Anu

Pronunciation: AN-u

Other Spellings: Ana, Anann, Anand

Associations: land, mountains, abundance, wealth

Land Specific Associations: Dá Chích Anann / Two Paps of Anu

Known and Suspected Family: mother Ernmas, husband the Dagda

Etymology: linked to ana (anae in the plural) which translates to “wealth, riches, prosperity, treasure.”

Notable Myths:

  • Lebor Gabála Érenn / The Book of the Takings of Ireland / The Book of Invasions
  • Poem Acallamh na Senórach

About:

There are no narrative literature attached to the name Anu whatsoever. She appears in Lebor Gabála Érenn in a list of goddesses and as a daughter of Ernmas. Morpheus Ravenna writes, “Here she never appears independently of the Mythological triad (typically Badb, Macha, and Morrígan), and in several places is Anu is explicitly identified with the Morrígan, as the personal name of the divinity carrying that title.” (page 102.)

The connection with the Morrígan is furthered by the similarity of two land structures named after them. Anu has Dá Chích Anann whereas the Morrígan has Dá Chích na Morrígna. This parallel suggest that perhaps the two are at least similar, if not overlapping entities. Morpheus Ravenna concludes,

“[The] evidence suggests Anu may originally have been a localized Goddess identified with the fertility and territorial landscape of Munster, whose identity was absorbed into the collective identity of the Morrígan (and of *Danu as well) in the middle Irish period.” (page 107)

Anu and Danu are sometimes considered to be the same entity. They are sure both listed in separate places being “the mother of the gods.” Yet, there is also evidence that they are not the same. Danu appears separately in the Mythological Cycle, for instance, when listed as a foster-mother to Badb, Macha, and Morrígan.

Anu is sometimes confused with goddess Áine, but there is no concrete evidence these two entities are one and the same; their names have no etymology similarities.

Works Cited

Daimler, Morgan. The Morrigan: Meeting the Great Queens. N.p.: Moon, 2014. Print.

Ravenna, Morpheus. The Book of the Great Queen. Richmond CA: Concrescent, 2015. Print.

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