This “essay” contains a brief description of each tree in the Druid OGAM as translated by certain authors (note, there are several interpretations and not all of them are listed here). This is not all inclusive but it is a good starting point. It includes Aicme Beth, Aicme Húath, Aicme Muin, Aime Ailm and the Five Forfedha.
Disclaimer: I was initially taught, and so I use here, that Aicme Beth went: Birch, Rowan, Ash, Adler, Willow. However, I understand that some people arrange Aicme Beth with: Birch, Rowan, Alder, Willow, Ash.
Beth (Birch) [Pronounced: Beh]
24 Dec – 20 Jan: Alb. Arthan to Imbolc
Spirit of Air
Meaning: New Beginnings, Old Phase Concluded, Purification, Renewal, Constant Change, cyclical law, process. Childbirth.
Reversed Meaning: Being stuck, stale, withering. Need to let go of the past. You’re wasting your effort!
Art: Basic Skills
Luis (Rowan) [Pronounced: Lweesh]
21 Jan – 17 Feb: Alb. Arthan to Alb. Eiler
Fire of Air
Meaning: Protection, Defense, Sanctuary, Inner clarity
Reversed Meaning: Warning that your defenses may be low.
Nion (Ash) [Pronounced: Noo-un]
18 Feb – 17 March: Imbolc to Alb. Eiler
Air of Air
Meaning: Shape-shifting, transformation, changes, growth, fate, destiny, pathways, possiblities, options, potential, cycles of change, evolution, crisis, expanded reality
Reverse Meaning: Lack of control, victim of circumstaces, pawn. You need to take control.
Art: Notary Work
Fearn (Alder) [Pronounced: fair-n]
18 March – 14 April: Alb. Eiler to Belteinne
Earth of Air
Meaning: Counsel, Guidance, Be receptive to good advice. You are shielded from harm because you received the right advice. The bridging of reason and intuition. Be your own oracle.
Reversed Meaning: Your receptivity to good council, or your creativity is blocked.
Color: Primrose Yellow
Tool: Pack Saddle
Saille (Willow) [Pronounced: shall-yah]
15 April – 12 May: Imbolc to Belteinne
Water of Air
Meaning: Intuition, feeling, lunar influences. The spirit world, divination, psychic states. Feeling, emotion, sensitivity, perceptions, love, dreams, fantasy, bewitchment. Flexibility, rapid growth, softness, receptiveness, feminine, motherhood.
Reversed Meaning: Being out of your depth, overwhelmed, lost, need to surface for light and air. Jealousy.
Bird: Hawk, Thrush
Animal: Hare, Cat
Húath (Hawthorn) [Pronounced: oo-ah]
13 May – 9 June: Alb. Eiler to Alb. Heruin
Spirit of Fire
Meaning: Patience to work through those obstructions, obstacles, hostile forces, entanglements, fear, shame, embarrassment. Complications in love.
Reverse Meaning: An absolute barrier, anguish, humiliation.
Color: Deep Violet
Tool: Huarton (rough translation = salt)
Art: Trisyllabic poetry
Duir (Oak) [Pronounced: Doo-er]
10 June – 7 July: Belteinne to Alb. Heruin
Fire of Fire
Meaning: Endurance, established strength and power, maturity, nobility, protective force of goodwill. Change for the better.
Reverse Meaning: Unbefitting behaviour, weakness, confusion. Abuse of strength due to position.
Tool: Cask/Small barrel
Tinne (Holly) [Pronounced: CHIN-yah]
8 July – 4 Aug: Belteinne to Lughnasadh
Air of Fire
Meaning: Tested to the limits, challenged but you will emerge stronger and wiser. Arm yourself, spiritually or physically.
Reverse Meaning: Assault, damage, onslaught. You might want to run away and rebuild your strength before fighting this one.
Color: Dark Gray/ Iron
Tool: Adze (similar to an axe but used to shape large pieces of wood)
Art: Lathe work (again, working with large pieces of wood)
Coll (Hazel) [Pronounced: kull]
5 Aug – 1 Sept: Alb. Heruin to Lughnasadh
Water of Fire
Meaning: Wisdom, Knowledge, Creativity, Inspiration, Enlightenment.
Reverse Meaning: You’ve got something blocking you. Disillusionment, depression.
Quert (Apple) [Pronounced: Kweirt]
21 June – 22 Sept: Alb. Heruin to Alb. Elued.
Earth of Fire
Meaning: Wholeness, Health, Vitality, Healing, Magic, Recovery both psychological and physical.
Reverse Meaning: Sickness, depression.
Art: Flute Playing
Muin (Grapevine, vitis vinifera) [Pronounced: mu-hn]
2 Sept – 29 Sept: Lughnasadh to Alb. Elued
Spirit of Water
Meaning: Insight, Inspiration, Harvest, Indulging to excess. Your efforts are finished and you can now enjoy the reward of that work!
Reverse Meaning: If you continue to indulge yourself you will end up being destroyed.
Tool: Milking Bucket
Art: Berzerker’s Rage
30 Sept – 27 Oct: Lughnasadh to Samhuinn
Fire of Water
Meaning: Field. Tenacious purpose, adaptability, ruthless survival instinct and indirect progress. Breaking barriers.
Reverse Meaning: Challenge, difficulty, restriction.
Color: Sky Blue
Bird: Nute Swan
Tool: Willow Twig
Ngetal (Reed/Broom) [Pronounced: Neyh-tal]
28 Oct – 24 Nov: Alb. Elued to Lughnasadh
Air of Water
Meaning: Well-being, transformation and healing. Medicine, Herblore, Cleansing, Sweeping out negativity. The healer’s art.
Reverse Meaning: Sickness, disease, ailment. Need to cleansing and healing.
Color: Grass Green
no calendar attributions: Alb. Elued to Alb. Arthuan
Water of Water
Meaning: Secrets, necessity, inevitability of change, pain, wounding, damage. You need to address this issue at it’s roots.
Reverse Meaning: There is a threat to the order of your life. Transition. Surgery.
Color: Bright Silver
Tool: Sust (separates grain from the husk)
Art: Deer hunting
Ruis (Elder) [Pronounced: Rweesh]
25 Nov – 22 Dec: Samhuinn to Alb Arthuan
Earth of Water
Meaning: Regret, Shame, Humiliation. Resolutions. Fulfillment and endings. Retribution, Karma, Revenge. The need to re-work your destiny.
Reverse Meaning: Accounts need to be settled. Address your regrets.
Color: Dark Red
Ailm (Fir Pine)
21 December: Alban Arthuan to Central Grove.
Spirit of Earth
Meaning: Vision, Understanding, Eminence, Enthusiasm, Wonder, Awe, Hightened Consciousness, Perspective. Expression of Emotion (even pain.)
Reverse Meaning: Fear, Terror, Anguish, Confusion, Fright. You need to untie the emotional knots.
Color: Spotted Black and White
Onn (Gorse) [Pronounced: Uhn]
21 March: Alban Eiler to Central Grove
Fire of Earth
Meaning: The strength of a warrior and the gentlest of works: an equal combination of both masculine and feminine. Health, Vitality, Sexuality, Erotica.
Reverse Meaning: Thorns. You are straying from the path of bliss and it could endanger your health. Don’t put yourself at risk!
Color: Light Yellow Brown
Ur (Heather) [Pronounced: oor]
21 June: Alban Heruin to Central Grove
Air of Earth
Meaning: Power, Creation, Death, Rebirth, Lovers, Partnership, Mutual love and acceptance. Putting down roots and sharing a space.
Reverse Meaning: You want more than the situation can support, don’t delude yourself or move too fast. Lighten up!
Tool: Heather brush
Eadha (Aspen, White Poplar) [Pronounced: EH-yuh]
22 Sept: Alban Elued to Central Grove
Water of Earth
Meaning: ‘The Trembling Tree’. Perseverance through fear, Courage, Hardwork through challenges. Finding your self-confidence.
Reverse Meaning: You are overwhelmed, master your fears.
Color: Rust Red
Bird: Whistling Swan
Tool: Billhook (a hooked blade with a handle)
Art: Bird Hunting
Ioho (Yew) [Pronounced: EE-yoh]
Darkest Part of the Year: Samhuinn to Imbolc
Earth of Earth
Meaning: ‘A Tree of Transition’. Enduring realities, legacies. A sign of death, transformation, renewal, rebirth.
Reverse Meaning: Death, Grief, Pain, Acceptance. Death is universal an inescapable, a rite of passage.
Color: VERY white, Pure.
KOAD – GROVE [Pronounced: KO-ud]
Whole Cycle of the Year
Meaning: Central Balance and Infinite Possibility. Call for Peace in the four quarters.
Color: Many shades of green.
Imbolc, 2 February. FIRE FESTIVAL
Meaning: Fate, sudden change, the unexpected. The early flowers, light and water are for purification and renewal focused on the stirrings of life in the womb of Earth. This is the festival of the return of light. The focus is on home and family.
Gifts: Snow, Milk, Blossoms
Color: Brilliant White, Light Blue, Light Green
Breathing Color during meditation: Indigo
Uilleand (Honeysuckle) [Pronounced: ULL-enth]
Beltienne, 1 May. FIRE FESTIVAL
Meaning: Feast of life, love, celebration and renewal of marriage. Secrets, both hidden and revealed. Spring stands before us in her fullness, embracing the sun.
Gifts: Hawthorn branches and white flowers as a sign of purity and rejoicing.
Meditation Breathing Color: Orange
Phagos (Beach) [Pronounced: FAH-gus]
Lughnasadh, 1 August. FIRE FESTIVAL
Meaning: First of the three declining light festival. Time for learning, balance, moderation and guidance. This day marks the beginning of the sun’s decline. The wheel is always balanced and what seems to be lost or declining is regained elsewhere or at another time.
Gift: Freshly baked bread.
Meditation Breathing Color: Bright Green and Gold.
Mór (Sea) – [Pronounced: Mohr]
Samhuinn, 1 November. FIRE FESTIVAL.
Meaning: The New Year! Beginnings, Endings, Outside Influence. The viel is thinnest. Evergreen is the symbol of the day because of enduring life. “The last of the harvest is brought in from the fields. The sun descends into darkness and the earth dons her brown garments of mourning.” Discuss highlights of previous year and make plans for the next turn of the wheel.
Gifts: games, feast, bonfires, trickery. Confront death and accept it in as a friend. Sprig of evergreen and other symbolic gifts of autumn.
Breathing Meditation Color: Violet