Thursday, 14 January 2010

Ogham readings

I have somewhat neglected my Ogham studies in recent weeks. Work pressures, health and Littleun has meant that I’ve either not got the time or the peace and quiet required. But today I thought I’d go back to it. Try and continue my path a bit further. So I asked a question; “what does the next month hold for me”? A rather general question I know and full of possible answers but here are the three Oghams I had answering, I guess that means my hesitation regarding so many new things really should be taken with a firm grip and just got on with!

Iodhadh or Ioho: Yew
Transformation, rebirth, immortality:

Physical: Something held for many years must be passed on, let go. It serves you no longer. Mental: The knowledge that nothing lasts forever will bring ease at this time. Spiritual: Changes are coming to you, you have a tendency to try and hang on, let go and experience the change as an ally not an enemy.

I is Iodhadh, or Idad, the Yew tree. Much like the Death card in the Tarot, the Yew is known as a marker of death and endings. This evergreen tree has leaves that are attached in a spiral pattern to the twigs. Because of its unusual growth pattern, in which new growth forms inside the old, the Yew is strongly tied to rebirth and new life following death.

The Yew has no medicinal value at all, and in fact is mostly toxic. Livestock have been known to die from eating the poisonous leaves. Berries can be used, but should be treated with caution. On a practical level, the wood of the Yew tree is very hard and resistant to water damage, so it was popular in the making of longbows in England.

In A Modern Herbal, Maud Grieve says of the Yew, "No tree is more associated with the history and legends of Great Britain than the Yew. Before Christianity was introduced it was a sacred tree favoured by the Druids, who built their temples near these trees - a custom followed by the early Christians. The association of the tree with places of worship still prevails.

Iodhadh Correspondences
Mundane Aspects: Although it may not represent spiritual death, if Iodhadh appears, it's a sign that major transitions are coming. Be aware of them, and realize that although not all of them are bad, they will probably be pretty significant. Now's a good time to get rid of things which are of no use to you, in order to make room for new beginnings.
Magical Aspects: Changes are on the way, so quit clinging to beliefs and ideas that no longer serve you well. Shed the old, and welcome the new. Accept change for what it is -- an asset -- and stop seeing it as an obstacle. Don't fear new things, embrace them.

Ailim or Alim: Fir

Power, insight, progression:

Physical: In this issue you can see what is beyond and what is coming. You have the perception to see and to understand from the point where you stand. Take long view point and foresee the future. Mental: Receive from the past and present strength and healing from which to draw insight and knowledge for your future. Spiritual: Be aware of your progress on your spiritual voyage.

A is for Ailim, or Ailm, the Elm tree. Interestingly, this group also includes the Pine or Fir trees. These giants of the forest are symbols of perspective and height, rising above those that surround us. The Elm has a clear vision of that which surrounds it, as well as that which is approaching.

In Britain and Scotland, Elm trees grew very tall and straight, making them popular for use as a Maypole during Beltane celebrations. In addition to this, they were popular as property markers -- you knew you had reached someone else's land boundary when you crossed a line of Elm trees. Elm is flexible and bendy, so it doesn't make a very good building material, but it does withstand water very well, so it eventually became popular for use in making flatboats and wheels. In Wales, early bowmen used the Elm in construction of longbows.

Ailim Correspondences
Mundane Aspects: When this symbol appears, it means it's time to start looking at the big picture -- see the trees, but also acknowledge the forest. Be aware that your perception includes long-term goals and ideas, and prepare for what may be coming along the path.
Magical Aspects: Mark your progress well as you grow and develop spiritually. As you attain new levels of wisdom, look at the future and see where this new knowledge will take you. Also recognize that there will be others following in your footsteps, so make yourself available to guide them and give them a hand when they need it.

Ruis: Elder
Change, Transition, fæires:

Physical: Though one aspect of your life is over, another begins anew. Mental: Changes from the old will bring creativity, to usher in new ideas and thoughts. Spiritual: Links are continually formed as new phases of life and experience repeat in different forms that lead to renewal.
R is Ruis, the Elder tree, which is connected to the time of the Winter Solstice. The Elder represents endings, maturity, and the awareness that comes with experience. Pronounced roo-esh, Ruis is a sign that things may be ending, but will yet begin again some day. Although the Elder is easily damaged, it recovers and is rejuvenated easily.

The Elder is also strongly connected with Goddess spirituality, and the workings of the Fæ. The soft wood has a lightweight core that can be pushed out to create a hollow tube -- perfect for a Færie flute! Elder was also planted near dairy barns, in the belief that its presence would keep the cows in milk, and prevent collected milk from spoiling. Elder flowers and berries are often brewed to fight fever, cough, and sore throats.

Ruis Correspondences
Mundane Aspects: This is a time of transition -- while one phase of life ends, another begins. With maturity and experience comes wisdom and knowledge. Remember that it's fine to be childlike, but not childish.
Magical Aspects: New experiences and new phases of growth are continual, and these will all lead to spiritual renewal, and finally rebirth. Remember that the things we experience are all part of the formation of who we eventually become.

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