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Anya, Daughter of Manannan

It is Halloween and my guide is hard to see. He says the skies are full of wild spirits, mostly Danu's followers who are always looking for new battles.

We travel the winds to Anya's court. There are hidden pathways through the clouds that my guide can see. We travel a path of sparkling stars to Anya's palace.

Anya is an emanation of Manannan, and thus a more distant emanation of Lir. However, she is not an ocean goddess. She is associated with rivers, lakes, and ponds, the fresh water that makes the earth fertile. Manannan and Lir are the power of the salt sea, while Anya is the rushing brook that lets fish leap and wildflowers grow. When the faerie world and human world were closer, her palace could be reached in Ireland where the rural land opened to Anya's gardens and fountains. When the worlds were separated, her palace became more distant, but still connected to certain sites.

We stand before a doorway blocked by soft fragrant flower petals. I cannot see through it except that I know there is light beyond it. My guide raises his hand, and a powerful ray of sunlight emerges from it, and hits the petals. The veil opens like a flower in the sun.

The castle that we see stands in the midst of lakes and rivers. It appears to be made of sandstone, with stained glass windows with designs of reeds and willows. There are wide roads for horses and processions, and living statues, and acrobats who bound through the air. There are children laughing and playing in the flower gardens, and building great sand castles. They are the children of the Fair Folk that sculpt with their hands and their minds.

My guide sends a messenger to the palace, and soon Anya emerges from the castle. She is dressed in emerald and gold, with a red-gold crown.

I tell her of my writing, and ask her to tell me about her life.

She says,

I am the queen of a world between worlds. I am no powerful warrior like my father, and grandfather, and others of the Fair Folk. I am queen of the small things, of life, play, and happiness. Those artists who come here are tired of noble military statues, and wish to make toys and paper airplanes. I am a patroness of the arts. Here, I have bards and mages and dancers and musicians. My palace walls are decorated with tapestries and weavings, and my ladies weave the stories of our people.

I liked my time when my kingdom was very close to the earth, and then I met many charming and eccentric characters. I liked shoemakers, saddle decorators, royal messengers with bright trumpets, and those who sold oils and spices from strange foreign places. They would come to us through the heavy fog, and leave the same way, and never realize that the land they had visited was not a place like other lands.

I inspire artists and dreamers, and I give them a place to rest and invent. This is a place of rest, relaxation, and deep quiet like the ocean of Lir. It is also bright and creative like the many palaces of Manannan and Fand.

I am sometimes called Manannan's daughter, wife or relative, but all of those are human ways of expressing deeper relationships. When Manannan and Fand shared their silver light with sapphire edges to create a treasure of pearls, I too emerged as a treasure of light of a different sort. As I came into being among richness and happiness, so have I sought that in my life. Thus my palace is a home of the arts.

I have no husband in the sense of an equal, but my consort is Ewain, who rules his people in another land.

We have poetry evenings, bardic competitions, and music to fly upon to the land of light. Our halls ring with laughter, drumming, and song.

Introduction | History | Manannan Mac Lir | Merlin | Taliesin | Building the Realms of the Fair Folk | Lir and Danu | Lugh and the Morrigan | Anya, Daughter of Manannan | Manannan's Ocean Kingdom | Aengus, The Poet God of Love and Romance | The Ancient Roads to the Fair Folk | Manannan's Horses | The Society of the Fair Folk | The Place of Transformation | Traveling Between the Worlds | Research Methodology | Conclusion


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