Truth Abounds in the Harvest of Lughnasadh

By C. Austin

And July becomes August. Summer slips away with the twilight on Lughnasadh, the eve of August and the Celtic autumn. Summer meets its moment of truth - seed becomes fruit - and fruit becomes the harvest of Lughnasadh.

A change of seasons, a coming to pass, is a "moment of truth" an act of courage, inevitability or constancy?

From what little we know, Truth, as an ideal, was a pervasive principle to the pre-Celts and the Celts. In the Agallamh na Seanorach,or Colloquy of the Ancients, a 12th century Irish narrative, the ghost Caeilte tells Patrick that the Fianna, the heroic warrior band of Fionn mac Cumhaill, sought "truth that was in our hearts, and strength in our arms, and fulfillment in our tongues." Truth was the in-sight, discernment and self-knowledge to guide action. Even today, Irish dead are considered to reside in a place of firinne, of Truth.

The symbol of a cup of truth is found in world mythology, often as a vessel used to cement alliances and relationships. The "Cup of Cormac" in Celtic mythology is a golden goblet given to Cormac mac Airt by the sea-god, Manannan mac Lir. The cup broke apart with the telling of lies and was restored with the pronouncement of truth. Perhaps it is in the fragmented pieces of the cup of Cormac that we might find the "moment of truth," that we refer to today.

Truth itself is a slippery subject. No two people can ever feel or think precisely the same way about any object, any event. Though we may believe similarly, or be "common-minded," we are all solitary voyagers while inside our skins.

There is personal truth and there is cultural truth, and very often the two do not meet. The cultural standard of a "good wife," a "good friend" or a "good employer" may be backbreakingly impossible to meet in today's world of rampant neediness and expectation.

Like a two-headed Janus figure, the most difficult truths are relative and found only in the fluid perception of the individual observer.

As to a "moment" of truth, is its singularity a deception? Just as the eternal song of crickets on a hot summer night distracts us from a sultry background, do "moments" of truth distract us from the reality that truth is an unbounded field available to us at any juncture - if only we had the strength to admit it? Does a morse code of momentary truths in life compose a larger message that points back to what we were missing all along?

Returning to Cormac's cup, it is a golden vessel, a solar container for what has become conscious, what has taken form. The cup stands distinct as an object, a thing discerned from the deep, flowing world of the sea-god. The truths that bind the cup of Cormac are a gift from the unconscious, having no shape until they are contained, embraced by authenticity.

It requires courage to stand up for the truth one believes is authentic. Oftentimes that truth seems weaker than the persistent progression of our day-to-day charade of human life. But when called by destiny, concern for what is wrong gives way to the clarity of what is right, the Fianna warrior Caeilte's "truth of the heart," which is both inevitable and constant.

That "moment of truth" represents fruition, a harvest that has been slowly and honestly growing for a season, or decades, that emerges to be seen, heard or felt. It is veritas, the truth of the heart and when spoken, represents one's love for Self and for all others who seek Truth, in this life or beyond.

When we speak our truth, like Cormac's cup, we become whole. By divine craftsmanship we are transformed, rejoined and rejoicing in the freedom, the personal illustration, that only such a moment can bring. Indeed it is a long-sought harvest, a harvest that we must store for difficult times to come. With freedom comes responsibility, the task of staying to the deepening path of one's life. The moment will come, sooner than later, will your cup hold?


Wheel of the Year