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Arrival of the Tuatha de Danann*

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At the time of the arrival of the Tuatha de Danann the race inhabiting Eire was known as the “fir Bolgs” who were divided into three tribes.The “fir Domnann” controlled North Munster, South Munster and Connaught. The “Fir Bolg” controlled Ulster and the “Fir Gaillon” Leincester. At that time their king was called Eochid son of Erc.

It is said that the Tuatha de Danann arrived on the 1st of May (Beltaine) bringing with them treasures from their home cities. From Findias they brought Nuada’s sword, from Gorias they brought Lugh’s lance, from Murias they brought Dagda’s cauldron and from Falias they brought the stone of destiny. The gods reached the coast of Ireland in a shrowd of mist to conceal themselves from the Fir Bolgs.

Morrigu
and her fellow war godesses created fogs, rainstorms and larva to fall on the Fur Bolgs so that they had to take shelter for three days until their own druids overcame the enchantments. Finally the two sides met and after a period of truce the two sides began a bloody battle where Eochid was slain and the Fir Bolgs defeated. It was in this very battle that Nuada had his hand sliced clean off and, although Diancecht skillfully made him a hand of silver, he was sufficiently disfigured to have to give up the rule of the Tuatha de Danann.

And so it was that the Tuatha De Danann took control of Ireland. The surviving Fir Bolgs were given Connaught to live in and to this day there are those that claim ancestory to that ancient tribe.

The Tuatha De Danann skilled in magic and in druid lore. After the coming of the Gaels, the Tuatha De Danann driven underground, to establish an otherworld kingdom beneath the hills Tir Na Nog the land of the forever young. The Daghda assigned each member of the Tuatha Dene of these mounds, or sidhe (faerie hills). In the sidhe there was immortality and ageless beauty, continual feasting, hunting and revelry. Such mounds are sometimes natural hills, but many are the megalithic burial mounds of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, believed in strong folk traditions to be the dwelling-places of the Irish gods.

The fairy realm is the magical inverse of the human world. Time passes at a different rate in the Otherworld a brief visit can be hundreds of years in the human world. In Tir Na Nog, the Tuatha De Danann continued to practice their powers of magic and control over the supernatural. In this design, the people of Danu are woven into the ancient cross-symbol the cross-quartered circle, representing the union of male and female energies. The Cross represents the four directions four elements, four corners of earth (male energy). The Circle represents the Whole, the Earth Womb (female energy).

*from George Treanor, Irish Heritage Group


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