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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sacred Fire

The Llewellyn Journal: 'The two most popular deities of the ancient Celts were Brighid/Bride/Brigantia and Lugh/Lugus/Llew. Both were deities of brightness and fire. Lugh was not a Sun God as is popularly supposed; he represented brilliance in craft and in thinking and was called "master of every art." Similarly, Brighid was a Fire Goddess, mistress or patroness of arts. She was a Goddess of Healing, Smith Craft (a magical art in ancient times), and Poetry, and also a patroness of mothers (because to be a mother was to be a mistress of every art to at least a small extent). Brighid was the Goddess invoked at Imbolc, the great Fire Festival of February 1 that celebrated the lactation of the ewes. Lugh gave his name to the festival of Lughnasad, the Fire Festival of the first fruits of the harvest, originally funeral games in honor of Lugh’s foster mother. In Irish tradition the Sun was also known as "Áine Clair," or Áine the Bright. She could appear to mortals as an old woman, a young princess, a mother, or a mermaid. "Áine Chliach" lived in a hill (Cnoc Áine). At Summer Solstice bundles of straw, or "cliars" were tied to poles, lit on fire, and carried around her hill. The cliars were then carried through the fields, around the cattle herd, and along boundaries to bless the land with Áine’s fire...read more>>>...