The Ogham Alphabet

Ogham Alphabet ONLINE SHOP

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The Ogham alphabet,  this term or Ogham Craobh (tree writing), or Beth – Luis – Nion (from the pronunciation of the first three letters), usually refers to the alphabet of the ancient Celtic languages.
It is thought that “Ogham” means “wise use of the word” and was, originally, a particular form of cryptical writing in which the names of the letters took the place – in some syllables – of the very same letters. Historically, it is believed to go back to around 1700 BC, in the region of Sinai, but its codification has been dated to around 1200 BC. The Ogham writing consists of a series of straight lines engraved on stone or wood. In the last century it was assumed that this kind of writing had been influenced by the Greeks, influence later extended to the Germanic runic art. Moreover, it is a historical fact that for a short time Ogham writing became spoken, since Caesar forbade Druids from using it as a written language.
The oldest evidence of Ogham texts dates back to the V-VI century AD, but this is because in the previous phases this writing was carved on wood and bark, now lost. The inscriptions come down to us (about 380) are mostly vertical funeral steles with the edge of the stone that serves as the midline of writing, and are found in Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man.
The main feature of Ogham writing is that of not having different letters, obtaining the various signs of the alphabet using an increasing number of different incisions in straight lines (dashes) addressed both right and left, using as a basis the continuous vertical line that acts as a fulcrum. The Ogham alphabet consists of twenty different letters, distributed in four series: each series named after its first letter. The first three series are composed of consonants, the fourth of vowels. Each letter is associated with a particular tree, hence the name Ogham Craobh.

The Tree Calendar

The lunar months (consonants)

The lunar months (consonants)

Calendar Ogham
Letter
Tree
December 24 – January 20 Beth Birch (Beithe)
January 21 – February 17 Luis Rowan (Luis)
February 18 – March 17 Nion Ash (Nin)
March 18 – April 14 Fearn Alder (Fern)
April 15 – May 12 Saille Willow (Sail)
May 13 – June 9 Uath Hawthorn (Uath)
June 10 – July 7 Duir Oak (Dair)
July 8 – August 4 Tinne Holly (Tinne)
August 5 – September 1 Coll Hazel (Coll)
September 2 – September 29 Muin Vine (Muin)
September 30 – October 27 Gort Ivy (Gort)
October 28 – November 24 Ngètal Reed (Gètal)
November 25- December 23 Ruis Elder (Ruis)

The intercalary days (vowels)

Calendar Ogham
Letter Oghamica
Tree
Dicember 25 Ailm Silver Fir (Ailm)
Spring Equinox Onn Gorse (Onn)
Summer Solstice Ur Heather (Ur)
Autumn Equinox Eadhadh White Poplar (Edad)
Winter Solstice Idho Yew (Idad)

L’Ogham St. Justin

In the pewter pendants of St. Justin’s line, the Ogham alphabet engraved on platelets takes up the idea of associating each letter to its respective tree, simplifying the division in 12 months:

runa-celtica-ogham-marzo-ON03_G Calendar Tree
January Alder
February Willow
March Ash
April Hawthorn
May Oak
June Holly
July Hazel
August Vine
September Ivy
October Reed
November Birch
December Rowan

 

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