5. Uilleand

Generosity, discretion, beauty, subtlety, the occult, perception of abundance

Tree: Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)

Letter: P

Image from Wikipedia

The Ogham itself is like a bunch of ZIP files waiting to reveal itself to the patient and the thoughtful. Learning the secrets of magic is not a matter of coercion but instead a dedicated pursuit of perceiving subtle meanings and gently working with natural forces. The occult, as much as some people may want to imbue it with paranoid, ghastly images of blood sacrifice, merely means “the hidden”, meaning that which is not obvious and must be gleaned, sussed out, and pored over in order to understand.

Whether you are an occultist or not, it’s a good life strategy simply not to talk about every one of your inner thoughts and to censor yourself depending on who you are with. Some of your secrets never need to be known by anyone besides you, and that is OK. Honesty is often NOT the best policy, except with yourself when assessing your flaws and strengths.

As this Ogham connects with honeysuckle, it also ties in with the concept of generosity and the perception of abundance. The honeysuckle’s graceful, arching habit and profusion of sweetly-scented flowers provides nectar and shelter for many bugs and small animals.

Generosity is in no way the exclusive trait of the rich; in fact, the poor are notably more generous than the rich. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people in the bottom 20 percent tend to give more than their capacity to give while Americans in the top 40 percent are capable of donating two or three times more than they actually give. Perhaps this is because the poorer you are, the more likely you are to have empathy you have for those who equally poor or poorer than you. Or perhaps this is because poor people are likely to appreciate the small abundances they have instead of hoarding and jealously standing in constant, miserable guard of their wealth like certain types of rich people. The elites at the pinnacle of modern monetary wealth are latter-day ogres: monsters who skulk in caves full of stolen gold coins, plundered weapons, and blood-crusted jewels. The perception of plenty often is one and the same as plenty, which is why having “lots of toys” has never been the path to happiness. Abundance has to come from somewhere, and one of the reasons some rich people are so unhappy and mentally disturbed these days is because many have spent lifetimes denying their own privilege while hoarding wealth that came from unfair consequences offloaded on those poorer than them and the ecosystem itself. Such “abundance” has a hefty karmic price, and it is as if the modern day rich ogres sense this and it quietly drives them mad.

The secret here is that generosity is a form of living by the golden rule. Give without fear and worry and you will always feel contented. Conversely, clinging greedily to material abundance and status symbols out of fear of not having enough ensures you will never feel you have enough, no matter how rich you become. Uilleand tells you to spread your generosity and to send your wealth back into the flow of nature. Give whatever you can. You’ll always have just enough. Uilleand is the perception of plenty: be generous with what you have and like will attract like.

Questions when you draw Uilleand:
-What does abundance mean to you? Take a snapshot of your life right now: do you think you have enough wealth to be happy?
-When was the last time you gave to someone less fortunate than you? How much did you sacrifice?
-Think of a time when you shared a secret and someone used it to betray or hurt you. What would you do differently if you had to relive that event? How will you act if and when you are presented with a similar situation in the future?

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”

“There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

“Generosity is what keeps the things we own from owning us.” -Eugene Cho

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” -Benjamin Franklin