Lammas Footnote

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“Lug or Lugh (modern Irish Lú) is an Irish deity represented in mythological texts as a hero and High King of the distant past. He is known by the epithets Lámhfhada (meaning “long arm” or “long hand”, or “left hand”), for his skill with a spear or sling, Ildánach (“skilled in many arts”), Samhildánach (“Equally skilled in many arts”), Lonnbeimnech (“fierce striker” or perhaps “sword-shouter”) and Macnia (“boy hero”), and by the matronymic mac Ethlenn or mac Ethnenn (“son of Ethliu or Ethniu”). He is a reflex of the pan-Celtic god Lugus, and his Welsh counterpart is Lleu Llaw Gyffes, “The Bright One with the Strong Hand”. As a young man Lugh travels to Tara to join the court of king Nuada of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The doorkeeper will not let him in unless he has a skill with which to serve the king. He offers his services as a wright, a smith, a champion, a swordsman, a harpist, a hero, a poet and historian, a sorcerer, and a craftsman, but each time is rejected as the Tuatha Dé Danann already have someone with that skill. But when Lugh asks if they have anyone with all those skills simultaneously, the doorkeeper has to admit defeat, and Lugh joins the court and is appointed Chief Ollam of Ireland. He wins a flagstone-throwing contest against Ogma, the champion, and entertains the court with his harp. The Tuatha Dé are at that time oppressed by the Fomorians, and Lugh is amazed how meekly they accept this. Nuada wonders if this young man could lead them to freedom. Lugh is given command over the Tuatha Dé, and he begins making preparations for war. Lugh’s sling rod was the rainbow and the Milky Way which was called “Lugh’s Chain”. He also had a magic spear (named Areadbhar), which, unlike the rod-sling, he had no need to wield since it was alive and thirsted so for blood that only by steeping its head in a sleeping-draught of pounded fresh poppy seeds could it be kept at rest. When battle was near, it was drawn out; then it roared and struggled against its thongs, fire flashed from it, and it tore through the ranks of the enemy once slipped from the leash, never tired of slaying. Lugh is also assisted by a magic hound.”

Lugh – Wikipedia

Deity of the Day – Arianrhod

Deity of the Day

Arianrhod

 

Is a major goddess in Welsh legends. Her name means “silver wheel” or “silver disk”. Legend has it that Arianrhod claimed to be a virgin, but when her virginity was tested she gave premature birth to twins – Dylan who escaped into the sea, and Lleu Llaw Gyffes who became the object of his mothers scorn.

Many Wiccans believe that Arianrhod is a noon goddess and they associate her with birth and rebirth. In some traditions she is perceived as the triple goddess – Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd and Cerridwen. She is also connected with the “Spiral Dance”.

Calendar of the Moon for July 23

Calendar of the Moon

23 Tinne/Hekatombaion

Day of Llew Llaw Gyffes

Color: Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a sky-blue cloth lay the figure of a hawk, a chalice of milk, and a spear.
Offering: Put your trust in something risky, and accept the failure if it comes.
Daily Meal: Poultry and/or fish.

Invocation to Llew Llaw Gyffes

Llew of the Skillful Hand,
Hawk’s flight, Quick-Eyed One,
Child of Innocence,
You teach of the costs
And blessings of trust.
You turn your eyes, a trusting babe,
Onto Gwydion of the clever tongue
And many small dishonesties,
And he is struck with love and swears
That he will protect you forever,
And in loving you,
He learns to do good in the world.
Yet your trust is betrayed
By Blodeuwedd, flower maiden,
Who is constructed for your use
Without your thought, or hers.
That trust which turns even a tainted heart
To good, fails against the breast
Within which no heart beats,
And this is a hard lesson for you,
And for all of us.
What can we learn from your struggle?
What can we learn about trust,
And where to place it?
Yet better to risk than never to open at all,
And this, too, you teach us.
Help us with this lesson, Skillful Hand,
That we may always know when to open our own,
And when to close them.

(Pass the milk and pour the rest out as libation. Each shall announce what it is that they shall endeavor to trust.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for July 21

Calendar of the Moon

21 Tinne/Hekatombaion

Gwydion’s Day

Color: Blue
Elements: Air and Water
Altar: Upon a blue cloth place musical instruments, a bowl of salt water, a chalice of sparkling water, incense of mugwort, and a bundle of twigs.
Offering: Any form of music or poetry.
Daily Meal: Light, cold food, including meat salads.

Invocation to Gwydion

Hail, Lord of the Quick Tongue!
Hail, Lord of the Clever Mind!
Hail, Lord of the Dancing Fingers!
Hail, Lord of Eloquence!
You are the cry of the gull
And the song of the sea,
The wandering mind
And the eternally seeking soul.
Arrogant one who bore the stag’s horns,
Repentant one who bore the boar’s tusk,
Wiser one who bore the wolf’s hame,
Help us to learn from our selfishness
The implacable dance of consequences.
Foster-father of Llew Llaw Gyffes,
Teach us that it is never too late
To learn how to love another unselfishly.
King of Cups, Lord of Wind and Water,
Warrior of harp and sword and wand,
Gift us with eloquence of the tongue,
That we may speak words of power to each other.
Gift us with eloquence of the soul,
That hard-won blessing
You suffered so much to achieve.

(The chalice of sparkling water should be passed around one to the next, with a blessing of “May your words be blessed with grace.” Then the musical instruments should be blessed in Gwydion’s name, and any songs can be sung for the next hour. Poetry can also be read, as an offering.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for June 5

4 Huath/Thargelion

Arianrhod’s Day

Color: Silver
Elements: Air and water
Altar: Upon a white and silver cloth lay several silver moons, in order from new crescent to full to old moon, four white candles, and incense of myrrh.
Offerings: Clean something white.
Daily Meal: Cool white food.

Invocation to Arianrhod

Silver Wheel that spins in the sky,
Keeper of the Spiral Tower,
Keeper of deep mysteries,
Unforgiving moon that stares down
Upon our hapless dreams,
Lover of the ocean and its spirits,
Lover of the sky and its spirits,
Lady of the night horizon,
The point where starry sky touches starry sea,
We call you forth upon this day
To ask for your blessing on us,
As you blessed your son Llew Llaw Gyffes.
And even as that blessing was not easy
In forthcoming, we know that you will not
Give out your benedictions at our will.
So this we say, Lady: We have worked,
And willed, and created a dream
And made it reality, and here we stand together,
And if that is not worth something to the world,
Then nothing is. Arm us well, Lady of the Silver Wheel,
With weapons sharp and keen,
Tongue and mind of steel that yet yields
To the spear of Truth that strikes.
Bless each name that we have taken,
As you gave your son his name,
And bless us with divine inspiration
That we might bring more beauty
To the world and all its beings.

Chant:
Light up the night
Light up the night
Bring your dreams into the circle

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for Monday, June 4th

4 Huath/Thargelion

Arianrhod’s Day

Color: Silver
Elements: Air and water
Altar: Upon a white and silver cloth lay several silver moons, in order from new crescent to full to old moon, four white candles, and incense of myrrh.
Offerings: Clean something white.
Daily Meal: Cool white food.

Invocation to Arianrhod

Silver Wheel that spins in the sky,
Keeper of the Spiral Tower,
Keeper of deep mysteries,
Unforgiving moon that stares down
Upon our hapless dreams,
Lover of the ocean and its spirits,
Lover of the sky and its spirits,
Lady of the night horizon,
The point where starry sky touches starry sea,
We call you forth upon this day
To ask for your blessing on us,
As you blessed your son Llew Llaw Gyffes.
And even as that blessing was not easy
In forthcoming, we know that you will not
Give out your benedictions at our will.
So this we say, Lady: We have worked,
And willed, and created a dream
And made it reality, and here we stand together,
And if that is not worth something to the world,
Then nothing is. Arm us well, Lady of the Silver Wheel,
With weapons sharp and keen,
Tongue and mind of steel that yet yields
To the spear of Truth that strikes.
Bless each name that we have taken,
As you gave your son his name,
And bless us with divine inspiration
That we might bring more beauty
To the world and all its beings.

Chant:
Light up the night
Light up the night
Bring your dreams into the circle

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Goddess of the Day for April 8th – Blodeuwedd

Goddess of the Day

Blodeuwedd

Blodeuwedd was created out of flowers by Gwydion to wed Llew Llaw Gyffes. She betrayed Llew, either because she had no soul, being non-human, or because she resented being his chattel, or because the triplet of one woman and two men must play itself out in Welsh myth, and Llew Llaw Gyffes must die. At any rate, she fell in love with Goronwy and, wishing to be rid of Llew, she tricked out of him the clearly supernatural and ritual manner in which only he could be killed: neither by day nor night, indoors nor out of doors, riding nor walking, clothed nor naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made. She asked him to explain this, and he did: he could be killed only if it were twilight, wrapped in a fish net, with one foot on a cauldron and the other on a goat, and if the weapon had been forged during sacred hours when such work was forbidden. Blodeuwedd convinced him to demonstrate how impossible such a position was to achieve by chance, and when he was in it, het lover Goronwy leapt out and struck. Llew was transformed into an eagle and eventually restored to human form, after which he killed Goronwy. Blodeuwedd was transformed into an owl, to haunt the night in loneliness and sorrow, shunned by all other birds.

Goddess Of The Day for November 17th is Blodeuwedd

Blodeuwedd

by Karen Davis
 
Blodeuwedd was created out of flowers by Gwydion to wed Llew Llaw Gyffes. She betrayed Llew, either because she had no soul, being non-human, or because she resented being his chattel, or because the triplet of one woman and two men must play itself out in Welsh myth, and Llew Llaw Gyffes must die. At any rate, she fell in love with Goronwy and, wishing to be rid of Llew, she tricked out of him the clearly supernatural and ritual manner in which only he could be killed: neither by day nor night, indoors nor out of doors, riding nor walking, clothed nor naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made. She asked him to explain this, and he did: he could be killed only if it were twilight, wrapped in a fish net, with one foot on a cauldron and the other on a goat, and if the weapon had been forged during sacred hours when such work was forbidden. Blodeuwedd convinced him to demonstrate how impossible such a position was to achieve by chance, and when he was in it, het lover Goronwy leapt out and struck. Llew was transformed into an eagle and eventually restored to human form, after which he killed Goronwy. Blodeuwedd was transformed into an owl, to haunt the night in loneliness and sorrow, shunned by all other birds.

Arianrhod

by Karen Davis

Arianrhod (“silver wheel”, thus, the moon), is one of the descendants of Don. She had two brothers, Gilfaethwy and Gwydion the sister of Math ap Mathonwy, whose quality was that he required a virgin’s lap to place his feet in, unless he was at war. When this virgin was raped, Math asked for a replacement, and Arianrhod volunteered. But when she stepped over his rod, she immediately gave birth to two children: a young boy and a blob. (This is likely because the word morwynmay mean either ‘virgin’ or ‘free young woman’, but it also indicates her divine status.)

Arianrhod

The boychild was named Dylan; he was a sea-being who returned to the waves. The blob was snatched up by Arianrhod’s brother Gwydion, who hid it in a chest until it grew into a baby. Arainrhod imposed three geases upon this boy: he would have no name unless she named him, he would bear no arms unless she armed him, and he would have no human woman to wife. Thus, Arianrhod denied him the three essential passages to manhood. Nevertheless, Gwydion raised the nameless boy, and one day Arianrhod spied a young boy killing a wren with a single flung stone. She called out that he was a bright lion with a sure hand, and thus he took that name: Llew Llaw Gyffes. Later, Gwydion faked an alarm, and tricked her into arming the boy.