Leaks, sobriety, ogham & esoterica

©2022 Michael Raven

Collecting fragments and tossing them into a old tin pail with messily-welded seams inside my head. It still mostly keeps things, but I can feel the age of the metal becoming thinner and, while the seams have more than enough to hold that old bucket together, the rust has made some progress over the decades and it might soon suit being a sieve more than something to collect Important Things that need additional consideration.

Blame can be cast on genetics: I have seen dementia/senility play a role and at least two members of my mother’s extended family had Alzheimer’s that was probably diagnosed later than it might have been, had anyone really looked. My father has about five things he likes to talk about in his mid-70s and he always forgets he’s ranted already about those things to me every gathering we’ve had in the past three or four years.

But it could also just as easily be my alcoholism that has played a significant role in my declining memory. Even though it was thirteen years ago tomorrow that I quit cold turkey and likely could have ended up in the hospital with the withdrawal effects when I look back, I don’t think the noggin ever recovered.

The lesson here, kiddos: Don’t quit drinking cold turkey, and get medical intervention to dry out if it is imperative that you do give up heavy alcohol consumption. Don’t be a Michael. It was not a good experience and sometimes people die when they quit the way I did.

But, going back to what started this post instead of wagging my finger at people who probably already tuned me out when they heard “sobriety”…

In my research about ogham, I am re-reading some non-ogham (but related) books in my attempts to go beyond what the authors of my reference tools for ogham tend to overlook in their laser focus on ogham as a divination tool.

I’ll just put this out there and get it out of the way right now: in the same way that I am skeptical that runes were ever primarily intended as a divination tool, I feel that Robert Graves and others early authors have sullied the conversation about ogham as a symbolic writing system. While I wouldn’t be surprised if either set of alphabets was used in that manner, I don’t know they any more frequently used for divination than using the current Latin- and Greek-based letters we employ for English today. I just haven’t seen much more than a fragment here or there suggesting divination was the norm, along with a whole lot of wishful thinking mixed in with a lot of spurious associations. I view both as more likely a symbolic writing system that made have conveyed larger esoteric mysteries that a person properly trained could unfold and learn from. Only… someone lost the key.

So, I’ve been refreshing my memory of certain ideas and putting them into the leaky bucket and trying to make sense of some of it. And, this time, I’m actually jotting down notes instead of trusting myself to recall those revelations made while reading and I see some compelling patterns evolving that I probably saw an inkling of when I read some of these texts in the past, but promptly forgot about due to the poor integrity of the bucket used to collect them. The notes have been awesome for drawing interesting threads of thought that lead to other threads of thought that turn back onto themselves and unravel other things…

Is any of it actually useful to anyone aside from me? Probably not. I’m not a professional scholar and I’m sure someone must have seen these threads before and had their reasons for not following up on them. But my brain likes patterns and I find the patterns emerging to be interesting as I try to repair threadbare tapestries of a world long gone relative to my own internal understanding of the cosmological impact. Plus, my agenda is different from most — I’m not trying to reconstruct a religion, but trying to reconstruct a comprehension that may unlock a deeper understanding of things as they are instead of how I might leverage that understanding. My agenda is all about the “grokking”, not replicating or revival.

Now, if I could just find some tinker to fix this leaking pail…

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