First of all, I just want to point out that I am by no means claiming to be a ‘Child of Danu’ ( that, in my opinion, would be arrogant). Nor do I intend this to be a place where I’ll mull over the great goddess, or any of her demigod children.
I simply thought the term to be an apt, if a little irrelevant, heading for a scrapbook of my flights of fancy. Apt because it alludes to many such fanciful flights, irrelevant because it may be that after this initial post I’ll never refer to anything pertaining to it directly again. Who knows?
Anyway, here is as concise an explanatory note as to its meaning that I can provide:
But that’s just a local yarn, sourced from a story about a drunkard who fell in a ditch one night and found a hidden, external opening to one of the passageways. He claimed to have spoken with one of the horsemen who, astride his mount, woke momentarily to tell the bewildered gentleman of their apocalyptic-esque plans.
It is likely that the stories of the end of the Tuatha De Danann’s reign inspired the tale. You see, with the arrival of the Celts and the subsequent advent of Christianity, like the people of Avalon, the Tuatha De Dannan did not simply die away. Instead they retreated from the world of men into the mounds of the earth, supposedly revealing themselves on occasion to this very day. They are the Aes Sidhe (usually simply called ‘Sidhe’), more commonly known as the fairy folk.
According to a wee woman down the road, and probably American tourist guides to Ireland, they can still be found living in trees and caves, by ancient stones and sacred lakes, around ruined forts and craggy hills.
More than that, many of the practices and characters that litter the sagas of the Tuatha De Danann can be yet found in Irish society in the guise of saints, shrines and sacraments. From Danu herself (St Anne) to the patron St Brigit (Brigid, goddess of love and war), and in the now holy days of Beltane and Samhain. The list goes on and on… They weren’t the most inventive, the early Celtic Christians, but they certainly were adaptive.