Dair - Oak || Learning Ogham

Next up on our ogham journey is Dair. Not sure what ogham is? Here is a quick refresh…

Ogham is an ancient Irish inscription alphabet that was used to inscribe headstones and other important markers. In mythology, it was created by the God Ogma (OH-muh) to warn Lugh about a plot to steal his wife. Today, Ogham is used in magic and divination.

If you want to learn more about what ogham is in general, I wrote about that here: Irish Tree Language - The Ogham :evergreen_tree:

I also have a video explaining the origin story of ogham that you can watch here: https://youtu.be/CWEm2pcAFc8

Image Source

Dair is the Oak Tree, the second fíd in the second aicme of ogham feda. Thought to be pronounced as “DARE-uh” or “DHAR”, the translation for this fíd is literal - “Oak”. The main association of Dair in any reading involves strength, usually related to an object or person’s physicality. The oak tree is strong, tall, and true – all concepts linked to the fíd itself.

Dair is also heavily connected with divinity and deity. The Oak Tree has been revered for thousands of years throughout Europe, and though it is not a tree central to Druid practices of the past, it is still an integral part of many Celtic practices. It is said that Brighid’s well and her eternal flame at Kildare are built around an Oak tree. Even the name Kildare is derived from the Irish “cill daire”, literally meaning “church of the oak”.

According to Weaving Word Wisdom, there are three word oghams associated with Dair. They are as follows.

  • ardam dosae - highest of bushes, most exalted tree
  • grés soír - carpenter’s work, handicraft of an artificer
  • slechtam soíre - most carved of craftsmanship

We can read part of these word oghams from The Ogham Tract.

Ardam dossaibh, highest of bushes, that is dur, oak, d, with respect to its wood in the forest.

The Ogham Tract

The word oghams connects the meaning of the fíd with the divinatory messages and magical uses we may find in them. We know Oak is strong and mighty and this energy translates very well into this fíd. One concept that is inferred from the word oghams and the tree itself is that of truth. You can’t have excellent craftsmanship or divine connection without truth and justice. Dair stands for both and leaves no room for lies or judgment.

The Oak Tree

As we already know, the Oak tree is a mighty protector who stands for justice, truth, and strength. The native oak tree of Ireland is Dair ghaelach, the Sessile Oak. It grows more commonly in acidic soil and is found in hilly regions. The oak tree is an important part of the ecosystem of Ireland. It is home to many different types of animals - invertebrates, mammals, and birds alike.

Because of overharvesting, a “true” oak forest is hard to find now. The Oak tree is often used for its strength and durability – furniture, veneer, casks, and much more are found made of the Oak tree.

Oak is valued for many purposes and used for anything requiring strength, where weight is not an issue. Doors have often been made of oak to keep out intruders. The tree itself is long-lived and working with its wood takes effort, but what is made from it is frequently exquisite in craftsmanship and long-lasting, for less talented woodworkers use softer woods to practice their arts, graduating to harder and more valuable woods as their skill grows.

Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie; pg. 83

In Divination

There are many keywords and concepts associated with Dair that it really requires working with to get the full understanding.

Here are some keywords I’ve come up with in my studies for Dair regarding divination.

  • liminality
  • Brighid
  • Divinity
  • strength
  • justice
  • truth
  • mastery
  • perfection
  • practice/apprenticeship
  • valuable
  • stability
  • sacred places

In a magical sense, this fíd can be utilized for a multitude of purposes. From calling on deities to strength to healing broken bones, Dair is a multi-purpose fíd. Be sure that if you use Dair in your magic your intentions are true. After all, Dair stands for truth and justice - if you misuse it, you may face unwanted consequences.

At the end of every fíd in her book, Erynn has questions and linked concepts to think about for each one. For h-Úath, she writes the following…

What are my greatest strengths? How do I use those strengths?

A Personal Note

I have always associated Dair with strength and Brighid. The Oak tree is not my favorite tree (that’s Willow and Birch) but I will stand in awe of its presence wherever I am. I have several oak trees in my yard, each standing tall and proud where they are. They are unlike the large grandfather Oak in Florida, but they are just as beautiful and durable.

dair ogham

Sources and Further Reading

Celtic Ogham Symbols and Their Meanings
The Ogham Tract
– [1] Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie


I like reading these. I have a question. So, do these work the same as runes? Can you use their energy in your day? :green_heart:


Yes, you can use them for both divinatory purposes and magical purposes! I use n-Getal all the time because of its healing powers and associations! I’m not sure about using them everyday for things but I don’t see why not!

There are some ogham fíd that aren’t recommended for magical purposes unless you use them very, very carefully such as h-Uath because of its association with terror, dread, and nightmares.

H-Úath can be used magically to turn negative forces against themselves, but should be used with extreme caution if at all. Cursing, while not advisable under most circumstances, is also a part of h-Úath’s magic and might be legitimately used for self-defense. It may be useful to call upon the energy of wolves and the sharp spikes of the hawthorn for protection and to drive away any malevolence that may be facing us, though great care must be taken so that the harm inherent in h_Úath doesn’t turn around and bite.

Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie


I was going to ask the same question?


@MeganB Thankyou for this. I’m going to keep learning. :partying_face:
@stephanie18 Fabulous, we can learn together :grin:


I’m in as well, just takes me a day or two to get to my mail