Irish mythology states that the goddess Danu brought life to all other gods within their pantheon. Danu is the goddess of wisdom, teaching, abundance, and wealth. Considered to be the most ancient of Irish deities, she has many names. Anu, Dana, and in Wales, Don. All names refer to the one Earth Goddess.
The descendants of Danu are named aptly, as Tuatha means a group of people de points to the word Danann and the word Danann refers to Danu. Efficiently making their name The People of Danu.
The Tuatha de Danann brought with them many objects of power to Ireland, the most famous being the Cauldron of the Dagda, which supplied endless food. With them also came the stone of fate known as Lia Fail, which they placed upon the mound Tara, when this stone called out, the rightful kinds of the Land were made known. The warrior Lugh brought with him his spear, and it was said to ensure the victory of a battle to whoever wielded it (clearly something went wrong here, for the Tuatha de Danann were later defeated). After defeating the Firbolg who hailed from Greece, they ruled peacefully over the land for ages. Teaching men of music, magick, herbs, and spirits, they ushered in a new era. In their wake, druids, bards, healers, and shamans sprang into the society of Ireland, taking up roles as leaders and figures that communities became dependent on.
Among the ranks of the Tuatha de Danann were:
- Dagda; The druid. He played a living harp of Oak, which brought about the change of seasons. God of magick, time, and protector of the crops.
- Oghma; Gifted the world with the system of writing known as Ogma. God of eloquence and writing. Married the Ettin daughter of Dian Cecht.
- Dian Cecht; The healer. By murdering his son Miach, he gave to the world 300 herbs of medicinal properties.
- Cairpre; Artificer of the Tuatha de Danann. With the Goibniu The Smith and Luchtaine The Wheelwright, he created the triad of Irish Craft Gods.
- Cas Corach; The harper. Master musician, capable of entrancing with his music.
Some of these were are not widely known for they are mentioned only in the early myths of the battles that the Tuatha de Danann engaged with the Firbolgs in, and were not seen as pivotal to daily life. Every god/goddess that is popularly known from the Irish pantheon today is a part of the Tuatha de Danann. This is not to say that there are some who are not, as there are, but the most well known gods/goddesses belong to this tribe. These include:
- Morrigan; Warrior Queen of the Tuatha de Danann. Emphasizes battle, strife, and fertility.
- Maeve; Her name means "She who intoxicates". I think that's explanation enough.
- Manannan mac Lir; Son of the sea god Lir. Shapeshifter of the seas, embodies storms and tormented waters. Friendly despite is natural alignment with the distressed seas.
- Babd; Warrior Sister of Macha and Morrigan. Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess. Her cauldron boiled constantly, producing the elixir that gave granted Life.
- Brighid; Daughter of the Dagda. Goddess of water and fire, born at Spring. Some legends state there are three Brighid's, one of poetry and inspiration, one of healing and midwifery, and one of the crafts and smiths. This effectively makes her one of the multiple Triple goddesses within the Irish pantheon. Married the Fomorian Bress.
After some time of ruling, the Tuatha de Danann came under attack. New invaders had come to their land, known as the Milesians, they brought fierce war. Legends such as The First Battle of Magh Tuiredh , The Landing of The Milesians , and The Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh tell of the battles against the Milesians as well as the battled of their conquest over the Firbolg, and even of their battles with the remaining Fomorians who had held outposts of power after the invasion of the Firbolg.
Upon the invasion of the Milesians, the Tuatha de Danann were forced to flee into the land Tir na Nog. They dwell now within the spiritual realm of Perpetual Youth, as Tir na Nog is a land of timelessness. Some remained in this side of reality and went on to become known as the Daoine Sidhe.