Counted among the oldest of the ancient Celtic gods in Ireland, Ana (also known as Anu, Dana, Danu, and Annan) possibly embodied the primordial scope, with her epithets describing her as a mother goddess. Thus the Celtic goddess, often portrayed as a beautiful and mature woman, was associated with nature and the spiritual essence of nature, while also representing the contrasting (yet cyclic) aspects of prosperity, wisdom, death, and regeneration.
The role of Ana is very much pronounced in Irish mythology, where she is often referred to as Anu, Danu or Dana, and is considered as the divine mother of the Tuatha Dé Danann (‘people of Dana’) – the supernatural race (or tribe) of Celtic gods that possibly formed one of the major pantheons of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland. To that end, her cultic center was probably based in Munster, while two hills in County Kerry are still known as Da Chich Anann (‘the Paps of Anu’). The goddess Don in Welsh mythology was also often associated with her matronly Irish counterpart. As for the historical side of affairs, Ana (or her related deities), in spite of her relative inconspicuousness in folkloric references, was counted among the major Celtic gods not only in Ireland but also in Britain and Gaul.