Ancient Lines IV: The Ogham Trees I

Others say that it is not from men at all that the Ogham vowels are named in Gaelic but from trees, though some of these trees are not known today
– Book of Fenius, 7th century

According to the Book of Cenn Faelad, the newest part of the Primer, the twenty-five most noble scholars of the Tower of Nimrod gave their names to the Ogham runes. They read like a Hebrew-Latin Who’s-Who.

Cenn Faelad goes on to list that the vowels of the A-aicme runes are named for the “noblest” among them, along with two of the forfedas (“wood vowels”): Ebad, and Oir. But if we are to remove this Christian reimagining of Ogham, then we need to ignore this pre-eminence. The Ogham Tract parrots this again, many centuries later. This further exposes why neopagans cannot take the Tract for gospel. […]

Chieftains, and Peasants

Along with the sources of Ogham commentary I listed in the last edition of Ancient Lines, I am going to include another ancient source which does not refer to the Ogham runes, but extensively refers to the trees they are associated with. This is the Bretha Comaithchesa, or, “The Judgements of Co-Tenancy” which is a part of the ancient Brehon Laws. The Bretha Comaithchesa dates to the second half of the seventh century, so it is just as old as the Book of Fenius and, therefore, should be paid attention to. It lists the various penalties to be given enacted those that violated the trees belonging to their neighbours. According to the classification of the tree, the severity of the punishment varied…

 

The Ancient Lines series continues with Part V: The Ogham Trees II.

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