The new aged Neo-Pagans use Ogham for divination, much the same as runes and similar to tarot cards and astrology.
This belief is largely based on the book ‘The White Goddess’ By Robert Graves.
Grave’s ideas about the Ogham came from the theories of Ogham scholar RAS Macalister which are now generally dismissed by historians. He believed that the Ogham were invented in Gaul around 600 BC and used by the ancient Druids as secret hand signals inspired by the Greek alphabet.
In his book, Graves delves into the ancient Celtic meanings behind each tree and suggests a Celtic Tree calendar consisting of thirteen months each represented by a tree and an Ogham symbol.
There is a general consensus over the meanings of the first four aicme but when it comes to the forfeda, the later addition to the Ogham alphabet, there is some disagreement and confusion. Although they are similar symbols the meanings and the translations are a little muddled.
However, each Ogham set is said to be personal to its owner and this could also be said for the divinatory meanings assigned to them.
The Ogham staves are laid out in spreads for divination. These spreads are based on Druid myths and symbols. A popular spread would be the ray of light spread which resembles the Arwen symbol. Three Ogham staves are placed along the arwen rays to represent past, present and future.
With their mysticism and new age charm, the Ogham have also become a popular subject for jewellery makers. They are generally worn as pendants made from wood or metal, spelling out a word, name or initial or just representing its individual meaning.