Epic artwork is combined with detailed descriptions of many well-known characters. We also included a quiz to see,which of these mythological “Ancestors” you have most in common with.
Bríd: A celebrated fertility Goddess, her name means “the exalted one.” Sacred to blacksmiths, and midwives she protects babies, livestock and the homes she is invited into.
“Bridget’s” cross represents protection from the four directions. She blesses these hand-woven rush crosses, as she passes with the morning dew on her feast day.
Imbolc (the spring festival) begins at sunset February 1st, as in the Celtic tradition.
She is the flame of inspiration and a poet, known for healing and protection.
Fionn (Finn) Mac Cumhaill: Renowned as a great warrior and leader of the “Fianna.”
He burnt his thumb when cooking the Salmon of Knowledge for Finnéigeas and forever after he received wisdom, by sucking his thumb.
His two trusted companions were Bran and Sceolaing, which he found as pups.
A renowned giant-slayer and wise beyound his years, Fionn often had otherworldly encounters as he was tricked into their realms. He possesed a magic hood, which would allow him to appear as a hound or a deer.
Aine: A Dé Dannan goddess who often appears as a faerie wisp, her name means “lustre” or “Brightness”.
Believed by some to be a daughter of Manannán Mac Lir (the Sea God) She is occasionally appears as a swan maiden or mermaid.
Celebrated at midsummer till after Lughnasadh (the harvest festival), she is said to have been “the best hearted woman that ever lived”.
She is associated with prosperity and living within her palace (inside the hollow hills) spinning sunbeams into cloths of gold. She is kindness personified.
Nuadhu: A King of the Tuatha Dé Dannan who was wounded and lost his arm. Because the King couldn’t be without blemish he lost the Kingship to Bres.
The physician Dían Céacht made a silver arm for him, which made him whole again and thus able to retake the Kingship. Depicted as a hunter and great warrior he wields the legendary sword, another of the four great Dé Dannan treasures.
He waged a glorious war with the Norsemen in Donegal and chased them from those shores.
Cliona: A Dé Dannan Goddess, sometimes called Ceannfhionn (the fair-haired).
She drowned and now exists in a land beneath the waves. She has a reputation of a seducer and she sometimes takes on the guise of a white rabbit.
She doesn’t let anything stand in her way, having once transformed her sister into a white cat because she wanted the young Ó Caoimh chieftain for herself.
If she decides she wants a young man he will apparently “drop dead” as she steals him into her fairy kingdom, beneath the ninth wave.
Lugh: A mythical Hero and Sun God called Lámhfhada (long-armed) for the long reach of his weapons and Sámhildánach (multi-talented) because he possesses all the arts.
He is a master of smith-craft, a champion warrior, harpist, poet, historian, magician, and physician, to name but a few.
This acrobatic warrior could leap upon a bubble without bursting it, combining skill with the realm of mystery and magic. He killed Balor of the Evil Eye with a sling-shot.
His legendary spear is one of the four great gifts of the Tuatha Dé Dannan.
Deirdre: The most beautiful woman in Ireland. At her birth it was foretold she would be the cause of great slaughter, nevertheless Conchobhar, King of Ulster, decided he’d hide her away for himself.
She realised she could only love a man “with hair like a raven, cheeks red as blood and a body white as snow.” She fell in love with Naoise, and put a geis on him to steal her away.
Her ledgendary beauty resulted in much jealousy, causing many feuds and deaths in Ireland and Scotland.
Aonghus Mac Óg: Mythical chieftain of the Tuatha Dé Dannan. His parents were both deity - Daghdha and Bóand, and his name means, “true vigour.”
He was a champion hurler and a bit of a trickster. He made a bargain to take possession of Newgrange for “the day and the night” – and then refused to return it because for all of eternity it is either “the day” or “the night”.
With a lusty swagger and a reputation as a lover, he is a wanderer from the divine realm and associated with Tír na nÓg (the land of the forever young).
Morrigan: Battle goddess of the Tuatha DéDannan, her name means Mór Ríoghain or Great Queen. She shapeshifts and appears in whatever image she chooses: a young beauty or old crone, fighting as a wolf or eel, even appearing as a red heifer.
She is sometimes worshiped as a triple deity, as the plural persona Morríghan with Babd and Macha. This Crow Goddess challenges the warrior within.
Befriend her and be at ease with death, for then you can embrace life without fear. She dares you to live life in full measure.
Cú Chulainn: the literal translation means the hound of Culann. It refers to when “Sétanta” slew Chulainn’s guard dog, albiet in his own defense.
He offered to take on the guard duties until the dog’s equal could be found to defend the fort. He was a heroic and fearsome warrior who single-handedly defended the province of Ulster against Maedhbh and all of the Connacht armies.
He took up arms at the age of seven after over-hearing Cathbad’s prophecy of greatness and his exploits are beyond number.
Niamh Chinn Óir: Niamh of the golden hair, is a Dé Dannan goddess from the land of Tír no nÓg (land of youth).
The daughter of Manannán Mac Lir she rides over the sea on a magical white horse and asks Fionn Mac Cumhaill if his son Oisín can come away with her to TÍr na nÓg.
Oisín is only too delighted to ride off with such a beauty to this fabled island somewhere off the west coast.
Shrouded in the mists of time; some say this is where the Tuatha Dé Danann disappeared after the invasion of the Milesians.
Scathach: A renowned Scottish warrior and trainer, whose name means “shadowy,” supposedly the Isle of Skye is named after her.
Forgall sent Cu Chulainn to her, figuring that she would kill him, telling the boy-hero that she was the greatest teacher, and without her he would never understand the true art of being a warrior.
After Cu Chulainn endured her tests she initiated him in the art of war and the art of lovemaking. As her favorite pupil, she gave him a the Gae bolga, a barbed javelin that always found it’s mark and was inevitably deadly.
Manannán Mac Lír: The Dé Dannan Sea God, dwells in the realms of his under-sea kingdom with his wife Fand.
He can cause islands to disappear at will or cause floods, stealing parts of the mainland into his kingdom. He visits the land from time to time, riding his bright chariot, harnessing the waves as his horses.
On one occasion he visits King Cormac Mac Airt, with three golden apples upon branch. These make the most magical sound, which can soothe all who are sick or wounded
Fand: A Dé Dannan goddess: feeling abandoned by her husband Manannán Mac Lir, (Sea Deity) chooses to change rather than endure what she perceives as a loveless relationship.
She shape-shifts into a bird and flies off in search of a worthy love. She eventually has a love affair with Cú Chulainn after putting him under draíocht, making him sick with longing.
Emer (Cú Chulainn’s wife) sets out to challenge her (along with 50 Ulster maidens their knife-blades sharpened). Manannán warns Fand in time, and seeing this as proof of his love she returns to him.
Dian Cécht: The Dé Dannan Physician, his name means “swift traveller.”
He was adept at magical cures as well as herb-lore. Before the battle of Moyturra he boasted “Any man who is wounded. Unless his brain be cut off or the membrane of his brain or spinal cord severed – he would be fully healed.”
He supposedly used one of the four great treasures - the Daghdha‘s cauldron, after each day’s fighting was done. In jealousy he killed Miach, his son, who had upstaged him by growing skin on the silver arm, fashioned for Nuadhu.
Méabh: The Legendary queen of Connacht, her name means “intoxicating.”
She was a fiercely proud and warlike woman, who thrived on manipulating men and enjoyed conquest. She insisted her husband be without fear, meanness, or jealousy.
The last was particularly important as she never had one man, without another waiting in the shadows. The greatest Irish epic, the story of the “Táin Bó Cúailnge” is based around a war she started. She insisted on possessing the Brown bull of Cooley so that her wealth would be equal to that of Ailill, her third husband.
The battle was raised with contingents from all over Ireland and she eventually returned victorious to Cruachan, the royal seat in Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon.
Goibhniu: The Dé Dannan Smith is a deity and artisan, fashioning magical spears for the battle of Moyturra.
An aura of wonder surrounded him and his craft. In one story he uses the blood of rats to temper his steel, to give a keen edge to the Giants blade. He is perceived as a kind, strong, fair and talented character.
He had a magical cow whose milk yield was beyond measure and he generously shared. Blacksmiths were revered, ever known for their magical healing abilities and being able to affect your luck.
By answering a few simple questions you find out
which character is most like you.
My most persuasive aspect would be?
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