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Learning Ogham

Here is a marvelous set of rhymes about Ogham, that would be very useful for kids

and grownups to learn their Oghams. As you study the positions of the letters you

will quickly see why it is believed the letters were originally derived from sign language.

We know that the Druids had three kinds of Ogham; “Shin Ogham”, “Nose Ogham”

and “Palm Ogham”. You can learn more about Ogham by reading this book:

A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine” by Ellen Evert Hopman



By Anita Greg ( Marcellavee )

who asks that her name stay attached to her work


First - the Ogham - you should know

In four groups of Five do Grow

Two above and Two Below

Each a finger - Each a Toe

Hold on Tight ...and Here we Go!


B for BETH, the Birch is singing

Of a Birth, a new beginning


L is LUIS, Rowan tree

Keeps us safe from Sorcerie


F for FEARN, the Alder, wisest


SAILLIE, Willow, see-both-sidesest


N for NUIN, the Ash, you'll feel

Caught up in a Bigger Wheel -----


 Those the First Hand - one to Five

And a break now --- to revive


To the Right, the first five facing-

Second Five go Left - like Lacing-


HUATHE, the Hawthorne, holds us back


DUIRE the Oak, safe from attack


T for TINNE, the Holly, grey

Says that Help is on its Way


C for COLL, the Hazel, giving

Nuts for all Intent on Living


Q for QUERT, the Apple's voice

Says we'll have to Make a Choice


MUIN, the Vine, just says " Relax "


GORT, the Ivy Look Inside

have a Think and change Your Tracks!


NG for NGETAL, the Reed...

Upsets, Suprises ...eeeek indeed!


ST for STRAIFE, the Blackthorn, bony

Road ahead is likely stoney


R for RUIS, the Elder, blessed

With the voice of peace and rest


That's both Hands and first Five Toes

The other Five are Vowels - here goes --


A for AILIM, silver Fir

Learn from Error then take care


O for ORHM, the golden furze

Says " take heed to what we hears "

It may important changes bring -

UpEnd yourLife - that kind of thing.


UR for Heath and Mistletoe

Up and Round and Up we Go


E for EATHER, Poplar, shaking,

Bringing Fear and courage breaking-

Doubts about the Undertaking


I for IOHO - that's the Yew

Like the Turn it sends you to -


That's the End of Ogham proper

The other Five are Filed as Other

(Note- the last five letters were added later by Celtic monks! – Ellen)


first is KOAD - that's the Grove

Looks like a cross upon the road

Sounds like CH and KH and EA

says " Don’t be Fooled by What's not There "


second, OIR, the Spindle tree

Looks just like a lump to me

Sounds like TH and also OI

" Finish things -or stick like Gloi "


third is UILLEAD, Honeysuckle

says Take Care - or come unstuckle

Two crosses to the Right ensuey

for letter P, and also UI


fourth is PHAGOS -that’s the Beech

Tells of new things within reach

Sounds like PH - it’s also IO

Says a letter's on its wayo


Wonder what this one will bring!

- Looks like a feather from the wing -


fifth is MOR - the boundless Sea

Sounds like AE and X and XI

Across four strokes and down are three

Means to Travel

Hopefully 😊



Birds Like Feeding Sunday Night

All those five go to the Right


Henry Drove To Castle Quay

These five go the Other Way


M and N, NG, ST and R

Seem to spell out



All these letters, slanted are.


A and O and U and E

Vowels go Horizontally


And the fifth is I/J/Y

Above the Earth and under Sky

Like leaves upon the Turf they lie


That’s the end of simple ones - next five look like Fancy Buns


AE and EA and OI and UI

These are funny shapes its true

Manannán's Runes from Crane Bag taken

Also, X, CH, TH are shaken


P and IO and the rest

they seem to change by the Context


No surprise from such as HE

King of Mann - and also Sea


Not to mention PH for feather

These last five are the Forfedha


Hope these in your mind will stay

Light your path and show your way -

Though the rhymes are slightly iffy

You'll be writing in a jiffy!


The letters are read from the bottom up! When Ogham is written on stones it is also read from the bottom up.

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