The Chronicles of Ogus

ABOUT ME
ART PRINTS
The Chronicles of Ogus
Tree Lore
Taiji Glastonbury
Dragon Conference

ogustitlee.jpg

The Chronicles of Ogus are a series of books written by my father, Ian Macdonald-Leitch, and each book is illustrated with many pictures drawn by myself.

dadandi.jpg

The Chronicles tell the epic saga of a neolithic man called Ogus and his wolf companion, Iacub. Ogus begins his tale as a Neolithic 'Flint Napper' and Book One, The Children of Light, tells of his transition from mortal man into one of the Sidhe, one of the eternal spirits of the Celtic otherworld. 
 
As one of the Sidhe Ogus is given the task of giving the knowledge of the Ogham (The Celtic Tree Alphabet) to Bronze Age and Iron Age people. His journey takes him from Gloucestershire, through Wales, and up to the Orkneys; a quest that introduces him to the many gods and goddesses, and sacred sites, of the Gaelic Celts.
 
Book two throws Ogus into the 6th Century and the coming of the Saxons. Book three takes him into medieval abbeys and their scriptoriums; and future books will bring him through the centuries into our present day.
 
My father has already finished writing books one and two and he is currently writing book three. Each book holds a magical system; book one carries the Ogham - an alphabet of twenty different trees. Book two will carry the Saxon Runes, and so on.
 
For book one I am creating twenty drawings, one for each of the trees in the Ogham. Below is 'Ur' which is 'Heather' and the letter 'U'. When all the illustrations are done we will be looking to self-publish Book One... ...watch this space.

stoking.jpg

Each of my illustrations depicts a scene in the story but also acts as portal into aspects of Tree Lore. The Chronicles of Ogus are more akin to a Druidic, Shamanic, vision quest rather than just regular mythic fiction. My father and I share a deep love of the ancestral spirits of the land, the British Isles and its Celtic romance runs through our blood. Here below is the opening Sidhe Speech which is the prelude in Book One before Ogus recounts his tale.

A CHLANN AN T-SOLUIS
The Children of the Light

  
And we are here, yet you do not see us.
We have always been here, descendants of Nemed,
Unchanging; of no age and every age.
Men, a loose term for fools and apes, swept us hither and thither,
So we went to ground, keeping to ourselves.
Fir Bolg, Fomoraig, flint flakers.
Men, when they had the foresight to become farmers, came close to us,
Their hounds came closer.
Hounds still are aware of us, their senses closer to reality than those of men.
 

In the days of Ossian, Taliesin and Finnegas,
The days of Fion Mac Cumhail and his followers,
Now sleeping with the three sisters.
When the melodious cave
First echoed the music of willow and rowan, the string of a harp.
Ailleen of the fire words sowing the seeds of the reed calendar.
Bardic sorcery told silent tales of the sixth day of the moon,
The mistletoe of Duir.
The men in white with the knowledge of the salmon, gaining sight of Iona,
The last haven of the kings; watching Dis as he claimed his rights.
We who had moved to great Orkney teaching the farmers to build.
 
Listening to the words of Celts and Vikings; the sword in fist,
 
The shield in battle.
Fierce boats steered by hero’s and non-existent gods.
Why do men need gods when we have always been here?
 
The constant veil twixt worlds is finer as cattle come from the chill.
Samhain, festival of harvest home and death.
Festival of the passing into dark from the light part of the year,
Cattle to be driven between fires to the byre.
Great divination, dreams foretold and other insights,
Casting lots for future knowledge, first written in the stars.
Dowsing with witches rods, hazel witch hazel, and Osier.
The time of seers and oracles, the newness of the newest year. 
 
Born of the old decay.
Half open doorway to the Sidhe;
The veil between worlds thinned to the finest spider gauze.

The birth of Blodeuwedd, fairest of women born of twigs,
Meadowsweet, oak and broom, wife of Llew, faithless owl,
Cursed to live by night, damned to hunt the evening hawk.
Rhiannon riding the uncatchable white steed, clothed as a goddess in gold,
Queen goddess cursed by lies of infanticide; clearer of Mab’s magic mist.
 
When the hawthorn blooms, Beltaine, the yellow day breaks as dawn;
The day of cleansing fire, the time of thrusting fertility.
The days of longer sunshine shorten the night and moon mist,
A lusty time when ‘we’ have always done our best work.

Thus in a time of men the Milesians went to Eire and drove out the sacred
Tuatha de Danaan, the followers of Danu, of heaven and earth.
Lugh and Midir warriors both, sailed past the blessed islands back to the glen of Ossian’s birth,
The weeping Glen, to the cairns of the Sidhe.
There they met Manannan Mac Lyr.
He who led them to other earth, to live for Millennia.
Eadaoin the twice born butterfly rode ‘Enbare of the flowing mane’ to the same glen.
There to reunite with Midir, the swans enjoined again.
Enbare, ‘as faithful as the best of hounds’, grazed the heather,
White of purity, purple of honour leaving the sour leaves to winter,
Cheating the bees.

The ‘time of men’ does not exist with us within our cairns.
Here in the light of extreme beauty,
The land of Mab, Oberon, Titania, and Merope,
The land where conjurers and magicians have one foot in mystery.
 
Imbolc, herald of spring, searching for badgers and serpents;
To declare among the snowdrops, blackthorn, and imprints in shallow snow.
Nature in pregnant pose, aware of lactation performed by waiting ewes.
Man reliant on wicks and fire, light and warmth, unfolding the family from
Hovel and roundhouse.
Fires lit in glades and heath,
Cremating the old growth,
Purifying for the new,
Cailleachann gathering kindling,
Biera, queen of winter, deer herder, losing her grip for the while,
Bonfires celebrating rebirth, gazing for omens, witnessing the stars.
 
As the days lengthen, the white plaid restored.
Mistletoe berries taken for food by birds,
Mistle Thrush seeking new boughs.
Acorns and hazel stir in their cases nuzzling into mother earth.
Creatures waken from dreamscapes, ready to hustle bustle in hedgerows.
Hounds stretch limbs ready for the seasons of the hunt.
We, the people of the hollow mountain,
Beinn Cruachan maintain watch,
Rejuvenating our youth, just as nature, for eternity.
The land of magic and things unknown to mankind, unseen to witless eyes.
 

Lughnasadh, early harvest, the day of sacrifice.
The old bull makes way for the yearling bull.
Lugh making the funeral speech for his foster mother,
Now carving the old beef!
Folk gathering bilberries or dressing wells as sacred as time.
Tailtiu baker of the first lunastain cake giving strange credence to Carmun,
Warrior sorcerer from her ancient Greek homeland, plain clearer.
Lightening stone thrust towards Lugus the wave sweeper,
The Yew spear and faithful Failnis baying at the sacred ball of fire
As it rises, mellow, in the morn.
 
Below the sentinels, cairns and megaliths,
(some in inaccessible places),
Labyrinths of stone and sacred trees, guarded by wolves and Sidhe.
We, who corral and husband the ‘ponies with dripping manes’.
What know you of nuggles and kelpies?
Beathac Mor, Morag or Sailleag?

All are seen and not seen, yet they exist.
Our names are many:
Beith, Luis, Fearn, Saille, Nion, Uath, Duir, Tinne, Coll and Quert.
Muin, Gort, Ngetal, Straif, Ruis, Ailm, Onn, Ur, Edhadh and Idho.
Trees and shrubs and letters, we leave you our magic lines.    

oghamwheel.jpg