Book Review – Celtic Tree Mysteries by Steve Blamires

Book Review

Celtic Tree Mysteries

By Steve Blamires

Publisher: Crossed Crow Books

248 pages

Publication Date: May 16, 2023





Author Steve Blamires gives readers a wealth of detailed information about the Tree Alphabet and Ogham script – how the two systems differ and how they may be used together for magical purposes. Celtic Tree Mysteries also serves a manual to connect and communicate with twenty magical trees, bringing about heightened spiritual awareness.

The book begins with an academic overview of Ogham, an ancient alphabet comprised of a series of notches and short horizontal or diagonal lines spaced along the vertical edge of a stone found throughout the British Isles. Its history is told, often with excerpts from ancient manuscripts, along with its relevance today. Ogham’s esoteric uses and its connection to the Tree Alphabet are also covered.

Calling it “a non-verbal dialogue” and equating it to sign language, Blamires contends it offers a way to communicate with trees. Presenting a system he adapted for current-day use, three levels of meaning for each tree are explained: physical, mental, and spiritual. Readers get to know each tree and incorporate the trees’ wisdom into their practice.

For instance, the chapter on the apple tree describes its physical aspects as good for burning and carving, making a poultice of boiled or roasted crab apples to release pain in the side, and remove burn marks from skin. On a mental level, shamans and magicians use the apple tree when undergoing magical transformations or journeys to the otherworld. Spiritually, it lets you “experience the divine madness of the shaman.”

In addition to the ritual work, crafting a set of Ogham sticks is an important component. It allows for a deeper understanding of each of the letters in the alphabet and for learning to combine them for successful tree magic.

I have difficulty learning languages, and this one was no exception despite the detailed instruction. The book, however, still serves as a reference guide to those trees here on the East Coast. In addition to those interested in Ogham and magic, anyone intrigued with tree myths and lores will also enjoy this book.

The glossary and the index make it easier to find information; end notes and a bibliography give sources for readers who want to go deeper.

Originally put out by Llewellyn Publications in January 1, 1997 and December 8, 2013, Celtic Tree Mysteries is now available from Crossed Crow Books in three editions: paperback, hardcover, and a limited edition in a slipcase featuring green goatskin binding, a raised spine, and a ribbon bookmark.

Steve Blamires lived on the Isle of Arran, Scotland, a place considered by the ancient Gaelic Celts as the mystical Otherworld, and moved to the USA in the 1990s. Since his early teens, he has been passionate about his indigenous Celtic culture. Blamires has published several books on Celtic topics, including a biography about Scottish writer William Sharp (1855-1905) who also wrote under the name Fiona Macleod. When not speaking on all aspects of Celtic tradition and culture, he traveled the world as a historian, presenter and tour-guide on National Geographic expedition ships. Now he leads small groups to Scotland and hosts a Celtic music radio show.



Celtic Tree Mysteries on Amazon



About the Author:

Lynn Woike

All my life I have known magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the black-candles-and-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions, tarot, herbs, candle magic, gems, and, as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have returned to an eclectic solitary practice.



When accepting the mantle of crone, I pledged to serve and teach. This is what I do from my skoolie – a 30-year-old school bus converted into a tiny house on wheels that I am driving around the country, following 72-degree weather, emerging myself into nature, and sharing magic with those I meet. Find me at, Facebook and Instagram.