The Tree Ogham
As I briefly noted in my last post, I have started a project of creating Ogham Tree cards for KIA to use as a visualisation development tool. The Ogham (the "g" is silent) was an early alphabet used by the druids. Each of the symbols, or fedha, represents one of the sacred trees or shrubs recognised by the druids. There are 20 in all. A chart of the fedha and corresponding trees can be found here. The druids believed that each of the trees contained special healing properties and individual wisdom. The spirit of a given tree was called upon for a variety reasons, everything from fertility to inspiration to clarity.
I have decided to respect this ancient wisdom and pass it along to KIA. Our goal is to introduce KIA to a very earth-centered style of learning. In addition to the silhouette Ogham cards, I also plan to carve the symbols into the corresponding wood for each of the trees (although not all of the trees grow around here so I'm still trying to figure out all of the details). This will be useful to KIA for touch and becoming familiar with each of the trees.
Some may ask why I feel the need to dwell in such ancient "mythology" or teach impractical skills. However, I believe that creating a closer bond with the Earth is exactly what many children lack these days. With the explosion of video game, music devices, cable/satellite TV, and the constant barrage of extracurricular sports and activities, children are drifting away from the magic of our natural world. As a parent, I feel it is my responsibility to teach environmental ethics, species identification, conservation, and an all around love and appreciation for nature. It's definitely a journey that I am willing to take.