This Lughnasadh has been a quiet one for our family, but one with some very interesting revelations for me personally.
Our Family’s Lughnasadh
Our usual mentor, Ellen Hopman, was away in Tennessee leading a large gathering, so the six of us tramped into the woods to do our own little thing. It turns out that back behind the farm where we get our summer vegetables is a stand of woods with a network of crisscrossing paths, and a lovely little brook with bridges scattered here and there along it. It was amazing to us what a sense of peace and reverence permeated these quiet woods, even though they are almost completely surrounded by developments now. At one of these bridges we sang “We are Children of the Earth” and silvered the water; then we went to the top of a hill and gave our offerings to the trees and to fire. I read a selection from the life of Lugh — the part where he’s taken from his home on earth and raised up to be a man by the King of the Sea, and how he decides to return to Ireland and free it from the yoke of the Fomorian invaders. Then we did a brief divination using Druid Animal Oracle cards, asking for guidance in our search for a home closer to the land. The general indication was that the search will take considerable cleverness and a strong warrior spirit, but that we will have help.
Then we tramped back to the farm proper and had a feast of whole wheat and oat rolls and salad. We placed a roll at the base of a birch for the local fairies, as well. Afterwards, most of the kids headed for the sandbox, but our 6-year-old second daughter, who I sometimes think has more intuition about people and relationships than the whole rest of the family put together, sought out the farmers, buttered them up properly, and secured a free cantaloupe and other random fruit. We had a lovely time.
Lugh: The Embodiment of Sunfire
Lughnasadh is Old Irish for “Lugh Gathering”, and it was a fire festival celebrated midway between the summer solstice and the fall equinox — a time of gathering together for trade and exchange of goods and ideas. As such, it wasn’t primarily a harvest festival, though according to legend it was established by Lugh, king of the gods, in tribute to his mother Tailtiu, who died readying the fields of Ireland for agriculture.
Lugh is the primary syllable of Lughnasadh, and it is similar to the name Luke and Latin lux in sound and meaning: a light, volume-filling energy is gathered with speedy, fluid motion into a grounded container — or, put more simply, embodied, flowing light.
It appears that some of my guides arranged matters so that they would be “revealed” at this time of year, when the energy of the sun is made manifest, because they are so closely tied to solar energy.
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