Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Searching for the Trees of the Oghams

yew tree

Since I live in an urban area in the Southeastern United States, many of the trees from the Oghams are foreign to me.  To find out if any of these trees lived near me, I used a field guide to look up the taxonomic names of the local trees to discover if  they were the same species.  For the remainder, I followed the advice of Caitlin Matthews, in her book “The Celtic Wisdom Tarot”, to look for a native tree that had similar qualities to a tree of the Oghams.  I had reasonable success with that but did find that substitution could be a problem.  For example, Muin, the “Vine” of the Ogham generally is associated with grapes, but the major vine where I live is kudzu. 
However, I did find some similar species that did make a connection:
Beith: European Birch: River Birch
Fern: Alder: Smooth Alder
Saille: Osier Willow: Weeping Willow
Nion: Ash: Green Ash
Uath: Hawthorn: Cockspur
Dair: English Oak: White Oak
Tinne: Holly: Holly
Ceirt: Crab Apple: Crab apple
Gort: English Ivy: English Ivy
Ailm: Silver Fir: Balsam Fir
Eadhadh: Aspen: Bigtooth Aspen
Eamhancholl: Witchhazel: Witchhazel

To acquaint myself with the “foreign” trees of the Oghams, I read about their natural history on the Internet.  In addition, I used “The Meaning of Trees” by Fred Hageneder, which features “magical” photos of various trees with their spiritual properties.  Looking at the photo of “Yew”, I could feel the ancient wisdom of yew as the tree of endings.  I also used my collection of books about the trees of the Oghams, and compared each author’s experiences to gain an essence of each tree.  Moreover, two authors, each, featured guided meditations of the trees, which I used in conjunction with various tree photos.  Using a form of Yantra meditation, I then introduced myself to each of the trees. 
Works Used:
Hageneder, Fred, “The Meaning of Trees,” Chronicle Books: San Francisco, 2005.
Hidalgo, Sharlyn, “The Healing Power of Trees,” Llewellyn: Woodbury MN, 2010.
Hopman, Ellen Evert, “A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine,” Destiny: Rochester VT, 2008.
Matthews, Caitlin, “The Celtic Wisdom Tarot,” Destiny: Rochester VT, 1999.

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