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The Ogham

The Ogham

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Published by bresail4

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Published by: bresail4 on Mar 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Ogham
The Origin of the Ogham
When is the Ogham one? Not hard: the whole of it. When is it twothings? Not hard: vowels and consonants. When is it three things?Not hard: vowels, diphthongs and consonants. When is it four? Not hard: the three groups of consonants and the ten principle vowels.When is it five? Not hard: vowels, diphthongs and three groups of consonants. When is it six? Not hard: the three composit letters of the Ogham nG, Sr, Qu. When is it seven? Not hard: the threeadditions to the Primer, Ho, Forsaid and Arnin.- The Book of Ballymote
During historical contact with the Celts of Gaul, Caesar found thatthe Druids had an apparent taboo against the use of writing, acharacteristic that Caesar remarked upon when he wrote: "Theycommit to memory immense amounts of poetry...they consider itimproper to commit their studies to writing...lest it should bevulgarised and lest the memory of scholars should becomeimpaired". On those occasions when it was necessary tocorrespond or maintain public records, the Gauls used Greekletters instead of their own. The Celtic alphabet known as Ogham was invented, according tothe medieval Irish Book of Ballymote, by Ogma Sun-Face. Itcomprises three sets of five consonants and one set of fivevowels, a total of twenty letters. In actuality, the manuscript refersto more than one hundred types of Ogham, each with uniquenames and notches.Ogma, or Ogmius as he was known in Gaul, was described in thesecond century by the Greek writer Lucian as the Gallic god of Eloquence. He was variously described as "honey mouthed" and"eloquent". The golden speech of Ogmius was recorded in Gallicartwork in the form of a fine gold chain linking the tip of histongue to ears of a group of followers.In the Book of Ballymote, written in 1391, the invention of Oghamwas achieved when "Ogma Sun-Face raised four pillars of equallength", and it was upon these pillars that the characters of theletters were etched.Ogham, and the mysteries associated with it, were kept a strictsecret among the scholar/priest druids. Mider's abode on Man wasguarded by three cranes who called out to all who approached"Enter not! Stay away! Go on by!" Arawn king of Annwn, theBrythonic Otherworld, and whose name also means Eloquence,guarded his realm of secret knowledge with his pack of hounds. The Book of Ballymote indicates that there were a number of secret ways in which Ogham could be used to communicate non-verbally. Finger ogham equates the five letters of each pillar withthe thumb and four fingers, such that the first letter of each pillar

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