Ogham Pathworking - The Art of Enchantment - The Practice of Druid Magic

The Druid Magic Handbook: Ritual Magic Rooted in the Living Earth - John Michael Greer 2008

Ogham Pathworking
The Art of Enchantment
The Practice of Druid Magic

A final stage of preparation for Ogham magic, and one of the most powerful forms of imaginal work in its own right, is the art of Pathworking. This goes one step beyond scrying by putting the Ogham few in relationship to the two Stations of the Wheel it connects. When you do a Pathworking, you travel from one Station to another on an imaginal journey through an inner landscape established by the Ogham few.

This is not quite what many people in the occult community mean when they talk about Pathworking, and the difference needs to be understood clearly. To many occultists these days, a Pathworking is a guided visualization meant to be read aloud from a prepared script. The events of the experience are planned out ahead of time, and the people doing this sort of Pathworking imagine themselves going through the events and encountering the beings described to them. Work of this kind can be useful, especially for beginners, but it has serious limits and does little to develop your own ability to experience the imaginal world directly.

The approach to Pathworking used in Druid magic builds on the art of scrying instead. Start by preparing for scrying in the usual way, with the grove opening, Sphere of Protection, color breathing, and a brief meditation. Instead of imagining yourself in the Inner Grove, however, imagine yourself in one of the eight places listed in Table 6-3, corresponding to the eight Stations of the Wheel of Life. Imagine the place in the colors of the Station, and picture the emblem of the Station near the altar. Make all this imagery as clear and vivid as possible.

When you are ready, rise from the chair in your imagination, and go to the altar. Imagine yourself picking up the wand and tracing a pentagram to invoke the Station where you wish to start your Pathworking. As always, the pentagram you use and the point you start from will change depending on the season of the year. In your own words, invoke the powers of the Station, and ask that they watch over you as you travel the inner path to the Station you intend to reach at the end of your Pathworking.

For example, your first Pathworking would traditionally be from Alban Arthuan to Imbolc along the path of Beith, few of the birch tree. After the usual preparations, you would start this by imagining yourself high in the northern sky, surrounded on all sides by stars. The stars blaze white and gold, and a crown floats in the air above the altar. You imagine yourself rising and walking across a floor paved with stars toward the altar. If you were doing this Pathworking between Alban Elued and Samhuinn, let's say, you would invoke Alban Arthuan with an invoking heather pentagram, starting from the upper right corner and tracing the pentagram in a clockwise direction. You might then say words such as these: “In the name of Hu the Mighty, the great Druid god, I invoke the powers of Alban Arthuan to watch over me as I travel the path of Beith to the Station of Imbolc.”

At this point, you would begin a scrying of Beith in the usual way. Unless you have been this way before, ask for a guide on the path, and ask your guide to lead you to the portal of the Station you intend to reach—in the example, Imbolc. Proceed as in any other scrying. When you get to the portal of the Station on the other end, thank your guide and imagine yourself entering into that Station. See it in the form given in Table 6-3, with the colors and emblem listed there. Imagine yourself walking up to the altar and tracing a pentagram to invoke the Station you have just reached. Once you have done this, thank the powers of the Station in your own words for welcoming you, take your seat in the grove, and begin the closing as usual.

In the example, for instance, you would imagine yourself entering into a cavern deep within the Earth, all in earth colors and black, with a circle of eight candles around the altar. You would approach the altar and invoke Imbolc with a heather pentagram, traced clockwise from the lower left point. You might then say, “In the name of Ana, the goddess of the Earth's deep places, I invoke the powers of the Station of Imbolc. Thank you for receiving me and giving me your hospitality.” You would then take your seat in the grove, and close in the usual way.

Table 6-3 Inner Places of the Stations


Pathworking in this way is a potent magical technique. Few things will teach you as much about the Ogham fews, their relationship to the Stations, and the Wheel of Life as a whole. As you work your way through the whole set of fews, you will find that your ability to use them in magic and divination increases dramatically, and the guides who appear on the paths can teach you much about Druid magic.

It works best to start Pathworking with the Ogham fews by doing each few once in order, from Beith all the way to Mór. Koad alone of the fews does not stand for a path; it represents the Central Grove, and Pathworkings of Koad involve sitting in the Central Grove itself and seeing what entities come to meet you. This can be at least as complex as any inner journey! All the others give you a framework for a journey. Once you have traveled each few once, you can repeat the process, or focus on those fews you feel you need to understand better. You can also use a Pathworking of a particular few as part of a ritual working to invoke the few for magical purposes, as explained next.