Tuatha Dé Danaan

Tuatha Dé Danaan



The Tuatha Dé Danaan are the spirits who inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Gaels (Milesians). Their name means the “Children of Danu,” their divine, ancestral mother. (She may or may not be the goddess of the Danube River.) Their adventures are chronicled in the Book of Invasions, an epic compiled in the twelfth century from much earlier oral sources. As its title suggests, the Book of Invasions describes the successive mythic invasions of Ireland. The Tuatha Dé Danaan are the fifth invaders. They ruled Ireland until they too were displaced.

The Milesians negotiated peace with the Tuatha Dé Danaan: people now reside on the upper surface of the land while the Tuatha Dé Danaan rule beneath. The dispossessed Tuatha Dé created their own world, an underground Otherworld parallel to our own. The Tuatha Dé inhabit Fairy mounds, barrows, and hills. Their realm is parallel to ours with connecting portals. The Gaelic word for barrow is Sidhe. The Tuatha Dé Danaan evolved into Sidhe. They are the prototypical magical Fairies.


  • Aine
  • Airmid
  • Angus mac Og
  • Becuma
  • Blathnat
  • Boann
  • Dagda, the
  • Dian Cecht
  • Lugh
  • Manannan
  • Ogma
  • Sidhe

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.