The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Ogham is druids, Celtic priests, teachers and judges. The Druids performed their rituals in sacred groves, and the oak was their sacred tree. Actually from the name of this tree, according to one of the versions, the word “druid” comes from.
The second version: the Gaulish form “druides”, like the Irish “drui”, goes back to a single prototype “dru-wid-es”, “very learned”, containing the same root as the Latin verb “videre”, “to see” , Slavic “to be in charge”.
Druids have been studying their art for about 20 years. Depending on the degree of knowledge, 3 ranks were distinguished: ovids, bards, druids.
It is also known that the druids did not write down their knowledge. It is believed that this was done for several purposes: to secure their caste (after all, it was knowledge that determined the power of the Druids in society) and to develop the memory of students. In order to become a bard, a student had to memorize a huge variety of texts.
However, writing was sometimes used. These are mainly short epitaphs, graffiti. About 500 such inscriptions were found, containing mainly anthroponyms, theonyms; found several appeals. All of these inscriptions were found mainly on standing stones.
The alphabet was carved vertically, from bottom to top, and always on the edge of the stone, so that the border of the intersection of two planes of the stone was at the same time the basis of the alphabet, and horizontal lines were carved on both sides of it, that is, on two planes of the stone.
The name of this alphabet comes from the name of the Celtic god Oghma or from the “grooves” [oh-wam], literally – “grooves”, which were carved on the stones.
It was Oghma, who is very skilled in the knowledge of languages and in poetry, who was the inventor of the Ogham. They are intended for recording secret speeches, understandable only to the knowledgeable and kept secret from the poor and ordinary people.
The word “ogham” comes from “ghuaim” or “guaim”, that is, the wisdom by which the bards acquire the ability to compose, because the Irish bards recite their poems through its branches.
There is no exact data on the origin of this alphabet, but already at the end of the Iron Age, the Druids used this system as a calendar, which was based on 13 monthly cycles and the celebration of the four solstices.
Druids, who were finely tuned to the spiritual forces of nature, assigned each tree or shrub its own month of the year and a letter in the alphabet. Each of them has already been reflected in folklore and actively used in medicine, representing ancient magical powers and metaphysical meaning.
The alphabet of the Trees consisted of four groups of letters: three for consonants and one for vowels. The consonants were denoted by dashes from one to five, vowels – by dots, also from one to five.
Regarding the magical use of Ogham. Nowadays it is used mainly for fortune telling. Each letter, sign, represents not only a certain tree and its qualities, but also generalizes some “energy flows”, which makes fortune-telling possible.
Druids also used Ogham to write spells. It was believed that written signs, which have taken on a material form, have a stronger effect than words spoken aloud.
Amulets are also mentioned, which were made from small sticks. They were Ogham carved with protective spells. Such amulets were worn on clothes or kept at home. Similar sticks with Ogham were used for divination.
If you want to start working with this system, it will be useful for you to study the culture of the Celts, understand their worldview, and also study the properties of trees, their character.
Of course, it is best if your acquaintance with trees will take place in nature in communication with them. You can also chat with dryads)