Today’s message comes from The Celtic Tree Oracle by Liz and Colin Murray with illustrations by Vanessa Card.
This was my first oracle deck and I’ve had it for around 20 years. For a long time it was my only deck but for the last few years it has sat at the back of my drawer where I keep my Tarot and Oracle decks, not forgotten, but slumbering. Recently it has been calling to me again so today I decided I would use the deck for a daily reading. The deck is based on the Ogham.
The Ogham alphabet is thought to be named after the Irish god Ogma. One theory of its origins is that it evolved out of a system of tallies used for accounting. Ogham is also known as or ogham craobh, beth luis fearn or beth luis nion.
About 500 Ogham inscriptions have been found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and the Isle of Man dating from between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. There are inscriptions in ancient Irish and Pictish which have not been deciphered. A number of bilingual inscriptions in Ogham and Latin or Ogham and Old Norse written with the Runic alphabet have been found.
While all surviving traces of Ogham are inscriptions on stone, it was probably more commonly inscribed on sticks, stakes and trees. Inscriptions generally take the form of somebody's name and the name of a place and were probably used to mark boundaries. 
The card for today then is Phagos, the Beech Tree. On the card you can see the Ogham symbol, plus three dots to either side of the tree itself. The three dots indicate that this is a Chieftain card. Chieftain trees were held in high regard in Druid practice, which puts extra emphasis on today’s message. We have very many Beech woods in the UK. The tree has a wonderful smooth grey bark and exudes a quiet authority. The wood was once used as a writing surface because of its smooth and even surface. In fact the words book and Beech have the same origins. With this in mind Phagos asks us today to look for guidance in old books and writings, places associated with old energies, and objects which tell us a story of the past and its peoples. In doing this we are not going backwards. The past is an elder that can teach us much wisdom, and there is an awful lot of that wisdom that is still locked away, buried in words, undiscovered treasures and indeed within ourselves. The past can also give us new ideas, new approaches and ways of thinking that take us forward into a new future.
Don’t discount old ideas or ways of doing things that you are presented with. They may seem outmoded, but think of the personal costs involved in bringing them to light. This should be fully considered and respected.
Be aware today of anything that you seem drawn to, even if only a word or a name, that has to do with the past. Research further, reflect and respect the source. You may just be given a clue or inspiration that will help you on your own quest through life.
And as you go about your daily business look out for the Beech trees. They are wonderful vibrant greens or burnished copper and by now should be covered in the tiny beech nuts which squirrels adore. As you pass them give them at least a nod of respect and feel their ancient wisdom as they glance down at you.
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