Since March, I’ve tried to pull an ogham fid every morning. It was an offshoot of my Keltrian homework, truth be told, but I’ve found personal value in it aside from the official documentation of effort.
Simply put, the morning pull deepens my relationship to ogham. I use the set made by Skip Ellison, although I don’t use his interpretations; instead, I keep Erynn Rowan Laurie’s book close by to fill gaps in my pre-coffee addled knowledge. (I’m usually pretty good, though.)
It’s one of three sets I own. The first I use only in ritual; I made it myself on Popsicle sticks colored green for cthonic, blue (and a few red when I ran out of blue sticks) for oceanic and gold for celestial, in line with Laurie’s system. This set of feda only reads well for me; I’ve tried using them for the grove omen, but no go. The third set I haven’t used much, although they’re a beautiful set from Electric Celt in a green silk bag. However, they don’t contain the forfeda (which I do use, unlike Laurie) and don’t have their names burned on them, relying instead on the outlines of leaves surrounding the letter-image. Alas, my knowledge of leaf-shape isn’t what it could be and I don’t use ogham as a tree alphabet.
Why not? A good example is h-Uath, often associated with hawthorn. Ellison’s system pegs its divinatory meaning as “counseling, protection and cleansing.” I’ve seen other systems latch onto the hawthorn and the tree’s fairy associations, linking the fid to the Otherworld. But its name actually means terror! The briatharogan, or word oghams (I usually render the term as “kenning,” not appropriate linguistically, perhaps, but most English speakers understand what I’m getting at) aren’t friendly as well. A pack of wolves. Whitening of faces. Most difficult at night.
Hardly the image of a flowery springtime or butterfly-winged fairies, eh?
I use h-Uath because most New Age tree alphabets peg that as my “birth ogham,” a system similar to astrology and not supported by any literature before Robert Graves. I do feel somewhat amused at being born under the sign of terror, though.
Sometimes, my morning ogham-pull reflects my dreams, or has no overt bearing on the day other than meditation. Others seem to have a direct bearing on the day’s events. Ceirt days, well, suck — they’re usually marked by fatigue, ill health, nagging stomach problems, etc. While muin may stand for “love, esteem and trickery,” it always ends up as the “back of the ox” — a long day of hard yet productive work. Uillend usually means I have to be flexible about the day’s plans, such as when one of my husband’s out-of-town friends unexpectedly dropped by. I usually pull ngetal when I’m working a healing rite for someone and lus during my Brighid vigil.
Ellison tosses in three extra feda — land, sea and sky. Today I’ve pulled land. I usually use those as an indication to pay more attention to one of the Kindreds, but they’re sort of blank spaces without divinatory meaning for me.
Just an update on some of my random spiritual work!