The beautiful Ériu is a famous Irish goddess who shares her name with the Island of Ireland itself (Éire is the modern Irish word for Ireland).
Ériu is seen as the goddess of Irish sovereignty, and is associated with empowerment and the abundance of the land. She has often been used as a personification of Ireland itself, and appears in many tales and paintings depicting the country as such.
Most of Ériu’s stories in mythology take place around the time of the Milesian invasion. She was the wife of Mac Gréine and had a romance the Fomorian King Elatha with whom she has a son named Bres. Bres became King of the Tuatha Dé Danann after the King Nuada stepped down, but he was deeply unpopular and soon replaced by Nuada once again.
Ériu had two sisters – Banba and Fótla. When the Milesians arrived in Ireland, each of the sisters asked that the land be named after her. Ériu met the Milesians at her domain on the Hill of Uisneach, and they were so impressed by her that they agreed to name the country after her.
The sacred Hill of Uisneach was the home of Ériu, and it is here that she was laid to rest. Buried alongside her is the god Lugh. They were laid under the most famous monument on the hill, the Catstone, or stone of divisions.
Ériu’s main associations are with Ireland and sovereignty. She is also associated with the bounty of the land. She has a quick and fierce temper and does not allow herself to be walked on by others.
Modern pagans see her as a goddess of fruitfulness, abundance, empowerment and maternity. She is invoked as an antidote to self-doubt and feelings of powerlessness, and also by those who wish to connect to Ireland itself.