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The Druid's Path
The Irish Druidic Creation Story
Chanting the Briatharogam of Morann around the Stream Strand of Ferchertne, ascending Fionn's Ladder to the Wheel Ogham of Roigni Roscadach.
Journeying along the Navel String of Mac ind Oic, chanting his Ogham both right-hand-wise and left-hand-wise within the spirals there.
Descending through Fionn's Window into the world around us, along the Pathways of Cú Chulainn.
Rippling outward into the world from Mastery into Spirit,
Manifesting within the Mind through Song,
Being sung in harmony by a Bard into Being,
Becoming a Creation of the Worlds and Cauldrons.
Within each breast, in every world, along every stream,
Here's something I teach about this process:
The Song of the Trees is the same song that Fionn said was the best music in all the world. It is “the Music of What Happens." I once had a very old and wise man from the Isle of Skye sing me such a song from his own wood wisdom using Ogham. I wish that my hearing were better and my recollection more accurate, but all that remains from his singing for me is the spirit of the song of many realms, a parting of the mists and the ever new growth of life in the world again. Here is a description of what I consider that music to be as I've attempted to reconstruct and embrace his song.
These words are from the Book of Ogham (the ogam tract of the Book of Ballymote). They contain the Ogham kennings known as Briatharogam. The tree tones associated with the stanzas and kennings are taken from Seán O'Boyle's, The Poets' Secret and they descend to the depths and rise again in the repeating of the song in its entirety (starting with the highest note for Birch or Beith. In this descending and ascension, they are much like the Ogham structure known as Aradach Fionn or Fionn's Ladder.
The tonal pattern is sometimes called the Greek Dorian mode. With regard to the Ogham tones and notes below: lower case type signifies treble clef tones and upper case type signifies bass clef in the Ogham that follow. The higher octave notes are in regular style while the lower octave notes are in boldface (here as capitals) type. I've used a "`" to signify higher octaves and a "," to indicate lower octaves.
The sequence of notes is similar to the tuning of the Irish harp that was reported by Edward Bunting to have been used by the traditional wire-strung Irish harpists at the Belfast Harp Competition of 1792. The major difference is that the traditional harp used G for both NG and ST where O'Boyle suggests G and F# for these strings/note. The NG and ST notes are known as "The Sisters" on the Irish harp and it is thought that perhaps they were tuned along with Q to allow different modal tunings to be used while maintaining the same fingering.
Here is Aicmi Fedha or The Grove of the Woods:
Aicme beith, (begins with an e` tone)
Luis, (begins with a d` tone)
Fearn, (begins with a c` tone)
Saile, (begins with a b tone)
Nuin, (begins with an a tone)
Aicme huath, (begins with a g tone)
Duir, (begins with n f tone)
Tinne, (begins with an e tone)
Coll, (begins with a d tone)
Quert, (begins with a c# tone)
Aicme muin, (begins with a B tone)
Gort, (begins with a A tone)
Ngetal, (begins with a G tone)
Straif, (begins with an F# tone)
Ruis, (begins with an F tone)
Aicme ailm, (begins with a E tone)
Ohn, (begins with a D tone)
Ur, (begins with a C tone)
Edad, (begins with a B, tone)
Idad, (begins with an A, tone)
I think that learning this song and chant will enable a person to open themselves more fully to all the possibilities that can occur in the three worlds and cauldrons. It is not as much an impact for me as the chant that Alasdair sang to us in the darkness at Bastrop but it attempts to kindle a flame from the embers that remain. I believe that one should sing it twice, once for the darkness of death and destruction and a again for the renewal of life and creation that comes always through the soul and spirit inhabiting new worlds and bodies.
In this chanting and singing of the “Ogham Woods,” I believe that all of life, death and creation are contained. They are a description of everything that is known in words and empowered with the power of truth to create or destroy. I've augmented each stanza about the trees with my own Ogham kennings in an attempt to summarize the meanings of the other three as well as to connect and weave the many kennings, notes and colors into a tapestry of life. Any mistakes in the Old Irish are entirely my own. All constructive criticism and suggestions are very welcome as this information is a part of a book that I've written (and am now editing) titled, The Song of the Trees.
The above song is an exercise in freeing the mind and spirit from the shackles of the ordinary in much the same way that a choir exercise using the scales before beginning to sing or chant.
Is mise le meas,
My thanks to the gods, to the Draoithe and Filidh of Ireland, to Sean O'Boyle and to Allasdair Mac Ranuill (who sang the boats through the fog of the Irish Sea)
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