Since Lammas or Lughnasaugh is coming up and it’s all about the Celtic God Lugh and the first harvest, I think it’s timely that we come to L’s right now.
“The Coming of Lugh” by Iarwain
I am Lugh Samildanach
I am Lugh the Il-Dana
I am Lugh, master of the battle
I am Lugh, master of healing
I am Lugh, master of knowledge
I am Lugh, master of sailing
I am Lugh, master of sorcery
I am Lugh, master of smithing.
A Celtic Sun God, a hero God. He is a Druid, carpenter, poet and mason. His animals are the raven and the lynx. He symbolizes healing, reincarnation, prophecy and revenge. He is young, strong, radiant with hair of gold, master of all arts, skills and crafts. Lugh was the son of Cian (Kian), son of Danu and Dian Cécht, and Ethlinn (Ethnea or Eithliu), daughter of Balor, a Fomorian champion (leader).
Lugh was a popular sun god, worshiped throughout the Celtic world. In Gaul, he was identified as Lugus or Lug. Because Lugus was identified as the solar god, the Greeks identified Lugus with the sun god Apollo. In Wales, he was called Lleu, while in Ireland, he was called Lugh or Lug. He was popularly called Lugh Lamfada – “Lugh of the Long Arms”, as well as Lugh Samildánach – “Skilled in All the Arts”. Caesar and the Romans associated with Roman god Mercury (Greek Hermes).
Lugh arrived at the court of the Dagda one day and demanded to be admitted to the company of the gods. The gatekeeper asked him what he could do. For every skill or art Lugh named, the gatekeeper replied that there was already one among the company who had mastered it. Lugh at last pointed out that they had no one who had mastered them all. He was then giving a place among the deities, eventually leading them to victory in the second battle of Moytura.
Balor, Lugh’s maternal grandfather had learned that his daughter’s son would one day kill him. Balor tried to unsuccessfully confine his daughter Ethlinn, but Cian with the help of a druidess, Brióg, managed to seduce Ethlinn. Ethlinn gave birth to triplets. Balor tried to have his grandsons killed, but either Brióg or Mananán saved one of the infants (Lugh).
Mananán or his father Cian left Lugh with his foster father Goibhniu, who taught Lugh all the skills, or Tailtiu, who was formerly the wife of Firbolg king, Eochaid Mac Eirc. Tailtiu and her second (Danann) husband Eochaid Garb Mac Dúach became Lugh’s foster parents. Lugh nine foster fathers who were met to protect from battle included Echdam, Eru, Fedlimid, Fosad, Ibar (Iubor), Minn, Rechtaid Finn, Scibar and Toulusdam.
Lugh possessed the magic sword called Freagarthach (the “Answerer”), one of the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann from the city of Gorias. Lugh also possessed an invincible spear, from the city of Finias. Lugh gained or borrowed Mananan’s magical ship, Wave-sweeper. Lugh’s dog was called Failiais.
As revenge for death his father, Lugh refused to heal the mortally wounds sons of Turenne with magic pigskin. At the end of the war, Lugh had become king of Ireland and ruled for 40 years. Cermait, the son of Dagda, had seduced Lugh’s unnamed wife. Lugh killed Cermait for adultery with his wife. Cermait had three sons – MacCuill, MacCecht and MacGrené (MacGrene). They avenged their father death, by killing Lugh, at Uisnech.
Lugh was said to have four other wives: Búi and her sister Nas; Echtach and Englic. His most famous son was Cú Chulainn (Cu Chulainn), the greatest hero in Irish myth. Lugh abducted Dectera, daughter of the Ulster’s chief druid, Cathbad. When Conchobar and his warriors founded Dectera, she gave them the infant, whom they named Sétanta (Setanta). Lugh helped his son several times, especially during the Cattle Raid of Cooley. Lugh fought in Cú Chulainn’s guise for three days. Lugh allowed his son to heal and recover after the hero’s encounter with Morrigan.
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