Welcome to the second entry of Better Know a Celt, a series I started with the intention of getting to know the gods and goddesses of my chosen hearth cultures. The Celt for August is, surprise surprise, one Lugh Lámhfhada, Lugh of the Long Arm, Many-Skilled, Craftsman, Artist and Athlete Extraordinaire. I’ve often described Lugh to non-Celts as an Irish Apollo, which, on the surface, isn’t too far from the truth. Both gods seem to be jack-of-all-trades, having such a diverse purview that it might be easier to say what They’re not in charge of. Both are also gods of light (though not necessarily the sun), are both warriors and artists, and are shown in mythology to care deeply for Their mothers.
Writing this post has been difficult, not because there’s any dearth of mythical information about Lugh or because His modern followers are silent – to the contrary, He seems to be one of the more popular Celtic gods nowadays – but because I find so little connection with Him. I have some vague sense of what His presence is like, and He’s indistinguishable from Aengus Óg’s presence in my mind: warm, quiet laughter, but golden where Aengus is red. Which leads me to wonder if there’s some connection between the two gods (there is) or if I’m just getting nothing from Lugh and projecting His image onto Aengus (which is probably also true).
But, it’s important for me to know all the Tuatha Dé Danann, not just the Ones Who seem most important to me. They all have Their place, Their thread in the tapestry. (There’s also a lot to be said for recognizing that not all the gods are going to like me, or that Some may have a “meh” reaction at my presence. That’s okay when you’re a polytheist. Not all practitioners are cut out for all gods, and it’s okay to have some you only honor once in a great while – say, Lugh at Lughnasadh – or even not at all.)
So, without further ado, I present to you a god who really needs no introduction: Lugh.