The Stone of Fal (earth/feminine/destiny)
Fal’s Stone or otherwise known as the “Stone of Destiny” is not only a figurative stone steeped in Celtic mythology but also an actual stone on the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland. It was brought to Ireland from the magical city of Falias by the poet Morfessa. It is also known as the Coronation Stone and in legend all of the kings of Ireland were crowned on the stone up until King Muirchertach Mac Ercae around 500 CE. The stone’s power was that it recognized the heart of men and their true intentions. It had feminine qualities and would cry out in pleasure or pain when a king took sovereignty. If the stone screamed displeasure, a contender for the kingship could present himself. There were similar traditions of stepping in a footprint in stone during Scottish chieftain coronations as well.
Symbolically, when kings took the thrown they were married to the stone, the earth and the land. It symbolized our primal connection and relationship with the earth and the idea that nature will always know our true heart and goodness. The Celts believed in such a strong connection between the King and the earth that if crops or the weather was exceptionally bad, they often held the king responsible. Stones were invariably an important part of Celtic culture given the time period and how many structures and buildings needed to be built with stone. Stone was the foundation of our lives in various ways literally and allegorically.
The Spear of Lugh (fire/masculine/direction)
Lugh’s Spear according to the text of The Four Jewels of the Tuatha De Danann was said to be impossible to overcome. It was brought to Ireland from the magical city of Gorias by the poet Esras and was also called “the slaughterer”. An incantation was put on the spear that it would always hit its mark and it would also return to its thrower. The tip of the spear was always ignited in flames and it had to be immersed in a pot of water to keep it from igniting. Lugh used the spear to passionately slay his enemies. Lugh was one of the most fiercest and skilled of the Tuatha De Danann and most famous for slaying Balor, the king of the Fomorians.
Symbolically, the spear represents gaining laser like focus when training for battle or another personal endeavor. It represents direct action as well as fire and passion. It’s a phallic symbol that could have also been related to the idea of conception and meeting one’s target or goal. We use our inner spear in a sense to guide us to our goals and provide the concentration we need to accurately hit our mark through strength and perseverance.
The Sword of Light of Nuada (air/masculine/truth)
Nuada’s Sword of Light was a very powerful weapon in mythology and it was said once the sword was drawn, no one could escape it or resist it. It was so bright at times, it resembled a bright torch and thus was sometimes interpreted as “the shining sword” or “white glaive of light”. It was brought to Ireland from the magical city of Findias by the poet Uiscias. Nuada was the first king of the Tuatha De Danann. He lost his arm in the first battle with the Fir Bolg of Ireland and had to step down as king for a brief period. Later, the warrior god Dian Cecht fashioned a silver arm for him which is where his nickname “Nuada of the Silver Arm” came from. Later again, Miach, one of Diancecht’s sons did an even better job and recreated the king’s arm entirely out of flesh and bone. He became king again and ruled for 20 more years. Nuada was later beheaded by Balor, dark ruler of the Fomorians and his death was avenged when the sun god, Lugh killed Balor a short time later.
Symbolically, the sword represents cutting from our lives that which does not serve us. It is a symbol of purification and claiming the power of setting healthy boundaries for ourselves, for our family and friends. The sword also stands for fortitude, sovereignty, truth and victory. Through Arthurian legends and in its “excaliber” we see the echoes of these early tales and the power of the sword and righteousness.
The Cauldron of Dagda (water/feminine/prosperity)
Dagda’s Cauldron was a cauldron in which it was purported that no person ever went away from unsatisfied. It was a bottomless form of bounty, capable of feeding an army and had the ability to bring forth sustenance from nothing. It was brought to Ireland from Murias by the poet Semias. It also had the power to heal. The Dagda was known as “the good god” and the god of fertility and abundance. The cauldron was a vessel used to hold nourishment and even though the Dagda himself was male, the cauldron was generally still seen as a feminine symbol.
Symbolically, the cauldron represented nourishment and healing, not just of the body but of the mind and spirit. It is associated with wisdom and filling our mind with endless knowledge and “sustenance”. It can be compared to the womb. In modern times, the cauldron is used to make offerings or mix herbs and is still representative of the feminine.
Writer and Herbalist
A founding member of Discover Druidry, Isla is a writer, photographer and avid gardener. She wrote the Celtic Druidry Handbook: An Evidence Based Guide.