Nin - Ash || Learning Ogham

Next up on our ogham journey is Nin. 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:

Image Source

Nin (nin) is the fifth fíd in the ogham alphabet. It is associated with the Ash Tree of Ireland. It’s also associated with nettles, so you may see the two trees used interchangeably. The origin of the word itself, nin, is unclear. One scholar, McManus, suggests that the word letters generally and “a letter” specifically. It may also refer to part of a weaver’s loom. In this regard, this fíd embodies the keyword given to it: connection. Nin is about weaving, both in a literal sense and a metaphorical one. It is the weaving of a fabric tapestry, yet it is also the weaving of letters together for words and contracts. According to The Tree Council of Ireland, the Ash tree is one of the most common trees in Ireland’s hedgerows. It requires neutral soil for good growth, much like good communication requires neutral ground and level heads.

In ancient times, weaving was considered women’s work. With this association, nin can be seen as a fíd of femininity and female empowerment. So much of ancient work is women’s work, the “forgotten” aspects of history that happened while the men were away hunting and fighting their wars. Taking care of homes, raising children, and weaving cloth and words for communication are the forgotten backbones of many villages. Nin also denotes a sense of community connection and support. When the structural fibers that hold a community together fray, the strength of that community suffers. Community, in this sense, includes both the small communities of immediate family as well as larger communities of towns, villages, and chosen communities.

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

  • sotud side - checking of peace, establishing of peace, weaving of silk
  • bág ban - fight of women (the weaver’s beam), boast of women, contest of women
  • bág maise - contest of beauty, boast of beauty

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

Cosdad sida, checking of peace, that is nin, ash, n: it is the maw of a weaver’s beam as applied to wood: a sign of peace is that. A checking of peace with him is that from the ash of the weaver’s beam.

The Ogham Tract

This is where we get the connection with women and women’s work, whatever that may be. It is important to remember that women’s work in ancient times may not be what women’s work is now, especially with the changes in today’s view of gender roles. However, I think nin can still connect to whatever women’s work is for you, if you choose to make that connection.

The Ash Tree

It is important to learn about the tree itself, because the tree and its uses can help us make connections with the meaning of the fíd for divination purposes. As I mentioned above, the Ash tree is one of the most common hedgerow trees found in Ireland. Interestingly, both spears and looms were made of wood from the Ash tree, bringing the connection back to weaving and warriors. Nettle is also associated with this fíd, and not surprisingly, nettle was also used for weaving in Ireland and Scotland. It was not used as commonly as other fibers, but that connection is still there.

The Ash tree requires well-drained soil - not too wet and not too dry. It also requires a neutral soil with no acid. This brings to mind the requirements for good community and support. Everything should be balanced. Communication should be open and honest, and the community members should work together for the benefit of the community at large. In these conditions, the Ash tree (and the community) will flourish.

In Divination

At a basic level, nin is the weaving together of concepts, people, or other things. It is the creation of cloth and the weaving together of the skin of a wound stitched together. It is bringing together and practices, supportive threads and fibers of strength, peace, and love. Nin is networking in all aspects, groups of people coming together under a common theme, whether that be family, work, or volunteer work. It is parties of both fun and war, celebrations of life, honoring death, and the hard work of those who deserve it. This fíd encompasses clarity in communication because words woven together with intent and purpose have a clear reason.

Here are some keywords I’ve come up with in my studies for Nin in regard to divination.

  • weaving
  • healing
  • communication
  • community involvement
  • support
  • writing
  • letters, both individual letters and written letters for communication
  • contracts
  • harmony
  • women’s empowerment
  • safety nets
  • friendship

In a magical sense, this fíd can be used for weaving in all senses of the word. Knitting together the qualms of community, healing broken bones and sickness, and working with vision – the tip of the iceberg with using nin in magickal workings. It is also a useful fíd for bringing peace to any situation, helping calm passionate arguments, and bringing resolutions to disagreements.

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

What are my obligations? How am I related to others?

A Personal Note

I have yet to use nin in magickal workings, but I do know how helpful it can be. As a fíd of peace and community, it is one that I am personally holding on to for situations that call for peace.


Screenshot from Wikipedia

Sources and Further Reading

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


A beautiful tree, and a pleasure to learn about! :deciduous_tree: :sparkles:

From making the MMMs and the Newsletters, I know it’s given its own month in the Celtic Tree Calendar too. February into March is ruled by the beautiful Ash tree :blush:

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom about Ash and Nin, @MeganB! :green_heart:


This was really interesting. Thankyou for all your research :sparkling_heart:


Yaaaaaaay. love seeing these entries! They are so well written and researched, amazing work!

Also, it comes at a perfect time for me and it’s a good reminder / push to get my lazy b in gear and make my Ogham staves from the branches I collected over a year ago. :roll_eyes: I get so distracted with new things to learn and make sometimes :laughing:


Whew! We’ve been so busy I was afraid you’d forgotten this series. I’m glad to see this! I like your reflections so much more than the general overviews I’ve seen because I learn so much more!:heartpulse::heartpulse:

Thank you @MeganB :sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart:


Oh thank you @MeganB for this… funny that this is the 1 you did next too :face_with_hand_over_mouth: I have a Nin a loved one gave me to help with some difficult situations last month to carry with me & hold.

I planned on doing a short meditation with it yesterday, but ultimately, I slept more of the day/evening than I thought. So I had just found my little mojo pouch to take out & do it today before I leave the house :house_with_garden:

This one is special to me right now. I love :heart: all of the information on it & associations! :hugs: I had recently saved source information for the Ogham, too! I’m so excited that it is all swirling together for me with this particular tree! :revolving_hearts:


I think that’s a great time to be ruled by Ash :heart: Weaving together of community in the end months of Winter as Spring approaches!

You’re very welcome! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’m glad you find it interesting!

Thank you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Distractions are normal lol I’m sure the ogham has been waiting very patiently for you. Focus on getting better, though! I know you’ve been sick. I hope you’re feeling better!

haha thank you! :blush: I hadn’t forgotten, just been super busy! I hope to make it through the rest of the ogham soon. The forfeda will be interesting because they don’t have standard or traditional meanings. I can’t wait to get them all done :blush:

You’re welcome! :revolving_hearts: Nin is a peaceful ogham fid, but it encompasses more than just peace. I think it’s a great fíd to have when leaning on a support system, especially. I’m glad I was able to help!


@MeganB I love this! I have to go back through your previous posts. Was there just the one post?


This explains the connection between my distant Irish ancestry (great grandparent) and my old middle name meaning… :astonished: Maybe.


I added this post to the others in the Celtic :triskele: & Welsh Deities with Related Information Masterpost. I had made a section for Ogham!


Nope, there are a few others! :blush: They’re all linked down at the bottom of the post. I’m gonna go through each aicme (section of letters), so eventually, I’ll have a full list of ogham divination information!


Oh, I missed this somehow :joy: but thank you!


I’m pretending that the year wait was the wood needing to dry properly :wink: but I moved the box into my closet and forgot about it for 7 months. :woman_facepalming:

Still fighting the virus and hoping this week is the one I start improving. :crossed_fingers:


haha yes, we can say this! :clap: It’ll be all nice and dry when you’re ready to make them.


@MeganB Thank you :blush:


You’re welcome!