Compiled by Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear
Ogham (Modern Irish), ogam, ogum (Old Irish), oghum (ScottishGaelic).The Ogham alphabet is thought to be named after the Irish god Ogma.
Ogham is form of writing in which the letters are represented by combinations of parallel strokes in number from one to five, set in varied positions along a central stemline. It was originally intended for inscription upon upright pillar stones. The alphabet consists of twenty letters and five diphthongs; the letters were incised in groups of five, perhaps indicating some relationship to finger signs.
Ogham derives from the Chalcidic form of the Greek alphabet, once current in northern Italy, in Cisalpine Gaul, the Roman side of the Alps, the present provinces of Piedmont and Lombardy. He states that it was used for secret communication, being part of the signalling or gesture system of 'druidic freemasonry'. However, other authorities generally hold ogham to be based upon the Roman alphabet.
Ogham in Ireland...was used for magical or cryptical purposes. 'When paganism was waning the finger signs were used as a secret language and finally used for writing epitaphs'.
Ogham is the 'occult manner of writing used by the ancient Irish', according to the Highland Society of Scotland's Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (1828).
Ancient Manuscript Ogham Sample