Muin (Grape Vine) II

“It was a very big place and very grand, and a long table set out, but I didn’t want to stop there and I began crying to go home. And she touched me here in the breast with her stick, she was vexed to see me wanting to go away. They never brought me away since. Grand food they’d offer me and wine, but I never would touch it, and sometimes I’d have to give the breast to a child.” – Mrs. Sheridan as told to Lady Gregory (Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland, 1920)

The Roots:

The eleventh letter of the tree-Ogham is Muin, the Grape vine.

As previously established, the Grape was likely a later addition to the Ogham. The Grape vine does not grow naturally in Ireland and is difficult to cultivate. Muin also does not mean Grape or Vine literally.  Most Ogham users now equate Muin to the Grape vine, however.

Robert Ellison states in Ogham: the Secret Language of the Druids that “the vine” was a general description for the letter. He does equate the letter to the Grape and to wine, however. Ellison believes that Muin represents “prophecy and inhibitions; or the lack of them.”

John Mathews interprets Muin’s word-Ogham within the Celtic Shaman. He equates the phrase “strongest of efforts” to simply being “effort.”

Caitlin Mathews’ divination system Ogham Wisdom Sticks leaves much more for us to interpret. Within her system, however, the common thread of meaning seems to be ‘a lessening of a load’ or burden. This interpretation is likely also taken from the word-Oghams[i].

The Grape does not appear very often within Celtic myth or legend. Wine, which was brought to the Isles by the Romans, on the other hand has a place. It does appear occasionally.

Muin is the first letter found within the tree-Ogham that is not a tree at all.

The Trunk:

Wine has a strong connection to the Otherworld and to the Tuatha De Danaan directly. Wine, in Celtic myth, is also related to things that fly, such as birds or insects. In the time of the Celts, wine would have also demonstrated wealth and status as it was imported.

In Cuchulain of Muirthemne, by Lady Gregory, we are told that Cuchulain was given a “gold cup full of wine.” The inside of the cup had a “bird of precious stones” at the bottom. The wine here is listed as a part of the gift, illustrating its worth.

Within the same text, we learn that Cuchulain’s mother, Dechtire, had the course of her life altered when she drank a cup of wine.

One day the god Lugh turned himself into a mayfly and landed in Dechtire’s cup of wine. Unaware, she drank the wine and fell into a very deep sleep.  This all turned out to be part of Lugh’s plan to steal her. Dechtire and her 50 handmaidens were then turned into a flock of birds and ordered to follow Lugh. When Dechtire is finally recovered, after a year’s period of time, she has a small boy with her. This turns out to be the great hero Cuchulain, son of Lugh.

There’s a likelihood it was the fly that impregnated Dechtire, due to the similarities between this tale and another Irish story. In Gods and Fighting Men, also by Lady Gregory, it is Etain who is turned into a fly by her husband’s other wife:

“And she turned her with Druid spells into a fly, and then she sent a blast of wind into the house, that swept her away through the window […] and for seven years Etain was blown to and fro through Ireland in great misery. And at last she came to the house of Etar, of Inver Cechmaine, where there was a feast going on, and she fell from a beam of the roof into the golden cup that was beside Etar’s wife. And Etar’s wife drank her down with the wine, and at the end of nine months she was born again as Etar’s daughter.”

There is a magical horn found within the same book. The horn is part of a dowry given by the Tuatha De Danaan to three brothers who wanted to join them. The horn was a gift from “a young man of the Tuatha De Danaan[ii].” The item has the power to turn salt water into wine.

Found within the Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y. Evans-Wentz are two more incidents in which water is turned into wine; suggesting more than a passing theme.

(Last Supper by Pascal Adolphe Dagnan-Bouveret’s)

As the Tuatha De Danaan eventually became the fairies of folklore many things changed. Some things, however,  remained the same. The fairies were said to value wine, for instance.

The Cluricaune found within Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland is one such example[iii]. He is a fairy-spirit similar to, or synonymous with, the leprechaun. The Claircaune is a spirit that likes to play tricks. He also likes to raid cellars and steals wine.

Similar stories concerning fairies stealing wine are found elsewhere. One such example can be found within Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland which is also by Lady Gregory. It is here that we also find an example regarding the offering of wine to the fairies:

“There was a room at Crags where things used to be thrown about, and everyone could hear the noises there. They had a right to clear it out and settle it the way they’d like it. You should do that in your own big house. Set a little room for them —with spring water in it always—and wine you might leave—no, not flowers—they wouldn’t want so much as that—but just what would show your good will.” – Mr. Saggerton as told to Lady Gregory.

Although wine is also used to describe things that are both sweet and beautiful it can have a darker side. There is an interesting story, for example, pertaining to Cuchulain in Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race by T.W. Rolleston:

“Then he bade farewell to his mother Dectera, and she gave him a goblet of wine to drink, but ere he could drink it the wine turned to blood, and he flung it away, saying, ” My life’s end is near ; this time I shall not return alive from the battle.” And Dectera and Cathbad besought him to await the coming of Conall of the Victories, who was away on a journey, but he would not.”

Within the Celtic stories it would seem that water can become wine, and wine can become blood. Water has often been described over the ages as being the life giving blood carrying arteries of the Earth.

Perhaps there is a connection there as well.

The Foliage:

The most famous use of wine in ritual occurs within the rite of the Eucharist, or Communion. This ritual is performed within many branches of Christianity. It consists of kneeling before a priest and receiving small portions of wine and bread. The ritual honours the mortality of Jesus Christ; the ancestor who was also a god.

Within the rite of Communion, wine becomes representative of the blood of the Christ. Bread, or a cracker, will be used to represent his body. The ritual is usually observed as a form of worship or to receive a blessing from a priest. The rite of Communion uses these symbolic stand-ins instead of actual blood or flesh taken from his dead body. In this way the ritual can continue to be performed indefinitely; even without an actual body.

Blood-drinking and flesh eating were not uncommon practices amongst various pagan peoples[iv]. This drinking the blood of the dead was a practice that may seem strange to us, but that actually existed amongst the Celts. It was a way for them to honour the dead.

The following occurs in a song composed by ‘ Nic Coiseam ‘ to her fosterson, ‘Mac Iain ‘ic Sheumais,’ the famous warrior-poet of the Macdonalds, after the battle of Carnish in iCOl – The blood of thy fragrant body was soaked through thy linen. I myself was sucking it until my breath became hoarse. I stanched thy wounds, and they all too numerous, and I drank thy red blood, more sweet to me than wine.”  – Alexander Carmicheal (Carmina Gadelica vol.  II)

Wine can be used in ritual[v], or left as an offering.

 

“It is now easy to understand why a savage should desire to partake of the flesh of an animal or man whom he regards as divine. By eating the body of the god he shares in the god’s attributes and powers. And when the god is a corn-god, the corn is his proper body; when he is a vine-god, the juice of the grape is his blood; and so by eating the bread and drinking the wine the worshipper partakes of the real body and blood of his god. Thus the drinking of wine in the rites of a vine-god like Dionysus is not an act of revelry, it is a solemn sacrament.”– Sir James Fraser  (the Golden Bough)



[i] http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/ogham.html

[ii] Lugh?

[iii] Thomas Crofton Croker, 1825.

[iv] James Fraser. The Golden Bough.

[v] Also found within the Carmina Gadelica is a reference to wine that may be of interest in the context of ritual. The text states that water is feminine and wine is masculine; that moonlight is feminine and sunlight is masculine. What could this symbolise in a ‘water to wine’ context?

Muin (Grape Vine)

“It must be born in mind that the Celtic peoples are identified solely by their language and cultures, of which, of course, language is the highest form of cultural expression” – Peter Berresford Ellis (the Druids)

The Roots:

Muin, the eleventh letter of the Ogham, is one of the most misunderstood and mysterious letters of the old Irish alphabet.

Muin is usually associated with the vine of the grape. The Ogham originated in Ireland, however, where the grape was never successfully grown even as a cultivated species.

Muin does not actually mean vine at all – which is finium or finemain – but means a thicket of any thorny plant[i]. According to Robert Graves the plant that the Ogham letter originally referred to was likely to have been the blackberry[ii].

To further add to the confusion, the grape in its purest of forms rarely appears in Celtic myth[iii]. Even wine was a rare commodity and was only found more commonly with the advancement of the church and the holy rite of communion.

This does provide us with some clues, however. Wine was so rare that usually only the priests partook of the wine communion. It became a sacred and revered object. Wine was a drink that would have been known of, yet unobtainable, by the common people[iv].

The process of wine making, like ale or mead-making, is an alchemical one. It should not be a surprise then that the grape, indirectly through wine, becomes a symbol of the greatest religious fusion tale of the Western world. That is the tale of the Holy Grail.

Erynn Rowan Laurie equates Muin to communication, most especially as it pertains to expressed emotions. Liz and Colin Murray link Muin with prophecy – which to them was when one spoke more perceptively and truthfully. John Michael Greer agrees with them but also adds that Muin is a few of insight and intoxication as well.

Nigel Pennick believes that Muin is the gathering together of various items that are needed on ones path or journey. Robert Graves says that the grape is indicative of joy, exhilaration and wrath. He goes on to say that wine, the transformed grape, is the “poet’s drink” of poetic inspiration, which may send one “spiralling towards immortality”.

As is most easy to see, Muin’s meanings are not very agreed upon at all!

What further confuses the researcher is how quickly most Ogham writers abandon Celtic myth and begin to explain their theories by using other cultural references most especially those of the Greeks or Romans. What would the grape have meant within the context of the Celtic tree alphabet however?

The answer is incredibly uncertain. We have various interpretations of Muin to contemplate. The few, or letter, in its grape form is also clearly a more recent addition. Also, there are very few Celtic references to reflect upon in relation to the grape
or even to wine.

For these very reasons I personally find that the legend of the Holy Grail and the eleventh few, Muin, are inseparable and even symbiotic. The Grail is many things, but most important of all, it is the symbol of healing brought to us from the Otherworld.

It is the drink of the Grail, which is wine or blood, which heals the wounded king and ultimately the land itself.

The Trunk:

Whole books have been written on the Holy Grail. Scholars to this day continue to debate many aspects of the Grail tradition as it is commonly accepted.

The Grail story is a fusion of Celtic legend, Christian Catholic idealism, medieval upper class culture, the influence of esoteric Islam, the Jewish Kabbalah as well as other possible Eastern influences. The earliest story -as it is now understood of the grail- surfaced at the end of the twelfth century from a French poet named Chretien de Troyes. It is generally accepted that there were previous stories of the same sort circulating orally through the courts by Breton, Welsh and Anglo-Norman story tellers. Chretien influenced other story tellers and -even though the legends fell out of favour at times- the Arthurian tales continue to fascinate and enthral people to this day.

The grail prototype was the cauldron that we have spoken of many times before. In the Mabinogion there is a cauldron quest in which Arthur is involved. There is also a much earlier poem found in the Book of Taliesin in which Arthur and many of his men go to the Otherworld to retrieve a sacred cauldron. Only seven of them return[v].

Christian scholars, along with nationalists who want to claim the Arthur stories as their own, often deny that the grail is a descendant of these cauldron quests. Some claim that the Grail stories sprang up completely independently of these legends, while others that the symbols represented are common throughout the world and may hold similar meanings to various peoples around the globe. There are even many conspiracy theories  around the Holy Grail in which some claim that the Grail is in fact the actual cup that Jesus used at the last supper, that the tradition is Catholic/Jewish, and that Celtic mythology had no influence whatsoever.

It is all very confusing, but I can’t help but wonder why no one seems to contemplate the obvious? If the tradition is Catholic/Christian then why use Arthur and the Celts – now sporting the latest and most fashionable medieval armour- in the stories at all? Is it just a coincidence that Arthur and his men sought after an otherworldly cauldron and that Arthur and his men –as told in the courts of France no less- later sought after an otherworldly cup? The very fact that Arthur is there at all proves a Celtic origin. As likely as water runs downhill, so it is that other Celtic images exist in the stories in an altered
form as well. For the church to admit a pagan origin would be terribly embarrassing for a story tradition that has never been officially rejected. Christians don’t often like to admit the pagan roots of many of their stories and traditions, even one such as this one which exists on the fringes. There are also those with the outdated belief that the Celts were mindless barbarians who contributed nothing. These ideas can usually be traced back to cultural conflicts.

(The Cauldron of Inspiration. E. Wallcousins, 1912: An early Grail prototype. The nine maidens keep the cauldron warm with their breath.)

An exhaustive study of the material at hand is very possible[vi].

The Holy Grail has become a Celtic symbol to many whether this is warranted or not. To me there is no doubt. The Arthurian legends speak of the mysteries of the land and of the Otherworld.

Whether the Grail is actually recovered or not differs from story to story. The common theme however is that the Grail offers healing to the wounded, which is most often a regal representative of the land itself.

The drink is wine, sometimes blood, and it pours forth from the ever elusive cup that was said to have been brought to the lands of the Celts by Joseph of Arimathea and buried at Glastonbury. This story was introduced by Robert De Baron.

The cup represents the female divine which is absent from Christianity, but which resonates with many people who are drawn to the old stories.

Without the female divine the king is wounded, the land is barren and the end is looming catastrophic.

The Holy Grail is elusive, like wisdom herself, and seems to only be found by the purest of hearts.

Many seek the Grail. It is the cup, however, that chooses who she will appear to.

As we have moved through the forest of myth -being led by the whispers of the Ogham- we have eventually found our way symbolically to the Otherworld, which is a land of metaphoric imagery and learning, transformation and power.

It is here that we may drink of the sacred wine that will heal us once more and make us whole.

Muin speaks to us from beyond the veil, from a time when wine was unavailable to the common man[vii].

The cup beckons to us to make a toast, and touch her once more to our lips.

The Divine welcomes us home.

The Foliage:

Several types of grapes exist naturally throughout eastern North America. In western North America -from British Columbia to California- grapes are grown to be made into wine. Most vineyards offer wine tours and bottles of their product are usually available at a reduced price…

It is impossible for me to think of grapes without remembering my time in Afghanistan.

I was part of the battle group for task force 3-09 and we would often patrol areas around villages in the province of Kandahar. We were mostly operating out of the Sperwan Ghar area. The villages in the area were on the border that divided controlled, or friendly, territory and that which was unfriendly and patrolled by the Taliban.

The villages were surrounded by grape fields that grew up along mud walls in cleverly irrigated maze-like enclosed areas. The hot sun would beat down upon the plants that provided shelter for shade seeking lizards and the occasional cat. Children would run and play in these desert gardens and old, tired looking men with salt stained shirts would move dirt with shovels to manipulate the direction of the plant feeding water. There was a beauty for me there; especially in those vines.

To avoid IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) we would often painstakingly crawl over walls and through irrigation ditches as we maintained a deterring presence from those who liked to threaten or harm the simple villagers. We were literally travelling through people’s back yards. Some of these were beautiful. It was a marvel to see these crops grown in much the same way as they must have been since the very beginning.

I was left with a sense of stepping back in time. Sheppard’s led goats across rock strewn ground seeking out slivers of grass and men walked camels along pathways beside mud compounds and buildings that looked to be hundreds of years old. There was the occasional car, the odd motorcycle or bicycle and the rarely seen water pump that made the whole watering system work. Other than these few tools, that made life slightly easier, the patterns of life had remained relatively similar to our ancient ancestors across the globe, from the Mediterranean to the Holy Land.

Historians once believed that religion was born from the domestication of plants and animals. Humans were then able to settle in one place as the food was available to them. Religion then arose to “promote social cooperation”.  The excavation of the site of Gobekli Tepe (9600 – 8200 BC) in Turkey is starting to bring to the fore-front a completely separate theory. Never mind that the architectural marvel believed to be dated at the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution, – which was described as “finding out that someone had built a 747 in their basement with an X-acto knife”- it also made Klaus Schmidt (a German Researcher) reconsider common held beliefs about ancient organized religion. Some are now starting to believe that “wonderment in the natural world” gave birth to religion, which in turn led to the creation of stationary places of worship. These places of worship like Gobekli Tepe created an epicentre. People then found ways to grow food for large groups of people gathering near these sacred sites[viii].

The parallel to modern Afghanistan makes this connection seem easy. People grow food, pomegranates, grapes and small fields of wheat, to trade or consume. They grow the more lavish opium or lesser – but still lucrative- marijuana to sell for provisions or tools to continue to exist in a meagre way. For many of them it is just the filler that exists around a daily devotional practice to an Abrahamic god of the desert. Every morning, and every evening, the call to prayer is chanted forth into the awakening, or settling, day in reverent song.

It is a simple life.

They do not have the luxuries of the west but still they smile. They do not have television, shopping malls, movie theatres, Starbucks, air conditioning, Internet or ice cold drinks. They do not drink alcohol; even wine. They are happy, though, even with so little. They seem to have everything that they need in the moment[ix].

Of course, I am only speaking for half of them. The other half, the women, have less than anyone can imagine.

Perhaps they too, these men of the desert, need a Grail myth. Perhaps they too need to reconnect with the feminine divine which can then restore the balance?

For the Great Mother, the Holy Grail, brings healing and prosperity for all.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi


[i]Nigel Pennick. Magical Alphabets.

[ii] The White Goddess.

[iii]There is an Irish story of St. Brendan from the late 9th or early 10th
century. The saint is sailing on an epic journey seeking the Land of Promise.
One of the places he discovers is the Island of the Grape Trees. James MacKillop.
Dictionary of Celtic Mythology.

[iv] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_wine

[v] The Spoils of Annwfn or Preiddeu Annwfn

[vi] See the Holy Grail: Its Origins Secrets & Meanings Revealed, Malcolm Godwin for a spiritual tradition perspective and the source for much of the above information. See also the Holy Grail: the History of a Legend, Richard Barber for a more scholarly, yet different perspective from the one I offer. There are many, many books on the Holy Grail including the Grail: a Secret History by John Mathews, the Holy Grail: History, Myth, and Religion by Giles Morgan and on Arthur – King Arthur: the Man and the Legend Revealed by Mike Ashley.

[vii] And even more unavailable to women.

[viii] See, the Birth of Religion, National Geographic June 2011, for the complete article. Charles. C. Mann

[ix] My tour in Afghanistan taught me many things. I remember how after extreme hardship the local people would carry on, after what to my western eyes would seem to be an extremely short period of time. That was not my only observation worth sharing here, though. I will ever after be suspicious of the media after my tour as well. Reporters would write stories of events they were not even present for from the safety of KAF (Kandahar Air Field), stating that they were “reporting from Afghanistan”. I would compare this unethical practice to writing a story on Florida’s everglades from a hotel suite in New York. The events reported were always fictitious and dramatic. These would also either be pro-military or anti-military and were rarely truth based.

Quert (Apple)

Apple. The Pome fruit and tree bearing this fruit is celebrated in numerous functions in Celtic mythology, legend and folklore; it is an emblem of fruitfulness and sometimes a means to immortality.”  – James MacKillop (Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology)

The Roots:

The apple represents the allure of the Otherworld.

Quert is the tenth letter of the Ogham. References to things beyond the number nine are found throughout Celtic myth. The Tuatha De Danann try to keep the Milesians beyond the ninth wave of the ocean for example, so that they would not be able to land on the shores of Ireland in the Book of Invasions. Brigit is attended by nine virgins, so she herself is the other that makes ten. Ten is the perfect number because all of the other numbers exist within it, yet it is the return to singularity (Cooper).

There are many Celtic tales, too many to mention here, that have connections to the apple. Yns Avallach, or Avalon, is the final resting place of Arthur and is usually called the Isle of Apples. Cuchulainn follows a rolling wheel and apple to find a great female warrior teacher[i]. One of the Irish names for the Otherworld was Eamhain Ablach, the realm of apples (Laurie). In Irish legend there is even a magical Silver Bough that carries nine apples which sing people to sleep (Paterson) – again that nine plus one. Thomas the Rhymer, who we have also spoken of before, was given an apple by the queen of the fairies that gave him the gift of prophecy. Many other legends associate Merlin, Olwen, Gwen, the romance of Diarmuid and Grainne, and the Tree of Mugna to the apple. Cu Roi is a hero that is only killed after his wife has betrayed him and revealed the secret hiding place of his soul, which is within an apple in the belly of a salmon.

Erynn Rowan Laurie[ii] associates the Ogham letter with madness and insanity. Although Laurie does not associate these letters with trees – but sees them more akin to the Norse runes[iii] -the symbolism of the apple does seem to support her position in some of the myths regardless.  Merlin is often associated to the apple grove which he could bring forth with him from place to place. Sabine Heinz[iv] reminds us that Merlin hid in the treetops when he became insane after a battle. Those that were considered too strange or “touched in the head” were often, even in relatively recent times, said to have been “taken by the fairies” so perhaps there is a connection to those such as Thomas the Rhymer as well to the concept of madness?

With the introduction of Christianity to the Isles, the apple also became synonymous with temptation and evil. The apple, or quert, is often also associated to romantic love and sex.

The Trunk:

The Otherworld can be described as a place that is elusive yet nearby. It seems to exist alongside us. It is a place where time and age do not matter, the otherworldly women and men are beautiful, animals can talk, the sun always shines, the birds always sing and beauty is amplified.

It is in this land that the gods seem to reside and sometimes the ancestors. The Otherworld is a place of heroic deeds, never ending banquets, whimsical love affairs, and items of great power that can be brought back to the land of the living.

Although the Otherworld is often associated with things made of glass, it is more often than not stumbled upon in the most mundane of manners.

A hero is walking through the wood and follows a white animal or becomes lost and finds him or herself in a completely foreign land. This may take place after there is a storm, fog, or mist.

The Otherworld is where the Sidhe, also known as the Tuatha De Danann, reside in Ireland. It is the land of the fairy, the fair folk, or of great lords that reside over the dead.

There is a story of Connla son of Conn Cetchathach of the Hundred Battles. In the story Connla is approached by a beautiful fairy woman who tempts him to come with her to the other side. She offers him an apple and promises him the relief from old age and even death. He leaves with her, but will not return even with the allure of his father’s kingdom and is never seen again.

(Childhood’s Favourites and Fairy Stories, Project Gutenberg)

Those superstitious of the fairies still warn us today to avoid eating the food of the fair folk… lest one never be able to return to the land of the living. There is a suggestion that this is because the food either tastes so good or intoxicates one to never want to return to the land of men again.

The Otherworld is found far away from the trappings of civilization. It is found on the sea by accident when sailors stumble upon unknown islands, or it is found deep within the wilderness.

The Otherworld is found when the hero is out hunting. It is found when the heroine is minding her own business. It is found when an item, usually food or drink, is found unattended and is unassumingly consumed.

It is likely that the Otherworld is a metaphor for the lands that are seen when one’s perception is shifted. This may happen through trance (perhaps shamanic like percussion), drug induced states (maybe aminita muscaria or possibly wine), dreaming, meditation or even enlightenment.

We must remember though that those that seek the Otherworld rarely find it, while those that do not – similar to Taliesin or Amairgin’s acquirement of wisdom– often find themselves on the other side altogether.

Some do not return.

The Foliage:

The apple, as we know it, has only been around since the classical age. The crab apple of the Americas was never cultivated but the small tart apple was used as a food source by the native people nonetheless[v].

According to Jared Diamond[vi], the apple tree was one of the later plants to be cultivated by ancient peoples. The art of cultivation in which the apple tree was domesticated was a complicated and difficult process that is known as grafting today. Grafting was discovered and developed in ancient China. The grafting, and growing of apple orchards, spread across the known world of the time, through Greece and Rome, and eventually into the lands of the Celts themselves.

This was thousands of years after the cultivation of such plants as the olive, grape or fig.

While it is interesting to note that the oak has never been domesticated as a food source, it is also interesting to recognize that the apple tree will quickly become wild once more. According to Hageneder[vii], the orchard apple is sweeter and bigger than the crab apple and the tree has lost its thorns. Trees that naturalize and leave the orchard, however, are often found to grow thorns once more.

The apple, Quert, has a long list of health benefits and even medicinal properties that continue to be studied in awe. The fruit absorbs contaminants from its environment however, so one should try to eat the organic fruit whenever it is possible.

“In the 19th century in Lower Saxony, Germany, the first bath water used by a newborn baby was poured over the roots of an apple tree to ensure that the child would have red cheeks, and, if it was a girl, large breasts too.” – Fred Hageneder  (The Meaning of Trees)


[i] This seems to be a type of divination.

[ii] Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom

[iii] The Ogham is often seen as a tree alphabet but, as I have discussed in previous posts, this is not entirely accurate. I choose to use the Ogham as a tree alphabet on my own path. In my opinion Erynn Rowan Laurie’s book has the most accurate perception of the Ogham.

[iv] Celtic Symbols

[v] Tree Book: Learning to Recognize Trees of British Columbia

[vi] Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

[vii] The Meaning of Trees

[Image] http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19993