Trees of the Goddess by Elen Sentier
Trees of the Goddess is a great little book, in only 101 pages Elen Sentier manages to introduce the main concepts of Ogham, the Celtic tree alphabet, and its application within the British Shamanic Tradition.
The book provides a primer for tree magic, and provides an explanation of the cycles of the sun and moon before covering the Ogham alphabet and ending with a series of deceptively straight forward sounding exercises and rituals.
As someone only vaguely aware of Ogham and aware of it only in the context of archaeological inscriptions, it was truly absorbing to find out more about the deeper more esoteric side of this alphabet. The book sets out the 13 months of the year, alongside the Ogham symbol and the corresponding British tree. A wealth of practical information such as etymology, history, identifying features of each tree, medicinal uses and folk-lore is complemented by thoughtful reflections on the deeper concepts at play within this tradition.
The influence of Robert Graves ‘The White Goddess’ is evident and where the author deviates from traditional she clearly indicates it and explains her reasoning. The author seems well aware of the academic debate about the origins and usage of Ogham and while acknowledging this debate, keeps wisely to her own path.
The writing style is fluid and engaging with occasional joyful bursts of very earthy wisdom. All together I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For a very small book, clearly designed as an introduction to the subject, I felt that it packed in a lot of useful information. I can imagine dipping into this book again and again. It certainly made me want to dig deeper into this area of study.
Elen Sentier grew up on Dartmoor and the edge of Exmoor. She grew up steeped in the British Native Tradition and now writes eloquently on the British Shamanic Tradition – both fiction and no fiction. Trees of the Goddess is part of the ‘Shaman Pathways’ series published by Moon Books.
Trees of the Goddess by Elen Sentier is published by Moon Books and is available on Amazon: