February 11th, 2013


Lessons in Our Druidry from a set of Braille Ogham

Braille ogamA couple of weeks ago, a student on ADF-Dedicants mentioned some trepidation about the "omen" part of an ADF rite. It wasn't about being able to interpret the symbols: this student was blind, and so couldn't even see the symbols.

This got me thinking, and I responded almost immediately: I asked if we could make a set of ogham with Braille tree names on them and send them to the student free of charge.

I set about designing them with the student's input, and ended up with a design where the symbol is on the left, with the English tree name running up the right edge of each piece. I used a piece of red alder that was 1/8" thick for this first set, because it's just a test set (I don't know anything about Braille, or at least I didn't a week ago, so I'm afraid I spelled some tree names wrong) and I expect to need to refine it over time. (Check them out at The Magical Druid)

The best part about this, though, was that I got to stretch my creative process to work on something I hadn't ever encountered before, make something that I know will be useful, and serve a whole new community with something new and different.

In many ways, too, the last week or so of designing, creating, and finishing this set is really what Our Druidry is to me. It's not about rules or policies: it's about people. It's not about accounting or official procedures: it's about people. It's not about the profit one can turn on a set of ogham or runes: it's about people. Sometimes, I worry we forget the people. It was nice to do something that was all about a solitary member, far away from a Grove, and just make it work for them.

Our Druidry must be about individuals if it is to be about the cosmos in general, after all.

I'm really looking forward to the feedback about the set. I think the Dedicant is going to love them.