Part 2 of a Series on God/Goddess Archetypes
by Lorraine Henrich

July 31st marks the feast of Lughnasadh , a Celtic holiday that dates back to pagan times.  Traditionally this was a day of friendly competition in the form of horse races and contests of skills as well as poetry reading, music, sacred fires,  and marriage rites  Although a peaceful holiday, this celebration is said to have been created by the Sun God Lugh of the Long Arm to honor his step mother Tailtiu who died of exhaustion after her leaders commanded that she clear a wooded area for farming purposes.   When Lugh became the ruling King of her people, the Tuatha De Danaaan he demanded that his stepmother be honored annually in this festival. (1)

Although the feast is in memory of Tailtiu, it is Lugh  who is remembered during this time, and for those who have not heard his name it is an important one as the wisdom and skills of this archetype can be utilized today for shedding light on our goals and recognizing that sacrifice is often part of the process.

In the Welsh tradition Llew(his original name) was born of a union between Arianrhod  and her brother Gwydion. The Powerul Wizard Gwydion raises Llew, but it is Arianrhod who names and prepares Llew to be a warrior.  Yet like any path of initiation the gifts of enlightenment and empowerment are also challenging, and Arianrhod in her shame over the circumstances of her son’s birth, refuses to give her son a name.  Yet as she watches her strong golden haired son at play she remarks “the young lion has a skillful hand” and thus his name actually means skillful hand and is associated with the lion.

Later as the Gaelic people discover and rename Llew as Lugh, his name comes to mean the “shining one”.  In his earliest years the young fair haired boy is a remarkable being who displays amazing gifts and talents well exceeding his years.  But like a name, only a mother can bestow her son with weapons and she having been tricked into naming her son, refuses that he be armed with any weapons.  Gwydion brings Lugh to the castle of Arianhrod and presents their son as a champion in need of weapons.  It is only after she bestows him with his weapons that she realizes the true identity of the champion (2).  

Once again furious over the deception of Gwydion, Arianrhod declares her son will never have a wife of the “race that now inhabits the earth”. (3) In the Gaelic tradition Llew is known a Lugh and his adopted mother is Tailtu of whom he later dedicates a day to Llew leaves his Welsh home and  seeks to become a champion of the Tuatha De Danaan as a very young man..    He presents himself to King Nuada through his prowess as a healer, reader of the runes, warrior, doctor, and bard among other things.  He is accepted as a worthy champion because of his versatility and ability to be master of many skills. (4)

Perhaps Lugh’s greatest mastery comes with his ability to defeat deception and death.  In an effort to thwart Arianhrod’s final decree, Gwydion aided by another powerful sorcerer and protector of  Lugh, Math, create Blodeeuwedd “the most fairest and graceful that man ever saw” – a wife made of magick, oak, broom, and meadowsweet.  Llew and his wife prospered until the day Blodeewedd takes a lover and plots the death of her husband with her consort Gronw.   Blodeewuedd knows her husband has superhuman abilities, yet she also knows the one way that he can be destroyed.  She sets a plan in motion in which Lugh is at his most vulnerable state and calls her lover in to end her husband’s life.  Yet at the moment he is dealt his death blow he lets out a powerful scream and is instead transformed into a mighty eagle who quickly takes fight and lands on a magickal oak.  Lugh’s death is avenged and Gronw is killed and Blodeewueed is herself transformed into an owl as punishment for her plot of betrayal.  (5)

Even in death Lugh’s story is one of rebirth and transformation.  Like the Sun he represents, Lugh is a powerful male archetypal force who shows us that through adversity and even rejection we achieve the gretaest gifts of abundance, empowerment, and enlightenment.  He teaches us flexibility and mastery of all skills. One of  the gifts associated with Lugh is the Gae assail or lightning spear, a magickal spear that never misses it’s target. (6)  Lugh teaches us to set our aims high and not to be attached to an outcome as the most divine gifts come in the most unexpected ways and from the most unexpected sources. 

Working with Lugh: Most appropriate time: August 1st ,when the Sun is in Leo, or Sunday, preferably outside on a sunny afternoon.  Please note it is said that if it rains, after working with Lugh you have been blessed with his presence.


Earth: A wooden spear or pointed stick to represent Lugh’s spear

Water: A cauldron of any size or shape to represent the goddess and her gifts.  Place a small amount of water at the bottom of the cauldron

Air:  Frankincense, Cinnamon, Or Chamomile Oil or incense

Fire: A white candle on the altar to represent purity and a golden candle placed inside the cauldron

Suggested Offerings and objects to place on the altar: Home made bread, A Vase of Marigolds, Statues of the animals associated with Lugh – the Eagle, the White Horse, or the Dog, the Sun card preferably  from the Ryder Waite or Thoth Tarot Deck

1 pieces of parchment or papyrus and pencil

1 seed  of your choice

Author’s note: These are suggestions and can and should be enhanced with your own creativity and connection to the Sun, to Lugh and your personal goals and achievements

Light both candles and begin


With your eyes open look into the flame of the golden candle and, when you are ready, bring that golden flame into your third eye.  Allow that flame to illuminate all of your chakras and also create a flaming sphere of protection and strength around you.

At this moment Lugh appears to you in whatever form he chooses.  He touches your 3rd eye and all of your most recent goals and achievements are illuminated before you.  You present Lugh with a gift from the altar and you ask him to assist you in having clarity on your intent or goals this past year. With Eagle vision you are granted the ability to see all the inner and outer qualities and aspects you have been cultivating since last year at this time.  Give thanks for all of your experiences and even for your greatest rivals and challenges as these have paved the way for your own growth.  Express or receive forgiveness at this time for any misdeeds you may have committed upon yourself or others. You are then presented with the aspects that are ready to be released in order to pave the way for gifts in alignment with your true nature and intent. 

At this point open your eyes, write down the aspects that need to be released and burn them with the flame of the golden candle.  Throw the embers into the water of the cauldron and again focus your attention on the candle flame.

Return to your meditation and once again see yourself in a flaming sphere.  Call Lugh’s name and he will return once again in whatever form he chooses.  Once again present him with a gift and also state your intent for this year.   You find yourself under a mighty oak and as you lean against this massive tree, you are filled with the joy and strength of the Sun.   You are now holding a spear.  Throw this spear with the intent of hitting the mark or goal of intent.  Follow the journey of the spear as it finds it mark.  Open your heart and mind to the lessons of this journey you have begun and feel that goal being achieved as the spear hits its target, wherever that may be.

Open your eyes and using the hand that held the spear, send your intent into the seed.  Plant the seed or keep it with you as a reminder of your goals and the path to achievement.


  1. Lughnasad Iain MacAnTsaior
  2. Feast of Lugh The Sun God Dal Raidhe Celtic Trust
  3. The Mabinogion Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
  4. Faery Wicca Tarot Kisma Stepanich
  5. Bloodeewuedd  Judith Schultz
  6. Timeless Myths Jimmy Joe

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