By Isabella @TheWandCarver
The Silver Fir is the main tree for which the Ogham Ailm represents, however, in some other circles the Elm tree is also marked by Ailm. To confuse the issue further, Silver Fir is not mentioned in my first blog [see Sources below the link] regarding the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar and the representation of each tree’s Ogham alphabet. One chart uses Pine in the place of Fir. The Ailm Ogham, all the more confusingly, represents all three trees: Elm, Fir, and Pine. For our purposes, should we create an Ogham set for ourselves from the twenty woods needed, it seems the prevailing wood for Ailm by the Druids is Silver Fir. Ailm is the Ogham for the 23rd of December, the beginning of Yule.
While Silver Fir is not, as stated, a Birth Tree, it is called “The Birth Tree”. It is used in protection spells for mothers giving and having given birth. One of the ways is by burning the needles in the birthing room. An excellent way to bring this into the 21st century is to create a loose incense with the Fir [or Pine] needles to burn on a charcoal block. Fir is also one of the Nine Sacred Woods.
Representations: Far-sightedness, Beginnings/Endings, Pregnancy/Birth, Understanding, Intuition, Psychics, Manifestation, Epiphany
Ogham Letter: A
Colour: Piebald – spotted/black/white/speckled
Tarot: The Tower
Plant: Fir, Pine, Elm
Divination Meaning: You must question yourself again… What work am I starting? How am I being initiated? Ailm is the Ogham of beginnings and endings combined. As one comes into this life, so is one born into the next. You must study the part[s] of your life going through transition and look ahead into your own future. You will be able to see what is beyond and what is coming. When Ailm appears in divination, a new thing is coming into being. Someone you know may be about to give birth, or you are beginning a new project; you are full of excitement and creativity, an epiphany is about to happen. It could also indicate that your spirituality is about to experience a great growth spurt. But no matter what is coming, you must realise that it is going to happen. How it happens is largely up to you as to whether you will drag your feet and make it painful or whether you will open yourself willingly to the change and go through it with grace.
How to Mend the Problem: The chthonic current of Ailm is life and death… the oceanic current of Ailm is being on the threshold of something new and exciting; being on the brink of discovery – on the verge of the “aha moment”. You are standing at the threshold of a very important passage in your life. You may be about to give birth to a baby… or perhaps a brand-new idea… or you will learn that you have acquired the spirituality you have worked so dedicatedly for. Perhaps you will make a discovery which can help all of mankind. Here, you and you alone must see into your own future and decide what it will be. Your intuition is going to be necessary. The Universe feels you are ready for the passage. You would do well to trust the Universe and in yourself for you have learned all you need to know at this point to make this passage. But do understand, the passage itself cannot be rushed, nor can you stop it; this is not in your hands. Take your time and savour it. It will be worth it.
One further note, if you are pulling three staves in a reading, and pull the Ur stave along with Ailm as one of your three, it will have to do with Death… and do remember that to pull the Ur stave, just as with the Death card in tarot does not always, and rarely means, physical death. Always make note of where it falls…Past, Present, or Future.
The tarot card with goes so well with Ailm is The Tower. Of that I’m aware, there are no “upright” or “reverse” meanings in the Ogham. Your stave will represent both sides of the coin, as it were. Your foresight into your situation will tell you whether the meaning is fabulous or not so much. Still, as previously mentioned, the Universe feels you are ready for this. The Tower card in the Upright position means to expect the unexpected – massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos. It may be a divorce, death of a loved one, financial failure, health problems, natural disaster, job loss or any event that shakes you to your core, affecting you spiritually, mentally and physically. There’s no escaping it. Change is here, but trust me, it’s for your Highest Good. In the Reversed state, The Tower suggests that you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval. This differs from the experience of the upright Tower where the change is often because of external circumstances and may even feel forced upon you. After a Tower experience, you will grow stronger, wiser and more resilient as you develop a new perspective on life you did not even know existed. These moments are necessary for your spiritual growth and enlightenment, and truth and honesty will bring about a positive change, even if you experience pain and anxiety throughout the process.
The Ailm Ogham does the same for you.
You can catch up the first fifteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, Part Fourteen, and Part Fifteen by clicking on these respectively.
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The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray