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Anu
alias Don

Celtic Goddess of Fertility

Anu was known, in the Celtic World, by several similar names: Danu or Don being the most popular alternatives. She was a Mother-Goddess, the wife of the Sun God, Belenos, and considered to be the ancestor of all the Gods, the Tuatha dé Danann, who found themselves obliged to reside in the Otherworld when Miled brought the Celts to the British Isles. She still looks down on us from the night's sky where she appears as Llys Don, better known as the constellation of Casseopeia. Anu was especially popular in Munster, though her most lasting memorial is a mountain in County Kerry called the Dá Chích Anann or "Breast of Anu". The Dane Hills in Leicestershire are also named after her and this area, perhaps a major centre for her cult, is where her memory lives on as Black Annis. This hideous old crone's habit of eating young children was, no doubt, invented by incoming Christians to blacken the name of the Celtic Goddess. In Christendom, the lady usually took on the guise of St. Anne, however, in order to smooth the path of conversion. This saint's popularity in Brittany probably stems from the previous worship of the Celtic Goddess there. Anu was also the patroness of springs and fountains, hence the numerous St. Anne's Wells throughout Britain today. Early medieval historians confused Anu with Anna, the daughter of St. Joseph of Arimathea. In Arthurian legend she probably appears as Annowre, a sorceress who imprisoned Arthur in the Perilous Forest.

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