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Danu College by Lunaea Weatherstone


DANU, GODDESS OF THE FAERIE WAYS




Danu, also known as Anu, Dana, Don, and Danube is one of the most ancient of all the Celtic Goddesses, as well as being one of the greatest Mother Goddesses of all time. Danu is also known as the Mother of the Gods, and as the ancestress of the Tuatha De Danaan, which are the children or people of Danu.

Danu's influence was so powerful that her worship spread widely, not only throughout the British Isles, but throughout most of Europe as well. In fact, the Danube and the Don Rivers are both thought to have been named after her. Danu has also been considered to be a Patroness of rivers, water, wells, prosperity, wisdom and magick.

Throuout history, the Celtic people have been well known for worshipping their ancestors. Since Danu created the Tuatha De Danaan, and since she was also the mother of its leader, the Dagda, it appears to be only right and proper that it was named after her.

The Tuatha De Danaan consists of a race of divine beings, extremely well versed in both magick and Druid lore. They are believed to have been the last Gods and Goddesses to rule, before the Milesius, the ancestors of the modern Irish, invaded Ireland. Some time later the Gaels also invaded, and they drove the Tuatha de Danaan underground, deep beneath the hills, where it created its own magickal kingdom: Tir Na Nog, or the “Land of the Forever Young.” It was there, in that underground world, that the Tuatha De Danaan first gained immortality, and it is because of that immortality that the Goddess Danu will continue to live on forever.

Once underground, the Tuatha De Danaan became known as the Faeries, the Fairy Folk or the Fae, and they are believed to inhabit mounds known as sidhe, which exist throughout the Irish countryside. The sidhe has been described as a magickal place where its immortal inhabitants enjoy their lives, hunting, feasting and playing. This underground world of the Faeries is the magickal opposite of the human world, and time there runs at a completely different pace. In fact, what might actually seem like a few hours in the world of the faeries could, in reality, span several hundreds of years in the world of men.

In rural areas of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, some farmers, still believe in these magickal beings, who are well known for having the ability to shape-shift and dart quickly through the air. Many of these farmers still leave offerings to these Gods, in the hope that they will use their magick to control the weather, thereby granting their crops and cattle prosperous yields. Throughout the countryside, a wide variety of Faeries exist. Some will only leave their sidhes once the sun has gone down, to walk the green hills in the evening moonlight; while others have been known to fly so quickly through the air, that they disappear in just the blink of an eye.

Since so many different kinds of Faeries exist, they have been divided into various categories. Among them are the wood spirits, the water spirits, and the air spirits, as well as other elemental spirits that exist within each particular area. It was because of this wide diversity, that the sidhes all joined together in the ancient cross-symbol, the cross-quartered circle, which represents the uniting of male and female energies. This cross has been used in many different cultures to represent the four directions, and the four elements, as well as to signify male energy. The circle, on the other hand, represents the whole, which is the womb of Mother Earth, and it signifies female energy. This pattern can be seen, even today, in a variety of earth-based or nature-based religions or belief structures such as the Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, and Druid Religions. A cross inside a circle, similar to the cross-quartered circle, is also used in Voodoo to represent the meeting, or coming together of the two worlds: the Divine World, also known as the Natural World, and the World of the People.

The ancient holiday of Samhain, which is the Celtic New Year, is celebrated on October 31st. Samhain is a very sacred time, where people show their respect for those who have departed this world before them. It is on Samhain, that the veil that separates the spirit world from the human world is at its thinnest point, thereby making it easier for people to communicate with the dead. It is known as well, that on a few very rare occasions, the Tuatha De Danaan has allowed a few worthy humans to pierce that veil and enter its magickal world.

Today, there appears to be a great resurgence in the belief in Faeries, and in the realization by mankind of its great responsibility to honor and protect the Earth, and through it the Goddess Danu. If you choose to follow in Danu's path, you will soon discover that magick truly does exist. All you have to do is open your heart, and allow your spirit and imagination to do the rest.




"Danu, Goddess of Enchantement"
Artwork by Lunaea Weatherstone
Used with Permission




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