The Druid OGHAM

INTRODUCTION

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.

AICME BETH

Beth (Birch) [Pronounced: Beh]

Beith_Birch
Beth (Birch)

 

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!

Color: White/Silver

Bird: Pheasant

Animal: Cow

Tool: Axe

Art: Basic Skills

Luis (Rowan) [Pronounced: Lweesh]

Luis_Rowan
Luis (Rowan)

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.

Color: Gray

Bird: Duck

Animal: Mouse

Tool: Rope

Art: Sailing

Nion (Ash) [Pronounced: Noo-un]

ash_nion_5
Nion (Ash)

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.

Color: Clear

Bird: Snipe

Animal: Adder

Tool: Ring

Art: Notary Work

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-ash

Fearn (Alder) [Pronounced: fair-n]

fearn_alder_3
Fearn (Alder)

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

Bird: Hawk

Animal: Fox

Tool: Pack Saddle

Work: Handicrafts

Saille (Willow) [Pronounced: shall-yah]

saille_willow_4
Saille (Willow

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.

Color: White

Bird: Hawk, Thrush

Animal: Hare, Cat

Tool: Wand

Art: Witchcraft

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-willow

 

AICME HÚATH

Húath (Hawthorn) [Pronounced: oo-ah]

Húath_Hawthorn
Húath (Hawthorn)

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

Bird: Raven

Animal: Sheep

Tool: Huarton (rough translation = salt)

Art: Trisyllabic poetry

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-hawthorn

Duir (Oak) [Pronounced: Doo-er]

Duir_Oak
Duir (Oak)

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.

Color: Black

Bird: Wren

Animal: Stag

Tool: Cask/Small barrel

Art: Druidry

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-oak

Tinne (Holly) [Pronounced: CHIN-yah]

Tinne_Holly
Tinne (Holly)

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

Bird: Starling

Animal: Boar

Tool: Adze (similar to an axe but used to shape large pieces of wood)

Art: Lathe work (again, working with large pieces of wood)

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-holly

Coll (Hazel) [Pronounced: kull]

Coll_Hazel
Coll (Hazel)

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.

Color: Brown

Bird: Crane

Animal: Cat

Tool: Wagon

Art: Harping

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-hazel

Quert (Apple) [Pronounced: Kweirt]

Quert_Apple
Quert (Apple)

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.

Color: Mouse-brown

Bird: Hen

Animal: Dog

Tool: Stick

Art: Flute Playing

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-apple

 

AICME MUIN

Muin (Grapevine, vitis vinifera) [Pronounced: mu-hn]

Muin_VitisVinifera
Muin (vitis vinifera)

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.

Color: Plaid

Bird: Titmouse

Animal: Sow

Tool: Milking Bucket

Art: Berzerker’s Rage

Gort (Ivy)

Gort_Ivy
Gort (Ivy)

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

Animal: Hedgehog

Tool: Willow Twig

Art: Blacksmithing

Ngetal (Reed/Broom) [Pronounced: Neyh-tal]

Ngetal_Reed
Ngetal (Reed)

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

Bird: Goose

Animal: Hare

Tool: Wedge

Art: Sculpting

Straif (Blackthorn)

Straif_Blackthorn
Straif (Blackthorn)

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

Animal: Badger

Tool: Sust (separates grain from the husk)

Art: Deer hunting

Ruis (Elder) [Pronounced: Rweesh]

Ruis_Elder
Ruis (Elder)

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

Bird: Rook

Animal: Seal

Tool: Basket

Art: Pharmacy

 

AICME AILM

Ailm (Fir Pine) 

Ailm_FirPine
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

Bird: lapwing

Animal: Bear

Tool: Plow

Art: Leadership

Onn (Gorse) [Pronounced: Uhn]

Onn_Gorse
Onn (Gorse)

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

Bird: Cormorant

Animal: Deer

Tool: Hammer

Art: Harvesting

Ur (Heather) [Pronounced: oor]

Ur_Heather
Ur (Heather)

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!

Color: Reddish-Amber

Bird: Lark

Animal: Cricket

Tool: Heather brush

Art: Brasswork

Eadha (Aspen, White Poplar) [Pronounced: EH-yuh]

Eadha_Aspen
Eadha (Aspen, White Poplar)

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

Animal: Horse

Tool: Billhook (a hooked blade with a handle)

Art: Bird Hunting

Ioho (Yew) [Pronounced: EE-yoh]

Ioho_Yew
Ioho (Yew)

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.

Bird: Eaglet

Animal: Bat

Tool: Anvil

Art: Fishing

 

FIVE FORFEDHA

KOAD – GROVE [Pronounced: KO-ud]

KOAD_Grove
Koad (Grove)

Whole Cycle of the Year

Meaning: Central Balance and Infinite Possibility. Call for Peace in the four quarters.

Color: Many shades of green.

OIR (Spindle)

Oir_Spindle
Oir (Spindle)

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]

Uilleand_Honeysuckle
Uilleand (Honeysuckle)

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.

Color: Yellow-white.

Meditation Breathing Color: Orange

Phagos (Beach) [Pronounced: FAH-gus]

Phagos_Beech
Phagos (Beach)

 

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.

Color: Orange-Brown

Meditation Breathing Color: Bright Green and Gold.

Mór (Sea) – [Pronounced: Mohr]

Mór_Sea
Mór (Sea)

Samhuinn, 1 November. FIRE FESTIVAL.

NEW YEAR.

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.

Color: Blue-Green

Breathing Meditation Color: Violet

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