Ancient Lines III: The Ogham Legends

Last time, we looked at how Ogham likely came about, how it was designed, its importance as part of a collective, resistant, response to Roman invaders in Britain, as well as what we can learn about its usage from existing, ancient, Ogham stones. We will continue to unravel more myths, misconceptions, and messes today. 

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

Alphabetical Order

Is it Beth-Luis-Nin, or Beth-Luis-Fearn?

To the uninitiated, it seems like a strange question to ask. It is like asking is the alphabetical order ABE, or ABC?

The first group, or aicme, of Ogham letters (the B aicme) begins with the runes for Beth, Luis, and Fearn, yet the alphabet has, consistently – since the time of the Scholar’s Primer (which dates 7th-11th centuries C.E.) – been referred to as the Beth-Luis-Nin alphabet. That’s our English equivalent of ABE

The B-Aicme of Ogham: ᚁ Beth ᚂ Luis ᚃ Fearn ᚄ Saille ᚅ Nin = A B C D E

For this reason, neopagans have been unnecessarily rearranging the Ogham runes in the order I, II, V, III, IV, or into ᚁ Beth ᚂ Luis ᚅ Nin ᚃ Fearn ᚄ Saille, for decades.

My friends, Beth-Luis-Nin is ABC. Let me show you how…


The Ancient Lines series continues with Part IV: The Ogham Trees I.

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Image: a representation of the Triple Goddess, as extolled in The White Goddess by Robert Graves. This art taken from A Masque of the Four Seasons (1905), by Walter Crane.

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