Ogam Tree Oracle

For today’s post I want to give a brief introduction to the Ogam (also spelled Ogham).   The Ogam Tree Oracle is similar to Norse Runes.    The Ogam utilizes a series of lines and dashes, usually etched onto wood.   They are then drawn in a similar manner to Runes.   The Ogam signs can be etched onto candles and stitched onto fabric to be used as protection.    The Ogam also has a commonality with the Celtic Tree Zodiac due to the use of similar trees, and those trees having similar meanings. 

Ogam is written in dashes that are etched into wood usually.   They can be written like an alphabet to communicate, or can be written to be drawn like runes.   Drawing them in order to use them as an oracle like runes are can be used for divination.

The Ogam have been used for over fifteen hundred years!   Often they are connected to the Druids, who were thought to read these symbols.    Merlin and Taliesin are often connected to the Ogam oracle.    The Ogam Tree Alphabet includes the following 20 trees (I have put the letter correspondences in parentheses):

  • Birch (b)
  • Rowan (l)
  • Alder (f)
  • Willow (s)
  • Ash (n)
  • Hawthorn (h)
  • Oak (d)
  • Holly (t)
  • Hazel (c)
  • Apple (q)
  • Vine (m)
  • Ivy (g)
  • Reed/Broom (ng)
  • Blackthorn (ss)
  • Elder (r)
  • (Silver) Fir (a)
  • Gorse (Furze) (o)
  • Heather (u)
  • Aspen/Poplar (e)
  • Yew  (i)

Each of these letters have meaning beyond the alphabetical ones.   This is what allows the alphabet to also be used as a runic style divination system!

I hope that this post has given you some information about a very interesting oracle system!   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is the Ogham Alphabet.   I found the image on pinterest.com via 1-ireland-calling.artistwebsites.com

Further Reading

  • Ogam: The Celtic Oracles of Trees by Paul Rhys Mountfort
  • Nordic Runes by Paul Rhys Mountfort