Talents of Lugh
Today or yesterday was Lughnasa. Its honor Lugh God of Light and August was his sacred month.
Lugh is an Irish deity and associated with the sun connect the Greek God Apollo. He is also known by the names Lleu, Llew and Lugh the Many Skilled. Often connected to the Roman god Mercury, he is God of Skills and Crafts. He is also seen as a warrior, although he is not actually a God of War such as the Roman Great God Mars. The warrior connection comes through his skill with a spear and sling which earned him another title, Lamhfhada, meaning 'Long hand'. He is also known as Samh-Ildanach, 'equally skilled in many arts'.
He is depicted as eternally youthful, strong, brave, handsome and brimming with energy. This gave him yet another name, that of 'Macnia', boy hero. He is famous enough that even Julius Caesar commented on his influence amongst the peoples of Celtic Britain.
Lugh is known as a hero but also as a High King and, after the death of the God Nuada during the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh, he assumed the mantle of leader of the Tuatha De Danaan. This clan is formed from the god and goddess descendants of the goddess Danu. Lugh himself is said to be the son of Cian and Ethlinn, both minor deities in their own right.
One of the most famous stories associated with Lugh takes place when he is a young man and visited the courts of Tara whilst still under the rule of the God Nuada. The doorkeeper refuses Lugh entry unless he can prove that he has a skill that would be useful to the king. There is a strong reference to his title of many skills as Lugh offers his services as a craftsman, a champion, a carpenter, a smith, a harpist, a swordsman, a poet, a hero, a sorcerer and historian and is rejected every time because the doorman claims they already have someone with each of those skills.
The doorman finally has to admit Lugh when he asks if they have anyone who can do all of those tasks simultaneously and Lugh becomes an integral part of the court. He is eventually given command of the Tuatha De and is part of the war in which Nuada is eventually killed.
During the battle against the Fomorian enemies, Lugh is confronted by Balor, the king of the giants, who opens his eye that kills all it looks upon, but Lugh shoots a sling-stone that drives Balor's eye out the back of his head. The eye looks upon the Fomorian army behind Balor and creates chaos.
Lugh is said to wield a magical spear (called Brinoac) that is said to be so hungry for bloodshed that it would fight alone, without Lugh. The spear is supposed to bring down terrible fire upon the enemy, ripping through the ranks unchecked. Lugh also owned a magical slingshot, named Lugh's Chain formed from a rainbow and the Milky Way.
August 1st has come to be known as Lughnasadh, the festival of the harvest. It is associated with Lugh after he is said to have held a festival on that date in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu. Because of the harvest connection Lugh took on yet another title as the God of Grain.
Lugh's eventual death came as a result of the supposed infidelity of one of his many wives. This wife had an affair with Cermait who is the son of the Dagda (a mythical over-god, like Zeus or Odin). Lugh killed Cermait for revenge and is in turn killed by Cermait's three sons. They are said to have drowned Lugh in a lake. By that time he is thought to have ruled for forty years.