Lugh of the Long Arm
A God whose hand is so large that it can open and reveal the expanse of the sky is one way in which the Celtic Deity Lugh has been viewed. In this respect he can possibly be traced back to the Hindu Sun God Savitar whose rays are likened to the fingers of a hand. Savitar is also called prthupani, "of large hand." Did the children of Danu carry with them this image as they migrated west from their common Indoo-European homes of long ago? Perhaps. IN their wake they littered the continent of Europe with place names after this most powerful of Celtic dieties. Places like Lyons, in France, Leiden in Holland and even London and Vienna are believed to be derived from Lugh. Caesar wrote of the Celts worshiping as their high God, Mercury the Roman Equivalent of Lugh.
Here at Muin Mound Grove, ADF we celebrate the God Lugh in our Lughnasadh ritual. Indeed even the name of this first harvest is derived from the Solar God. Lugh is the God of all Arts and Crafts and wares of this nature are often seen at festivals all over Europe during this season. He is often depicted as a shoemaker and in the early 1900's the Bretons still referred to the sun as sabotier or shoemaker. As Christianity spread throughout the Gaelic world the once powerful Lugh became the faerie cobbler in folklore.
The Celtic Myths however are full of references of the God Lugh who came to the aid of many heroes, including his most famous son Cuchulain. On his journey to the Warrior teacher in the Hill of Shadows, Cuchulain is aided by Lugh who gives him a flaming wheel to roll across the Plain of Ill Luck so that he may cross this boggy area with getting caught in the mire. IN the battle for the Brown Bull it is said that Lugh fought by his son's side and defended the ford while Cuchulain got much needed rest.
More than any other God in the Celtic pantheon it is Lugh who has the broadest spectrum. He is the friend to the agrarian culture with his guidance of the growth cycles and he is the patron of the smith and leatherworker and potter, and he is also there for the warrior in battle. Truly Lugh is a powerful God worthy of praise and remembrance.
Information taken from:
"The Druids," by Peter Berresford Ellis pages 124-126
"Celtic Mythology" by T.W. Holleston pages 182,214,215