Ogma's Tale Of The Trees      full alphabet list

a tale of the creation of the Ogham language
through multi layers of sounds from the natural world
expressed through symbols that flowed into words,
and became the wisdom from nature shared by the “bards”.

featured within our Two Worlds Labyrinth Garden

about Ogma's Tale of the Trees symbols of Ogham

You may find that Ogma’s “Tale Of The Trees”, that I share with you here, reads quite strongly as a sermon, as a preaching. This story is not my intent to draw the reader into the agenda of a religion I belong to or have formed, especially as I am not a signed up member of a religious order nor am I a creator of an order.

We only have fragments of what Ogma’s original “Tales Of The Trees” may have contained, and how it was told, but I feel it would be pointless to share this with you in the tone of  “he may have said, but then he may have also said” etc. otherwise this tale may become like a stuffy school lesson or college presentation.

Therefore I have boldly presented “Ogma’s Tale Of The trees” as a fiction drama, pretending that this is Ogma speaking and this is what he said!

At the same time I do not believe this is all fiction either. This is content of a divine history, which is different to scientifically tested text book history.

from oral tales

My compilation of “Ogma’s Tale of The Trees” here is an expression of components from oral tales I have heard and learned about Ogma, about treelore, and shamanic based stories since my first fascination in all of this from 53 years ago. Mixed in with this I have taken the liberty of including frequent highly visual and repeated night-time dreams I have had over these years.

I hope you enjoy my compiled interpreted translation of “Ogma’s Tale Of The Trees”

but first, here is some background to trees, sounds and symbols that I would like to share with you … 

from sign language to parchment

It is said that the first expressions of the Ogham alphabet was taught and shared through using fingers held in positions to form the symbols that many of us have become familiar with engraved on wood and stone. It is an alphabet that has been verified in Ireland by the writings of the 14th century scribed “Book Of Ballymote”. This ancient book suggests that a site near Ballymote, Co. Sligo, was central for educating the language, and even developing it from a lesser number of letters, or symbols.

A tale is told that Ogma was a very inspired bard with worthy words and news to share that he supported with the melodic support of his harp. However, as each family had its own communication no ears could understand the wisdom he wished to share with them. Through frustration of this, it is said Ogma was motivated to create and teach a language that would create to wider same language communication between people that would lead to wider spreading of knowledge, trade and even the formation of courts and statuted rules for living.

but before that, from sound

To create a language an alphabet was needed, a collection of symbols, with each symbol formulated on sound.

Sound is always multi layered, a combination of frequencies and volumes, many of which we humans do not hear within recognition levels. Everything in nature has sound. Aside from the calls of animals and birds, water makes sound as it impacts stones, rocks and banks. Wind makes sound as it flows between tree branches and leaves.

Each original symbol of the Ogham alphabet is an archive of a blend of these sounds that ancient people were trained to repeat each time they read each symbol. As each symbol represented a set sound, then the Ogham alphabet also became the first system of music notation so others could read and repeat a harmony. It is said that the most ancient scripts from the middle east that came to Ireland, such as the Psalms, and were re-scribed using Ogham symbols to provide a means to recite these scripts in melody, in chant, as a song.

Through using the Ogham symbols to inspire chanting of words, the words themselves have an enhanced affect on the receiver, such as the difference between a poet reading his or her poems to others compared to us reading the poems from a book. Better still, consider the profound effects of hearing poems recited through a chant or song. For me this is confirmed by how my partner Claire Roche interprets the poems of W.B. Yeats through song and surrounding harp music. I wish I could have heard reaction from W.B. Yeats who is said to have not liked singer harpists. 

Sound truly alters our states of consciousness and perception. The tone a person can say the same single line of words to us can make us calm, laugh, cry, arouse anger, be overcome with fear or even fall asleep due to the tone the speaker uses, much more than by the actual words.

This is why there can be much misunderstanding in the exchange of emails online because what one may write with the intent of uplifting humour can be read by the receiver as cold hearted fear generating rudeness. Both writer and receiver would be in environments of different sounds at the time of writing and receiving.

the status of trees

The influence of trees on creating the sound of symbols may have commenced from how each tree was revered in status.

Oaks, Ash, Hazels, Apple, Holly, Pines and Yews were regarded as chieftain trees

Alders, Willows, Hawthorns, Rowans, Birches, Beeches, and Elms were regarded as sentrys and servants of the chieftain trees

Blackthorns, Elders and Poplars were regarded as shrub trees with a purpose of being working and earth healing trees

The brambles such as Ivy, Heather, Reeds, Gorse, and various Vines were regarded as an extension of the caring, conditioning and healing of the shrub trees.

Ogma’s Tale tells of components of each tree having a message to share, a teaching of a way of living, thinking, feeling and forming judgements and values.

into the hierarchy of the Ogham educated

Being a teaching, the learning of the Ogham alphabet would have created a division among people. There would be those who have the teaching of the Ogham and those who do not, just like those who can read and write today and those who cannot.

Those who had the teaching of Ogham seemed to have elevated themselves into an exclusive “club” that was commanded on others as being a superior order. To start, there were those who knew the finger based sign language of sharing Ogham. Then people would form words from the leaves or twigs of a tree to form an ogham spelled word. This word of nature elements would be born so that others who could read this would recognise it. Those who could not read it were not in the “club” or “army”. 

It could be said that is was Ogma’s Tale of the Trees is what separated humans from all other animals. It may also have been the start of divisions among people that was caused by recording and archiving a language and then using the language to command and educate instead of allowing the direct flow of nature do this for us.    

Even so I feel this “Ogma’s Tale of the Trees”
is a fascinating tale for guidance and conscience ……

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