Tag Archive | lugh

The Legend of the Sacred King

Father Sun and Mother Earth

A Celtic Tale of Sacrifice and the Blood Moon

In ancient history, many cultures hold tales concerning a Sacred King. Back then a King was a form of deity, or was placed on a throne by Divine hands. As such they were worshiped as much as they were revered and honored. The Sacred King we’re going to talk about comes from the early pagan days of the Celts.

In this tale, the Sacred King is associated with the Sun, and in some variations with the Sun God Lugh who is honored during the 1st Harvest Festival known as Lughnasadh, celebrated on August 1st in Northern Hemisphere.  Elements of this story are scattered through pagan festivals throughout the year, and have been passed on through the generations of practitioners primarily through oral tales. Even today, most Pagans celebrate these events in our modern festivals and rituals, but often as separate events instead of one long story arc. 

In his writings, Sir James George Frazer describes in a book called The Golden Bough (1890–1915); the sacred king represented the spirit of vegetation. He came into being in the spring, reigned during the summer, and ritually died at harvest time, only to be reborn at the winter solstice to wax and rule again. 

Elements of Frazer’s book, document Pagan tales celebrated throughout the cycle of the year in one story. There are elements of the Holy and Oak King, who share governance of the seasons as they wax and wane between summer and winter. There’s the association of the fertile spring equinox when the Great God and Maiden Goddess unite and reign through the summer. And the outcome of that union in the fall, which provides for an abundant harvest season. Continue reading

The Full Blood Moon

The Full Blood Moon

The Moon of the Autumn Equinox

The Harvest Moon is usually defined as the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, that usually occurs on or near September 22 each year. This year however, the nearest full moon to the equinox will occur this week on October  5, 2017.

Many people think this full moon gets its name from a reddish glow that may appear on the full moon. But that red color doesn’t happen with every Fall Full Moon. This effect is caused by the atmosphere of the earth. When sunlight is scattered by passing through Earth’s atmosphere, the other colors of the spectrum are removed. The moon will appear reddish when it’s nearer to the horizon, for the same reason a sunset or sunrise appears red. It’s all because of the Earth’s shadow.

A red moon is sometimes used to refer to four total lunar eclipses that happen in the space of two years, a phenomenon astronomers call a lunar tetrad. The eclipses in a tetrad occur six months apart with at least six Full Moons between them. So a red moon, isn’t a completely rare thing when an eclipse occurs.

A lot of Space or Astronomical journals have begun using the term “Blood Moon” to describe all these red moon occurrences. Unfortunately they didn’t do their research and made some significant assumptions about the phrase. It has nothing to do with the color of the moon at all. Continue reading

History Of Lughnasadh

The Fire Festival Of The Summer Sun
By Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D.  🐾

Arctic Wolf Fire

“Arctic Wolf Fire”
© Tom-in-Silence

This is the first of the Pagan Harvest Festivals. This is a time where we celebrate the Sun God Lugh, honor the rain and thank the magikal folk of the Tuatha Dé Danann for their help in our own gardens.

As local clans migrated, they took with them their religious and spiritual traditions. Many people believe that during these migrations, names of holidays also changed and Lughnasadh became Lammas. That’s not quite accurate however.

Lammas comes from the Old English word hlafmæsse, which  literally means “loaf mass,”. It was first used in the 15th and 17th centuries by the early Catholic Churches to celebrate the grain provided by the first harvest. In other words, it was another attempt by the early church to co-opt a pagan holiday, make it their own, in order to convert pagans.

Many Anglo-Saxon pagan clans, adopted the name, but still observed the original celebrations of Lugh and the original intent of the holiday. Must pagan purests prefer to ignore the Christianized version of the festival and stick with the early Celtic name of Lughnasadh. As with most things in the world of spirituality, your preferred name should ring true with you. It’s your festival to honor the Sun, the warmth of the summer and their blessings upon the fields. Call it what you feel most connected to, Lughnasadh or Lammas.
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