LUGH

Lugh it's the most popular God in Irish Mythology, he was mostly represented as a hero and a High King. He was know by many names, such as:

Lugh
  • ETHLENN: Son of Ethliu.
  • ILDAMACH: Skilled in many arts.
  • LAMHFHADA: Long arm or hand.
  • LONNBEIMNECH: Fierce striker or sword-shouter.
  • MACNIA: Boy Hero.
  • SAMHILDANACH: Equally skilled in many arts.

There is not much information about his childhood, some believe that his father was Ciann of the Tuatha de Dannan, and his mother was Ethniu, daughter of Balor, King of the Fomorians. But it's found in another book of Lebor that Gabalae Renn gives baby Lugh to the Queen of Fir Bolg, Tailtiu, to foster him.

Lady Gregory wrote another myth about his childhood, she says that Balor was told about a prophecy, that said he was going to be killed by one of his own grandchildren. To try to prevent this, he took his own daughter as prisoner.

Balor kept Ethniu in Tor Mor (Great Tower), watched by 12 women. Meanwhile in mainland, there was a magic cow owned by Mac Cinnfhaelaidh, who used to give abundant milk, being of high interest to Balor.

Taking the shape of a red-haired boy, Balor tricked Mac Cinnfhaelaidh, stealing the cow. As revenge, Mac Cinnfhaelaidh asked Birog (Fairy Woman) to use her magic and take him to the top of Tor Mor, and seduces Eithne, giving birth to triplets.

When Balor found out about the babies, he put them in a sheet and sent them to be drowned, but the messenger didn't noticed that one of the babies felt on the ground, being picked up by Birog, who gave it to his brother Gavida, the Smith.

Many years passed, and when our hero was a young adult, he decided to join the court of the King of the Tuatha de Dannan, Nuada. When he got into the palace's door, he was stopped by the doorkeeper, who told him that he only could pass if he had an useful skill for the King.

He offered his services of Champion, craftsman, harpist, hero, historian, poet, smith, sorcerer, swordman and wright, but the doorkeeper rejected him because the King had already someone with that skill. But then he asked if the King had someone with these skills simultaneously, the doorkeeper didn't have any other option but let him in, and being appointed to Chief Ollam of Ireland.

Another myth says that he sent the sons of Tuireann: Brian, Iuchar and Iucharba to various quests that were almost impossible to conquer, as a reward for killing Gian.

They managed to finish all of the quest, but the last one, because they were wounded while trying to complete it, leaving them almost dead. But despite Tuireann's pleas, he denied them the use of the items they retrieved, including a magic pigskin that was able to heal wounds, finally letting them to die.

When finally he had in his power the items from the dead bodies of Tuireann's sons, he lead the Tuatha de Dannan during the 2nd battle against the Fomorians. During this battle, Nuada was killed by Balor.

At last Lugh and Balor faced each other, as soon as Balor saw him, he opened his poisonous eye, that was able to kill everything that look upon. But our hero was able to shot a sling-stone, which drove Balor's eye out the back of his head, fulfilling the prophecy.

The Fomorian army got full of panic  when they saw Balor's dead body, and ran away, finalizing the battle. The brave warrior walked towards Bres, the former half-fomorian King of the Tuatha de Dannan, who begged for his life. Our hero forgave his life, only if Bres promised to teach his people to plough, sow and reap.

He was also  know because he created the Assembly of Tacti, (which was a sports event almost similar to the Olympics), that finished on August 1st. This event was named also Lughnasada, was created in honor of Tailtiu, his foster mother.

During the Lughnasada, there were fairs in Carman and Naas, to honor the Goddesses of those areas. The most important activities were the display of martial arts , and horses races. Even in these modern days, this fair it's still celebrated in some Irish areas during August under the name of Lunasa.

Like we said before, our hero had various magical items in his possession, which were used in some battles, these items were:

  • AREADBHAR: This spear belong once to the King of Persia, Pisear. Was believed that the spear should be kept in water, so it won't ignite by itself, and it was not needed to be carried, because in time of battle, it would fly from slumber, fire flashing tearing the enemy apart.
  • AENBHARR: This was his horse, which was able to run on land and sea. The Sea God Manannan Mac, was the one who gave Lugh the equipment to ride it.
  • FAILINS: Brave hounds that were taken from the King of Loruaidhe as Eiric.
  • LUGH'S SPEAR: Taken from Goras to Ireland.
  • PIGSKIN: This item was able to heal wounds.
  • SGUABA TUINNE: Also know as Wave-Sweeper, this was a magical boat, Lugh borrowed to the Children of Tuireann on their quests.
  • SLING-STONE: Like we read before, this one was used to kill Balor.
  • SPEAR OF ASSAL: This spear was able to make it's holder hit the mark and was able to return by itself.
  • TATHLUM: This was a missile that was fired by him, it's described in a poem recorded by O'Curry.

Based on these items, Lugh was described in some myths like:  He was on the sky with his Tathlum, that was the lightning, his sling-stone was the rainbow and the milky way was named Lugh's chain.

We can't talk about him without talking about his partners and children, the most well know of them are:

  • Bui and Nas, Daughters of the King Ruadri of England,but only with Nas fathered a son, named Ibic.
  • Cuchulainn, was the his son with Deichtine. The Ulster Cycle says that on the combats of Tain Bo Cuailnge, Cuchulainn was badly wounded, but was healed by his father during a period of three days.
  • Ebliu, who was believed to be either his sister or daughter.
  • One of his wives, whose name it's unknow, had an affair with Dagda's son, Cermait, who was killed by Lugh. To revenge their father's death Cermait's sons Mac Cecht, Mac Cuill and Mac Greine, killed him drowning him in Loch Lugborta, finishing his reign of 40 years.

He was the Patron of Lugodunum (Lyons) in Gaul, the animals related to him were the Raven and the Lynx.

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