patron of trade and commerce,
protector of travellers,
inventor of all the arts
Who was Luel?
"Luel" was the Cumbrian variation,
according to one source,
on the name of a prominent figure in Celtic mythology.
Among the Welsh he was known as Llew Llaw Gyffes (skillful hand).
The Fourth Branch of the Mabinogion
relates the tale of his unusual birth and childhood,
and of his rise in skill and fame.
In Ireland, his name was Lúgh Samildánach (skilled in arts).
The August feast of Lúghnasadh opens the harvest season
under the protection of Lúgh.
In Gaul, he was called Lugus.
Julius Caesar in his De Bello Gallico
called Lugus the "Gaulish Mercury."
Luel was associated with dogs, shoemaking and all other crafts,
spears, and mistletoe.
A tale from Ireland
"As a young man Lúg travelled to Tara
to join the court of king Nuada of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
The doorkeeper would not let him in
unless he had a skill with which to serve the king.
"He offered his services as a wright, a smith,
a champion, a swordsman, a harpist, a hero,
a poet and historian, a sorcerer and a craftsman,
but each time was rejected as the Tuatha Dé
already had someone with that skill.
"But then crafty Lúg asked
if they had anyone with all those skills simultaneously
and the porter had to admit defeat,
and Lúg joined the court.
He won a flagstone-throwing contest against Ogma, the champion,
and entertained the court with his harp.
"The Irish story here makes plain
that Lúg is 'all-skilled'."
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