Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lughnasa (August) by Cornelia Amiri

LughnasaLughnasa, pronounced LOO-nahs-ah, is the Celtic Harvest festival, celebrated August  1st . It is also another name for the month of August. In my novel, Druidess, the hero and heroine are both druids, who fight for Boudica against the Romans in first century AD Britian. They began their relationship at Lughnasa, a great time for romance. The month and the festival are named after the sun god Lugh, a tall, muscular warrior with sky blue eyes and a hallo of golden light, which blazed around his thick flaxen hair. He was also known as Lugh of the long arm because of his magic spear, which never missed its mark.
Here’s an excerpt from Druidess:
It began when they danced nude afore the blaze of the roaring bonfire at the Lughnasa festival, celebrating the mating of the sun god to the Earth goddess, hot fire and the ripe Earth. They leapt in front and beside each other to the drum beats, as the pipes wailed.

Drunk with desire for Rhys, blood pounded in her head. Sulwen jumped and he caught her in his hard, brawny arms. He carried her up the steep, rock carved path to the hill fort of Holly Mound, and into a round stone hut.

There he laid her on a pallet covered with soft bear pelts, next to a crackling fire, blazing hotter than the sun at midday. She needed his demanding mouth on hers. Rhys’ lips felt hard yet tender. In their heated embrace they were two pieces of iron melded together with spark and fire.

The earth goddess (Tailtiu in Ireland and Blodeuwedd in Wales) was an important part of Lughnasa as the Celts celebrated the marriage of the earth to the sky. Hand fasting marriages occurred at Lughnasa.  Also as this was a big month for berry picking, young men and women paired off to gather sweet, ripe bilberries and didn’t return until nightfall.
 Here’s a Lughnasa excerpt from Druid Bride, the sequel to Druidess:
Lughnasa, one of her favorite festivals. She and Brude would pick bilberries together and stay out until dark. He would thread the dark berries they plucked together into a bracelet for her to wear that day. At least, he should. She imagined his lips on hers, pressing down, hot and wet, kissing her beneath the light of the white moon, his mouth and breath tasting of sweet, juicy bilberries. .

In our modern times we can still honor the traditions of the ancient Celts and celebrate Lughnasa or the month of August at our homes by making a centerpiece of dried wheat sheaves, nuts, and grapes or have the whole family participate in making and eating a fresh loaf of homemade bread.  

Also for more excerpts, visit my website anytime  


Tina Donahue said...

Druidess looks amazing, Cornelia. I love novels like this. :)

Fiona McGier said...

I'm not a practicing Druid, but my whole family is made up of dirt-worshipping tree-huggers...does that count?

I have a tee-shirt that says, "Give me that old-time religion" and it shows a picture of Stonehenge. My Dad was from Glasgow and he once stood in the circle at Stonehenge at sunrise and he swore you could hear the drumming of ancient Celts along with whispers.

Fascinating people and really cool to use their traditions in a romance story.

Cornelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cornelia said...

Thank you so much for your kind words Tina, I really appreciate it. I do love Druidess becasue I tell Boudica's story in it and I love her, she's my favorite historical character.

Cornelia said...

Fiona, thank you so much for your comment. I love the way you describe your family. How marvelous. And yes, dirt worshiping tree huggers is what the celebration of Lughnasa is all about, it's a harvest festival, it's all about the land. The fertility of the land the bounty it produces to keep us healthy and alive. It's all aobut honoring the land, loving dirt. No matter what anyone's relligion is they can take a moment to reflect on what the earth does for us. Your tee-shirt sounds great. I wish I had one.

jean hart stewart said...

Love your stories, as you know. Your erudition on Druids and their culrture always moves me to admiration. This one sounds great.

Cornelia said...

Jean, thank you so much. It's always wonderful to hear from you. I'm writing a quickie series for Ellora's Cave now set in the modern highlands about the babhion sith, the dancing vampires. You've been with them a long time but I finally arrived there myself. Thank you so much for your comment it means the world to me.