The Ogham Divination pack, which I use on this Site, was a long-term project of mine spanning a three year period. Principal photography began in July 2008 and was carried over the following 12 months. The literature to accompany the pack began at May (Beltane) 2010 and was finally completed in February (Imbolg) of the following year. By that time I had also produced a hard copy version pack of cards for personal use.
When it came to the actual design for the cards I wanted to conform to a simple framework but one which incorporated a number of factors.
- The central Ogham symbol must utilise pieces of that particular Ogham tree, and whenever possible to use wands that I had already produced.
- The outer frame to consist of longer lengths of wands; often of the same as the inner Ogham, but not necessarily so.
- The image to be appropriately decorated with foliage, flowers, berries or fruit of that particular Ogham symbol.
- The same background fabric was to be used for every card.
I began, quite appropriately, with Birch and then continued in no particular order until all 20 cards were finally completed. I did it this way because I quickly realised that not all trees would be at their best all at the same time of the year. Heather and gorse, for example, flower twice a year but not always at the same time that holly or apple would be in fruit. So while I wandered through areas of Charnwood Forest I quite often had to patiently watch and wait until the time was right to collect items for photography.
All images were then edited, cropped, resized and digitally enhanced using my PSP8 program until the end result was ready for printing as a prototype divination set.
The second stage, writing the literature to accompany the pack, did not start unto almost a year later. Once again I chose to tackle the cards in no particular order; from my own personal wand set I would randomly take a wand, meditate, and write about the corresponding Ogham. The first card that I wrote about was Elder and 9 months later finished with Fern.
Unlike many writers of other card sets, whom had quite efficiently, and wonderfully, covered their divinatory meanings and historical traditions, I wanted to keep each Ogham page simple and succinct; focussing on the spirit and character of the wood itself. Having already produced wands and staffs of all of the Ogham trees, I had become intimately acquainted with their various characteristics; both their growth patterns and how they responded to when being worked on. Rowan and Birch, for example, have very similar characteristics; both as growing trees and also when worked upon, and yet they have different divinatory meanings. Hazel and holly trees, by comparison, are so different from each other in every aspect and yet they grow quite happily alongside each other in the woods. I hope that my own personal individual treatment of the Ogham trees captures their unique essence.
Many of my divinatory meanings of the Ogham cards are a blend of standard traditional descriptions, and of my own expanding understanding of its uses; which often is at odds with tradition. A fine example of this is my Aspen card. As it was the last honeysuckle-twisted wand I was able to add to my personal collection I saw this as a final piece of a jigsaw, completion, when the full aspect finally becomes clear after a long search. It was after I had made my aspen wand that I decided to create the Ogham Divination pack; a project that had not previously been on my spiritual agenda.
Now, over 6 years since I began work on the Ogham pack (and even longer if you include many of the wands I use within its designs) I now finally present them as the centrepiece on this Ogham Divination website, both as an aid to those who seek the wisdom of the trees and for those who wish to understand the nature of the trees themselves.
This article © Copyright Rick M Carr/Witcherman 2014
Not to be used or reproduced without permission from the Author