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This is the main blog for the fellowship Comhaltacht na nGaedheal: Cairdreabh nan GĂ idheal. Edited and managed by Rob Barton

The Pin

Gaelic culture and religion.Posted by Rob Barton Sun, November 13, 2016 11:08PM
Time was not as it is today and in those days it was measured in the feats of gods and heroes. It was noted by things such as a feast that filled many cauldrons or a Queen standing alone holding a battle field against an army of godlike warriors - of a single eye which could lay waste a multitude of warriors. The ground shook beneath the feat of armies of gods and the world was poised to fall or be remade.

It was perhaps long years ago or maybe just moments. Time was - is - different. Was it far away or just there beyond the corner of our eyes. When was then and where was there? Was it only once or is it again and again - a world constantly renewing? If we listen on a still night can we yet somehow hear echos of the first cry of a mother's grief?

"We fear fear three things. That the seas may rise and cover us, that the ground may open and swallow us and that the skies may fall upon us." ....... well.... the seas are definitely rising .... perhaps armies of gods are not marching but the ground is shaking beneath our feet ...... how many of us are glancing at the skies??? Is this where our world is struggling - is this when it is to be saved..... again?

Children were born to the two tribes of gods.... a prophecy foretold that a grandson of a god would be his undoing..... a grandfather ordered his grandchildren to be thrown to the sea... wrapped in a bundle they were taken to the shore but the pin opened.... one child fell into the shallows and was saved.... by a pin in the 'bay of the pin'.... He was spirited away... fostered in the crafts..... fostered again in the ways of the warrior..... he would stride shining like a second sun to the centre of the world..... Lugh took his place and became the king of the war... the ridgepole of battle.... his long and skilled hand would bring victory.... and his wisdom would bring order.... reorder the world...... all because of a pin..... a little pin....

The Well of the Pin is known throughout Ireland and there are several of them which bear this name...... who knows how long people have come to them and offered pins?.... simple pins.... simple prayers...... are those pins and prayers so simple then?.... is there a depth of centuries that we cannot fathom? Is there a magic there that we can feel?.... a little pin....

In the 1980s a plague fell on us and we started wearing little pins to show that we stayed safe...... I remember..... I remember the slowly dying eyes of a lover..... maybe those pins saved some of our lives. Today we have started wearing these pins again to show that we are safe people...... and for some of us..... Lugh's people.... a charm of great power.... a charm of Lugh.... a little pin

Usually there is a small Brighid's cross hanging from our rear view mirror. But the state of things right now in our society perhaps calls for the Hand of Lugh to be brought to the fore in our spirituality for a time. The hand of the good king who led during an existential struggle. So the Brighid's cross has been relocated and a safety pin hangs there now.... a little pin

Pray that again a little pin can help save our world..... a little pin.... maybe tonight somewhere in Ireland a hand offers a pin to a well and a voice prays for us all? If I were there I would open a pin and offer it and ask Lugh to lend his hand to this battle to remake our world.... maybe some friend will do it for us.... a little pin.... there can be so much power in a symbol.... a little pin.