Much of the world’s oldest lore is difficult to fully comprehend in our era, difficult but not impossible. Tonight we are talking about the ogham script, the written form of the old Irish language.
It is thought of as a “tree” script for two reasons. Many of its characters are named after trees, and the form the characters take resemble the forked branches of a tree. If this is all we knew understanding it would be hopeless. This is not all we know. We have a body of stories and lore which was the basis of the collective works of the Irish people and more specifically their druids.
Is this Gaelic or some other language? It ran parallel to Gaelic more or less, and actually shows signs of having been a cyphered form of a previous alphabet, if you can call it that.
Did Ireland and Wales share a similar culture? They did. Gaelic arose in the people who were originally native to what was then the nation of Gaul, which is what we today call France. The French language as we know it today didn’t exist, as French is a derivative of the Latin spoken in the Roman Empire.
The creation story of the druids is also the description of their understanding of magick in the world. For the Celts there was no real difference between the creation of a story or song, and the creation of the world itself. This is perhaps the primary reason their oral tradition was valued as highly as it was. In addition to being the collection of their understandings about all the life sustaining arts and practices they prospered in the world with, their stories, which were actually what we would today call poems, held the spirit of reality itself. So by relating and preserving the stories they were also acting to preserve the balance of the world.
In Celtic culture each member of a clan or tribe had their role to play in the well-being of their communities. Warriors and hunters had to fill their roles. Women acted as gatherers and crafters of the various things they needed, even the weapons used by the men, bows and arrows most commonly, and the druids were the keepers of their understanding of the seasons and the cycles as well as their law and communal rituals. What made druids stand out from the other branches of their society, was the fact that someone who became a druid would move out of their village. Druids lived in no single community, and thus were seen as impartial judges when communities came into conflict with each other.
Druids lived near regions known as sacred groves, and they met there for training in their various practices as well as enacting their own rituals.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.