In ancient times, our Celtic Druid Ancestors devised a system, part alphabet, part calendar/zodiac, to be carved using simple notches onto wood or stone. Each character was a number and a letter. The consonants were time periods – mostly lunar months and the vowels were the solstices or equinoxes. Each symbol represented a tree or shrub, around which grew an extensive mythology, recording historical and religious stories, the uses of each tree both for craftwork and medicinally, and a divinatory system similar to the tarot. To the Celts, the whole landscape was alive with meaning, and wisdom – the wisdom of the trees.
Alder, Ogham name Fearn, rules 18th March to 14th April and is sacred to Bran. When Bran the Blessed, giant king of ancient Welsh legend, set out to rescue his sister Branwen from Ireland, he laid himself down for his men to use as a bridge to cross the sea. Alder piles are still used as foundations for bridges, as the oily wood does not rot in water.