She chose a life of landlocked love. She killed a king who tried to rape her, then branched out into Irish Agriculture. She had her own Aine’s Hill in County Kerry, where Midsummer Revels were held when she took on a new identity as a Fairy Queen.

If the theory is correct that Áine is in fact a personification of ‘radiant light’, this allows one to draw parallels with such beings as Rosmerta and Aoibhell. Áine is also said to have a sister, Grian (literally, “sun”), though some believe Grian is another manifestation of Áine. The hill of Grian, Cnoc Gréine, is about seven miles from Áine’s hill, Cnoc Áine, both in County Limerick. Due to Áine’s connection with midsummer rites, some have postulated that Áine and Grian may share a dual-goddess, seasonal function (such as seen in the Gaelic myths of The Cailleach Bheur and Brighid) with Áine reperesenting the light half of the year and the bright summer sun, and Grian the dark half of the year and the pale winter sun.[1]

In Irish mythology, Áine (pronounced “awnya” (Connacht Irish) or “enya” (Ulster Irish)) is a goddess of love, growth, and cattle, also associated with light and perhaps the sun. She is the daughter of Egobail, and sister of Aillen and/or Fennen. In some versions of the myth, she is the wife of Gearoid Iarla. In other versions, rather than having a consensual marriage, he raped her, and she exacted her revenge by either changing him into a goose, killing him, or both. In yet other versions of her myth, she is the wife or daughter of the sea god Manannan mac Lir. The feast of Midsummer Night was held in her honor. In County Limerick, she is remembered in more recent times as a “fairy queen”. She is sometimes mistakenly equated with Danu as her name bears a superficial resemblance to Anu.


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