SAMPLE | Week 02 - Erynn Rowan Laurie - Planting a Seed of Practice

PAGAN DIGEST - Vol. 01 - Week 02.pdf

VOLUME 01 - WEEK 02 - MAY 2020

Planting a Seed of Practice [Plain Text Version]

by Erynn Rowan Laurie.

...the Ogham got its name according to sound and matter, who are the father and the mother of the Ogham...

Sound and matter. Words and objects. These are the seeds of a practice.

Sound comes first; the names of the letters, the music of them. Learn their names. For most people, the Irish names may seem strange at first, foreign. But it is not hard (ni ansa) to learn them. There are sound files and videos of Irish speakers, of Irish people, pronouncing the words. Find them. Practice. Learn the shapes in your mouth and your throat. Sing the words to plant them in your heart.

Matter is the physical presence of the letter. Learn the shapes. Learn the order of them. Right hand first and left hand after. Learn the order of the aicme, the groups of letters. Draw them on paper, trace them on your skin, carve them into wood or stone or clay. Repeat the actions over and over as a meditation, repeating the name of the letter as you do.

Inhabit the mind and the hand of Ogma, the god who created the letters. Ask him for his presence and his guidance in your work. If you have a little space, create an altar for him, a small shrine to his work, and to yours. Keep your notebook there, and your pen, or the art supplies you use for your practice. Keep the images there that you create. Use the images as a focus for your meditations.

Use colors and images associated with the meanings of the letter names. Study the color ogham, the ogham lists, the origins of the letter names and incorporate those into your images. Use found images if you don't feel artistic. Create collages. Surround yourself with the feda, the letters.

If you're the sort who does journeying work, travel to meet the god. Imagine the feda as beings, as spirits, and go to meet them as well. Explore the environments around them. How do they feel, how do they look? Are there scents or sounds characteristic of their Otherworld places? Do you meet particular animals or birds or plants in those places? How do the feda present themselves to you? Do they wear human faces? Do they speak or do they communicate with you in other ways?

Keep a notebook or a file with all your observations, no matter how odd or small. Record all the details. If you are so inclined, write poems or stories or songs that bring these details together. These are your keys to unlock the ogham for divination, for magic, for healing.

Read, as well. Read about the history and culture, the language and laws of Ireland, for this is the rich earth from which the ogham originated. Read the stories of the gods and the spirits. Learn some of the language, the songs, the food. All these things will reward you well.

A tree is only as strong as the seed from which it sprouted.