Once upon a time…
A fierce goddess creates the land and her daughters show that women are the passionate core of a thriving culture. A couple of men are needed to keep that going, as long as they understand their worth.
For generations, their descendants and the primal forces that would keep the land empty battle back and forth, only for one half of a priest / priestess team to be driven into the unknown north.
A passionate goddess emerges as both female and male to attract a suitor, but failing that, takes her own self and another women to bed to jumpstart the universe.
Her legacy passes through the obviously queer Odin, who shares his great grand-Mother/Father’s unique vision of the world. He respects her through adopting Loki, whose gender-fluidity is legendary in its impact.
And he even gifts his son in marriage to some strange people from the south, who can shape change, are beautiful and may not have had any born-daughters among them.
They did, however, have the gift of immortality to gift to the gods, a gift it’s almost certain they would have used on themselves as well.
The ones who burned this knowledge don’t want it to return.
They don’t want people to question why a fairy tale about a girl getting married was so popular and so resilient it lasted for century after century.
They don’t want to ask why a queen would have to wish after a daughter, as opposed to simply being blessed with one, or the significance of dwarves within the stepmother’s territory, or why the prince was there, wedding a corpse so easily.
That might expose the ideal of two men marrying, one identifying as a daughter and one rejected by his brothers, and the ones who burned the old stories don’t want that.
This is what happened next.
While the people of Eire and Nemed’s direct physical heirs left for the north, a group that combined Fodla’s people with Eire’s descendants come back to reclaim their land. Fodla’s people use spears this time. They manage to cement their control, the Fomor not even showing their faces, still recovering from Nemed’s failed revolution. They begin to divide the land into five parts and settle.
Then the people from the north return.
They are altered beyond recognition from their time, returning with impossibly powerful weapons and godly demeanor. They call themselves the Tuatha de Danaan. This has been translated in some places as “People of the Goddess of the Crafts.”
It is never mentioned who the Goddess is.
They come across their kin and negotiate for use of the land; the Firbolg, remembering past generations fighting the Fomor, resist, and it’s brought down to single combat.
The Firbolg prove their worth, but the Morrigan then interferes, marking the Tuatha as her full heirs. The land is given to them and the Firbolg take a fifth as their place in the world.
This transfer of power came just in time as the Fomorians came roaring back. For the first time, the people of Eire attempt to treat them differently, intermarrying to try and stabilize the balance of power.
This ends up as a mistake, and for a time the people of Eire labor under the rule of the half-Fomorian Bres. Not to be defeated, the Tuatha craft a way out of the situation and then led a full-out war.
It was costly but the strongest of the Fomorians were killed and the rest driven permanently back into the sea.
The rest of the people came from over the sea, the Milesians, to rejoin their kin. This should have been a joyous celebration. But an accidental misunderstanding led to a very quick, brutal conflict. The Tuatha abandoned the conflict so they would not harm their kin.
They gave providence over their lands to their successors and, in return, were given lands which have various names.
The lands under the hill.
The lands past the sunset.
The Island of Apples.
There, they went, their task of creating and securing the world done. The age of humans in the world of Deep Ocean began fully at last.
There is nothing remaining to say that the People of the Goddess of the Craft went underground. Like ‘maggots’, as the Aesir used to call the original alfar.
And there is nothing remaining to say that the Island of Apples was not named in favor of the goddess herself. Idunn, a she/they who married an Aesir prince and brought the gift of immortality to not one but two races of gods.
There is nothing remaining to say that without this energy, which defies gender roles and wantonly challenges the status quo, the worlds of two people would never have started.
There is nothing remaining to say because the stories have been burned by men of little faith, with a stolen manuscript, and a need to escape their own oppressive chains.
This is only a dream. It is only imagination. This is only a story.
Unless it isn’t.
Unless people are starting to remember.
Once upon a time…