Ancient Lines IV: The Ogham Trees I

Others say that it is not from men at all that the Ogham vowels are named in Gaelic but from trees, though some of these trees are not known today
– Book of Fenius, 7th century

According to the Book of Cenn Faelad, the newest part of the Primer, the twenty-five most noble scholars of the Tower of Nimrod gave their names to the Ogham runes. They read like a Hebrew-Latin Who’s-Who.

Cenn Faelad goes on to list that the vowels of the A-aicme runes are named for the “noblest” among them, along with two of the forfedas (“wood vowels”): Ebad, and Oir. But if we are to remove this Christian reimagining of Ogham (imposed upon it by latter scribes), then we need to ignore this pre-eminence. The Ogham Tract parrots this again, many centuries later. This further exposes why neopagans cannot take the Tract for gospel. […]

Chieftains, and Peasants

Along with the few remaining historical manuscripts that provide vital insight about Ogham, which I listed in the last edition of Ancient Lines, I am going to include another ancient source which does not directly refer to the Ogham runes at all, but rather extensively refers to the trees they are associated with. This is the Bretha Comaithchesa, or, “The Judgements of Co-Tenancy” which is a part of the ancient Brehon Laws. The Bretha Comaithchesa dates to the second half of the seventh century, so it is just as old as the Book of Fenius and, therefore (I argue), should be paid attention to.

The Bretha Comaithchesa lists the specific penalties to be enacted upon those that violated particular tree species belonging to their neighbours. According to the classification of the tree, the severity of the punishment varied…

The Ancient Lines series continues with Part V: The Ogham Trees II.

Get access to the complete article via my Patreon page from just $1/month.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s