength, and the Mistletoe, though beautiful, is poisonous; thus the combination was that of Life and Death. It was once thought that the Bard or Druid could gain special inspiration by eating the acorns of and Oak. Oak Groves were most often used for magickal and divinatory workings by both the Druids and Witches of Ireland. Its name has to do with hardness and steadfastness as it is derived from the root word deru, which means to be firm and steadfast. This root word also gives us the words tree, truth, and troth. The Oak can reach a great age and an enormous size. King Arthur's Round Table at Winchester was cut from a single slice of an Oak tree.

Expression: Oak is a sign of strength and endurance. It is the power needed to overcome all tests — even if the tests prove too great, the power of the Oak will make a victor of the one who knows how to tap into its pool. The Oak is a gateway to inner realms, a sign that reveals the truth in a very brutal, cold, and honest manner. This revelation gives strength and vision to the person who would try to see beyond the horizons of time both into the dim past and into the far future. In fact, the Oak (as a sign for the balanced) empowers synthesis of all opposites. The Oak is also the doorway to Midsummer, when the power of the sun is at its greatest.

Divination: Duir advises that strength and endurance are yours in the situation. Certainty and security saturate everything that you do. Personal will-power and strength is available to face a difficult situation. You should look to that strength to gain vision in order to overcome all obstacles. You may be called upon to defend what is rightfully yours. Virile, positive influences are at work in your life. Doubt and insecurity are things of the past. There may also be some indication of your role as a leader or of fulfilling an executive position. A gateway to new understanding is opening if you will be strong and truthful.

The Challenge of the Oak Ogham is the need to pull courage and strength from within when it seems that those forces have been exhausted. Lack of courage and energy or loss of will and persistence will bring closed doors as well as obstacles which seem to be very obvious. There is a need to assert oneself and exert full authority over a situation. Also, there is a need for protection, a need to shelter yourself so that strengthening can take place. You may be pursued by unwanted and undesirable forces or persons — but strength and endurance must be drawn from the Oak.

Tinne — Holly: The Holly King

Balance-Justice-Challenge

Deities: Govannon, Smith God and Brewer.

Magickal Use: Clubs. Chariot Wheels. Charcoal.

Color: Dark Grey.

Class: Peasant.

Herb: Aconite (Monk's Hood).

Animal: War Hound, War Horse.

Tree: The Green Knight is said to have a club made of Holly wood. Holly was often used for the construction of chariot shafts. The chariot was the chief vehicle of the ancient Keltic Warrior. In lore, the Holly and Oak form sort of a twin pair. Throughout the year, the Holly and Oak Kings would slay each other in turn as the season passed from summer to winter to summer again. Twinning the Holly and Oak may indeed have its roots in Oghamic Lore in that it may be linguistically based. The T and D sounds are really variants of one another. This is the kind of lore important to poets, bards, and other practitioners of verbal magick.

Expression: Holly is a sign of the winter months when the cold and bitter tests Mother Nature herself. It is also a sign of revenge or vengeance taken for wrongs done to someone or to one's self, or to one's family or loved ones. As a sign of perfect balance, it is that force which will act in retribution for actions done. Thus the Holly is a sign of justice and retribution. Just as the Oak King slays his brother in the summer, the Holly King returns the gesture in the autumn each year.

Divination: Tinne indicates that challenges and testing ordeals are on the way. You are to be as the Holly is: steadfast in adversity, remaining green and vital during the hardships and bitter cold of winter. You need to face life's challenges with the energy of a warrior. Even in adversity, your strength will increase. There is a directed balance and a capacity to unify two sides of a question or problem. There is the need to regain balance of some sort. Often retribution plays a key role in this Ogham, as the old law states "an eye for an eye." To maintain this balance, an act must be returned for another act. Good begets good and evil begets evil. With a sense of justice, you can overcome all harmful influences. There may be some legal or money matters in the offing.

The Challenge of the Holly Ogham is that there is a lack of direction or balance, and that you might be at present unequipped to deal with present hardships or challenges. There may be a lack of balance in your life or justice may not be served. A harmful act may go without vengeance or a benevolent act may go without the proper thanks. There is a need for more knowledge, perhaps, but certainly the need to communicate your ideas as well effectively. Someone is being overwhelmed by the lust of revenge. Fear and cowardice are holding you back. Self-doubt leads to unwillingness to weed out your own weaknesses. Avoidance with the just truth. There may also be problems with aggressiveness.

Coll — Hazel: The Divine Sage

Understanding-Essence-Creativity

Deities: Manannan MacLir, God of the Otherworld Seas. LLyr, Lord of the Seas.

Magickal Use: Dowsing Rods. Druid Wands.

Color: Brown.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Bullrush.

Animal: Salmon.

Tree: The sound of the Hazel Nuts falling into water is said to make the most beautiful music ever heard. In one myth, five Hazel Nuts fell into a pool of water where five salmon eat the fruit of the nut and send the shells down five streams leading from the pool. This is the Spring of Knowledge out of which flow the streams of the five senses through which knowledge is obtained. To become one of the "people of many arts," one must drink both directly from the spring as well as from the streams, according to Manannan mac Lir, Lord of the Otherworld Seas. The Hazel is the tree used by benevolent Witches and Magicians.

Expression: The Hazel Nuts of Wisdom are symbolic of inspired creative consciousness, clear perception, understanding, and the development of the wisdom within ourselves. Leaps of creativity and intuition are possible in everyday life. Hazel represents the distillation of the pure and concentrated essence of anything, especially knowledge. It is from this ultimate source or spring that creative energy is produced. It is the essence of all truth and beauty.

Divination: Coll indicates that you should concentrate on understanding the world around you, as well as how to creatively express this understanding. Creative perception brings immediate understanding. You soon will understand underlying causes of events in your life. You mind is now receptive to Otherworldly sources of wisdom. Activities in literary, poetic, or scientific nature will be inspired. New understanding of the inner and outer worlds. Creative energies for projects or work are available. Coll says that you should search for the source of all things. There is mastery and skill being directed in a conscious way. Also, the ways and means may come in quite unexpected ways, allowing you to see things in a new way. Also, you will either help someone gain understanding, or you will soon be the recipient of such teachings from someone else.

The Challenge of the Hazel Ogham is that there may be a tendency not to follow wisdom, and understanding, and as a result creativity may be blocked. Do not fight the conformity of established wisdom. Unwise thoughts and actions are a possibility. There will be a dissolution of talent and ability. There may be darkness, lack of knowledge, and misunderstanding. Suppression of conscious wisdom may lead to failure. You may be blocked by fear of failure from within, there may be restrictions imposed from the outside, or your creative outlets may become blocked. Beware of the refusal to recognize and predict underlying patterns. Empty intellectualism and uninspired, over-cerebral thinking may block creative expression.

Quert — Apple: Cerridwen of the Otherworld

Recovery-Choice-Immortality

Deities: Cerridwen, Underworld Goddess of Rebirth and Enlightenment.

Magickal Use: Fruits. Cider.

Color: Mouse Colored, or Green.

Class: Shrub.

Herb: Wild Strawberry.

Animal: Unicorn.

Tree: In Keltic myth, the Apple is associated with the Otherworld in the form of Avalon — the Island of Apples. They are the fruit of the Otherworld providing healing, regeneration, and eternal life to both the Gods and humankind. King Arthur was ferried to the Island of Apples to heal his wounds of battle. In another myth, a Warrior (Manannan mac Lir) had a silver branch from which hung three golden apples. This branch, called Craebh Ciuil in Irish, made sweet music which inspired joy. It could heal the sick, and it could cause people to go to sleep if it were shaken towards them. When cut crosswise, the fivefold pattern of a pentagram is revealed.

Expression: Apple has the power to heal the wounded, in both body and mind. It is the shelter of wild animals and a sign of those who have gone mad (wild) because of visions of their own deaths. It is a vital link to the Underworld, and the depths of its fruit can only be enjoyed by those strong enough to withstand its sometimes subtle terrors. It is a sign of beauty, immortality, and eternity, a kind of eternal perfection and symmetry. The Apple indicates eternal youthfulness and vitality even beyond death.

Divination: Quert portends a period of recovery, regeneration, and true healing. A period of depression may be due to end and a better, restorative phase is about to begin. Through rest and nourishment you can renew yourself. It advises you to live fully and to seek beauty and perfection in all that you do. Efforts should be balanced, yet full of vigor. Beauty and perfection are sought and discovered. A healthy skepticism must be maintained, however. A lover may be the key to your quest. Inspirational magickal power may be utilized and the transformative power of love experienced. The Apple augurs a choice of some kind. Choose wisely, for the effects of the decision will be felt in the long-term.

The Challenge of the Apple Ogham is often pain, psychological and physical, or a relapse into depression. There is a dangerous lack of contact with regenerative powers, and unhealed wounds (physical, psychic, and emotional) could become a threat. Unhappiness in love is apparent. There may be an inability to cope with one's mortality. Beware of the tendency to split attention. Energy may tend to be scattered, loyalties may be split off and one has a tendency to try to do too much at once. You are not able to choose wisely between many options. The challenge is to chose only one. Delusions could also pose a danger.

Muin — (Grape) Vine: Slain Lord of the Vine

Inwardness-Patience-Harvest

Deities: Vinotonus, God of Wine.

Magickal Use: Wine-making. Tonic healing.

Attributes: The moon month of Muin extends from September 2 to September 29 and includes the autumnal equinox.

Color: Variegated, or Prismatic.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Bindweed.

Animal: Lizard.

Tree: This refers to the grapevine and other vine-like bushes or brambles. The Irish word muine means a thicket of any thorny plant, so the correlation of this Ogham with vine may be a late connection. As a thorny thicket, it may be nearer to a tree than a vine. Vine is the tree of joy, exhilaration and wrath. The interlace design of the Vine is a sign of the intricacies of the subjective world made manifest in the objective. The grapevine required meticulous care in order for it to bear fruit. The Vine, as Wine, also conjures thoughts of the harvest when all of nature enters its passive, inwardly moving phase. The powers of the earth retreat and promise new rebirth after the cold months of winter. Wine from the Grape Vine is the fermented essence of the harvest containing the mystic essence of divine ecstasy. Muin is the ritual libation, sacred to the Gods and Goddesses.

Expression: The Vine, like the Ivy, grows spirally. But unlike the Ivy, the Vine is a symbol of resurrection, because its strength can be preserved in wine. The Vine is also a symbol of the intertwining of the conscious and unconscious mind. It is a sign of liberation from inhibitions and restricting knowledge and actions. It is a gentle and systematic release from the constraints of logic and rationality. This liberation does not come through an abandonment of logic, or a drunken suppression of control, but through the full understanding of the interweaving (in the fashion of the Vine) of the inner and outer, the upper and lower realms. In the aspect of the Wine, it also carries the representation of the fruits of one's labors. Wine is the representation of the harvest and it is a culmination of many years of hard work.

Divination: Muin indicates that you will find some inner key to your problems, that they await an inspired solution. It is time to turn your awareness within to your conscious and unconscious self. External work will be being superseded by internal activity. Inner development will be occurring, so you need to take time for this to occur. Solutions to problems may come from unexpected quarters. You must be strong enough to be patient because right now, patience is great power. Also, it is now time to enjoy the fruits of your labors, and reap the rewards of right actions. Hard work is finished and it is time to be rewarded for labors. It is harvest time, so do not allow the fruits of your labors to lay rotting upon the ground.

The Challenge of the Vine Ogham is that you may not be following your instincts. You may feel that your inner emotions and thoughts are tangled in such a way that you become confused of your true feelings, thoughts and emotions. Be careful not to become blind to truth. You are being too aggressive or being too impressionable and there is a lack of self determination. A lack of patience could lead to further trouble. There is a danger of becoming lost in your own subjective, intoxicating enthusiasms. You are not able to enjoy the fruits of your own labors, or bad timing could lead to unfulfilled dreams or a waste of resources. The negative effects of over indulgence, intoxication, or irrational thought are possible.

Gort — Ivy: Cuchulain, the Great Warrior

Development-Tenacity-Strangling

Deities: The Swan Maidens.

Magickal Use: Protection. Calming. Regulating the nerves.

Attributes: The Ivy month stems from September 30 to October 27.

Color: Sky Blue

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Lichen.

Animal: Red Boar.

Tree: The Ivy is an extremely hardy plant and can grow to a great age. When this happens, the trunk can be as wide as a foot in diameter. The Ivy is a tree of development and transformation, starting as a small, weak, herb-like plant, which grows into an enormously thick, woody, serpentine tree. The plant will grow out in all directions, climbing up any vertical surface and out over all flat planes in a tenacious manner. These tenacious vines are said to strangle trees, so Ivy may be seen as the bringer of death. But its evergreen leaves stay on the plant throughout the winter when other broad-leaved plants loose theirs. The Ivy is especially seen as a sign of femininity in Keltic areas.

Expression: The clinging growth of the Ivy Vine, its power of binding, and its glossy leaves link it to the life and death mysteries of the swan-feathered maidens of Keltic myth. These maidens are symbolic of the Divine self which binds every person to the Otherworld. This binding can often be seen as a type of strangling when the powers of the Otherworld are in their darker aspects. It tests and strengthen humans who encounter it. There is a fierce and determined power in the Ivy. It gives the boar-like tenacity to apply the will to do difficult and intricate work. The Ivy is a sign of determination and tenacity of the self.

Divination: In divination, Gort indicates a period of testing that will lead to personal development. Tenacity, bravery, and strength will be needed to get through a stormy phase. There are perhaps some gains to be had in connection with it. Success will prevail despite these problems. Through this ordeal, you may forge a closer link with the divine self, and come to know immortality. These difficult times will lead to a strengthening of your personality. However, this path is also fraught with pitfalls. There may be those who are envious of your accomplishments. Seek the best of guidance in what you do in matters touched by the Ivy Ogham. It gives you the ability to eventually come out of the situation as the victor.

The Challenge of the Ivy Ogham is a lack of tenacity or perseverance in the face of adversity. There may be a lack of courage and strength leading to pessimism, defeatism, or a loss which may lead to a breakdown. Keep focused on your true goals. There is the danger of falling into ruts of negative psychological behavior. Seek the original and unique. Difficulties make this a turbulent and testing period of your life. Do not to get caught up in the tools of the transformative process. Remember that the tools are not the ends, but only the means to give rise to something emerging from the depths of your psyche.

Ngetal — Reed or Broom: The Morrighan

Harmony-Surprises-Adaptability

Deities: Cernunnos, Horned God of the Woods. Gwydion, God of Writing, Knowledge and Wisdom. Epona, Goddess of Horses.

Magickal Use: Pens. Thatching. Brooms. Healing Ills caused by Overindulgence. Heal the wounds of an Arrow. Pen. Pipes. Preserver.

Attributes: The moon month of Ngetal extends from October 28 to November 24, making it the Ogham of Samhain, the Night of Spectres, marking the beginning of the Keltic Year.

Color: Grass Green.

Class: Shrub.

Herb: Reed.

Animal: Dog, Stag, Rat, Weasel.

Tree: Ngetal may refer to the common Reed or to the Broom. The Reed is a plant which grows straight up out of marshy and wet land near the sea or lakes. In all events, this plant is one noted for its straight and flexible stems. It is also the wood used by the Kelts to make pens for writing, and thus it is also a symbol of communication.

Expression: In this Ogham there is the union of complementary opposites. It is the roaring of the sea, the dynamism of that which is forever steady. It is that aspect of the Otherworld which has to do with the harmony between the conscious world and the unconscious reality existing side by side with that which we perceive. There is something essential about how we can handle the destruction of things in our lives. It is a sign of growth reintegration following destruction and breakdown.

Divination: Ngetal is a sign of harmony between this realm and those beyond it. You must bring harmony into your life for this will bring a unity of purpose and will. Inner direction and outer manifestation will seem to flow together in a harmonious fashion. You may need to challenge the elements within your environment in order to bring this harmony into your life. To accomplish this, elements may need to be harmonized, broken down, and reintegrated. Although things may seem to be threatening and even destructive, they must be dealt with. If you have the courage, contact with these powers of fluctuation and alteration can be a source of strength and illumination. A few surprises could pop up out of unexpected areas. Therefore, there needs to be a high level of ability to adapt and modify things to your will and purpose.

The Challenge of the Reed Ogham is an inability to adapt harmoniously to various fluctuating forces in your life. There may be a refusal to face some inevitable change or something passing away. Or surprises could catch you off your guard and cause intense stress. Inner chaos and distress could cause the link with your personal Gods and Goddesses, to be temporarily broken. In any case, there will be great difficulty in your attempt to harmonize your life. Spiritual impoverishment is a possibility. There may also be a great deal of turmoil and anxiety manifesting in your life. The solution is to be found in a new sense of purpose and direction.

Straif — Blackthorn, or Sloe Tree The Great Archdruid

Control-Coercion-Force

Deities: Scathach, Warrior Goddess of Winter and Punishments. Skadi, Warrior Goddess of Winter and Punishment.

Magickal Use: Straif has the greatest magickal power of all of the Oghams. Magick Rods. Cudgels. Shillelaghs. Walking Sticks. Warding off evil spirits thought to cause illness. Reviver. Protector.

Attributes: Straif is coupled with the moon month of NGetal: October 28 through November 24, making it the Ogham of Samhain, the Feast of the Dead.

Color: Bright.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Stinging Nettle.

Animal: Wolf, Dog, Black Cat, Toad.

Tree: The Blackthorn is a shrub that produces suckers which can make a single plant the nucleus of an impenetrable thorny thicket. The thorns of this shrub provide a valuable defense in hedging. The Blackthorn is generally considered to be an expression of forces detrimental to humankind for its name means punishment and strife. It is the plant of slumber and death and a symbol of both punishment and protection, representing the struggle of new life arising from the breakdown of old things. It is protected by spiritual beings called Lunantishees. Esoterically, it has its useful sides as well. The Blackthorn is known as the Black Rod, or Blasting Rod, of the malevolent Mage or Witch. They would carry staves of this wood as a walking stick, club, or weapon. These staves were renowned for their great magickal power. It was also the magickal weapon used to wound poppets and effigies of one's enemies.

Expression: In the main, the Blackthorn is a sign of external control; that is, a control exerted from the outside on a person or thing. This is usually an unwanted sort of control, but not always. Besides, this ability or power is oftentimes the operative principle in magick. The key then becomes learning how to make use of this force without being used by it. Straif also carries the connotation of another sort of control: attacks, struggles, and conflict.

Divination: Straif may mean that it seems that there are forces at work which are compelling and controlling you from beyond your present level of understanding. These may be hidden forces from deep within you, or from without. They are probably not beneficial, however, as they are presently being made manifest in your life. You may be under the control of forces beyond your grasp. You may be suffering from attacks or struggling against difficult conditions, conflicts, outside control, or resentment. It may seem that the more negative aspects of destiny are controlling you. There is a need for you to control these forces and use them to your advantage. You may be able to turn the very power of destruction against these obstacles. It may be time to use magickal, mental, or psychological means to deal with a problem.

The Challenge of the Blackthorn Ogham is the necessity of turning what might be an initially negative experience into a positive one through control: knowledge and understanding. The key is to be found in not striving against the experience, but controlling and directing the energy produced to positive ends. Here can be the beginning of true spiritual understanding. The solution to a problem bound up with Straif may be to play it away and even learn to indulge them. Be sure you are learning from your mistakes and not holding on to an attitude which may eventually make matters worse.

Ruis — Elder, or Bourtree the Round Towers

Change-Breakdown-Transition

Deities: Nicneven, Goddess of Death and Dissolution. The Cailleach Bheure, Crone of the Highlands.

Magickal Use: Magickal Protection. Wine. Great Mantic Power. Purification (outer and inner). Magickal Horses (that the Witches rode upon during incantations).

Attributes: The moon month of Ruis extends from November 25 through December 22, technically ending with the Winter Solstice. This is the month of death and repose and with the thirteenth moon month, the year ends.

Color: Blood-Red.

Class: Shrub.

Herb: Deadly Nightshade, Monkshood.

Animal: Black Sow, Badger.

Tree: Symbolically, the Elder signifies the three aspects of time present in the Triple Goddess and it represents the ever-present threefold aspect of existence: beginning, middle, and end. The white flowers, which are at their best at Midsummer, were considered sacred to the Great Goddess Danna. Associated with the number thirteen, the number of the Goddess, its most powerful time would be in its thirteenth month, thus marking the Elder for a tree of doom in the sense that the Great Goddess also contained the ability to destroy that which She created. The Elder was considered an unlucky tree and bad to be burned for fuel because burning it indoors was thought to bring negative Faerie Folk indoors. The red color derive from the berries of the Elder tree was used cosmetically to stimulate a blushing effect on the cheeks. In Oghamic lore, the most often mentioned characteristic of Ruis has to do with this blushing for shame, considered as a positive sign or trait.

Expression: The Elder is a sign of evolutionary change, of a transition from one state of being to another. If understood, the realization of the mystery of this Ogham will lead to a balanced and mature outlook on life.

Divination: Ruis implies that though old things seem to be passing away, they are merely being transformed into something totally new. On the surface, this gives the appearance that they are breaking down, or being destroyed. There will be a transition or passage of some kind, perhaps physically: a trip, journey, or a change in health. There is a need to be able to let go of the things that are holding you back and accept a more transitory phase of life. This may lead to uncomfortable and frightening times when the harsh realities of life are obvious. But difficult experiences bring insight into life. There is a need to see beyond the superficial aspects of life. There is the great possibility that after a cycle ends, a new, brighter one will emerge on the horizon.

The Challenge of the Elder Ogham is the necessity of coming to terms with the endless cycles of changes. All things will undergo evolutionary changes and therefore will eventually pass away. This must be seen and understood. But there may also be a tendency to stagnate if these changes are not allowed to happen. Inactivity and apathy will result. Sadness and melancholy follow. There could be difficulty in coping with depressing thoughts or memories if one cannot let them go. There is the danger of becoming paralyzed by circumstances.

Ailim — Silver Fir or Elm: Myrddin the Mage

Objectivity-Rebirth-Secrets

Deities: Arianrhod, Wheel Goddess of Time, Space, Fate, Life, and Death.

Magickal Use: Fires. Torches. Regeneration.

Color: Light Blue, or Piebald.

Class: Shrub.

Herb: Cowslip.

Animal: Red Cow, and Phoenix.

Tree: The station of Ailim is the station of rebirth: the Winter Solstice. The Silver Fir is considered by many to be a tree denoting birth or the beginning of things. It stands at the head of the series of vowels in the Oghamic system, while the Yew, considered a tree of "death", stands at the end of that series. This is a tree of regeneration. When it is cut down, and appears dead, new stems grow from the still-growing roots. Its resinous wood produces a strong purifying flame which was used in Keltic ceremonies of birth and death. It symbolizes the growing light of the reborn sun at midwinter emerging from darkness.

Expression: Fir indicates rebirth: a transformation from a weak state into a strong one. It is raw, basic force of health and vigor. This is a highly elevated state of being. From the height of this perspective, objectivity is gained and wisdom is found as a result of the objectivity. The Silver Fir is the beginning of the path to finding truth and life. It implies the need for secrecy on this path.

Divination: Ailim indicates that there is to be a rebirth: a great transformation for the better, where new knowledge, objectivity, and leadership will be gained. There may be an opportunity to see an old challenge from a new perspective or to exercise domination in the near future. This Ogham also implies the need to conceal these new beginnings. The early phases of new things need to be done in secrecy so that they will not be disrupted. A new creative direction is likely to influence things. Along with discretion there is the need to learn from the past. Take care in choices.

The Challenge inherent in the Silver Fir Ogham is that a rebirth will be hindered. This may be because something that needs to remain a secret will be revealed before it is acceptable. There is the implication of gossip and idle talk. Embarrassing secrets may be uncovered and personal reputation damaged. Carelessness may hinder progress and new projects have false starts. Also, one may be challenged to exercise the power of domination, leadership, and ruler ship without the benefit of full maturity or objectivity. This can be a very painful experience. There may be frustrations and the inability to see clearly and objectively.

Onn — Furze or Gorse: Lughos the Master

Synthesis-Wisdom-Gathering

Deities: Adraste, War Goddess.

Magickal Use: Honey.

Color: Yellow Gold.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Heather.

Animal: Hare.

Tree: The station of Onn is the Spring Equinox. The Gorse or Furze is a low growing shrub with long, thread-like spines. It is an evergreen, but its leaves often fall off and are very small. It can be found in flower in almost every month, therefore it takes on the symbolic meaning of continuous fertility. Its most outstanding feature is its small, fragrant, yellow-golden blossoms. Its golden flowers and prickles typify the young sun at the Spring Equinox. There is a Keltic custom of placing a spray of gorse in the bridal bouquet, as the old saying goes, "when the gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of season." The Gorse makes a fine food for animals, especially after it has either been ground into meal for horses, or after it has been burned on hillsides for the sheep to eat. The effect of both processes, of grinding or burning, is to destroy the hard thorns, leaving only the tender shoots.

Expression: The Furze is a sign of the in-gathering of sweet and valuable things. This is the gathering together, or synthesis, of valuable things (material, information, people, or whatever) for a great purpose. One of its other symbols is that of the beehive. The Gorse is one of the first plants that the bees visit in the springtime when they come out of their hives after hibernating. Bees create honey, an ancient symbol of wisdom because it is a sweet substance which comes only after hard work. This is one of the main functions of a chieftain or sovereign. The Gorse's spiky thorns make it a protective plant.

Divination: Onn suggests that now may be a time to sit back and gather yourself and the things around you together in order to come to a new and higher understanding, which is wisdom. There may be some influence from a divine source if you are open to it. Your way will be eased in life by a period of gathering information followed by active internal synthesis. Get yourself together within your own self. This will, of course, perhaps lead to a radical change in your approach to life and to matters surrounding any individual question. New opportunities are dawning and new information will be available. The fertile possibilities of your life are opening up. Vitality is increasing. Prosperity and well-being are growing. You will be able to effectively repel unwanted influences.

The Challenge associated with the Furze Ogham would be the tendency to scatter focus and concentration because too much attention is given to the very activity of gathering information or material. You must act effectively to meet all of your aims. Also, there may be some difficulty in gathering something you need. Vitality may be lacking, opportunities will seem few, and success will seem to be elusive. Dealing with "prickly" characters will cause action to be limited.

Ur — Heather (& Mistletoe): Dalua the Great Fool

Passion-Success-Dreams

Deities: Grainne, Sun Goddess.

Magickal Use: Bringing Good Luck. Perfume. Restoring.

Color: Resinous, or Purple, or Light Green.

Class: Heather is Peasant and Mistletoe is Chieftain.

Herb: Heather.

Animal: Bee, Lion.

Tree: The station of Ur is the Summer Solstice. The Heather is the Midsummer Tree, and Red Heather at Midsummer is a sign of passion and is associated with the mountains and with acts of passion. The White Heather is a protection against acts of passion and is considered a lucky sign. Both are attractive to bees and are thus associated with the sovereign work of the spirit and with vigorous activity. Heather Ale is brewed as a restorative.

Expression: This is the sign of romance and dreams. In the Heather Ogham there is a strong connection between the conscious self of the subject and the deep levels of his or her unconscious. Ur is a gateway between the inner and outer worlds. In this Ogham, there is the expression of the need for passion and ecstasy in life. self-expression is also implied in the power of the Heather.

Divination: When Ur turns up in a divinatory reading, the subject is usually being advised to find gateways to passion in life, or there may be such an opening coming in the future. The individual is about to encounter the experience of love. The influences of imagination, intuition, and dreams are also very strong. One needs to find a creative outlet for self-expression to begin. Personal success, prosperity, and well-being are on the horizon. Plans are reaching fulfillment and the powers of self-expression are strong. A mature woman lends influence. Spiritual help, and psychic or spiritual development are beginning.

The Challenge of the Heather Ogham is the tendency to see projects, dreams, and direction dissolve under futile attempts to realize them. There may be some betrayal by people close to you. Do not be caught in the trap of merely daydreaming. Act on your passions, but act wisely. Immaturity and wayward behavior may be causing problems of "bad-luck" and under-achievement. You seem to be unable to become successful. Loss of confidence, dissatisfaction and discontent are possible. A love affair that began on a good note may turn sour.

Eadha — Aspen or White Poplar: Keyne, Lord of Temperance

Overcoming-Will Power-Sensitivity

Deities: Brighid, Goddess of Springtime, Youth and Fertility. Rhiannon, Great Queen and Enchantress.

Magickal Use: Shields. Measuring Rods. Shape-Shifting.

Color: Silver White.

Class: Shrub.

Herb: Bracken.

Animal: White Mare.

Tree: The station of Eadha is the Autumnal Equinox. In ancient Keltic times, shields were often made from the wood of the Aspen. Ancient bards would also sometimes divine by means of listening to the sounds made by the wind rushing through the leaves of the Poplar. The Aspen is very hardy, living in a range of habitats from low-lying wetlands to exposed mountain ledges. It thus has the quality of hardy resistance to a variety of seemingly inhospitable conditions. In ancient Ireland, a stick of Aspen was used to measure the body for the coffin and the coffin for the grave. The esoteric significance of the Aspen wood is to point to the overcoming of death.

Expression: The Aspen is a sign of determination in the face of adverse negativity. It is a sign of actually being able to overcome the negative situations through a welling up of inner reserves and strength. There is resistance, but it will be overcome. This is a sign of protection against foes. This Ogham also reminds us that the mind's power can override the inertia of matter, surmounting death itself. It is the power of the will overcoming destiny.

Divination: In divination, Eadha indicates that there may be some adversity in your everyday life, but that you will have the inner strength to overcome it. The source of this strength must be from within. You are advised to seek in some creative way for the source of this strength, to come to know it and make it manifest in your life. At a certain point in a battle, there is a pool of strength and vigor in reserve that may be drawn upon to achieve victory. There is also a certain sensitivity to surrounding influences. Inner strength is powerful. Sensitivity is more effective than direct action at the present time. Beware of indecision.

The Challenge of the Aspen Ogham is the tendency to give in to the forces that oppose us, or to burdens which tend to overwhelm us, especially those of which we remain unconscious. You may not have the strength in reserve to draw upon and finish a battle. Be aware of this challenge. There may also be insensitivity to other's feelings. A lack of compassion, inner strength, or callousness leads to problems. Avoid over sensitivity.

Iodho — Yew: Arawn of the Underworld

Transformation-Death-Immortality

Deities: The Weaving sisters. Arianrhod, Wheel Goddess of Time, Space, Fate, Life, and Death. Badb, the Great Battle Crone.

Magickal Use: Magickal Staves. Bows. Poison. Skis. Healing (clearing away old negative influences). Releasing mental and emotional energy in preparation for new ideas, attitudes and visions. Poisoning Weapons.

Color: Blood-Red, or Dark Green-Brown.

Class: Chieftain.

Herb: Bryony.

Animal: Spider.

Tree: The station of the Yew is the last day of the year, the Eve of the Winter Solstice. The Yew is one of the five magickal trees of Ireland. The Yew is a perfect symbol of eternity. It's wood is extremely hard and the trees themselves live to great ages. It is also a powerful symbol of life and death because it is an evergreen tree, alive when all else is dead around it; yet it is poisonous for its fruit can cause death. The Fir is the Womb of Silver Pain and the Yew is the Tomb of Leaden Grief.

Expression: This is the essence of the self, that which is inherited from the ancestral past. It is the eternal root of the self. This becomes the central reference point by which time and life are measured. This reference point by which time and life are measured. This reference point is also the ultimate measure of passage of the soul from life to life. Often the outward manifestation of this will be the innate talents or abilities passed from one generation to another, often skipping one or more generations.

Divination: Iodho refers to total transformation or sudden movement of some kind. There are powerful influences at work. Forces of past and destiny are coming into play. There is a need to accept inevitable events, changes and death. Here, death is understood as a kind of total transformation from one state of being to another. This is very often fraught with discomfort and a sense of loss. But the changes are unavoidable. If, however, these transformations are experienced in a conscious state, they will be seen and understood for what they are. There is a high likelihood that this Ogham will indicate that there is either ignorance of a certain forthcoming transformation, or it is indicating that awareness of such a metamorphosis is immanent. Spiritual understanding will be transformed, allowing you to see the patterns affecting your life. Need to be in tune with the forces of transformation in order to be a master of one's own fate. Complete change in life direction.

The Challenge of the Yew Ogham is the inner feeling of loss and sorrow which often accompanies transformations of all kinds. There will be grief to be worked through before the change will be fully understood. Depression and fatalism are a threat. Feelings of powerlessness make a situation difficult to deal with. Efforts to change are short lived through personal weakness and lack of endurance.

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