Gods & Goddesses

Lugh the Long Handed

Name:  Lugh Lámhfada / Lugaid / Lugaidh / Lonnansclech/ Luga/ Lámfada/

 'Light' 'Long-Handed'  

Title:  Samildánach (meaning 'All Skills')/ Ildánach

Patronymics: mac Céin :: mac Ethlenn :: Maicnia (boy-warrior)

Counterparts: Wales - Lleu Llaw Gyffes

Gaul - Lugos/Lugus/Mercury

PropertiesGod of Light, God of the Harvest

Associated Deities:  Danu, Medb

Associated Sites:  Brugh na Boinne/Newgrange :: Moytura :: Teltown/Tailltiu

Profession:  Master of All Arts & Crafts, Master Druid, King, Warrior

Wives:  Buí/Boí :: Nás :: Echtach :: Énglic

Father:   Cian Mac Diancecht 

Mother:  Ethnea Ní Bhaloir

Sister: Ebliu wife of Fintan

Half-Sister:  Muirne 'of the White Neck'

Foster Father:  Manannan Mac Lír

Foster Mother:  Tailtiu wife of Eochaid Mac Eirc :: some sources give Duach as his foster-mother an ancestress of Tailtiu

Paternal Grandfather: Dian Cécht

Maternal Grandfather:  Balor of the Evil Eye

Maternal Grandmother: Ceithlenn

Race:  Fomorian & Tuatha Dé Danann

Sons:  Cúchulainn    Cnu Deireoil 

Consort:  Dechtire (whose great grandfather was the Dagda)

Festival:  Lughnasa / Lughnasadh

Sacred Month:  August

Herbs: Healing, Sleep Inducing.: hops : chamomile : hemp 

Horse:  Enbarr of the flowing mane on loan from Manannan

Dog: Failinis

Associated Tribes: The Luigni of Meath and Sligo

Weapons: Gae Assail - The Spear of Assal one of the four treasures of the Tuatha de Danann

The God Lugh was the God of Light or the harvest, a festival was held in his honour in August called Lughnasa, August was his sacred month.  He was reputed to be the divine father of Cúchulainn whom he conceived with  Dechtire when he carried her away to his palace beneath Brugh na Boinne.

He was known as Ildánach which means master of all arts and crafts.  When he first went to the palace of the King Nuada he was stopped at the door by the sentry who said only those with a skill may pass.  Lugh said he was a wright but he got the reply that they had one already and so Lugh named all his professions in turn: smith, champion, harper, poet-historian, sorcerer, physician, cupbearer, craftsman in metal only to be told the Tuatha Dé already had experts in these.  So then Lugh asked had they got one man who had the whole combination of skills and the reply was no and so he was allowed enter.

He is credited with creating Fidhchell the classic boardgame of Celtic tradition, as well as ball games and horsemanship.

Lugh the Long-handed became a king after Nuada of the Silver Arm who was ruler of the Tuatha Dé decided to give the sovereignty to Lugh after seeing a display of his technical skills and feeling he was the one person who could overthrow the Fomorians.  Lugh organized everyone to their maximum potential against the Fomorians and killed their leader Balor of the Evil Eye with a slingshot through his eye which then turned its baleful gaze onto his own men, this occurred at the second battle of Magh Tuiredh.  Balor was his grandfather and his slaying fulfilled a prophecy which Balor's Druid had given him many years previously.

Lugh was killed by Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht and Mac Gréine in revenge for his killing of their father Cermait who had slept with one of Lugh's wives.  The attack occurs near the hill of Uisnech, Lugh flees from the combined might of the three gods and is drowned in Loch Lugborta, his cairn is located near the shore.  There are variant traditions which have him buried either at Newgrange or at Luglochta Loga the fortress of Forgall Monach in Co. Louth.

Stories, Myth & Legends associated with Lugh:

The Fate of the Children of Turenn

Bres Mac Elatha and the Tuatha Dé Danann

The Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh

The Birth of Cúchulainn

Lugh and Cúchulainn

The Coming of Finn

Finn's Household

The Fair of Tailtiu

The Courting of Emer

The Story of the Tuatha De Danann

Deathtales of the Tuatha De Danann

Baile In Scail - The Phantom's Frenzy

Cat-Heads and Dog-Heads

Metrical Dindsenchas - Nas

The Hidden House of Lugh


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