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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

February 11th, 2013

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02:53 pm - 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.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: "Fat Person Man", -JB

(10 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
That is so super cool and exciting. It looks like they came out nice. Did you make each piece itself bigger? Or was the size you formally use big enough that each bit was definable by touch?
[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
That's part of the testing process. We think that they'll be legible at just slightly over-sized from our usual size, but we're not sure until she gets them and tests them (likely end-of-week).
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
We have an option for that, and it was the original plan, but after talking to the student, she wanted English tree names :)
[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
"Our Druidry must be about individuals if it is to be about the cosmos in general, after all."

Most definitely. As above, so below. Or Saul Bellow. One of those.
[User Picture]
Date:February 12th, 2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
Indeed ;)
[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2013 11:55 pm (UTC)
I suppose the temptation would be to feel for "good" omens rather than picking at random.

But great job!
[User Picture]
From:Jen P. Dunn
Date:February 12th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
It would be about like peeking. ;)


Edited at 2013-02-12 02:14 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:February 12th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah; unfortunately, I haven't quite figured out how to manage the "picking" process for people who see with their fingers :)
[User Picture]
Date:February 12th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
Maybe rather than picking from a bag, pour them on a tray and then randomly reach down and grab three? Less chance for cheating, once you touch it you take it.
[User Picture]
Date:February 14th, 2013 12:12 pm (UTC)
What about a tray to pull from rather than a bag? They could be placed face down & swirled then picked, like choosing scrabble tiles or dominoes. I think hovering your fingers over individual tiles until one pulls would be similar to rifling through a tarot deck, and eliminate the 'peeking' factor.</p>

This is definitely awesome, though. One of my favorite things about ADF is the communities - not just as a grove, but also regionally. It's nice to see this demonstrated to someone who doesn't have a grove community surrounding them already. Plus, it's an awesome idea for its own sake! ;-)

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