Diving Deeper into the Irish Oghams


Since I live in an urban area in the Southeastern United States, many of the trees from the Oghams are foreign to me. To find out if any of these trees lived near me, I used a field guide to look up the taxonomic names of the local trees to discover if they were the same species. For the remainder, I followed the advice of Caitlin Matthews, in her book The Celtic Wisdom Tarot, to look for a native tree that had similar qualities to a tree of the Oghams. I had reasonable success with that but did find that substitution could be a problem. For example, Muin, the “Vine” of the Ogham generally is associated with grapes, but the major vine where I live is kudzu.

However, I did find some similar species that did make a connection to some of the letters:

Aicme Beth (First)
Beth: European Birch: River Birch
Luis: Rowan: Mountain Ash
Fearn: Alder: Smooth Alder
Saille: Osier Willow: Weeping Willow
Nion: Ash: Green Ash

Aicme Huath (Second)
Huath: Hawthorn: Cockspur
Duir: English Oak: White Oak
Tinne: Holly: Holly
Coll: Hazel: Witchazel
Quert: Crab Apple: Crab apple

Aicme Muin (Third)
Muin: Grapevine
Gort: English Ivy: English Ivy
nGetal: Broom
Straif: Blackthorn
Ruis: Elder

Aicme Ailm (Fourth)
Ailm: Silver Fir: Balsam Fir
Onn: Gorse
Ur: Heather
Eadha: Aspen: Bigtooth Aspen
Idho: Yew

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