Áine – Goddess of Love, Summer and Wealth
As the goddess of summer and wealth, Áine represents the abundance that the land has to offer during its most plentiful season.
Good, fruitful harvests were required to provide for the people and animals, therefore much emphasis was placed on gods and goddesses that represent fertility, such as Áine.
The goddess Áine is strongly associated with the feast of midsummer and the summer sun. She too, like the Morrigan is thought to have the ability to shapeshift and is represented by a red mare, known for its speed.
Áine is sometimes referred to as the Irish goddess of Love or as the Faery Queen.
There are several stories that connect Áine to rape, including one where she bites off the ear of the King of Munster after an unconsented encounter. By disfiguring him, the Celtic goddess of love made him ineligible to be king (only flawless, unmarred men could rule) and so he was removed from his throne.
In another story of rape, Áine exacted revenge by turned her offender, Gerald, Earl of Desmond into a goose.
The Hill of Knockainy (or Cnoc Áine) in County Limerick was an important site, where ritual blessings to this Irish goddess were carried out. Offerings to Áine have also been made at Lough Gur in County Limerick.
Lugh – God of Justice and Oaths and Master of Crafts
The god Lugh, (also spelled Lug or Luga) is one of the most notable of all the Irish deities and equates to the pan-Celtic god of Lugus.
Lugh was the god associated with justice and held power over oaths and law. He was also connected with rightfulness, especially in terms of kingship.
He was king of the glorified race of the Tuatha dé Danann, who were known for their superior skills and knowledge, particularly on the battlefield. The inscriptions on some early texts suggest that the Tuath dé Danann were deities, while others allude more to them having magical powers, including shapeshifting.
Lugh was a master craftsman and skilled warrior, known for his ability to throw a spear a very long distance and hence his other name Lugh Lámhfhada. This name means Lugh of the long arm in Irish.
He is believed to have led the Tuatha dé Danann to victory over the invading army of Fomorians as depicted in the Battle of Mag Tuired.
It is said that Lugh initiated a special games event, known as the Tailteann Games or Assembly of Tailti that focused on horse racing and martial arts that ran over the last two weeks in July and culminated with the start of the harvest celebration of Lughnasadh on 1 August. It is said that the games were founded in memory of Lugh’s foster mother Tailtiu, who was also thought to be a goddess.
Legend states that Lugh was also a bit of a trickster and is sometimes known as the Celtic god of mischief.
Lugh is thought to have been the father of demi god and famous Irish warrior, Cú Chulainn.
Are Celtic gods immortal? Seemingly not all of them, Lugh is said to have been speared and drowned in Loch Lugborta (or Loch Lugh) in County Westmeath, by the sons of Cermait after he killed their father.
Both the gods of Lugh and the Dagda are supposedly buried in the sacred center of the island of Ireland, Uisneach.