We wandered along the darkening roads around the floor off the valley. Bats swooped at us, as though sensing our excitement and wanting to join us. The steady trickle of the Kilmartin Burn accompanied us as the scoured the dark profile of the hills behind us looking for the full moon.
We diverted ourselves with an encounter at a ruined chamber which I will recount later. Then we returned down the parallel road which would take us to Temple Wood Circle. The full moon appeared above the hills just as we could see the stone circle as we approached it. Timing. We noted that the circle was also known as “Moon Temple“. This was a Blue Moon tonight. What a lovely coincidence!
As I walked around the periphery of the stone circle’s rock-laden mound, I felt there was no need to approach the centre this time. The work was to be done outside initially in the small grove of birch trees nearby, I felt. I sat in the moonlight, and waited for inspiration as I connected to the Spirit of Place.
The Meaning of Lughnasadh
In England we call it Lammas. In Ireland it is called Lughnasadh or Lunasa.
Lughnasadh traditionally means “Celebration for Lugh“. Lugh is the god associated with the skill of smithing, but is also called “The Bright One with the Strong Arm” in Welsh. “Nasagh” may mean “festival“, but also “fame” or “reputation“. “Nas” means “band” or “tie“. The suggestion being a bonding, and thus, in my mind, the female attached to the male in alchemical union.
As “lugh” means “light”, and “nas” means “death” (or eternal darkness), then this signifies the celebration of the bonding of the light and the dark. As I sat in the grove alongside the stone circle, in communication with the Spirit of Place, I was given the meaning “light in the darkness” for this festival day. This was offered to me as the original meaning, although I am aware that such concepts as “original” are odd in the context of a revivalist movement such as modern druidry.
What I understood by this information was that I was to work with the light of the moon – The Light In The Darkness, and that this was very meaningful on this Lunasa day with the Blue Moon shining down.
Working With Lugh and Nas
Then, I was led inside using the same approach as earlier in the daylight (see this post). By moonlight this was tricky to navigate but I went along the path in a female spiral, walking in trance and yet nothing untoward befell me. Trust. Faith. Kal taught me that.
In the centre again I placed a green wand that I had been gifted from Regina in Ireland recently into the rectangular hollow kist. Now Ireland was connected to Scotland. Next to it I placed my Merlinite Orb. As though to attract the attention of Merlin, perhaps? I felt so. It was also a symbol of the moon – like an inverted image of the full moon’s beaming whiteness with the orb’s intense speckled blackness as though it held the stars fixed and captive. A model of the firmament, and a want to point the way.
Then I was held captive.
I sat staring at the moon. I felt the presence of Lugh and Nas, and I was hypnotized by them, held fast in the power of their presence, unable to shift my gaze until… until…. I didn’t know what the purpose was. I simply sat and absorbed the moon’s reflections, seeing it move ever so gently in relation to the dark hills and the stunningly clear stars. The spell was only broken by a drunken rabble approaching from down the lane. I returned to normal consciousness and withdrew into the moon shadows cast within the grove of trees.
Once the noise had passed I returned to the circle using the same female path. I brought with me some meadowsweet and cowslip white flowers and brought them with me into the moon circle’s centre as a gift. I didn’t want to get trapped again, and felt I had enough moon energy to sustain me. I re-emerged in a male spiral to consider what had happened.
Sitting in the little grove of birch trees I got into meditation again. One final revelation came to me: Lugh and Nas are aspects of Merlin! Now, what did that information mean?