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Monday, March 17, 2014

Myth or Monster Monday: Tuatha Dé Danann

Tuatha Dé Danann, Artist Unknown
Since today is St. Patrick's Day, I thought it fitting that our myth come from the Irish. So I present to you the Tuatha Dé Danann.

The Tuatha Dé Danann (meaning tribes of the goddess Danu) are the mythical beings. They are descended from Neimheadh and came to Ireland from Falias, Finias, Gorias, and Murias. When they arrived in Ireland, according to some, darkness settled over the land for three long days and nights.

The Tuatha Dé Danann brought with them the incredible magic they had picked up in Falias, Finias, Gorias, and Murias. They also brought one treasure from each of their cities... the Spear of Lugh, the Dagda's Cauldron, the Sword of Light of Nuada, and the Stone of Fal. These four treasures granted the Tuatha Dé Danann immense power...  No battle was ever waged against the one who held the Spear of Lugh, no one escaped from the Nuada's sword once it was drawn, Dagda's Cauldron satisfied all who partook of it, and the Stone of Fal helped crown the rightful king of Ireland by crying out when said king placed his feet upon it. Fal's Stone also granted the king a long life.

During their reign in Ireland, the Tuatha Dé fought three immense battles. In the first Nuada lost an arm before eventually being restored to the crown. In the second, Nuada was slain and Lugh took over as King. The third battle, against the Milesians, proved to be their last. After Lugh declared a truce in the third battle, the Tuatha Dé Danann attempted to drive the Milesians away to no avail. They came to shore and defeated the Tuatha Dé Danann. When the Milesian then divided the land between their people and the Tuatha Dé Danann, they did so cleverly... laying claim to all above ground while giving the Tuatha Dé Danann dominion underground.

Some claim the Tuatha Dé Danann still reside in the Sidhe mounds throughout Ireland, invisible to humans but very much evident in our world. Today, the Tuatha Dé Danann are called the Aes Sidhe (or Aos Sí)... the Fae. Only iron can injure these supernatural creatures, and, when the cause is just, you just might find them joining alongside humans in battle.

If you ever have the opportunity to read up on the Tuatha Dé Danann or the Sidhe, I highly recommend doing so. What I've relayed here is just a brief overview. There is such an immense cache of lore out there on these mythical folk, and it is absolutely fascinating. I cannot think of another culture who bring mythology to life quite like the Irish do. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day, loves. Celebrate safely!


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  1. Awesome post. Very beautiful mythology, I agree! I live in Japan, and they have some similar sounding mythologies, but unfortunately all of them are in need of major "style" updates for modern readers.

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.

    1. Alex, the Japanese do have some beautiful myths. One of my favorites is that of Izanagi and Izanami. It's such a fascinating creation myth, doubling as a love story. :)


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