Today we celebrate the pagan holiday of Lughnasadh, a festival in honor of Lugh, the Celtic Sun God, also known as the Long Arm for the long rays of August sun and Samildanach, the Many Skilled. Lugh was a poet, harper, smithy, carpenter, scientist, physician, a master of artistic and medicinal fields. Lugh represents the “light that awakens.” When we honor Lugh, we are celebrating the many talents we possess. Afterall, the Gods and Goddesses are the Divine qualities we strive to possess and emulate.
Your talents are a resource given to you by a loving Universe. All gifts are meant to be shared – whether it’s being a good listener or storyteller, juggling, playing the spoons, the family’s peacemaker or renown scientist. Standing in the light of our personal greatness can be frightening, so allow me to offer a resource.
Aspen is a tree that has been used to combat fears, provide a shield of protection and guardian between the worlds of Spirit and human, whispering wisdom for the ages. Aspen is the nineteenth letter in the sacred Celtic Ogham tree alphabet. It is known as Eadhadh, or Eadha, a symbol of endurance, courage, ancestry, astral planes, eloquence, endurance, healing, money, peace, rebirth, and success.
According to the Doctrine of Signatures, dating from 50 AD when Dioscorides wrote a five-volume book titled De Materia Medica (“On Medical Material”), plants and herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used by herbalists to treat ailments of those body parts. Herbalists noted Aspen’s quivering leaves and used parts of the tree to treat palsy and then later, Aspen was used to face our fears and overcome doubts. Dr. Bach created Bach Flower Remedy of Aspen to help those who are particularly sensitive to others’ energy and fears whose cause can’t be named.
This courage to sit blindly amongst the Aspens’ strength is essential to the development of the spiritual warrior. Aspen is an ally when we are being tested. The Greek name for Aspen is ‘aspis’ means shield. Aspen protects us from our thoughts, fears, doubts, the shadows both inside and outside. The rustling of the Aspen leaves are the whispers of encouragement to go beyond our limited expectations and reach our greatness.
Be the light you came to shine on the world.
For more on Lughnasad, also known as Lammas or the Festival of Breads, and a spell for uncovering your magickal gift, go to Witchology Magazine.
For more on Aspen, read my column Herbal Journeys in the Fall issue of Witches & Pagan Magazine.