Sometimes I find myself taking pictures purely by instinct… before my mind recognizes what my eye has caught, I’m snapping the picture. This is one of those shots. It wasn’t until I got home, uploaded, and took a closer look that I could see why I felt compelled to capture this moment. In the center of this scene, the trees form a natural pentacle, and it was the sun’s light, rare that day, peeking through the limbs that urged me to take the shot. Together, this moment is a smile from two of my favorite muses and patrons, Lugh Lamfada and Brighid the Fiery Arrow.
Lugh Lamfada was known by many names. To the Celts of Ireland he was the All Crafted, Lugh of the Long Arm, the Son of the Sun… but traces of him can be found in the god Mercury, Cernunnos, Apollo, Odin, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Green Man, and a much older Indo-European diety known as Lug or Lugus.
A god of harvest, weather especially rain, fertility, the majesty and tremendous life-giving energy of the Sun, Lugh was a protector and champion of the People, a descendant of the Tuatha De Danann, the epitome of radiant youth coupled with wisdom and abundant skill. King to Brighid’s Queen, Lugh inspires poets and warriors alike.
Brighid is the bright mother aspect of the Celtic triple goddess. Goddess of the hearth, the forge (literal and figuritive), fire, moon, prophecy, healing, creation and creativity, inspiration… patron of crafters and smiths, poets, warriors, and women in all their stages but especially childbirth. Breo-saighit the “bright/exalted one”, the “fiery-arrow”, she of the twisted hair is often linked with Athena and Vestia/Hestia.
To me, this image radiates a serene, protective and loving energy, as well as a forever unfolding sense of inspiration and creativity. The more I look, the more I see… until I feel enveloped in this vibrant energy. In my mind’s eye, this simple scene translates into Lugh running gentle fingers through Brighid’s hair; a familial image of parental affection that cannot help but make me feel safe and loved. One aspect of Art that I find endlessly fascinating is how each person will see, and carry away, something different from the same piece. What do you see?