The Ogham as a Spiritual Tool and the Apple Branch
A talk during the conference ….
The Ogham consists of twenty-five simple strokes centered on or branching off a central line. The Ogham characters were inscribed on stones or written on staves of wood. As a language of symbolism, it is powerful. It is probably pre-Celtic in origin, although most of the existing inscriptions have been dated to the fifth and sixth centuries. Whether Celtic or pre-Celtic we can sense that it carries with it some of the very earliest of Druid wisdom.
The Ogham script is often referred to as the ‘Celtic Tree Alphabet’. The ancient Celts believed that trees had magical powers and that they were home to fairies. Indeed, the Oak, Ash and Thorn trees are referred to as a magical trio, also known as the fairy triad. The ancient Celts held trees in high regard, in fact it is thought the word Druid comes from the Irish word for Oak which is ‘Duir’.
Bendis will offer this talk during the Conference. She will share a glimpse into the Ogham. We will look at origins, history and how we use it within the Apple Branch – A Dianic Tradition as a tool for personal growth.
As Above … So Below – a Workshop by Bendis
The Celtic Druids had a unique way of defining their Universe. In this talk we will examine what that looked like and where they placed themselves within it. We will discuss the Three Realms of Land, Sea and Sky, the Fire of Inspiration, and the Senses.
In the midst of these Realms is found the Sacred Grove, the place of flowing Together. There the Sacred Fire burns, by the Well of Wisdom, beneath the World Tree.
We will examine the Cauldrons of Poesy.
In 7th Century Ireland, a Bard by the name of Amergin White-Knee penned a magical text that has come to be known as the Three Cauldrons of Poesy. As is common with ancient Celtic lore, there is much mystical wisdom hidden within the text that can only be understood through meditative practices. Some have referred to these three cauldrons as the Celtic Chakras, Three Levels of Reality, Three States of Enlightenment or the Threefold Mind.
By understanding the Cauldrons, we may begin to bridge all worlds, Within and Without, Above and Below.
Ogham as a Tool for Divination
We will return to the Ogham and briefly review the meanings of the letters, but each will receive a handout with that information. Each participant will make their own beginner’s set of Ogham Twigs. We will discuss methods of using them for divination. We will do divinations together in a group as well as in several small groups. We will use several examples of casting cloths.
We will then move on to a discussion of Annym Billagh, a healing method developed by Bendis which uses Earth and tree energy for spiritual healing, and the Ogham letters as sigils for that work.
Annym Billagh is an ancient system of healing, originating from my ancestral path with roots in the British Isles, specifically, the Isle of Man and Scotland. It is based on the knowledge that we are all One, living in a world supported by the Earth at our feet, the Sea from which all life comes, and the Sky, source of our breath, inspired by the Fire of Inspiration, blessed by all that is Divine.
‘Annym’ means: inspiration, muse, genius, poetic frenzy, a fluid or flowing, a living principle, a being, a spirit, and the essential. ‘Billagh’ is a tree or a woody grove of trees.
Annym Billagh consists of inner work with the ancient Cauldrons of Poesy, breathing and meditation, hands-on energy healing, internal use and topical application of the essences of the trees, Ogham letters as healing symbols, and working with our kindred, the trees and stones, for integrating wholeness and well-being into our lives.
When the practitioner takes the time to really know the trees and becomes one with the trees and their healing energy, then, and only then do these methods become totally integrated into the lives of those touched.
Brighid of the Mantle encompass me
Memory of Brighid within me
Protection of Brighid keep me
Your hand upon mine
Mine hand within yours
rock into metal
illness to health
ideas to art.
At the completion of this workshop, all should have enough information to begin an in-depth study of the Ogham, if they wish. Handouts will be included.