Identifying a Psychic Attack

 

To evaluate whether I was under attack or not, I decided to do two divinations. For one divination, I used was the Ogham, and for the other the Runes. (Note) I wanted to test whether the information would be the same. Both methods said nearly the same thing. I was not under attack, but I did need to shore up my defensives. Moreover, the Runes said stop asking the same question again. I should just do one divination and study the results.

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Ogham
Coll (Hazel), Fearn (Alder), and Nuin (Ash)
Coll means “wisdom and intuitive knowledge.” If I was under attack, I would know it. Fearn indicates listen to my intuition. Since ash (Nuin) was used for weapons, I believe the message of Nuin is to strengthen my boundaries. The Ogham says that I am not under attack, but I do have weak defenses.

runes

Runes
Berkana, Pertho, Isa and Nauthiz. (I drew the last two together.)
Berkana indicated that I am protected. Pertho pointed to following my intuition because I have good luck. The emphasis of Isa and Nauthiz was to stop asking. As with the Ogham, the Runes implied that I needed to reinforce my perimeter.


Note: The Ogham is a Celtic divination system and alphabet based on trees.

The Runes is the Norse writing system used for divination and magic.

Alphabet: The Many Uses of Irish Oghams

The various Oghams are used by the Irish in several ways. The Oghams were foremost an alphabet used for writing Irish. Numerous examples of boundary markers and other inscribed stones abound with people’s names written in letters from the Tree Ogham.

The Oghams have other uses as well. Some scholars think the Druids may have used them for a code language. Three Oghams often used for this purpose were the “Head in Bush,” “Head under Bush,” and “Serpent about Head.” The “Cattle Raid of Cooley” (“Ta’in Bo’ Cuailnge”) gives an instance of this. Cu’chulainn left an oak hoop with writing as a warning to the invading army. It was written in code that only Fergus mac Roi’ch, a Druid, could interpret. Fergus translated the writing this way: the army could not pass unless someone other than himself could duplicate Cu’chulainn’s feats.

In addition, several Oghams were used as mnemonic devices. For example, the Tree Ogham lists by letter – trees that are important to the Irish. Other such Oghams are “Animal,” “Bird,” “Color,” and “River Pool” to name a few. How these worked are as follows: First Aicme, Fourth Few letter would be in English “S.” In the Oghams, “S” would be “Sionnach” (fox in Animal Ogham), or “Seg” (hawk in Bird Ogham) or “Saille” (willow in Tree Ogham).

Some of the Alphabets such as the Foot Ogham and Nose Oghams were used as sign languages. However unlike the Sign Languages of Deaf people, these Oghams were used by hearing people, as a gesture type language. This gesture alphabet could be used to communicate quickly and quietly between people. Moreover, two people could hold a secret conversation while they were speaking out loud about general topics.

Another use for the Oghams is for magical purposes. In the British Museum, there is an amber bead inscribed with magical powers. The words on the bead cannot be translated into conventional Irish. Moreover, the O’Connor family who owned this bead used it to cure eye problems. They also used it in easing childbirth.

The modern use for the Oghams is divination. Where this modern notion comes from I do not know. Perhaps, the ancient Irish did use their Oghams for divining. Neighboring societies such as the Germans used their Runes for divination.

Diving Deeper into the Irish Oghams

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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

Alphabets and Divination: Irish Oghams

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Because I am a diviner, I need to know many divination systems in order to do my work successfully. When my primary method gives murky or indefinite results, I often use an alternative method for gleaning more information. At other times, I switch my methods of divination to gain new insights. Therefore studying the Oghams fits in with my divination philosophy.

When people ask questions that affect the direction of their lives, many diviners will use four different methods of divination to assist that person. Each method will either add to the original reading or contradict it. Since they offer different perspectives to the same question, these other readings are helpful to the client. If the other readings contradict the first one, then knowing that is helpful for the client. Using the Oghams would add fresh insights to the original reading.

Studying the Oghams enhances my practice by offering a new way to approach divination. The Irish had different insights on the process than either the Norse or Tarot readers. Each new way of how to answer a question gives me more of an understanding of divination itself. Developed as an alphabet, the Oghams are steeped in Irish culture. They were employed by the Druids in their various “languages” of gestures, mnemonics, and secret codes. Because of these multiple uses, the Oghams offer more shades of meanings for answers in divination.

With the Tree Ogham, there is a connection with the living plants. Using each few of this Ogham, the diviner can tap into the wisdom of that tree or shrub. This makes for a more profound reading since insights from this Ogham comes from living entities. Furthermore, it taps into areas of the unconscious that other divination methods miss.

Moreover each few in the Tree Ogham has various kennings which give added shades of meaning to it. These kennings can pinpoint the precise meanings in a reading, and give depth to each meaning. Furthermore, the kennings offer alternative points of view. For “Tinne (Holly)” (second aicme, third few), the kennings include “one of three parts of a weapon,” and “o holly, little, sheltering one, thou door against the wind…” This gives a fuller sense of “Tinne” in a reading. For these reasons, the studying of the Oghams enriches my divination practice.

The Alphabet and the Cosmos

 

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The Tree of Life by the Hebrew Alphabet

 

Alphabets do more than simply freeze speech. They extend the power and reach of people. In reading Shakespeare, a person is partaking of the thoughts of a man long dead. Alphabets form the basis for magical speech and prayers to the Gods.

Traditionally, alphabets are thought to be the organizing principles of the world. For example, Christians believe in Christ’s statement: “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Christ is referring to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.) He is both ordering the cosmos through the alphabet and becoming the cosmos, itself.

Each letter contains the world, the means and form of creation. For many cultures, the letters themselves are holy beings. For example, the Norse viewed their Runes as living entities. The Ancient Greeks saw their letters as part of the cosmic order. Every letter conveys an idea, a poem, architectural design and textual space.

Letters through time have affected and reflected Western consciousness. Alphabets string letters together forming words. In this manner, they offer a magical portal to bridge the worlds. Moreover, individual letters have cultural meanings. In the Middle Ages, the capital “T” represented the Cross of Christ, associating that letter with the Crucifixion.

In 1529, French typographer Geoffroy Tory (1480–1533) in Champ Fleury, his treatise on the alphabet, reflected the Renaissance worldview that the Roman alphabet should one of harmony, balance, symmetry, and scale. He wrote that “L” was the letter of balance, because it was the shadow cast by the body at the autumn equinox. Tory presented “Y” twice: once in the “moral sense of the Pythagorean letter (Sens moral de la letter Pythagorique), and again as the choices presented in Dante’s Inferno.

Letters have shaped culture as each culture has shaped the letters. According to Cicero (First Century CE), the “Y” (upsilon) was associated with Hercules. The letter indicated the two paths – good or bad – that He had to choose. From this association, the “Y” became a letter which represented the physical geography of the Western world – the “fork in the road.” And also, because of its shape, the “Y” represented the moral choices that a person has to make.

The next time you meditate, ponder the shape and order of each letter in the alphabet that you use. What does each say in the relation to the world? For example, in the Roman alphabet, why is “X” the unknown and not “P?” Meanwhile, the Chinese use “N” for the unknown in mathematics. Why is “A” the grade for the best and not “L?” What does your alphabet say about your world and your consciousness?

Further Reading:

DeLooze, Laurence, The Letter & The Cosmos. University of Toronto Press: Toronto. 2016.