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Trees of the Goddess: A New Way of Working with the Ogham

Reviewed by Nicole Rain Sellers

For millennia, trees have been held sacred among indigenous cultures and great civilisations alike. Tree mythology features in all major world religions. Trees speak deeply to our human collective unconscious, as symbols of otherworld connection, longevity, nourishment, and the mysteries of transformation.

To the ancient Celts, certain trees held special value as a magickal alphabet known as the ogham. Trees of the Goddess is a short book describing these sacred trees in the context of the mystical “Song of Amergin,” translated by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. While the ogham’s popular use as a calendar is loosely based on Graves’ work, his interpretation has been disputed (in true Pagan style) as a corruption of original sources.

But Trees of the Goddess author Elen Sentier does not concern herself with such disputes — she simply offers her own system in the heartfelt voice of experience. “The ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet primarily used to write the Old Irish and the Brythonic languages, and let’s not open the can of worms that is the Norse ogham!” she quips.

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