There was once a time when there was no time. There was only the void and the darkness. Eventually the void and darkness transformed, became self-aware, and named itself Danu. In that self-awareness she felt loneliness, so she stretched forth her hand, whispered words of power, and created the worlds… intent on filling the emptiness inside her heart. She brought the stars into existence, the mountains, and the seas, yet she still did not feel complete. So she continued in her contemplation and walked the worlds.
In the waters of a river she looked upon her reflection and saw the image of the sun over her shoulder. She saw that the light was beautiful, felt that its warmth was good… and she stretched forth her hand again and whispered words of power, giving birth to our Great Lord Lugh, forming him from the fires of the Sun, and their desire knew no bounds. Their coupling brought much into existence, plants, animals, insects, and the First Children of Danu, The Fomori.
The Fomori were giants, creatures of destruction and chaos. Lesser Powers. More than mortal, but less than true Gods. They ruled the land for ages, worshiping Danu as “Domnu”, and even now they are often called the “Children of Domnu.” Their rites were powerful, black, and terrible. Some places even now carry a taint, a leftover taste of their former glory. Her First Children brought her great satisfaction, but the world lacked a sense of balance, and much of her creation could not realize its potential. So she continued her contemplation and walked the worlds.
Our Great Sun God Lugh saw our Great Mother Danu deep in thought, and asked her what troubled her so. She replied that her worlds and creations were many and none could experience the other. In answer to Danu’s distress Lugh traveled to the Northern Lands and in a long valley near the sea planted a seed, blew his breath upon it, and whispered powerful magic. From that seed sprang a Great Oak Tree, its branches and limbs climbing into the heavens to connect all of the Great Mother’s worlds, and its roots delved deep into the earth and the hollow places below. Danu saw Lugh’s gift and knew happiness.
In time the Great Goddess again stretched forth her hand and whispered words of power and brought into being her Second Children, the Tuatha Dé Danann, or “Children of Danu.” They were fair and many. Lesser Powers. More than mortal, but less than true Gods… and they warred unceasingly with the Fomori. In time the Fomori were defeated and driven forth. They traveled the branches of the Great Tree to lands bound in shadow. There they still lurk, plotting and scheming the conquest and destruction of the lands from which they were exiled. A tide of chaos held in check by the power of order. They are dangerous beings, full of hatred, and their memories are long.
The worlds now embodied law and chaos, good and evil, light and darkness. The Great Goddess Danu then prepared for the creation of her Third Children… mortal men and women. Beings given choice over which paths they would walk… law or chaos, light or darkness. Beings with the capacity to be kind and cruel, good and evil. Beings with a divine spark, a piece of the essence of the Gods… a soul.
Danu then empowered Morrígan of the Tuatha Dé Danann to cut the threads of fate that bound the souls of her Third Children , and gave her reign and providence over the underworld to where they would go after death to await rebirth.
She then empowered Brigid of the Tuatha Dé Danann to teach her Third Children healing, and the art of the spoken word, and gave her reign and providence over the hearth and home.
She then empowered Manannán mac Lir of the Tuatha Dé Danann to teach her Third Children to master the waters, and the value of wit and wile, and gave him reign and providence over the seas, mists, and the weather.
And to the dismay of these three new deities, the Great Mother Danu empowered a goat headed Fomori called Cernunnos to teach her Third Children of fire and sorcery, and tasked him with watching over the souls of the dead as they traveled the Low Road to the Underworld of Morrígan, and to incite the creatures of field and fen to reproduce when the appointed seasons came. He would later be known as the Goat God of the Witches to the faithful, and a Devil to those of other faiths.
The Great Mother Danu scooped up a handful of clay, shaping them into man and woman. Manannán mac Lir sprinkled water upon them, thereby aiding their shaping and tying them irrevocably to the element. The heat and light of our Sun God Lugh set them in form. Brigid whispered words of power and touched her fingertip to their hearts and infused them with the desire to search, question, and reason. Morrígan waved her hands above them, chanting the dirge of death, ensuring they were to be mortal. With these tasks complete Lugh, Manannán mac Lir, Brigid, and Morrígan departed to prepare for the arrival of the Third Children. As they left The Great Mother Danu looked upon her incomplete creations in contemplation. From the depths of the dark wood Cernunnos crept and knelt next to the clay forms, the Great Mother watching intently what he would contribute. She had been aware of his presence from the beginning as he watched from the shadows. He whispered an incantation, dark and ancient, and a small fire ignited between his horns. He removed two small flames with his finger tips and dropped them into the clay where they disappeared into the material. He then departed into the woods, the hand of Danu caressing his shoulder with affection as he left. She smiled, for he had gifted her Third Children with souls… and the potential to become Gods and overcome fate. Danu then completed her task of creation and departed the garden from which her new children had begun to awaken.