Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ogham Keys to Wisdom - The Song of the Trees

Ogham Keys to Wisdom - The Song of the Trees
a Course of Study Consisting of 14 Classes

The Song of the Trees is a guide to understanding the Druids and is one part in a course of study designed to help students learn to use their ancient wood wisdom through the Ogham Keys to Wisdom.
This is one course in the long awaited, expanded coursework and study that was previously offered in the Summerlands and which was published in the Journal of the Henge of Keltria. It has been greatly expanded and is patterned on Udemy classes (and may well be presented there in the future). Ogham Keys to Wisdom is an introductory study into the ways of Druids that explores their hidden knowledge while also establishing a systematic approach to implementing that wisdom within modern Druidic practice. It does this through a nine fold investigation into the elemental qualities of everything as understood by the Celts and Druids.Currently there are three courses available to chose (through the link above) out of a total of nine. Each course and its class lectures has its own materials and audio/video presentations to assist you in attaining wisdom.

Sign up now! Classes start after the Summer Solstice 2014.


Druid Ogham Keys to Wisdom Course
Ogham Keys to Wisdom is an introductory study into the ways of Druids that explores their hidden knowledge while also establishing a systematic approach to implementing that wisdom within modern Druidic practice. It does this through a nine fold investigation into the elemental qualities of everything as understood by the Celts and Druids.Currently there are three courses available to chose (through the link above) out of a total of nine. Each course and its class lectures has its own materials and audio/video presentations to assist you in attaining wisdom.

The Song of the Trees

No class or book on Druidic wisdom and Ogham can ignore the knowledge of the trees and the special role they played in Druidic practice. Sacred trees (known as Bile in Irish) are identified. Their role as the center of life for the tribe is detailed, along with the special knowledge and qualities that each tree possesses. The Cad Goddeu (the Battle of the Trees) is presented along with several lesser known Bardic and Druidic works regarding tree knowledge and wisdom. The role of music in Celtic spirituality and cosmology is discussed along with the theory associating the Ogham with song and harp. The idea of “Memory Groves” is also discussed along with the time proven techniques of oral memory among Druids and scholars of the past. The role of the Ogham as a sacred alphabet and a magical language is also keyed to the trees, their songs and the images that lead to perfect recollection. 

The Song of the Trees is the same song that Fionn said was the best music in all the world. It is “the Music of What Happens.” I once had a very old and wise man from the Isle of Skye sing me such a song from his own wood wisdom using Ogham. I wish that my hearing were better and my recollection more accurate, but all that remains from his singing for me is the spirit of the song of many realms, a parting of the mists and the ever new growth of life in the world again. When each student finishes this course, it is to be hoped that they can compose their own Ogham chants and the music that shapes the greenworld.
The color associated with this learning and its elements are green, and the tree that symbolizes the forest in this class is the towering Oak.

The course is designed to be completed in three to four months (or less) and consists of 14 lessons. Each lesson focuses on different aspects of being or becoming a Druid with particular interest on developing the ability to see the world and to analyze it as a Druid would do. It is a complete introduction to the ways of Druids and is a great way to experience a deeper and more powerful understanding of doing as the Druids did (and still do).

If you would be a Druid or know the ways of Druids then there is no better place to begin than in this course and through learning what it offers. Druids great and small have benefited from these same materials since the first Ogham was written on Birch from one Druid to another.

Category: Humanities

What are the requirements?

It is suggested that students begin their studies with the Opening the Pathways and the Power of Truth courses before attempting this course. It completes the study of the Cauldron of Formation. Otherwise, at the beginning of the course, the student only needs a computer, online access, and a thirst for knowledge, to work with, and connect to the Druid way. Electronic texts, videos and links will be provided for reading, references and study. A student will eventually need a set of Ogham for use in meditations, journeys and all manner of divination and esoteric workings. These can be purchased online or they can be hand made from locally provided woods. At some point, if one wishes to go further on this path, then robes, a walking staff and a Crane Bag (for carrying the Ogham and other special objects) should be crafted or purchased. It is expected that there will be a weekly online chat session with the teacher to discuss the study materials and to clarify answers to any questions that have arisen. Three tests will be provided to gauge the student's progress and to provide additional guidance for the focus of one's studies.

 What am I going to get from this course?

  • In this course you will learn how the Druids understood the sacredness of trees.
  • You will study the Battle of the Trees and the lore associated with the forest through Ogham.
  • You will learn how each tree has a soul tone and how these tones can be scored to support Ogham chants.
  • You will be introduced to meditative techniques for imbas, the knowledge that illuminates.
  • You will study examples of the two forms of magical power.
  • You will join a pathworking using Ogham and develop your own unique pathworkings.
  • You will climb the nine branches of the Sacred Tree.
  • You will learn the Ogham forms.
  • By the end of the course, you will be able to use the memory techniques of the Druids to use in your more advanced works.
  • You will have a basis for developing the Four Skills (Cerda) of the Filidh.

What is the target audience?

This course is designed for a beginning student who has completed the Opening the Pathways course and requires only that the student dedicate the necessary time and study into the course materials. Students that complete the work of this course will hopefully find their own Truth and connect through that Truth to the many wisdom teachings and Truths of the ancient Druids and Sages. People will benefit most from this course who are seeking to find the truth that is against the world, and who desire to be able to create new works, principles and ideas through their own personal Act of Truth.

CURRICULUM

The curriculum follows the class topics itemized below for 14 weeks. Students will be assigned reading segments for each class, as well as being provided with video and audio presentation materials.

Additionally there will be one hour per class discussion periods conducted in a chatroom style setting.

Class 1 - Wood Wisdom

Nowhere is the relationship between wood and letter and Poetry and knowledge more evident than in this passage from the Yellow Book of Leacan as found in Robin Flowers’ The Irish Tradition: 

On a time it befell that Fland mac Lonáin was in an empty house, he and his band, and they had no food, for their serving folk had gone from them. There came a great rain and wild weather upon them and they said, one to another: ‘We would not leave here to-night if we had food, for it is an evil day.’ They were speaking thus when they saw a clodpoll of savage aspect with a bill-hook in one hand and in the other a beef. They asked him would he sell the beef. He said he would in return for a cow of his own choosing. Mac Lonáin said he would give him a cow if he were allowed time for it. The clodpoll said he would give him time. “Give us the beef now,’ said Mac Lonáin. ‘You shall have it,’ said the clodpoll, ‘only let me slaughter and cook and dispense it.’ ‘By my art,’ said Mac Lonáin, ‘you should be paid a price for that.’ ‘I ask nought,’ said the clodpoll, ‘but my cow to be given me according to the promise.’ ‘You shall have it for sure,’ said Mac Lonáin. The clodpoll slaughtered the beef then and flayed and seethed it and dispensed it when it was ready, and he gave his due share to each man of them and they were grateful. Every good thing came to them, and in whatsoever way any wished for aught, in that way was it given him. So the clodpoll went from them and at the year’s end he came again with four others in his company, every man of them with a billhook in his hand. Rude and rough were those five, they needed great room and much food, their manners were evil and they beat the women, the hounds and the gillies in the house and proclaimed that they would accept nothing but a cow always in milk or they would stay in the house for ever until they got that cow. Then Mac Lonáin asked the fellow his name. Said the clodpoll: ‘Woodsman son of Barked Wood am I,’ said he. And then Mac Lonáin made this lay: ‘Woodman Barked Wood’s son is here,’ etc.

Then said the clodpoll; ‘That is the cow I sought, for poetry is ever in milk. And I am Oengus in Mac Óg that have come to thee.’

This tale is a good example of the allegorical composition of the bard. There is a play in it on the two meanings of the word: Fid, ‘wood’ and ‘letter’. Thus the name the god assumes, Fidbadach mac Feda Ruscaig, might mean either ‘Woodman son of Barked Wood,’ or in the literal language, ‘Man of Letters, son of Poetic Letter,’ with another play on Rúse ‘bark’ and rosc ‘declamatory poem’. The moral of the fable is that poetry, though the study that leads to it has a forbidding aspect, is in the end a rich reward, a cow that never goes dry, in the pastoral image of the Irish Bard.

In yet another ancient work, The Book of Ballymote (specifically its “Scholars’ Primer” or “Ogam Tract” portions), we are explicitly told the relationships between the trees and letters (we’ll be using these meanings and more esoteric ones when we determine the meanings of Ogham in divination)

  • The Knowledge of the Trees
  • Basic Ogham Correspondences
  • The Nine Hazels of Wisdom
  • Coire Goriath - The Sleeping Strain (Formation / Sustenance / Warming)
  • Coire Érma - The Wailing Strain (Motion / Vocation)
  • Coire Soís - The Laughing Strain (Wisdom / Áiged-Celebration)
  • The Ogham Came into Being
  • Seven B’s on Birch
  • Odóireacht na Fedha

Class 2 - The Sacredness of Wood

When we consider the Ogham to be sacred knowledge we also acknowledge that its trees are sacred. The connection of name, sound, elemental meaning, tree and sacred nature will be demonstrated in the correspondences that are revealed between the Ogham and the knowledge of Druids. The Tree of the North is Birch It represents both Destiny and Rebirth. The Tree of the East is Oak and is the home of both Prosperity and Strength. The Tree of the South is actually the Reed through which we receive both music and Healing. The Tree of the West is the Aspen, the Summit of Knowledge and Death’s own measure. The Tree at the center of life has its roots in the Depths of the Sea. Its trunk climbs through the Mound of the Kings. The shelter of its branches is the Roof of the Sky. It is the web of being for Land, Sea and Sky. It is the center of heart, tribe and nation. It is the Crann Beithadh, the Tree of Life. It is the Sacred Bile. This idea of a sacred tree at the center of the tribe which could also be considered to be a World Tree is a part of many traditions, and especially Indo-European traditions.

  • Woods for the Need Fire
  • Burn Ye Not
  • Burn Ye These
  • The Sacred Bile
  • Mag Mugna
  • Eo Mugna
  • Bile Tortan
  • Mourned by the Saints
  • A Sense of Loss
  • An Old Irish Legal Poem
  • Wood Lore
  • Fidbretha  (‘Tree Judgments’)

Class 3 - The Battle of the Trees Cad Goddeu

No book about Ogham and trees would be complete without including the wood lore and the kennings of Cad Goddeu in its ranks. This tale is filled with many layers of meaning about the tree lore of the Druids. It takes the form of a battle saga and was probably also a teaching aid for the instruction of young Druids and Bards. The original poem is attributed to Taliesin. I’ve included a modified and updated version of a Victorian translation of this poem. I’ve also consulted a variety of Internet translations to balance my own compilation that is provided below. The entire work is said to describe a battle that occurred between Amathaon ap Don and Arawn, King of Annwn. Gwydion, Llew, and Achren were on the side of their kinsman Amathaon and Bran was on the side of Arawn. Each side had a person who could not be defeated in battle unless their names were guessed (signifying that the name has an inherent power among Celts). Gwydion eventually was able to guess that Bran was the man of the hidden name and undefeated powers supporting Arawn in the battle. This allowed Amathaon to triumph. Here is the poem that Gwydion is said to have uttered when he realized the secret of the name.

  • Cad Goddeu
  • The Battle of the Trees
  • Trees as a Symbolic Language
  • The Language of Flowers
  • The Gorwynion
  • Choosing a Tree

Class 4 - Brí, Bua and Blood

Once, the wood has been received, then the process of empowering, charging, and shaping them should be done. If using hand tools is your choice, that is well, by all means use them, but power tools are also acceptable (depending on the interconnection between the seer and the machinery). Call upon the gods of your people; chant their names; state your purpose and let your own personal power (Sean Ó Tuathail calls this “brí”) flow into the fedha as they are fashioned. In a sense, the woods are being re-created as you shape them in form, in purpose and in a growing sense of unity. In this way, the woods will become an extension of your physical, mental and spiritual bodies. With repeated use, the brí of the Ogham staves will be augmented by a form of ritualized power known as “bua.” This is a form of Magical energy that is obtained through merit and accomplishment. With every successful and true use of your Ogham staves they will grow in capability even as a student grows in knowledge through dedicated study and clear-minded observation. As in all Magical undertakings, consistency of action and thought allow the forces of one’s spirit to shape the nature of power.

  • The Two Forms of Power
  • The Siege of Knocklong
  • The Goddess from the Fire
  • The Daughter of Ivor
  • The Two Serpents
  • The Empowering of Ogham Fedha

Class 5 - Ogham Inscriptions and Forms

The Ogham were also used for grave marker inscriptions, property markers and message/warnings between warriors. Another use of Ogham was in Magical inscriptions upon objects. It is thought that the Filidh carved Ogham upon their wands and staffs for Magical as well as memory aiding purposes (examples have also been found of wands carved with spirals). W.Y. Evans Wentz identifies several sources in Irish literature where the Filidh and Druids used such wands: The Irish Druids made their wands of divination from the yew-tree; and, like the ancient priests of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, are believed to have controlled spirits, fairies, daemons, elementals, and ghosts while making such divinations. It will help us to understand how closely the ancient symbols have affected our own life and age — though we have forgotten their relation with the Otherworld — by offering a few examples, beginning with the ancient Irish bards who were associated with the Druids. A wand in the form of a symbolic branch, like a little spike or crescent with gently tinkling bells upon it, was borne by them; and in the piece called Mesca Ulad or ‘ Inebriety of the Ultonians‘ it is said of the chief bard of Ulster, Sencha, that in the midst of a bloody fray he ‘waved the peaceful branch of Sencha, and all the men of Ulster were silent, quiet’.

  • Shield Ogham
  • Host Ogham
  • Ridgeless Ogham
  • Snake through the Heath Ogham
  • Infilleted Ogham

Class 6 - Masters of Wisdom

Who were these Druids and Filidh and how did they master their arts and the secrets of the Ogham? It is generally accepted that the Filidh and the Druids studied similar topics and techniques, though the primary work of each was somewhat different. Much more is known about the training and education of a Filidh than is known about that of a Druid. It is my opinion that the Druids studied the curriculum of the Filidh (poetry, traditions, music and seership), and that they also acquired knowledge in several other areas (such as medicine, warfare, judgments and smithcraft).

According to Proinsias MacCana, the File was a “learned man” (in much the same way as a Druid)[26] He described what this learning was about and what it was for in his The Learned Tales of Medieval Ireland:

“For the filid the tales were primarily a part of the coimcne, the body of inherited knowledge on which the authoritative view of the past depended, and as such they meshed closely with the law, genealogy, customary ritual, and the several other branches of traditional learning that served to define the origins and history of the social order and of the tribal and ethnic elements comprised within it. It was the Filidh’s responsibility to preserve, authenticate and interpret these traditional documents and it is in this light that one must view his interest in the traditional narrative.”

  • Levels of Filidh
  • Prim-Scéla
  • A Few Examples
  • Becoming a Poet
  • Schools of the Filidh
  • The Ollamh, Master of Poetry
  • The Four Cerda of the Ollamh
  • The Feat of Bicne
  • The Feat of Ladchend mic Bairchida
  • The Feat of Béci
  • The Feat of Chota
  • Eochra Éocsi

Class 7 - The Art of Memory

Debates often occur about whether oral memory techniques are reliable and accurate. Many scholars would have us believe that the memories of the Draoithe and Filidh were no better than a party of youths playing the game of “Post Office.” In this game, a phrase is passed around a circle of people, repeated in whispers from one to another until it returns to the original sender. In the process of its transmission of information, the tale or phrase is changed until it becomes completely different and unrecognizable to its author. While this phenomena is observably true among untrained and casual memories at parties, I maintain that it is far from the truth when considering the trained minds and memories of the Druids and other ancient scholars. It is by studying the science and the art of memory that we will discover how oral history may be preserved within memory theaters and groves of the mind. Let us begin our journey into the art of memory as the ancients did, with a story about its creator.

  • The Father of Memory
  • The Five Parts of Rhetoric
  • The Mnemonic Principle
  • The Artificial Memory
  • Memory Groves of the Mind
  • The Stories of Numbers and Letters
  • The Rhythm of Sequences and Songs
  • The Atrophying of Memory
  • The Oral Tradition
  • Modern Druidic Memory Systems
  • Set Aside from the Mundane
  • The Druids, Masters of Memory
  • The Ogham as Memory Lists
  • Memory Prompts and Symbols

Class 8 -  Spokes in the Wheel

Our tasks today as modern Druids and followers of their ways, are to make inquiries of the world, to have dialogue with our fellow humans, to seek out the knowledge of the ancestors, to study all Draíocht that we discover and to grow in wisdom. At some point during this quest, we will each acquire our own Ogham keys for our own Magical, mundane and spiritual use. It is at that point that perhaps we can be called Druids or Filidh. If we, the newly created Druids and Filidh, were then to meet in convocation as did the Druids of old, perhaps by our mutual sharing of knowledge, challenging of theories and discussion of experiences, each of us could then increase the knowledge base of the others? Wisdom is hard to attain in the world of hidden Druidic secrets and mysteries. Sharing wisdom seems to be the best pathway to growth for all in such well-concealed matters. Using our own Ogham as keys to uncovering and unlocking new knowledge, will allow each of us to become better stewards of the Earth acting as true priests and priestesses of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. The Ogham were first learned in the groves and among the trees, and it is with them and within their wisdom that we will start our rediscovery of their ancient meanings. We are all a branch of the Sacred Tree of the Grove and each of us is a Spoke in the Wheel. It is through working together that we shall each conquer our ignorance.

  • The Power of Truth

  • Coimgne
  • A Duty to Preserve and to Synchronize
  • The Knowledge of Druids
  • How Does a Druid Determine Truth?
  • I am the Mystery
  • The Nine Branches Of The Sacred Tree
  • The Eight Limbs of Yoga
  • Correspondences of the Dúile
  • A Tree of Learning
  • Holistic Pursuit

Class 9 -  A Beginning for Study

Anyone that has ever attempted or actually performed Magic knows that it involves resonances and associations. In this, Magic has much in common with the art of music. We have all experienced the Magic of music in our contemporary lives. Sometimes, this Draíocht can come in the form of attending a concert, where we are literally ‘blown away.’ Other times, it can be noticed when we are alone and listening to our favorite tunes: ‘in a world of our own.’ Modern day religious services also take advantage of the Draíocht inherit to music to enhance their own rituals. This can be as simple as the singing of a hymn, or it can be much more complex, as in the offering of organ and choral anthems. I’m sure that we will all agree that music in such situations alters our state of being. We are uplifted and changed by the ritual music that we experience. It should be no surprise, that the ancient Celts used music in a similar manner. In Morgan Llywellyn’s fictional novel, ‘Druids,’ we find a good example of the Druidic use of music in Draíocht. The chief Druid of the village would greet the Sun each morning with a song, as well as leading the village each day in welcoming the Sun back from the Underworld. When the Sun set, another farewell song was enjoined, led by the Druid and offered by all. This practice of singing to the Sun is still followed by some in Celtic lands to this very day.

  • Pathways
  • Dreams
  • Visions
  • Attention and Focus
  • Psychic Ability
  • Shape-Shifting
  • Magical Power
  • Singing to the Sun
  • Greeting the Sun
  • Wisdom Will Bloom
  • True music
  • Music of the Seasons
  • Words of Power
  • Amrún 
  • Word Ogham (Briatharogam)
  • A King, A Warrior, and a God
  • A Mortal Tries his Hand

Class 10 -  Learning to Sing

In my own practice, I chant the ogham kennings known as the Briatharogam as a means of using them as keys to wisdom. Each is associated with an Ogham diagram that determines pretty much whether one is climbing the ladder to the sky, circumnavigating the land and flowing down the levels of the well into the sea. These kennings are phrases in Ogham Irish that symbolize images and concepts linking to stories, realms and states of being. As such, they are mantras to the diagrams that can be considered yantras. I have a list of the three different sets of Briatharogam along with a fourth set I developed for myself. Here's an example for the Ogham Coll (Hazel):

Cainin fedaib, Fairest of trees, KAN-un FEY-the,
Milsem fedo, Sweetest tree, MILL-shem FAY-tho,
Cana bloisc, Friend of cracking, KUN-uh BLUH-she,
Gluaiseacht saothar, Sweetest of labors., GLOO-shakt SUTH-ar,

I chant these as a mantra to get into a headspace or state of mind to be receptive to wisdom and wonders. Visualize a well for the first line, a rippling outward from the depths of its center for the second line, a moment of separation and reintegration for the third line and a return to center and self for the fourth line. These chants and visuals would continue as long as necessary until the ways or doors are opened in the self and consciousness. There are 25 sets of these (one set for each Ogham character). One should keep in mind that the chant and the yantra are knocking on the door using a call to certain archetypes as a focus. How the flow of knowledge fills the vessel will be a unique experience each time.

  • Up and Down the Ladder
  • Improving the Timbre
  • Opening the Mind Through Song
  • Synchronizing the Self
  • Aicmí Fedha 
  • Wood Groupings 
  • Amergin’s Challenge
  • Duan Amhairghine
  • Musical Instruments

Chapter 11 - The Poets’ Secret

Poets and Bards carried ‘craebh ciuil,’ branches with bells and amulets attached to them. A beginner’s branch would be made of bronze, while journeymen carried a silver branch, and the Masters (Ollamh) carried a golden branch. The music of their bells would announce the Bard’s presence in an assembly and perhaps an impending performance or ritual. In his book, Ogam, The Poets’ Secret, Sean ÓBoyle made a very convincing case for the first use of Ogham to be as a musical tabulature.

He showed how each Ogham had its own corresponding note on the Irish small harp. Much of ÓBoyle’s analysis is based upon the relative positions of tones and semi-tones (steps and half steps). He was able to successfully show a direct correspondence between the symbols of the Ogham alphabet and the tones and semi-tones,. He also explained how the relationship of the ‘tri foilcesta in ogaim,’ (‘three composite letters of the Ogham: Q, NG, and STR), accounts for inflections in the sequence of musical tones.

  • Fionn’s Ladder
  • The Harmony of the Spheres
  • The Great Song
  • Tree Toning
  • Magical Implements

Class 12 -  Creating Sacred Space 

We can create our own sacred spaces in a variety of ways. We can use chanting and musical intonation as we've previously discussed, or we can construct spells and carve them upon Ogham wands or staves. We can use symbols for each of the Four Hallows and place them in the appropriate quarters. We could also use forms of personal meditations such as the Tree Meditation given within the Keltria Book of Ritual, or we could focus on the dúile themselves that are found at the centers of each of the Three Cauldrons. I call this technique the Cauldron Meditation. It shares many common elements with the use of chanting and drumming methods for achieving altered states, as well as with the Tree Meditation. Before we discuss these meditations and methods, let me say a few words about setting the stage, gathering the attention and focusing the will. I’ll also be introducing some concepts about grounding and centering, as well as the use of keys and finding return paths. Meditation is a practice that assists the healthy on a journey through many levels of consciousness.

  • Setting the Stage
  • Ground Luminosity
  • The Edge of Consciousness
  • Imbas Forosnai Knowledge that Illuminate
  • Gathering the Attention
  • An Mionaire, I am Very Small
  • An Neidín, A Place of Safety
  • An Iarrairdeall, I am Very Large
  • Achieving a Spiritual Union
  • A Knowing Experience
  • Cauldron Meditations
  • Going into the Mandala
Class 13 -  Fionn’s Wheel

Féige Find (Fionn’s Wheel or Fionn’s Window) is a cryptic figure that is found within the Book of Ballymote and its treatise on Ogham. In her “Cauldron of Poesy” article, Erynn Laurie characterizes this Ogham glyph as a “world tree” that contains the Ogham arrayed as the “stars of heaven.” The diagram is also said to be symbolic of the rooftree of an Irish hut that upholds perhaps the sky as well as the roof. In Irish a “féige “ is a “rooftree” or a “ridgepole.” I personally find the structure of Féige Find to be analogous to the shield of white hazel that was made from the wood of the tree containing the head of Balor at Maigh Tuired (where Lugh placed it following the battle). It eventually became known as Fionn’s Shield. Within the structure of Fionn’s Shield, is hidden the Cosmology of the Celts and the Druids. It is a Magical Mandala of Ogham, as well as a symbol of the Mysteries that are Ireland. The Ogham aicme, are shown on Fionn’s Wheel as separate pathways connecting the five circles of existence. Each of these pathways is formed by Ogham symbols that connect the extremes of the Cosmos: the Circle of the Heavens (‘Cruinne, Roth’) and the sacred Center of Being (‘Bile’). The exception to this connection of outer/inner pathways is called the ‘Forfedha,’ the fifth set of Ogham, which are arranged around the second ring of the Wheel. I call this circle the Circle of Poetic Thought or the Circle of the Oak.

  • One is the First Number
  • The Meaning of the Forfedha
  • The Crane Bag
  • The Coming of Finn
  • Mannanan at Play
  • Fionn’s Shield
  • Pathworking
  • Fionn’s Wheel
  • Threefold Wisdom
  • Chewing the Thumb
  • The White Hazel Shield
  • Markers of the Way
  • Stepping onto the Path
  • More Pathways on the Wheel
  • Windows into Reality
  • Walking between the Worlds and Journeys on the Wheel
  • Out of Body Experiences
  • The Darkness
  • A Journey through the Veil at Bealtaine

Class 14 - The Components of Meaning

The Druids were said by many to be natural philosophers, poets, seers, priests and judges to the Celtic people. While considering this idea, I was inspired to consider the circles of Fionn’s Wheel to be ordered as representations of these attributes of Druidic learning. I next assigned these Druidic classifications to the circles on Fionn’s Wheel in the same order that I myself have approached the study of Draíocht. First I learned about the world (the famous three “R’s,” reading, writing and arithmetic, as well as history, basic science, and introductory mythology). To me, this is the Circle of Being and it is marked by the Ogham Beith. The next level of Draíocht I associated with the Bards, because in my own education, I had followed my period of basic learning with a study of music, poetry and drama (as well as more advanced history, family genealogy and politics). This is the Bardic Circle and it is carved on the Oak of Duir. At the Third Circle of my life’s learning, I began a study of philosophy, psychology, and world religions (as well as advanced mathematics, basic science and introductory astronomy). Within the harbor of these thoughts I was able to safely inquire into the ways of higher learning. This is the Circle of the Sheltering Reed. In the fourth phase of my own education, I began to delve into the occult and other esoteric matters (such as divination, out of body experiences, dream interpretation, and astrology). The fourth circle of knowledge is the Circle of Judgment. It is measured by the Fé of the Aspen and the Fé of Magic. All things are carefully measured and solemnly evaluated. Within the inner circle or the fifth level of my development (which is hopefully continuing), I’m studying ritual techniques, shamanism, methods of manifestation, advanced engineering and science, English and Brehon Law, as well as herbal/homeopathic medicines. This is the Circle of Mastery and Destiny. It is the Voyage across the Sea to the rewards of accomplishment. It is the culmination of all the previous work that has been done. I consider that a Druid’s education would have certainly been at least as comprehensive as my own (probably more so).

  • Druidic Knowledge

  • First Steps on the Path
  • Druidic Knowledge
  • Footsteps of the Gods
  • Basic Ogham Correspondences
  • A Dream Interpretation Using Ogham
  • The Dream
  • The Interpretation
  • Individual Ogham Meanings
  • The Outcome and the Results
  • The Seven Rungs of the Ladder

This page is a brief introduction to the coursework for The Song of the Trees. Come into the forest and chant the wood wisdom that is to be found within.

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Druid Ogham Keys to Wisdom Course

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3 comments:

  1. Is it absolutely necessary to have taken the Opening of Pathways class before taking the Song of the Trees?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I highly recommend it as there are concepts used in the class that are learned in the previous two classes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have just found this page. Will there be another class starting?

    ReplyDelete