The stories of shape-shifting can be found in many cultures throughout the world, but none so prominently as that found in Celtic culture.
Within the near area of Bealtaine Cottage can be found a wealth of ancient history many thousands of years old.
The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.
These people who appeared to “land on top of a mountain”, Sliabh an Iarainn, a great brooding mass of sandstone rock and thin soil, visible from Bealtaine Cottage.
The ancient manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that the Tuatha Dé Danann ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C.
The Tuatha Dé Danann were eventually consigned to mythology, disappearing from the face of the Earth, but going underground, emerging later as ‘Aes sidhe’ (the people of the mound – fairy mounds)., now referred to simply as the Sidhe.
The people are known as “The Sidhe” or people of the mounds, or “The Lordly Ones” or “The Good People”.
Once consigned to the underworld the Tuatha Dé Danann engaged their powers of shape-shifting, emerging in many forms, even that of apparent human form.
In Irish mythology, we come across a number of stories about shape-shifting beings.
These shape-shifters are often goddesses, gods, magicians, witches, fairies and other supernatural creatures.
Shape-shifting is an important aspect of understanding the complexities of the influence of the Sidhe in contemporary Ireland, as it is believed this magic is employed to allow the Otherworld to communicate with humans.
A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn says of the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann:
“the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars,
whether they were of heaven or of earth.”
Colette O’Neill is a writer and photographer living at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland.
Colette follows the Path of the Goddess at Bealtaine Cottage and is the innovator of Goddess Permaculture, which holds Mother Earth and all Her life to be sacred.
This is a special offer on my first book, usually 27.50 now 22.50 but only until 7th July!
“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill
Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.