Ancient Symbols & Signs

ogham alphabet

Celtic Ogham Alphabet Symbols

The alphabet consists of 20 letters, arranged in 4 groups of five, though five more letters were added at a later date.

The letters themselves were constructed from a series of straight lines incised across a single stave(a.k.a druim). These were usually written using the edge of a stone as a stave from the bottom > up they would then run right over the tip and down the other side (they were read from left to right)…this sometimes makes ogam very difficult to translate.

Branch ogam was usually carved on a branch of the specific tree it is related to, the way it is inscribed is in the same vein as the stave version. This is the most commonly used for divination purposes, for those of you that wish to create your own ogam set, gently collect a branch from the specific plant, stave the end of slightly and carve into the exposed wood. These would then be cast or picked from a bag. If they are cast the relation between the overlapping twigs and the ogams meanings are to be integrated.

Finger ogam was perhaps the most secret, because certain fingers related to specific letters/associations druids could pass secret messages by touching anothers hand in a certain way or by holding an object.

If you click on any of the tree names you will be taken to a description of the relevant tree you will then need to press the link provided to return here.

Ogham Branch Alphabet
(sometimes referred to as Virgular)
Ogham Finger Alphabet
Ogham Stave Alphabet

Set 1

Letter Name Meanings
B Beithe Birch
L Luis Rowan
F Fearn Alder
S Saile Willow
N Nuin Ash

Set 2

Letter Name Meanings
H (h)Uathe Whitethorn/Hawthorn
D Duir Oak
T Tinne Holly
C Coll Hazel
Q Quert Apple

Set 3

Letter Name Meanings
M Muinn Vine
G Gort Ivy
Ng (N)Getal Broom
St(z) Straif Blackthorn
R Ruis Elder

Set 4

Letter Name Meanings
A Ailm Silver Fir
O Ohm Furze
U Ur Heather
E Edhadh White Poplar
I Ido Yew

Set 5 – Additional Set

Letter Name Meanings
EA Ebadh Aspen
OI Oir Spindle Tree
UI Uilleand Honeysuckle
IA Iphin Pine
AE Emancoll Witch Hazel