Lugh, the Sun God of Lughnasadh
Lugh is a famous Celtic God who is best known for being the Sun God of Lughnasadh, an important harvest celebration on the Wheel of the Year. But Lugh was not just a god of the sun as he has many skills that he was a master of simultaneously. He was also believed to have been a high spirited God who was a fierce warrior during wars and battles. You can consider Lugh a jack of all trades with how many skills that he has. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with everything Lugh can do. With Lughnasadh right on our doorstep, there is no better time to learn about Lugh, his influential power, and what he means for the harvest to come.
A Brief History of Lugh
Lugh is the son of Ethne, the daughter of Fomorian King Balor. Lugh and his other two siblings were born of an unwanted relationship, so they were ordered to be drowned by Balor. Lugh was the only to survive and was raised in secret by his foster parents, Tailtiu and the god of the sea, Manannan mac Lir. But it would not be long before Lugh met with his grandfather, Balor, again. During a war between the Danaans, the family who raised Lugh, and the Fomorians, the beasts controlled by Balor, the two met again. Balor was aiming to defeat Lugh with his deadly eye, the weapon he was known for, but Lugh struck his eye with a stone from a slingshot and cut off Balor’s head. But, Balor being defeated by his grandson was not as surprising as it seemed. There was a prophecy that foretold that Balor was set to die at the hands of his grandson. After Balor’s defeat, Lugh was seen with high respect and as a true god amongst his people.
Lugh’s Skills and Possessions
Lugh is known for being a sun god, but he was also a fierce warrior. What made him a fierce warrior was his control over thunderstorms and the powerful possessions that he held. Each possession added to his strength in different ways, which we will discuss to help you get a better idea of the influential force that Lugh held.
Lugh’s most famous possession was his spear named the “invincible Spear.” His spear was believed to be an extension of his arm as it flowed with his movements, and only he was able to control it fully. But Lugh did not always have to control the spear by hand as it was believed to be alive and thirsted for blood. Since it was considered alive, it never missed its target.
Lugh’s Sling-Stone might have been a simple stone and sling-shot, but it was a powerful weapon none-the-less. His Sling-Stone was the very tool that blinded Balor and smashed his brain, allowing Lugh to slay him and fulfill his prophecy. The Sling-Stone has not been mentioned past the slaying of Balor, but it is still highly respected among the people who worship Lugh.
Fragarach is the name of the sword that Lugh is often depicted with. It is the sword of the Manannan or the sword of the people who took Lugh in after his foster parents rescued him. It is believed that Fragarach is the very sword Lugh has used to behead Balor in the final battle between them.
Lugh’s Horse and Magick Boat
Lugh has a horse named Aenbharr who was able to travel across both land and sea. The horse was gifted to him by his adoptive father, but more as he could borrow the horse when needed rather than own it. His boat, the “Wave-Sweeper” was a self-navigating boat that could always find its destination without needing the assistance of its rider.
Lugh’s hound, Failinis, was invincible in battle, caught every prey it hunted and could change running water it bathed in into wine. He was a faithful companion to Lugh and was often depicted as fighting alongside Lugh.
Lugh and the Grain Harvest
Lugh was first associated with harvest when he held a harvest festival in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu. The festival fell on the first of August as it ties to the first day where grains can be harvested. Some people believed that Lugh shared some of his powers with the crops of the month for them to grow prosperous and hearty. Due to this, the harvest festival was named in his honor as Lughnasadh. Conveniently, Lunasa is the Irish Gaelic name for August, which is pronounced similarly to Lugh’s name. During Lughnasadh, Lugh is honored with symbols of corns, grains, bread, and other objects of the harvest. The more you honor Lugh, the better your harvest is most likely to be.
Lugh in the Modern Era
For Witches today, Lugh is seen as a champion of the arts and multiple skills. When Witches need help with their artisan crafts or music, they tend to pray to Lugh for his inspiration or assistance. He is mostly celebrated during the time of harvest in the late summer, but not just for the grains he produces, but for the calmer sun that he controls during the autumn season. Once winter time comes, Lugh’s reign ends, but he should have gifted those who believe in him with a big enough harvest to survive the harsh winter to come since he is a rather kind god who only wants the best for those who follow him.
As you can see, Lugh is a rather fun God to have learned about. He has many talents that can help us, and the best thing we can do is show our respect to him. During Lughnasadh, we can pray and thank Lugh for the sacrifice he gave to help us have an abundant harvest. We can leave him offerings to help him gain back power, and we can enjoy Lughnasadh to the fullest with celebrations and feasts fit for a God. It does not take much to make Lugh happy, so do whatever you can for him, and he will surely give back tenfold.