In Celtic mythology, Lugh — also known as “Coch Rhi Ben”* — is the sun god who rules when the days are long but whose power wanes as the nights get longer after the summer solstice. A feast in his honor was traditionally held on “Lammas,” the first day of August, represented in the calendar by a bow-and-arrow shape.
In the old rhyme it’s the sparrow who kills Cock Robin with “my bow and arrow.” In the same Celtic tradition, the sparrow stands in for Bran — the god of winter.
I don’t think the sparrow got this robin, not this time of year, not according to tradition. We’re just days away from the spring equinox with Lugh just coming into his own — essentially the opposite end of the season normally marked by his cyclical demise.
Even given the weirdness of the seasons’ cues these days, a complete 180 seems unlikely — just yet.
When the robins arrive here in late winter they like to gather at the end of the day in the top branches of a particular oak near the water tanks — all turned to face the west and the last light of the day. This old soul has heralded his last spring. Poor Cock Robin.
* (Coch means “red” and rhi-ben means “chief king” — and all that sounds a lot like cock robin, don’t you think?)