Ogham is the ancient alphabet used in Ireland and neighboring Celtic lands of Scotland, Wales, & the Isle of Man, from the 4th century or earlier. Today, it's commonly referred to as the Tree Language, with each letter linked to one or more trees. Yet trees are just the tip of the iceberg. Ogham is a deeply complex, sophisticated alphabet, and its tapestry of rich correspondences dates back to medieval times and earlier. Many of these enigmatic meanings are difficult to decipher and hotly debated.
To read Ogham, you start at the bottom, and read upward -- as a tree grows -- from bottom to top. The alphabet begins with B = Beithe for Birch.
Each of our Ogham sets includes an Ogham Quick Reference card, as a starting point based on historic meanings and correspondences. As you work with the ogham, I encourage you to learn more and develop your own insights. Resources we've found helpful:
- Ogham 3D: Letters. https://ogham.celt.dias.ie/menu.php?lang=en&menuitem=03
- Laurie, Erynn Rowan. Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom.
- McManus, Damian. Irish Letter-Names and Their Kennings. Eriu, 2988, Vol. 39, pp. 127-168.
- McManus, Damien. A Guide to Ogam. 1991. PDF
- OG(H)AM: Harnessing digital technologies to transform understanding of ogham writing, from the 4th century to the 21st. https://ogam.glasgow.ac.uk/index.php/category/blog/
- Patton, John-Paul. The Poet’s Ogam: A Living Magical Tradition.