09 June 2017

Tuatha Dé Danann


Tuatha Dé Danann (tribe of Danu) is the name of the Gaelic ancestral gods.  They are also known by the earlier name of Tuath Dé (tribe of gods).

The Tuatha Dé are also called the Aos Sí and are the Faeries of later Gaelic folklore.  However, they are not the diminutive creatures of the popular Victorian children stories or of modern Hollywood portrayals. They are described in the earliest primary sources as being tall, with red or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and very fair skin. They are luminous beings of great power and strength... and very dangerous to those unfortunate enough to become their enemy.

Sightings of the Tuatha Dé were common in older times, but have become less frequent in modern times, though there are several eyewitness accounts from the 20th Century.   These sightings take place in their traditional homeland of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, however one of the Tuatha Dé, Manannan Mac Lír, was sighted in Canada on Nova Scotia in the early 1900s.

Our knowledge of them comes to us from the filter of the Christian monks who first recorded the stories and history of the Tuatha Dé.   The stories were embellished and at times given comic aspects to enhance the tale. Some of the Tuatha Dé are obvious cognates with gods in other Indo European deity pantheons. Nuada is a cognate with the Noden, Lugh is a pan Celtic god, Bríd is a cognate to Brigantian, Tuireann with Taran (Taranis), Ogma with Ogmios, and Badbh with Catubodua.

As I develop this blog, I will enumerate the Tuatha Dé, discuss their cognates with other Indo-European pantheons, and discuss late examples of, if not worship, at least acknowledgement of, the Tuatha Dé in modern times.  


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