4. Eadha

Limits, prudence, the usefulness of fear

Tree: Aspen (Populus spp.)

Letter: E

Image from Wikipedia

Picture a tall tree that seems to tremble when blown by wind — that’s the quaking aspen. Like birch, aspen grows in groups, which brings to mind the comfort of being surrounded or power in numbers. Pulling this Ogham says that contemplating and respecting limits is the best strategy. For instance, when you are angry about something, allow yourself to fully admit and feel your rage, but bring down a limit when it comes to expressing rage. Honesty and analysis of your emotions, especially of anger, will transform anger into a tool for self-improvement instead of blind self-destruction.

Fear is another limiting force. An excess of fear can be crippling. When fear goes too far, the result is agoraphobia/severe anxiety and an inability to have any kind of fun or enjoyment in life. The opposite, total fearlessness, is just as bad as it regularly results in horrendous disfigurement or quick death. When fear is balanced, however, the result is a rich and fulfilled life of body, mind, and spirit. A reasonable amount of fear makes for good pupils, solid parenting, and prosperous business dealings to name only a few examples.

Questions when you draw Eadha:

-How and why is your anxiety useful?
-Think of three fictional characters from novels or movies who are depicted as suffering from anxiety, for instance, Sherlock Holmes. What do you think of those characters?
-Do you have any superstitious habits? Why or why not?

Eadha ill-dignified excess: Fear and trembling
Keep in mind how easy it is for anxiety to take over. You might be engaging in obsessive-compulsive behavior or overreacting to other humans. This Ogham may indicate you or someone else overdosing on political correctness, an approach that is fraught with confusion and hypocrisy. Though drawing limits and not allowing disrupting factors or people into your life is good policy, beware of shutting out situations or people who can help you become a better person.

Eadha ill-dignified dearth: Where angels fear to tread
Recklessness can take many forms, from daredevil stunts to an obtuse “whatever, it’ll be fine” approach to other people. This Ogham could indicate taking risks with your physical safety, such as driving while distracted or hanging out with people who don’t care enough for you to keep you safe, or it could mean coarseness or insensitivity in social settings that will return to you as comeuppance for the pain you inflict. In general, you are not assessing risk as you probably should be and Eadha ill-dignified warns of the consequences.


“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”
-George Orwell

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim. (Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
-H.P. Lovecraft

“There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling.”
-Victor Hugo