In County Meath, Ireland, on the Hill of Tara sits a mysterious stone known as the Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny). According to The Annals of the Four Masters, an ancient document written by Franciscan Monks between 1632-1636 AD, this stone was brought to Ireland by the Tuatha Dé Danann, a supernaturally gifted people. Some speculate it was they who brought the power to make bronze to Ireland. They were the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland.
The Tuatha Dé Danann, meaning the children of the goddess Danu, are said to have ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C. having arrived from the coast on ships. The Christian monks viewed the stone as a pagan stone idol symbolic of fertility. This stone was so important that it was used for the coronation of all Irish Kings up until 500 AD.
The goddess Danu in European tradition was a river goddess. We find her namesake in rivers such as the Danube, Don, Dneiper, & Dniestr rivers. In some Irish texts her father is said to be Dagda (the good god), a father figure in Irish tradition.
The Vedic tradition also has a goddess Danu, the daughter of Daksha, wife of Kasyapa Muni, who was a goddess of the rivers. The word Danu in Sanskrit means ‘flowing water’. As the daughter of Daksha, her sister Sati would have been married to Lord Shiva. Finally, Tara, meaning ‘star’ in Sanskrit, is another name for the wife of Lord Shiva. To practitioners of Vedic tradition the Lia Fáil matches very closely to the Shiva Linga.
Eventually the Tuatha Dé Danann were defeated in battle. According to legend, they were allowed to stay in Ireland only under the ground as the ‘Aes sidhe’ – people of the fairy mounds.