Away With The Fairies: Danu, The Tuatha Dé, The Land & Me

Unsuspecting, fairy agnostic Bee landed in Ireland in 2001 and settled in the shade of Slieve Anieran, the mountain where the Tuatha dé Danaan first arrived in what was known as Erin. Over the years a relationship with the goddess they worshiped has unfolded with the land, even more than the myth associated with this band that latterly became the fairy race of Ireland, being spirit guide and mentor.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Bee Smith

Bee Smith

Bee is a former columnist for Sagewoman, published poet, Brigit and Danu devotee (more about this later) and creatrix of guided walks and talks on the theme of Fairy Ireland and pilgrimage leader for Imbolc celebrations of Brigit in Ireland. You can learn more about tours on her website www.irishblessingstours.com.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fairies Don't Like Iron?

I had heard that fairies don’t like iron.  This really nonplussed me since their landing pad in Ireland was Iron Mountain.  It didn’t get that name for nothing. It really is iron rich.

...
Last modified on
2
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith says #
    Glad that you found this helpful. Instinct is magical. But it is also a gift to have one's instincts affirmed.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Yes, this is the sort of thing I was referring to when I emailed you last year, about my experientially learning about faerie folk

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
As the Fairies Take, So Shall You Receive

Until I  moved to this magical place first settled by the mythic Tuatha dé Danaan I, too, was a fairy agnostic.  But when the land energy is so potent and palpable my disbelief was easily suspended. So yeah, I believe and have also come to know.  Unlike the Doubting Disciple of the Christian gospel I don't need to have seen to believe.  It's enough to feel.  But once you do get the vibe the communication in my personal experience gets more direct. 

 

The nearest fairy sighting I've had was on a dark night as we crossed over the Bellavally Gap. It's wild moorland with the 'gap' between Cuilcagh and Slieve Anieran said to have been made when the Tuatha dé Dannaan's magical smith, Govannan, had a green cow (Bo Glas) of Paul Bunyanesque proportions ran amuck.

...
Last modified on
2

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Cailleach Initiation

Since moving here to the depths of rural Ireland I've found that the seasonal and circadian rhythms rule me very intimately.  This winter I have been truly initiated by the Cailleach.  It's not that we have been snowed in.  We are having the first flurries as I tap this blog. No, it's that when the dark descended, the cloud cover rolled in, the skies lowered, I settled into a long womb time.

I came to a full stop.  I needed to just sit. Yes, there was activity happening but I felt at a bit of a remove.  The real happening was the silence that descended inside me.  The words wouldn't come.  If I tried to force them they were clumsy. It felt as if even Spirit was incommunicado.  Feeling directionless, without a sense of 'true north' I hunkered down into my still centre. In this space I sank into a powerful place of deep trust where I allowed myself to let go of some attachments.

Danu has always felt like an ancient Grandmother to me. Some people say she is Brigit's mother, but my personal encounters tell me she goes back further generations.   For me She is one manifestation of the Hag Goddess, or Cailleach (say that Cal-yuck).  I have an affinity to stone and there are many glacial erratics mimicking chairs that are known as The Hag's Chair.  In a field about twenty yards from my home we have the Cailleach's Chaise Longue.

...
Last modified on
5
Is Danu the Indigenous Goddess of Ireland?

Ireland has recently conducted national DNA research that asks the question of what actually  makes the Irish...well, Irish?  As a country conditioned by emigration the Celtic tiger of the 1990's and early Noughties brought an influx of new blood into the population. Cue some national soul searching.

If you read the earliest Irish texts, such as the Book of Invasions, Ireland has always been rather 'multi-cultural' although that was probably not the fashionable interpretation in earlier times.  This  DNA survey has noted that along with the Irish being well connected with the Scots and other British populations, there is a strong marker for Spanish, specifically, Basque, lineage.

 

...
Last modified on
3

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Samhain Salutations from the Fairy Goddess

At this thinnest time of year, Samhain, when the veil between our world and the sidhe is gossamer I want to offer a poem in praise of Danu, our most ancient of goddesses. Danu is the gift giver and it is said that her name is embedded in our English word donation. Her name is embedded in the rivers - the Don in Russia in the east and another in the west in Yorkshire, England and the Danube that runs through the heart of Central Europe.  Some say that her origins are in India. She is undoubedly pan-Celtic and very, very ancient, sort of the great-granny of so many deities. 

 

The first impulse in a divinity is, then, to give. It is said in Ireland that Danu had a husband called Bile. Now that is a word, along with crann, for tree.  In my research I found that Ireland has seven sacred or chieftain trees.  It got me thinking about Danu's husband and this poem, Nemeton, is the result.

...
Last modified on
2

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Don't Frack With The Fairies

At Equinox we visited a holy well on the eastern foothills of Slieve Anieran, or Iron Mountain here in Leitrim, Ireland. I arrived here in Ireland, after a fourteen hour journey involving changing three trains, boarding a ferry, and finally getting a lift in a car, twelve years ago at Mabon.  I didn't know then that I would settle permanently in the shade of the Tuatha dé Danaan's own point of arrival in Erin.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_photo-1-2.jpg

...
Last modified on
4
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Rock on! Mother Earth needs our voice.
Betwixt & Between with Bee in Tuatha dé Danaan Land

Welcome to my world one that is quite literally magical. In this blog I’ll share how a relict goddess, the legends of her devotees and the earth that is their homeplace have nurtured my spiritual path.

In 2001 after a protracted leave taking from England, my Irish born partner and I were led to Ireland guided by Yeats’ synchronicities, goddess guidance and the ridiculous spinning of a pendulum over a map in County Cavan, a place neither of us remotely entertained as our new Irish residence.

However Brigit and Yeats’ and the pendulum knew better than our scepticism. By various meaningful coincidences we landed in Dowra, the first village on the river Shannon. It is a village that spreads over two counties, Cavan and Leitrim. Moreover, there is rumoured to be a remnant of the Black Pig’s Dyke, an earthwork defence to keep marauding Ulsterman out of Connaught, behind Oliver McGrail’s house. So we also bestride two ancient kingdoms of Ireland. To complicate matters still, this corner of northwest Ireland was also a subkingdom – Breifne – which actually does accurately follow the geological contours that the ice sheets sculpted millennia ago.

...
Last modified on
2
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Siobhán MacMahon
    Siobhán MacMahon says #
    Wonderful blog Bee. Looking forward to more
  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith says #
    This region is off the well worn tourist track so offers much to surprise even the seasoned Ireland visitor.
  • Lisa Allen
    Lisa Allen says #
    Wonderful blog post - shared! :-) Cannot WAIT until I go to Ireland (hoping sooner than later!)

Additional information