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A Beginners Guide to Ogham Divination by Ceri Norman ~ a book review by Helen Brambley

After the mention of Ogham staves in Rachel's Friday chat, I decided to review this book, which turned out to be an amazing gem!

Although the author claims this book is not a history text, it does contain a brief history of the Ogham and theories on why it was created, along with various traditional meanings based on historical fact. This gives the reader a context in order to link more modern meanings, as well as the author's recommendation that readers work with what each tree means to them personally. Just because a meaning is not historical, the author feels it doesn't make it any less valid, which I am in total agreement with.

The book is easy to work with, both as a complete read and as a reference guide when learning to use the Ogham, with chapters on myths, ways to connect to trees through meditation, making your own Ogham set using a variety of resources, divination layouts and excellent correspondence lists. These include ways to support accurate identification of each tree. There are also lots of fantastic question prompts to aid a deepening connection with each 'Few'.

As an absolute amateur on this subject, I was interested to discover that each letter of the Ogham alphabet is considered a key to unlock mysteries and has many associations above and beyond that of the tree itself.

The style of the writing really appeals to me, it includes interesting details and viewpoints, such as likening trees to people in the ways they communicate, positing that therefore people and trees communicating with each other is not such a stretch. There is also a great definition of divination, saying the reader is 'like...a meteorologist who predicts the weather by studying weather maps.'

I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone who has a love of trees, enjoys connecting with the natural world or practising the art of divination.

The author states: 'My aim in writing this book is to inspire you to find and create your own practical and meaningful way of working with the magic and mystery of the ancient Celtic Ogham and its trees, for both divination and as a part of your daily life and spiritual practice.'

In my humble opinion, this book achieves this aim beautifully. It is released on 25th November, but is available for pre-order now!

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