The Ogham or "Tree Alphabet" is
thought to have its origins with the
Celtic tribes who migrated to Britain
during the 1st Millennium b.c ending up
in Ireland. The Ogham are 20 in
number and each refers to a specific
native tree. Diverse explainations exist
for their use. Certainly at one level they
were a means of conveying information
and represented specific sounds like
our own alphabet, but probably they
contained hidden or esoteric
knowledge for those who sought it.
The Celts, in common with other peoples,
lived in a world of uncertainty and danger
and any help that they could get to
allieviate this situation was welcome.
Familiarity with the Ogham implied
familiarity with the trees they represented
and with their nature, and thus opened up
a relationship with them, whereby such
knowledge might be obtained.
For the Celts trees were very much living, sentient beings
much as himself and were venerated and worshipped by
him in a way alien to us, to whom forests maybe are
somewhat nice to wander in, rather than places OF
wonder, mystery and dread.
The Birch Leaf