Genesis Order of  Druids Portsmouth

The Celtic Tree Ogham

The Tree Ogham was a Celtic alphabet, with each letter symbolised by a  specific tree. The alphabet is made up of 20 trees from birch  (representing re-birth, new journeys and change) to yew (representing  death, the never ending cycle and access to the spiritual realms). The  Ogham not only used to represent a means of communication between members  of Celtic tribes but is also a means of communicating with trees  themselves, allowing you to form a spiritual link with the tree, this is done using an Ogham Stick. When you have your set of Oghams you can use these as a means of divination using the individual properties of each tree to give a reading to a person in a similar way that you would use runes or Tarot. Each stick is made from the corresponding tree and marked with the matching Ogham symbol.

Ogham Sticks
The 20 trees of the Ogham

The Ogham Project

During 2017 we started the year long Ogham project and due to its popularity it will now be ongoing, collecting and making Ogham sticks and coming together as a collective group and connecting with the Trees of the Ogham throughout the Wheel of the Year. We have a facebook group that you can join to get involved with the project HERE

For more information about the Ogham You might also like to join Yuri’s Ogham Grove Page on facebook HERE


Tree Calendar
~ 13 Month Lunar System as defined by Robert Graves ~
Although named The ‘Celtic Tree Calendar’ there is no evidence that the celts named months using trees from the Ogham and it was not until the 18th century that this idea was popularised. We use it today because trees are sacred to druids and as such it is good to use  taking the different properties of each tree and attaching them to the appropriate month and using it as a sort of tree astrological system. Here is the calendar as documented/made up by Robert Graves.

  • Beth (Birch) December 24 to January 20
  • Luis (Rowan) January 21 to February 17
  • Nion (Ash) February 18 to March 17
  • Fearn (Alder) March 18 to April 14
  • Saille (Willow) April 15 to May 12
  • Uath (Hawthorn) May 13 to June 9
  • Duir (Oak) June 10 to July 7
  • Tinne (Holly) July 8 to August 4
  • Coll (Hazel) August 5 to September 1
  • Muin (Vine) September 2 to September 29
  • Gort (Ivy) September 30 to October 27
  • Ngetal (Reed) October 28 to November 24
  • Ruis (Elder) November 25 to December 22
  • Mistletoe represents December 23 as it is not ruled by any tree, it is the traditional  day of the proverbial "Year and a Day"

The Ogham Tree Year
An alternative calendar system using all the twenty trees, which seems rather more natural then Robert Graves Thirteen lunar month system.
~ Spring ~ The Growing Days ~
1 – Birch(Beithe) – Pioneer of the New Year (31st December - 17th January)
2 – Rowan(Luis) – 1st Herald of Imbolc (18th January - 5th February)
3 – Alder(Fearn) – 2nd Herald of Imbolc (6th February - 23rd February)
4 – Willow(Saille) – Warden of early Spring (24th February - 12th March)
5 – Ash(Nion) – Spring Equinox (13th March - 30th March)

~ Summer ~ The  Flowering Days ~
1 – Hawthorn(Uath) – Pioneer of the Flowering days (31st March - 17th April)
2 – Oak(Duir) – 1st Herald of Beltane (18th April - 4th May)
3 – Holly(Tinne) - 2nd Herald of Beltane (5th May - 23rd May)
4 – Hazel(Coll) – Warden of early Summer (24th May - 11th June)
5 – Apple(Quert) – Summer Solstice (12th June – 29th June)

~ Autumn ~ The Fruitful Days ~
1 – Vine(Muin) – Pioneer of the fruitful days (30th June – 16th July)
2 – Ivy(Gort) – 1st Herald of Lughnasadh (17th July – 4th August)
3 – Broom(ngetal) – 2nd Herald of Lughnasadh (5th August – 23rd August)
4 – Blackthorn(Straif) – Warden of early Autumn (24th August – 11th September)
5 – Elder(Ruis) – Autumn Equinox (12th September – 29th September)

~ Winter ~ The Seeding Days ~
1 – Pine(Ailm) – Pioneer of the Suns seeding days (30th September - 17th October)
2 – Gorse(Onn) – 1st Herald of Samhain (18th October – 4th November)
3 – Heather(Ur) – 2nd Herald of Samhain (5th November – 23rd November)
4 – Poplar(Edhadh) – Warden of early Winter (24th  November – 11th December)
5 – Yew(Idho) – Winter Solstice
(12th December – 30th December)



Throughout the year you can make your own set of Ogham Fews using this ‘rough’ timetable following the Wheel of the Year.
It is incorporated into the wheel of the year so it might be possible to collect many of the sticks after the ceremonies at Hilsea lines if that is convenient for you. (Vine is a difficult one to find so you can substitute it with Bramble) You might like to collect your sticks as we go along or collect them as you come across a tree at your convenience, from a tree that has a special meaning to you or is located in a special place that means something personal to you and just make your stick when the time comes bearing in mind that it is best to let the wood season/dry out for 2-3 months in a dry place prior to working with it to make your Ogham Fews.
Info about the trees/Ogham will be posted over the year.
Feel free to post your pictures of your trees/sticks and finished Oghams in the facebook group.
You can make your sticks going on from Yule following the guide/timing below or you might prefer to just make them at the appropriate time following the calendar above.

Yule - Imbolc 
1- Birch (Beithe)*
2- Rowan (Luis)

Imbolc - Ostara
3 - Alder (Fearn)
4 - Willow (Saille)*
5 - Ash (Nion)*

Ostara - Beltane
6 - Hawthorn (Huath)*
7 - Oak (Duir)*
8 - Holly (Tine)*

Beltane - Summer Solstice
9 - Hazel (Coll)*
10 - Apple (Queirt)*
11 - Vine (Muin)

Summer Solstice - Lughnasadh
12 - Ivy (Gort)*
13 - Broom/Reed (Ngetal)
14 - Blackthorn (Straif)

Lughnasadh - Mabon
15 - Elder (Ruis)*
16 - Fir (Ailm)

Mabon -Samhain
17 - Gorse (Onn)
18 - Heather (Ur)

Samhain - Yule
19 - Poplar/Aspen (Edad)*
20 - Yew (Idad)*
*can be found at Hilsea Lines.

Things you will need
1 - Your stick between 6"-12" is good 1/2"-1" thick but the stick size is personal preference you might prefer a short stick or a longer one or you might want to make both and use the smaller set for 'travelling'
2 - Sharp Knife/Carving tools to shape your stick
3 - Sandpaper 1 rough and 1 fine grit
4 - Thin ribbon etc that you might like to use to decorate your stick (optional)
5 - Pyrography pen or paint etc to put the symbols/names on your sticks, or you might like to carve the symbols.
6 - Linseed or teak Oil, Varnish or Beeswax to finish your stick.
7 - An awareness of the tree that your stick came from


Ogham Books

Here are a few books about the Ogham you might like to buy the first two are handy 'Field guides' you can pop into your backpack and take with you when you are out collecting your ogham sticks. 
The Tree Ogham by Glennie Kindred - HERE
The Ogham Year Wheel by Yuri Leitch -HERE
This one also contains the info from The Ogham Year Wheel
The Ogham Grove: The Year Wheel of the Celtic/Druidic god Ogma the Sun-Faced (NEWLY UPDATED) by Yuri Leitch - HERE

The Tree Ogham The Ogham Year Wheel The Ogham Grove

OghamProject Events

Throughout the year we will have various meet-ups/talks and practical workshops, details will be listed here.

Ogham Stick Collection Walk - TBC
Practical Ideas for your Ogham Stick making - TBC


Ogham Links
Here are a few helpful Ogham links
Ogham Trail
The Ogham Grove
The Ogham Project
Yuri Leitch Website


Ogham Tree Trail

You may like to follow our Ogham Tree trail, which is the only one of its kind in the country.

Start at Bastion 3, Scott road/Peronne Road, Hilsea. We  have a leaflet available  that will guide you round the trees at Hilsea Lines. Wooden posts marked with the Ogham symbols are in place,
The Tree Trail leaflet is now available which you can download from here, so you can easily follow the walk on your own or you can come along to a guided walk in the future. Next guided walk will be announced here usually around the Spring Equinox and early Autumn. Further information can be found on the Ogham Trail site by clicking the link at the top of the page.

Thank you to Peter Roberts The Guardian of the Grove and PCC Countryside Ranger also his volunteers for all their hard work and dedication maintaining and looking after the area.