Waking the Green Man with the Tree Ogham, Part 1

Waking the Green Man

          There is a lot of discussion about the return of the divine feminine in the “new thought” movements. While it is true she has been through her travails, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the divine masculine has suffered just as much, and that he too, is throwing off the bondage of the previous age. So I see not just the re-emergence of the divine feminine, but also the re-emergence of the divine masculine. In other words, we are all awakening. As we move beyond either/or consciousness and begin to grasp with real understanding that apparent opposites and paradoxes are extremes of the same continuum, we will also begin to grasp that there is no dominance or submission of one gender over/under the other. The “battle of the sexes” that has played out in our state of social stupor-like oblivion evaporates when we shift our perspective and gaze from the soul. Then we see that we are all one, and that unity is manifest in our individual equal and opposite sexual expression. Sexual expression meaning: “I am male/female in this physical incarnation.” If the expression of one of the sexes is suppressed, the other is bound also. It is important that we remember as we become aware of the divine feminine that we not continue the divisive dichotomy. There is no Lady of the Lake without Merlin. It is only in relationship to the divine masculine that we know the divine feminine. Her “re-emergence” is also His.  

          I feel called to help re-popularize, help re-remember these old teachings and ways of honoring the divine masculine (and feminine). When I started this effort, at one moment I experienced that flash of doubt like we all do, and I had the thought: “I am the most unqualified person to write about the divine masculine, I’m a woman, I grew up without a father, was never close with my brothers, every romantic relationship I’ve ever had has failed, etc. etc.” and then of course it hit me that actually that is what makes me the most qualified person to write about the divine masculine. Everything about my current incarnation has been a preparation for this work. Because of the void of the masculine in my life, I worship men in a way that most women don’t. The task at hand needs that quality of worship to assist in the healing. Both ways. We need to worship each other freely, truly, and purely.

          Vacuum schmacuum, imbalance is what Nature abhors. Western Europeans (like me) have to go back a very long time in our collective consciousness to arrive at the last time masculine and feminine lived in balance. The pre-Roman Celtic Empire (2-3000 years ago) was very much like the pre-contact Native Americans in that, although they were more settled, they lived with the earth not against it. Also like the Native Americans, the men and women lived in balance. A Roman General wrote in his journal circa 150 AD “One scarcely stands a chance against a Celt if he is joined in battle by his wife.”

Why the Tree Ogham and what is it?

          First, pronunciation: Oh-Em. Like “I Am” or Om. The Ogham is a tool of many layers. It is an alphabet of trees, each tree having a symbol and sound. A set of sticks made from the corresponding trees with their symbols carved into them are used like Rune stones. And like Runes, it is also a language and used as a script. In fact it developed parallel to Runes. It was commonly used in standing stones at property boundaries. We know that it was widely used from 400 BC to 700 AD. Some of the more ancient engravings in Ireland, Britain and Wales contain characteristics that linguists say are indicative of a proto-Celtic language, presumable spoken by the Druids. (Matthews, 2003.) As Druidry went underground, it was hidden in the folktales, songs and stories. Structured epic poems were written using the Ogham dialect (Old Irish). To those who know how to de-code it, hidden in the verse is instructions on the Ogham and spells for using magic (Blamires, 1997. Murphy, 1988. Matthews, 2003.) Today we call it the law of attraction and manifestation.

          As a larger philosophy I believe Druidry has as much to offer to heal the wounds from the war of the sexes as Yoga does. Gaelic and Sanskrit are linguistic cousins. After they split, yoga went inside but Druidry stayed outside. Both remind us that the power of manifestation is in the word. In yoga practice we chant mantras, and anyone who has practiced this with any regularity will attest to its power. We are awakening to our power to manifest our desires, but most of us bumble around at the kindergarten level of mastery (so far). The Druids were not kindergarteners. They were PhD’s. It took 20 years of study to become a Druid. They knew the power of their knowledge. Theirs was a tradition of memorized knowledge. They knew, I believe, that it needed to be preserved but also guarded, so they hid it. This point alone has several potential books in it; the reason for mentioning it here is to illustrate the depth and importance of the Ogham.

          One reason I think the Tree Ogham is particularly relevant now is because tree energy is such a blend of masculine and feminine. Consider the Oak, the mighty Oak, one of the strongest woods. Very masculine. Yet the fruit of one tree can feed families. The acorn can make milk for our babes and hardy breads to fuel strong men. Very feminine. You will find both the male and female aspect in every tree, naturally. As the Asanas (physical practice) are to Yoga, (a tool) using the Ogham (a different kind of physical practice) is to Druidry. Both are meditation tools to connect with ourselves and to source. Both are consciousness practices we can use to shape our personal realities and affect the lives of those we touch.

          Another reason is because of the way we have treated the forests for the past 200 years. Our appetite for de-forestation is its own form of cancer, as Edward Abbey famously said: “Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell.” Our consumerism is a form of global cancer. We need to heal our relationship with the forest. We cannot live without it. The tree Ogham is one way we can do that.

A life long food forager, and wilderness enthusiast, Theresa is a self taught herbalist. Her daily practice is a blend of yoga and druidry with a pinch of buddhism. She offers readings through the Celtic Tree Ogham, a system similar to Runes. She is here to promote the healing of our connection to the earth

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Comment by Trevor Taylor on February 5, 2014 at 4:54am

Good morning Theresa, and thank you for your Trilogy - am recommending this article to the publishers for inclusion in one of the March 2014 multi-media magazines. Could you pop a brief BIO in at the end.

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