Lughnasadh 2007: Embodiment of Sunfire

This Lughnasadh has been a quiet one for our family, but one with some very interesting revelations for me personally.

Our Family’s Lughnasadh

tolkientarotiiiOur 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.

Meeting My Primary Spirit Guide

I took Slade up on his recent offer to do a Reading of your guide’s names in exchange for a donation of any amount. I had no idea what he’d see, since I already have extensive contact with a number of guides through meditation, and he already knows about all of them (partly because I talk about them a lot here, and partly through behind-the-scenes emails). But the guides I know weren’t personal spirit guides (there was no genius in the old Classic meaning): I had Apollo and Cernunnos and my anima, and some other gods I saw less frequently, but none fit the classic definition of a spirit guide, which is someone who has agreed to shepherd you from birth, and attends to you through intuition and synchronicity.

Slade blew me away, as usual:

When I first received your donation, I was presented with the name almost immediately, and it has stuck with me for the last few days. But, as you’ll see in a moment, I had a hard time accepting the name I was getting — I kept repeating the question, double-checking my work, asking for confirmation over and over again.

Saturday night, I used YOUR meditation again… I actually listened to the full version all the way through. I don’t know what my problem was, the information I was retrieving wasn’t changing…

Your primary spirit guide’s name is:


But Paul is my middle name!

(I know, I know… that was my first reaction…)

This actually isn’t unusual — I have 5 testimonials/ responses to readings I’ve done over the past year where the sitter gave me a first name, or first and last name, and I identified their spirit guide’s name as being the same as their middle names…)

After I read this, I meditated and tried to reach Paul. I had the hardest time “seeing” him at first, until I realized it was because he was right on top of me! His face seemed to be almost touching mine, shifted to the left so that he was looking over my left shoulder, and I was looking over his left shoulder. Our chests were either touching, or partially overlapping. His features were vague, and he was translucently blue. He was quite friendly… and seemed very familiar somehow, like an old friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. I asked him when he lived as a human, and the impression I get was of “Paulus” and the Roman Empire.

Executive Circle

But that wasn’t all Slade had to say:

Picture if you will a board room, with a circular “table” at which you are seated at the head of the table, opposite/facing the “door.”

Upon entering this space, the first entities I encounter are the personal angelics — the “guardian angels” who are unique to each individual, nameless, non-communicative. These entities do not communicate with anyone outside your energy, I don’t care if they are mediums. To an outsider, the personal “guardians” are imposing, intimidating, and behave like the guards outside Buckingham Palace…

You have FOUR guardian angels. They guard and protect and watch over you in a very physical way. The Four remind me of Secret Service Agents.

The Four are the closest to the “doorway” into the room with the table — they face OUT…

Most of the entities you engage consciously face the table — Apollo stands at your right, slightly in front of you, closest to the table — indeed at times, he seems to be crouching on top of it. You, Apollo, and a few other un-identifiables (Ascended Masters, archetypes, or “gods”) all study and discuss the surface of this table. The table itself resembles a light source, or flatscreen “monitor” of some kind — sometimes it appears to be a reflective, liquid surface, like a pool of water… It ripples and changes, with characteristics that combine a hologram, a computer screen, and a glowing LED or phosphorescent material…

To the right of Apollo, and very close to him is this entity called Bel. He is closely connected with Apollo in some way. They do “most of the talking” — Apollo gestures and defers to him a lot…

You are also (probably temporarily but intensely) attended by the archangel Raphael...

Raphael is very easy to recognize — his “tools” are unmistakable. I see him with a green light like a saber from Star Wars — others describe him as wielding a scalpel or as a psychic surgeon. When I find him “working” on someone, it reminds me most of a dentist or someone sitting at a loom or needlepoint frame. Raphael is likely present for some type of healing treatment you are undergoing.

The first thought I had when reading this was that I knew I’d seen that light-table before, and I knew what it corresponded to in my own meditation experiences. It was the pool of water I’d seen in the center of the floor of Apollo’s temple, and assumed was just decorative. My sense of its function is that it can show broad overviews of information, or things that are distant in space or time, or generally serve as a direct link to Source chaos energy. I have a feeling that the bottom of it is filled with stars, like the Faerie Pool.

The next thought I had was the remarkable pattern in the names around the table. First, as I think I’ve mentioned to you before, the primary accented syllable of Apollo — the one that carries the central meaning of the name — sounds exactly like Paul. Second, the name Bel is also very similar; “b” and “p” are exactly the same sound — you make the same motions with your mouth — except for “b” you vibrate your vocal chords, and for “p” you don’t. (A whispered “b” is a “p”.) B and P also have similar meanings phonosemantically; for B, it’s sudden expansion from a point source, and for P, it’s more basic — it’s just the point location. When P is at the start of the syllable, it acts as a source for the energy of the vowel, just like B. In the case of Paul and Apollo, that’s Source energy; in the case of Bel, it’s a connective, joining energy.

The phonosemantic meanings of Paul, Apollo, and Bel are thus very similar: like the peal of a bell: energy arises from a point and speads to fill a volume.

As I was discussing what “Bel” might mean with Slade, it occurred to him to look up the name online. Immediately he found that Bel is the name of an ancient Celtic sun god; the Wikipedia article has a nice overview. He’s more frequently known as Belenus these days, and his consort is Belisama. He is often theorized to be the god that the Romans referred to when they talked about the “Gaulish [or British] Apollo.” His name is probably the basis for the holiday Beltane — a factoid that both Slade and I knew, but had completely forgotten about. D’oh!

I did more meditations to try to make contact with Bel and Raphael.

Meeting Bel and Raphael

I had the hardest time getting a visual on Bel — I could tell he was there, but I couldn’t see him at all–, until I entertained the possibility that he might be a “she”. Then I had extremely clear picture come through!

Physically, she is of average height (slightly taller than Apollo), wearing a rather severe dress; her colors tend toward aquamarine and electric blue. She is very nearly gaunt. Her head is her most striking feature: her chin is unnaturally small, and her forehead and cranium are overlarge; combined with her large black eyes (flecked with stars), the immediate impression is of a Roswell alien! Her hair is golden-red and shimmers around her head like a fiery halo. …In many ways — in colors, build, and hair especially — she resembles a less-human, taller, thinner, less feminine version of my anima. She is quite definitely not ‘human’ in the way Apollo is, and not ‘earthly’ in the way Cernunnos is; the word sidhe came to mind, and it was a word Slade associated with Bel as well.

It’s an odd thing that Slade and I get completely different genders for Bel, and it’s not something we’ve been able to figure out, though we have some guesses. It may be, for example, that Bel isn’t a particularly “gendered” individual; and since Slade channels the Mother very strongly, and I channel the Father, Bel may appear of opposite genders to us; or we pick up more on different aspects of Bel’s personality as salient. Interestingly, Apollo referred to her as his “consort”, but knowing Apollo’s preferences, that doesn’t necessarily mean Bel is female. But Slade and I both agree on Bel’s primary colors, so we are probably both reaching the same individual.

As for Raphael, I also meditated to try to connect with him, and I got a strong sense that he was working on my back, especially my lower back, and the nerves and connections there with the “spare tire” that circles above my waist — where almost all of my excess fat collects. But of course, this physical manifestation of fat is a reflection of something spiritual that Raphael is working on, and so I suspect he is trying to help me with my physical manifestation overhaul, which seems to be slowly but inexorably extending into a more general overhaul of my life..

Channeling the Sun

I tried to figure out why I had so much solar energy in my guide grouping — what I was supposed to “do” with it all — or perhaps how I could best step out of its way and let it do its thing. At first Apollo and Bel seemed confused by the question, as if I was asking what the purpose of the sun itself was. But then they said that my primary mission with this sunfire is to eradicate fear — in myself, and in others. I’ve seen this connection between the sun and courage before, in one of my first meditations on fear a year ago.

So it was an exciting Lughnasadh! And let me close with a plea, one that comes straight from my guides. This may be corny and hokey, but here goes:

If you’re experiencing fear in your life — whether it’s gripping, paralyzing fear, or low-grade, soul-nibbling fear — please know it doesn’t have to be that way. Your guides are there, hovering around you, working with you, and watching after you, just like mine are. If you don’t believe in guides, gods, or spirits — fine! — consider them archetypes and aspects of your subconscious, with valuable information to give you. Regardless: go to Slade’s site, and donate any amount, and let him give you a personal introduction. Armed with that information, download my free meditation, “Meet a Guide”, and talk to them yourself. If you feel so moved, consider downloading the $5 companion meditation, the Meditation to Release Fear. Let the fear go, and reclaim your life.

A year ago I wrote this, and I’m still trying to manifest it, to embody it in my life, but I get closer every day:

Choosing courage means asking yourself, constantly, what the BOLDEST course of action would be. And taking it. Should you ask that girl out? Yes, always. Should you ask for that raise? Yes, always. Should you join a club, run for office, write a letter to the editor? Yes, always. Should you have another child, or buy that nice house? Yes, both! Particularly if you are afraid of doing so. Take the boldest choice, the one with the most chutzpah, the one that shakes you in your boots.

Because that is the only way to get rid of the fear. Turn toward the sun and fly directly into it.


6 responses to “Lughnasadh 2007: Embodiment of Sunfire”

  1. Jeff, I absolutely loved this post (and after I’m finishing commenting here, I’ll be making my way over to Slade’s site, as you suggested). Recently, I’ve started to realize that I’ve been dealing rather covertly with fear–and in fact, it was you who helped to point this out to me. I’m not sure if you remember, but in a comment on an older post, you made mention of how it seems sometimes that people who never committed to a serious relationship in their 20s and 30s sometimes seem to gradually lose their ability to devote themselves completely to a relationship. For the past two years, I’ve been struggling to cope with having lost just such a relationship, and I’ve dealt with this by seeking a personal strength and accepting the lessons I must learn from solitude. Still, ever since I read that comment of yours, it has been echoing in my mind, as if you touched on something I’d been secretly worrying about all along.

    I recently did a meditation of my own to see if I could “make contact” with Caer Ibormeith, the Celtic goddess of dreams and intuition, and the swan maiden whom the Celtic god of love, Angus Og, seeks out because of a dream. I was very moved by the myth of these two deities, and have been seeking the kind of strength that Caer seemed to exhibit as an independent and powerful feminine archetype. When I did my meditation, however, the figure of Caer that appeared to me was… gigantic! She loomed far above me as some kid of impersonal and intimidating force, and I felt like a little ant about to be crushed by her pinky toe. I felt very frustrated and cut off, almost abandoned, and I couldn’t understand why. I think this is another expression of feeling overwhelmed by this need to be “strong” and being fearful about how trying to be strong seems to cut me off from having personal relationships with others, even if I am seeking strength for that very purpose.

    Ever since that meditation, I’ve been having a lot of dreams about horses, which is another animal associated with Caer (the swan being the main one, obviously). I think this may be a good sign, perhaps that she is willing to work with me to confront this fear and to build a healthy relationship to my internal strength… In any case, your post has been fascinating and encouraging to read, so as usual I want to thank you for writing!


  2. Ali, it sounds like this post came at a good time, which is tremendously gratifying to me. Ironically enough, you show a lot of courage in writing so openly about your fear — and it’s this same courage that makes your blog and your poetry so fascinating.

    For myself personally, the key to unlocking intimate personal relationships was definitely being able to come from a position of independence and strength. It took me a long time to learn that love is very different from dependence.

    The association with horses is very interesting. Are you familiar with the place of the horse in the ancient Celtic rituals of sovereignty? The mare, in particular, is a symbol of the Land in its feminine aspect — the Queen which the King must marry, and ultimately merge with. The ritual of kingship itself was rather grotesque, and I’ll refrain from giving the details, but the upshot of it was that in order to really assume the throne, the king had to consummate marriage with the Land, with the Mare, and then become One with it.


  3. Jeff, I am constantly blown away by your fantastic articles. I love the education you are presenting me with on Celtic and Druid lore. I think I was a Druid in a past life and for some reason that frightens me. It is just a shadowy image that pops up in my mind occasionally with nothing substancial to get a hold on. I have learned to be patient in getting past life information. It usually comes to me in small bits and pieces. Maybe I need to get used to the idea before I am presented with the whole picture. This process can sometimes take up to a year before I have all of the information. Thanks for the great articles.


  4. Patricia, it’s interesting to hear about your process of learning about past life experiences. I know nothing at all about my past lives; I guess I’ve never felt the need to seek out the information. Or perhaps I’m afraid I’ll find out I wasn’t such a nice guy in previous incarnations. 🙂 The most interesting thing I’ve read about past lives is something Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf guy, said, which was that up to about the time you’re 30, you’re sort of absorbing lessons from your past lives, and the people you see in your life are people you’ve interacted with in past lives; and after you’re 30, you’re processing genuinely new information for your soul, stuff you’ll pass on to future lives; and the people you associate with are people you’ll meet again in future lives.


  5. Jeff, thanks for sharing the Rudolf Steiner information. I have not heard that before. I haven’t actively gone searching for my past life information. I have only had one past life reading done and that was by my teacher at that time. The rest of the information that I have gotten has been in the form of dreams or visions that I have received myself or something that someone who is psychic has gotten and passed on to me. Some of my visions I have gotten while in the shower when I would be thinking about something else entirely.


  6. […] the guides I have regular contact with — Apollo, Bel, Paul, my anima, Cernunnos — are mentally agile, and very verbal. Bison […]


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