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Lugh:The Sun God/Lugh of the Long Arm

And Gwydion said to Math, when it was Spring:
"Come now and let us make a wife for Llew."
And so they broke broad boughs yet moist with dew,
And in a shadow made a magic ring:
They took the violet and the meadow-sweet
To form her pretty face, and for her feet
They built a mound of daisies on a wing,
And for her voice they made a linnet sing
In the wide poppy blowing for her mouth.
And over all they chanted twenty hours.
And Llew came singing from the azure south
And bore away his wife of birds and flowers.
The Wife of Llew
Georgian Poetry 1913-1915 -- Francis Ledwidge

Lugh,Lugus,Llew,Lugh Lamfada,Lugh Samildanach. These are all names that we may know the God Lugh by. He is a god of many talents. I have been stuck by the comparisons to the Ideas behind the stories of lugh and the "way of the Warrior" outlined by Miyamoto Musashi in the Book of Five Rings (Goirin No Sho).
"This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy:
Do not think dishonestly.
The Way is in training.
Become aquainted with every art.
Know the Ways of all professions.
Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.
These rules seem to be the same Ideal that Lugh lives by and sought out by those who see him as a Hero or Leader. He was the Leader of the Tuatha De Dannan for this very reason. In the Following Links and Quotes I am attempting to help you learn more about lugh,and hope you get a better understanding of him from this page.

Lugh Links

Lugus:The Many Gifted God:An Essay by Alexi Kondratiev or Imbas.This is an excellent and weighty essay. I reccomend it heartily for anyone interested in the story and history of Lugh. I put this first for a reason.
Coming of Lugh: A Poem
Story of Lugh :Unknown source:
Ar an Diorseoir ris an deagh Laoch (the doorkeeper said to the noble warrior): Part of an ancient poem with Lugh in the text.
A Lugh Myth: Todd K. Heriott
The Celtic God Lugh: by Kariatid
Lugh: by Rob Henderson
Lugh: By Niamh
The Coming of Lugh: By Iarwain(?)
The Death of Llew: By Mike Nichols
Math of Mathonwy: The Famous tale for the Mabinogeon that includes the Story of Llew.


LUGH(Welsh equivalent Lleu) belongs to the Mythological Cycle and the Ulster Cycle,He is related by blood both to the Tuatha De Danann and to their enimies the Formorians(He is the grandson of BALOR).
Lughs name means 'Shining One', and he may well have been a god of the sun or of light.

The Summer festival of LUGHNASAD on 1 August is associated with him: tradition has it that Lughnasad was established by Lugh in memory of his foster-mother.
The world 'lugos' means 'RAVEN', and there is a tenuous link between Lugh and ravens; before the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh, Lugh is warned by ravens of the coming of the Formorians. Towns such as Luguvalium(Carlisle) and Lugdunum(Lyon) are linked by scholors to Lugh and at Ludnumum,coins depicted images of ravens.

In the Irish traditions Lugh is portrayed as a shining god of light, but also as a warrior,sorcerer and master of crafts."

(DICTIONARY OF CELTIC MYTH AND LEGEND:Miranda J. Green:1992 Thames and Hudson Ltd)

From "The Second Battle of Mag Tured(Moytura) Now as to the Tuatha De, this is what they were doing. After Bres, Nuada was again in sovereignty over the Tuatha De. At that time he held a mighty feast at Tara for them. Now there was a certain warrior on his way to Tara, whose name was Lug Samildanach. And there were then two doorkeepers at Tara, namely Gamal son of Figal and Camaall son of Riagall. When one of these was on duty he saw a strange company coming towards him. A young warrior fair and shapely, with a king's trappings, was in the forefront of that band. They told the doorkeeper to announce their arrival at Tara. The doorkeeper asked:"Who is there?"

"Here there is lug Lamfada (i.e. Lugh Long-Arm) son of Cian son of Diancecht and of Ethne daughter of Balor. Fosterson, he, of Tailltiu daughter of Magmor king of Spain and of Eochaid the Rough son of Duach."

The doorkeeper asked of Lug Samildanach: "What art dost thou practice?" Said he; " for no one without an art enters Tara."

"Question me," said he; I am a wright."

The doorkeeper answered:"We need thee not. We have a wright already, even Luchta son of Luachaid."

He said: " Question me, O doorkeeper! I am a smith."

The doorkeeper answered him:"We have a smith already, Colum Cualleineach of the three new processes."

He said:" Question me: I am a champion."

The doorkeeper answered: We need thee not. We have a champion already, Ogma son of Ethliu."

He said again:"Question me: I am a harper."

"We need thee not. We have a harper already, Abcan son of Bicelmos whom the Tuatha De Danann chose in the fairy mounds."

Said he:"Question me I am a hero."

The doorkeeper answered:" We need thee not. We have a hero already, even Bresal Etarlam son of Eochaid Baethlam."

Then he said:" Question me, O doorkeeper! I am a poet and I am a historian."

"We need thee not. We have already a poet and historian, even En son of Ethaman."

He said," Question me: I am a sorcerer." "We need thee not. We have sorcerers already. Many are our wizards and our folk of might."

He said:" Question me; I am a leech."

"We need thee not. We have for a leech Diancecht."

"Question me,"said he; I am a cupbearer."

"We need thee not. We have cupbearers already, even Delt and Drucht and Daithe, Tae and Talom and Trog, Glei and Glan and Glesi."

He said: "Question me: I am a good brazier."

"We need thee not. We have a brazier already, Credne Cerd."

He said again, "Ask the king." Said he, "whether he has a single man who possesses all these arts, and if he has I will not enter Tara."

Then the doorkeeper went into the palace and declared all to the king. "A warrior has come before the enclosure," said he. "His name is Samildanach (many-gifted), and all the arts which thy household practice he himself possesses, so that he is the man of each and every art."

The king said then that the chess-boards of Tara should be taken to Samildanach, and he won all the stakes, so that then he made the Cro of Lug. (But if chess was invented at the epoch of the Trojan war, it had not reached Ireland then, for the battle of Moytura and the destruction of Troy occurred at the same time)

then that was related to Nuada. "Let him into the enclosure," says he; " for never before has man like him entered this fortress."

Then the doorkeeper let Lug pass him, and he entered the fortress and sat down in the sage's seat, for he was a sage in every art.

Then the great flag-stone, to move which required the effort of four-score yoke of oxen, Ogma hurled through the house, so that it lay on the outside of Tara. This was a challenge to Lug. But Lug cast it back, so that it lay in the center of the palace and made it whole.

"Let a harp be played for us,"said the company. So the warrior played a sleep-strain for the hosts and for the king the first night. He cast them into sleep from that hour to the same time on the following day. He played a wail-strain, so that they were crying and lamenting. He played a laugh-strain, so that they were in merriment and joyance.

Now Nuada, when he beheld the warrior's many powers, considered whether Samildanach could put away from the bondage which they suffered from the Fomorians. So they held a council concerning the warrior. The decision to which Nuada cam was to change seats with the warrior. So Samildanach went to the king's seat, and the king rose up before him till thirteen days had ended. Then on the morrow he met with the two brothers, Dagda and Ogma, on Grellach Dollaid. And his brothers Goibniu and Diancecht were summoned to them. A full year were they in that secret converse, wherefore Grellach Dollaid is called Amrun of the Tuatha De Danann.

Artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert. Used with permission.