I have recently begun working with ogam cards because I want to learn more about them and become more comfortable working with them. So each day I draw an ogam card to see where I should focus my energies for the day and then pull a Tarot card for additional insights.
Today I drew Fern/Feorn.
Using Erynn Rowan Laurie’s fabulous book Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, I found the question given above and drew the Page of Pentacles.
How intriguing to draw this card. The first thing that hit my brain when I saw this card is that I shelter and protect myself by remaining a perpetual student. If I never represent myself as an “expert” or authority on anything then I can’t be truly wrong. A student is always learning so there is no loss of face in being “wrong” (a big problem for me – being wrong).
It also offers a level of shelter and protection because if I’m continually on a learning curve then I can’t blame myself for not moving forward in certain areas. I can convince myself that I’m still learning so I can’t be expected to be ready to move forward yet. I use learning and my pursuit of academic knowledge as an excuse for not actually doing anything. I love learning about a variety of topics but putting that knowledge into action frightens me. Manifesting my desires is scary because what if the results aren’t what I’d hoped and dreamed? Oh my, not having my dreams come true – how tragic!
Another reason I shelter myself this way is because I am a great student. I always receive positive feedback from my teachers and professors. I tend to do well academically and receive very good grades. My brain finds college almost easy. If I actually applied myself I might even have managed a 4.0 GPA. I realize that sounds arrogant but that’s not my intent. I’m merely stating a fact – my brain works that way. I’m not and especially gifted artist or crafts person. Whether it’s a question of learning or interest I’m not sure but I’ve never bothered to put the effort into learning. For some reason my attention span, when it comes to these areas, is quite short.
I also find that my interests wax and wane. Sometimes for several years I will be a dedicated doll collector; learning everything I can about their values, the differences between various models, etc. Then I will lose interest to such a degree that if I could sell the entire collection in one shot, I would. Of course there is always a possibility that I will become interested in them again some day soon so that might not be a good idea. I have the same experience when it comes to cookbooks. I go through phases of genres. Right now I’m very interested in American cooking – historical, regional and community cookbooks. In the past I’ve gone through an European phase (Italian, French, Irish, etc.), then a vegetarian phase, followed by a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern phase and finally a tea and scones phase. Eventually I find myself forced to weed out cookbooks and those that I don’t at least look at periodically go on the chopping block.
Now back to the significance of the Page of Pentacles with Fern. If this fid refers to a need for protection, shielding and defending oneself, then that is certainly an appropriate image. I’ve often felt that when I was growing up I was the only defense I had against a world that was increasingly hostile. My parents may have loved me but they were incapable of protecting me, especially from the damage they caused. I also come from a rough neighborhood during a rocky period when violence and poverty were fairly prevalent. My experiences during this time left me with a heightened sense of vulnerability and a need to build a wall to protect myself from permanent damage.
Erynn Rowan Laurie’s fabulous book on ogam, “Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom”, offers the insight that, on a chthonic level, Fern can symbolize warriors and the military. I’ve never been in the military, but have often felt that I was a warrior – sometimes a worn our and very tired warrior but still a warrior. My biggest challenge is that I’m also not a very disciplined warrior. I’m untrained and sometimes this results in unnecessary struggles.
This card is also the third Pentacle card I’ve drawn in the past 10 days or so. All instances seem to connect with my inner nature, my dreams and my insights in the world. I get the sense that they are trying to tell me I need to stop dreaming and talking about things and start manifesting. I need to take some practical steps to bring things into fruition so that I can stop feeling quite such a student and mature in my path. The Tarot has long been giving me messages about getting out of my head, off the fence and start moving. Now it appears the ogam is chiming in as well.