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What Is The Tuatha de Danann/Sidhe?

Updated on June 1, 2011
Tuatha de Danann
Tuatha de Danann | Source

Did you know that the Christian saint, St. Bridget, was actually a Tuatha de Danann, and was reported to be the ancient Irish goddess, Dana or Danu? Many Pagan beliefs and rituals integrated with Christian beliefs in order for Christians to gain credence with pagan worshipers. According to ancient Irish text, the Tuatha de Danann race ruled in Ireland from 1897 until 1722 BC.

It is believed that the Tuatha de Danann race came down to Earth from Heaven (or another planet); and that they had vast knowledge of the Universe. The influence on Irish people of that era was so strong that reports about them can even be found in early Christian writings.

The Tuatha de Danann race was in full control of Ireland until the “Sons of Mil” arrived. Although the Tuatha de Danann reportedly lost their power over the Irish people at this time, they remained on the island and were then known as fairy-folk or Sidhe. These creatures have been written about extensively in Irish folk lore for hundreds of years.

Fairy sightings are still documented and reported today. Many, especially the Irish, believe fairies to be real and not merely an imaginary product of Irish mythology.

In the Book of Armagh, modern Irish tradition, “People of the Sidhe” or “Sidhe” are often described as “gods of the earth.” These creatures are believed to be in control of the ripening of crops and milk-giving cows. Because of this, they are to this day worshiped and brought gifts. Irish farmers set out food at night for the fairy-folk to eat, just in case.

One of the homes of the Sidhe is said to be Mac ind Oc—an enchanted castle that contains three trees that always bare fruit, a vessel full of excellent drink and two pigs—one alive and the other nicely cooked and ready to eat at any time. In this castle no one ever dies.

The Sidhe are described as being beautiful and attracted to the beauty of others. Many legends include these earth gods taking young human children to their palaces. Once there with the fairies, mortals could live forever if they wished.

Belief in this race of beings, who have powers beyond those of men and who can change their shape at will, once played a huge role in the lives of the people living in rural Ireland and Scotland. They are closely related to the Elementals that I wrote about in last month’s issue.

Although much of the story of the Tuatha de Danann has been distorted over time, there is growing evidence that most of the information is based on fact. Artifacts have been discovered that support some of the legend. No longer are the Tuatha considered merely Irish legend and/or fantasy.


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