Preparation for Ogham Magic
The Art of Enchantment
The Practice of Druid Magic
Each of the twenty-five Ogham fews, as mentioned back in chapter 2, makes a connection between two of the Stations of the Wheel of Life. Each of these connections has its own special quality of nwyfre, with a more precise focus than the broad energies of the elements or the Stations of the Wheel. These form an essential part of the Druid mage's toolkit.
If you want to work magic for protection, for example, you can use the broad brush of the element of earth or the Station of Alban Heruin if you wish, since both of these have general protective powers. On the other hand, you can call on any one of five fews with more exact powers: Luis dispels delusion, Fearn invokes the protection of the gods and goddesses, Duir brings great strength, Straif imposes barriers that cannot be crossed, and Eadha shields you against hostility and misfortune. One or another of these may do much more for your specific needs than a more general protective working.
If you want to make use of the fews and their nwyfre, though, you need to understand them thoroughly and make contact with them on inner levels. As bare physical signs, scratches on a piece of wood or stone, they have no power. They function magically only when awakened as symbols of imaginal and formal realities, and this takes work.
The process began when you started doing Ogham divinations as a daily practice in chapter 3. By keeping up this practice, you already know quite a bit about the fews from seeing them reflected in the events of your daily life. Building on that foundation starts with meditation. Take each of the Ogham fews as a theme for meditation for at least three sessions, and as many more as you find useful.
If you wish to go beyond this, meditate on the correspondences of the fews listed in The Druidry Handbook or any other book of Ogham lore, taking each correspondence as a theme and exploring how it relates to the meaning of the few. This will give you a good grasp of the nature of each few. This will take around two years even if you meditate on one correspondence every day. It's a project worth pursuing when you decide you want to get into the deeper dimensions of the fews—I have done it, and the results were well worth the time it took—but this level of intensity is not needed to start using the fews in magic.
Scrying forms the next stage in your work with the Ogham fews. Each of the five aicme, or groups, of fews is assigned to one of the elements. The first aicme, from Beith to Saille, belongs to air; the second, from Huath to Quert, belongs to fire; the third, from Muin to Ruis, belongs to water; the fourth, from Ailm to Ioho, belongs to earth, and the forfedha belong to spirit. You enter the realm of each few through the quarter of its element, imagining a portal there in place of the elemental sign you used in your first scryings.
The portal of Beith, in other words, is in the east, that of Duir in the south, that of Gort in the west, and that of Ioho in the north; the forfedha can be reached either above or below, as your intuition guides you. Place your chair so that it faces across the altar toward the direction of the portal. If you plan on scrying Beith, for example, your chair will be in the west, facing east across the altar. After you open the grove, sit in the west and practice color breathing, using the traditional colors of the fews from Table 6-2. Then meditate on Beith for a time, before imagining the Inner Grove and beginning your scrying, using the same approach you used in scrying the elements in the work of chapter 5.
Table 6-2 Colors of the Ogham Fews
You can scry each few as soon as you finish meditating on it, or wait until you have meditated on all of them before you begin scrying them, as you wish. The scrying process will give you plenty of new themes for meditation since, just as you did when scrying the elements, you should plan on meditating on any symbols or ideas that surface during a scrying. A bit of traditional lore suggests that you should plan on spending three sessions in meditation for every one you devote to scrying. In my experience, this can be considered a bare minimum.