Gaelic Runes and Their Meanings

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Runes have been used for centuries as a form of divination and communication. One of the lesser-known runic systems is Gaelic Runes, which have been used by the Gaelic-speaking people of Scotland and Ireland. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of Gaelic Runes and their meanings.

The History of Gaelic Runes

Gaelic Runes, also known as “Ogham,” were a writing system used by the ancient Celts. These runic symbols were typically inscribed or carved onto stone monuments and manuscripts. Ogham was primarily used between the 4th and 7th centuries AD and was most commonly found in Ireland and Scotland.

The Runic Alphabet

The Gaelic Runic Alphabet consists of a series of lines or notches, known as “staves,” which are drawn either vertically or diagonally to represent different letters. There are 20 characters or letters in the Ogham script.

Character Name Meaning
B Beith Birch Tree
C Coll Hazel Tree
D Duir Oak Tree
F Fearn Alder Tree
G Gort Ivy
H Uath Hawthorn
J Ur Heather
L Luis Rowan Tree
M Muin Vine
N Ngetal Reed
P Peith Beech Tree
R Ruis Elder Tree
S Suil Willow Tree
T Tinne Holly
X Quadal Apple Tree
Z Collen Hazel Nut
E Eadhadh Aspen Tree
I Ioho Yew Tree
O Onn Gorse
U Uilleann Honeysuckle

Interpreting Gaelic Runes

Gaelic Runes were used for divination and offering guidance. To interpret the meaning of a rune, one can consider the associated tree, its symbolic meanings, and the context of the reading. Here are a few examples:

  • Birch Tree (Beith): Represents new beginnings, growth, and purification. It indicates a fresh start or a time of transformation.
  • Alder Tree (Fearn): Symbolizes strength, endurance, and protection. It signifies resilience and the ability to overcome obstacles.
  • Holly (Tinne): Signifies protection and defense against negativity. It represents a time of caution and the need to stay vigilant.
  • Yew Tree (Ioho): Represents rebirth, longevity, and spiritual growth. It suggests a need for self-reflection and inner healing.
  • Elder Tree (Ruis): Symbolizes wisdom, transformation, and the cycle of life and death. It suggests a time of profound change and personal growth.

It’s important to note that interpretations may vary based on individual beliefs and the specific question or context of the reading.

Using Gaelic Runes

If you’re interested in working with Gaelic Runes, you can incorporate them into your spiritual practice or use them for personal guidance. Here are a few tips:

  1. Study the Meanings: Familiarize yourself with the meanings and symbolism associated with each rune. Understanding their core concepts will assist you in interpreting readings more effectively.
  2. Choose a Spread: Similar to other divination tools, Gaelic Runes can be cast in various spreads. You can simply draw a single rune for quick guidance or use more complex spreads for deeper insights.
  3. Focus and Meditate: Before performing a reading, take a moment to relax, clear your mind, and set your intention. Meditation can help you connect with the energies of the runes and enhance your intuition.
  4. Ask Meaningful Questions: When seeking guidance, ask clear and specific questions. Open-ended questions often generate more insightful responses from the runes.
  5. Practice and Reflect: Like any skill, interpreting runes takes practice. Keep a journal of your readings and reflect on the results over time. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of the runes and refine your interpretations.

Remember, Gaelic Runes are a tool for self-discovery and guidance. Trust your intuition and allow the runes to speak to you in their unique way.


Gaelic Runes provide a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Celtic culture and its spiritual practices. With their rich symbolism and deep-rooted meanings, they offer a unique way to seek guidance and connect with the natural world. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, exploring the world of Gaelic Runes can be a rewarding and enlightening journey. Enjoy the process of learning and discover the wisdom these ancient symbols have to offer.

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Gaelic Runes and Their Meanings