My First Ogham

If there’s any form of divination that I’m still exceptionally new to, it’s the Ogham. The Anglo-Saxon runes follow close behind, but there’s a strong connection between them and Elder Futhark where I started. So it doesn’t feel as distant.

The Ogham draw me in, however quietly. Like the whispers of trees in an “empty” park. The tug isn’t strong, but they’re in no rush – I’m the one that needs to slow down to step into their rhythm.

For first draws with any kind of divination I like to start with how the tools think the relationship will go. Are we in sync already? Is there more work to do? Did I accidentally cause offense and need to start working on rectifying that? Or is this something that doesn’t resonate with me at all right now and I have to set it aside – maybe permanently.

The Spread:

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Anytime I set runes or cards the important thing I try to remember is that the layout is secondary to the meanings *I* give to the position. You’ll come across this a lot in a variety of spread set ups and such. Repeated usage of a spread helps cement that added layer of meaning, but when working with a new spread – whether set by someone else or created by yourself – stay focused on what you’re going for in each location.

Especially when you’re doing what’s basically a Meet ‘n’ Greet with a new deck, rune set, etc.

In this I was focused on a small tree. The runes themselves at the base (Blackthorn), my Self in the center (Aspen), and what that would grow into as the branches/canopy (Oak, Hawthorn, Apple). I did a draw prior to this that felt broken and discordant. I spent more time just meditating and listening to peaceful music, trying to reach across that communication gap and waiting for things to really feel connected. It was my fault for trying to rush things this morning, and I knew it.

In the words of Melissa Cynova, sometimes you see a spread/casting and it’s just wrong. Call a do over and try again – there’s no shame.

Word for Word :
Blackthorn – Trouble – Blackthorn has a reputation for being troublesome. Bringing it into your house at the wrong time of the year can lead to bad luck. It’s leaves and branches do offer protection against witches, but you must be mindful of when you evoke such protections.

Aspen – Communication – Leaves carried on your person from the Aspen Tree are said to aid language use.

Oak – Strong – Strength in magic, strength in body. Oak is a Druid tree, and the term for Druid is believed to be derived from it (Strong Knowledge). A hollow oak is a gateway to the fae; a tree strong enough to imprison Merlin. Nobility and strength of character rise from this might hardwood.

Hawthorn – Counseling – Tying cloth to the Hawthorn at the end of a healing ritual keeps it in place. Protection and healing – a single Hawthorn is a Faerie Mound (Fun fact, it’s believed that felling a single Hawthorn is what caused the DeLorean car company to go under for angering the Fae). In line with Counseling – this is more healing of the mind and heart than the body.

Apple – Otherworld – The apple is associated with the Land of the Ever Young. the lang of Faeries, and immortality. The significance of apples – especially those of gold and silver – pop up a lot in Paganism and even (quite famously) more modern religions. In this capacity it has nearly nothing to do with knowledge, so much as it is steeped in fertility, immortality, and the Fae Realm.

I Sentence You:
Having Blackthorn as the Runes feelings and foundations of this Meet ‘n’ Greet isn’t the best foot to start off on. I’m loathe to take it as a sign to give in, based on the other runes in the draw, but I think it’s more a meaning that it’s not quite time yet.

If Aspen is how the Runes see ME then it’s promising. I may not have technique or knowledge, but the willingness to communicate – to listen and be heard – is a good sign. It’s a journey starting off on a rocky path, but it’s not ending before it’s begun, and that’s important.

Oak, Hawthorn and Apple is how the runes say they see this moving forward – or what it will grow into. That all three runes are from the Second Aicme may confer some deeper meaning I don’t yet have the knowledge to really drag out of these, but it strikes me that all three deal with the Fae and realms of the gods. Plus, even just taken at the singular word value: Strength, Counseling, Otherworld – is powerful and positive. Divination is reaching out to the threads of possibilities that weave through all aspects of existence – having the strength of mind, heart, and body to do so, and the capacity to counsel and be counseled.

Paragraphically:
Now may not be the right time to start resonating with my Ogham, but that time is coming. I’ll lay my foundations better, continue my journaling and studies and go from there.

I have an odd feeling in the back of my mind that I’ll be waiting for a particular event to happen. That the sign/moment I’m waiting for won’t be subtle – or forgiving if I’m not ready for it when it comes along.

~Quin

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