Reply To: Celtic Druids and Neo Pagans

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    hÚath is said to mean “terror” or “fear” in Old Irish – the association with whitethorn/hawthorn is via the Auraicept na n-Éces, however, the word itself does not mean hawthorn, it’s a kenning – Old Irish for the tree is scé, and the modern Irish is scéach gheal.

    These associations are known as kennings or bríatharogam and three sets of kennings give us the associations with the Ogham letters, namely, Bríatharogam Morainn mac Moín, Bríatharogam Maic ind Óc and Bríatharogam Con Culainn; here we find, respectively, condál cúan, bánad gnúise and ansam aidchea pack of hounds, a blanching (paling) of faces and difficult at night as the respective explanations.

    It’s worth noting that not all of the Ogham letter names are directly linked to a tree and some of this kennings are quite enigmatic.