Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Mythology of Ancient Ireland – The Milesian Invasion

The Milesians were the Celts. These people had long established a presence in Central Europe, and soon moved on to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. They were the fifth group of invaders to conquer Ireland, and were often referred to as the Sons of Mil. It was the Milesians who put an end to the supreme reign of the Tuatha De Danann.

The Sons of Mil and Landing in Ireland

Miled (sometimes called Milesius) and his wife, Scota (who was the daughter of a Pharaoh), were the leaders of the Milesians. In their search for a new homeland, Miled and Scota sent Miled’s uncle, Ith to Ireland to report upon its suitability. However, the Tuatha De Danann, suspecting his purpose, killed him before he could complete his mission.

Undaunted, Miled and Scota, with their eight sons, set out to take their people to Ireland. Miled died on the long and arduous voyage, and when his sons attempted to land in Ireland, the De Danann called up a great storm against them. Five of the eight sons of Mil were killed, along with many of their followers. The three surviving sons were:
  • Emer
  • Eremon
  • Eber
Though it seemed as if they might never reach Ireland, the three sons did eventually find their way to land, along with what was left of their followers. Their mother, Scota, found herself with her eldest son, Eber.

The Milesians and the Tuatha De Danann

The three sons had been separated, but they were not alone. They each had with them a selection of followers, though their numbers had been depleted by the storm of magick sent by the Tuatha De Danann.

Eber, along with his mother and their followers, landed at Inver Sceni, in Bantry Bay. Though they did manage to make their way into Ireland, Eber and Scota were soon confronted by the Tuatha De Danann. They did defeat the group under Queen Eire of the De Danann, but in the process, they lost their own Queen Scota. Eber, however, survived.

Eremon and his people landed at Inver Colpa, and soon located his brother Emer. Together, they joined forces with Eber in Meath, and they challenged the Tuatha De Danann at Taillte. The Milesians seemed to have the upper hand, for the three kings and three queens of the Tuatha De Danann were killed, many others were slain, and the rest withdrew to consider their options. They did not believe themselves to be defeated.

Some legends state that the Milesian poet and judge, Amergin, was given the right to divide Ireland between the two races. In his wisdom, he gave all the lands above the ground to his own people, and assigned the lands beneath the ground to the Tuatha De Danann.

However, other myths indicate that the De Danann, under the guidance of Manannan mac Lir, agreed that they should take themselves into the realm of the spirit, underground, and begin to fade from common reality.

Perhaps both of these occurred simultaneously. Regardless, the Tuatha De Danann went into the hills and down into the faery regions (sidbrugaib), which were already full of magick and wizardry, making it a perfect place for the De Danann. This made the faeries (sida) already there subject to the will of the Tuatha De Danann.

The Tuatha De Danann faded into legend to become worshipped as the gods of the Irish Pantheon. The Milesians became the people of Ireland. Of all the waves of invasion, they are the only wave that remained rulers of Ireland for any length of time. Today, the descendants of the Milesians in Ireland tend to have O or Mac before their surname.

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