If you have been curious about what Journey with the Ogham is, or even if this is the first time you are hearing about it, I am hoping to deliver some clarity and insight.
In the last year, I have led a 12 month journey through the Ogham with some willing participants and have learned so much along the way! I learned that it was not what I thought it would be and what it has become is so much greater than I could have imagined. But let’s start with the basics:
What is the Ogham?
Ogham, otherwise known as the Celtic tree alphabet, is a system of ancient divination that began as carvings on wood, hand signals, and a way of encrypting sacred knowledge. As with all information relating to ancient Celtic or Native British practices, there is very little written knowledge to take as an authority on the subject. Many scholars on the subject end up disagreeing, claiming their peers have it all wrong and in some cases, like with Robert Graves, the information seems to be completely “fabricated”.
I place fabricated in quotes because it is my belief that a system of divination does not necessarily have to adhere to the linear world of facts in order to be effective. Particularly when we are talking about an alphabet that was purposefully withheld from the general population. The Druids, Bards, Poets who used this alphabet were well versed in the language and worked with the power of words, and thus the complexity of this system could not have been strictly logical.
Robert Graves’ scholarship, for instance, is found in his book The White Goddess, which is clearly subtitled “a Poetic Grammar” Meaning that it does not have to adhere to evidence for it to have poetic merit. If Poetry conceals the secret, Logic will not uncover it.
Over the course of the year, I have come to understand that the contemporary use of the Ogham is to reconnect us with knowledge of the trees. To engage with the natural world around us in a more meaningful and holistic way. Which is to say, history and tradition are certainly interesting and offer us a foundation, but the lived engagement with the alphabet is where the true poetic knowledge begins.
How is Journey with the Ogham Unique?
Above all it is an opportunity to do some deep diving into yourself. rather than an in depth analysis of current scholarship on the Ogham, Journey with the Ogham is a thematic journey into the self. Shadow-work or self-actualization requires us to look at ourselves more objectively, shifting perspectives and lens and there are many ways of accomplishing this. I would offer that Journey with the Ogham is one such method.
We use the Celtic Tree alphabet as a guide through a wide range of human experiences and themes.
What is a JWTO Seminar Like?
Each seminar begins with information, storytelling, an overview of ritual uses and themes. The first portion is designed to feed your mind and get inspired.
Next we move to a powerful journalling technique that was discovered in these seminars. Your unique journaling experience will lead you through visualisation in a trance-like state. You move gently in and out of that space to record what you see and answer questions. Each experience is specific to the seminar themes so some involve getting in touch with your senses, some are more conceptual, all are deep explorations of the subconscious mind. We follow this portion with a discussion of individual experiences with some follow up questions or things to reflect on.
We conclude our experience with a drum journey to meet a spirit, guide or entity connected to the tree. This is a relatively short drum journey that suits all levels of experience and all attentions spans. Verbal instruction is given before but not during the drumming to allow for individual interpretation. We end with discussion and answer any questions and say our goodbyes.
Journey with the Ogham: Elder/ Ruis
I have shared a recording of the last live event on my YouTube Channel Chrysalis Invictus Tarot
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what the seminars are actually like. I did not record the discussion portion for the privacy of those who were participating live but discussion is very much an important part of the process.
Coming up in November 2020 we are taking another turn around the alphabet but this time we are exploring the Ogham 2 trees at a time! Journey with the Ogham: Companions will explore powerful tree combinations with complementary or contradictory themes to help you uncover these aspects of self.