Celtic Druid's Lughnasa
Lughnasa means "the games of Lugh" (pronounced as Lou) and refers to the assembly for games at the time of the first of three harvests. The month of August is called Lughnasadh in Gaelic and it marks the last day of summer. This was a specifically Gaelic holiday and many of the other Celtic cultures also celebrate a autumn festival known by a range of names. As Beltine marks the start of summer - Lughnasa marks the end of summer. History associates Lughnasa with the Lugh, a leading Celtic deity and hero. As it is the end of summer and the time of the first main harvest - everyone reckoned it to be a great time to assemble for the games with a bull sacrifice and major feast, and for some it was the start of a trial marriage.
Lughnasa is also called Lughnasadh/L� L�nasa, Lammas, (Anglo-Saxon 'loaf-mass'), Bilberry Sunday, Garland Sunday, Domhnach Crom Dubh ('Crom Dubh Sunday') and for Wiccans it is called "Lammas Sabbat". Even today, the first Monday in August is a public holiday in Ireland. "The games of Lugh" were celebrated Ireland, England Scotland, France, and northern Spain. Lughnasa is from two words - Lugh and n�sad and n�sad means games assembly and it is obviously an important cross quarter festivals of the Celtic year. Each year we host a Celtic Camp Lughnasa Games here at Druidschool

The "Lughnasa" festival or Eightfold day is sacred to Lugh. He is the best known male God of the Tuatha De Danann and his magical weapon was a fiery spear and his magical work was as guardian of the spear of Gorias. He has other names or ranks: Samildanach (Many Skills), Ild�nach (Craftsman of Many Skills) and Lugh Lamfada (Lugh of the Long Arm), Llew Llaw Gyffes and the Lord of Light. His grandfather was the One Eye Balor. His mother was Ethline (wife to Balor) and father to Lugh was Cian. Dagda is often claimed as Lughs father. An angry Balor threw Lugh into the sea. Manann Mac Lir rescues and raises Lugh, foster mother Taillte. Later on Lugh lives with his uncle Goibhnu. Eventually Lugh kills his grandfather with a stone from a slingshot. Lugh fathered Setanta (CuCullain) with Dectera and when Cuchulain was protecting the Ford against Maeve - Lugh fights by his son's side.

Ireland's Druidschool honours Lughnasa by a midday solar ceremony here at noon to 1pm and this is open and free. The Dark Moon Grove has also visited Cnoc Lugh to honour the Sun's alignment over the volcano - this ceremony is closed to the public. It is a time to acknowledge your harvest. But like so many other things from our deep history the truth lies underneath the written word of the monastic scribes. It is not possible to fix the date of Lughnasa as August 1st because there were no calendars at the time. The current calendar in use by the "white civilized" world was only agreed fully in the 1800's. Before that date there was utter confusion and no system of dating days of birth for annual celebrations was available for anyone. Look to the confusion of today's calendar - the Irish August Bank Holiday is the first Monday of August but the Festival of Lughnasa is on August the 1st. Details on this system of False Time available here.

The Timing for the Celebration of Lughnasa as given in Ireland's Druidschool is explained in depth as fixed by sidereal or measurement of the passage of the stars. In its most basic - there were no clocks, no calendars and the passage of time was measured in Ireland by the penetration of a sunbeam into designed passages in stone cairns to exactly light up a section of a stone with carvings upon it. This happens even today so the ancestral calendar is still accurate. The same solar alignment that determines the correct time for Lughnasa is also the exact same alignment for Beltine. This means if you were to stand on top of Cnoc Lugh (Lyons Hill) when the Sun rises at 10* of Leo (Lughnasa) and 10* of Taurus (Beltine) and look 60* east of north you would see the sun rise over the Lambay Volcano to shine on to the foundations of a ancient ceremonial temple on the summit of Lyons Hill. There is no stone cairn with a passage on Lyons Hill today. There are only remains of a stone base that are un excavated in modern times but possibly rebuilt many time in past eras.

This is one of Eightfolds of the Solar Year of the Tuatha De Danann and Beltine and Lughnasa share the same alignment to Cnoc Lugh (Lyons Hill), Samhain and Imbolg share the same alignment to Sliabh na Callighe, the two Equinoxes share the same alignment to Summerhill, the Summer Solstice has its own alignment to the Hill of the Fair Gods and the Winter Solstice has its own alignment to Br� na Boinne or Newgrange. All these alignments for the Eightfold Solar year have the fulcrum or pivotal point of the leaking energies from the volcano being wrapped back into the solar wind. This is earth magnetism and landscape healing at an extraordinary level.

Addendum
A book written by Patrick McCafferty and Mike Baillie called 'The Celtic Gods' ISBN 0-7524-3444-6 sheds new light on the true identity of Lugh. In chapter 5 we are told that Lugh's name means 'light' or 'shining one' or 'fast'. Lugh is presented as a comet - a bright day time near earth comet that was very visible all over Ireland (and Europe). This undoes the need for confusion regarding the recorded notion that the Sun was rising in the east while Lugh was rising in the west. It must have been an amazing period in Irish pre-history, two Light bearers during the day and Lugh shining brightly at night. I recommend this book to all students and advise all who read it to still honour the Gods.

At Druidschool, we will guide you to find and express your Celtic Spirit by helping you discover the Three Realms, Three Cauldrons and Natural Time - this creates a strong foundation for becoming a Celtic Druid. We train students and pathworkers from all over the world who seek to know and express Sacred Knowledge and Indigenous Spiritual Traditions so that many seekers can walk a distinctly Celtic Druid Path. See our clearly defined training plan here

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