It is not at all surprising, given the relatively little mythology and folklore which has been written about him. Given the lack of grand narrative. Given the functional, and lets face it understandably depressing, role of lord of the dead. Even the allusions to him are scarce and you have to be looking out for them to really notice at all. Yet, for all of that, there is an almost universal (as small a universe as it may be) consensus of Donn being a definitive example of a pre-Christian god, and not just a literary invention.
Having said that, it ought to be mentioned that the scant amount is scant only when compared to more luminary mythic figures, especially those who are generally counted among the Tuatha De Dannan. To have information, and a fairly concrete mythology to boot, however, is in itself a rare thing when it comes to the mythic texts. Donn is unique in that he is not counted among the TDD, yet is none the less recognized as a deity. The exemplar of a deified ancestor, albeit there is nothing said about his own line (whether he had sons or daughters), but the line of his brothers did indeed continue. With folklore holding his residence as the destination of all the Gaels after death, it is certainly reasonable to view it as such. The interesting thing about this, is that the ancestral nature is not used to justify anything in the present (contemporary) accounts; no one gave Donn as their ancestor to legitimize their rule, the same way that say Nuada has been utilized.
I suppose that, given all this, Donn still lacks the star power of An Morrigan, Lugh, Brigid or An Dagda; then again Cthonic deities are seldom seen in the light, let alone the limelight.
On the other hand, if the gods are in the habit of reaching out to us (and personal and anecdotal evidence certainly support this conclusion), then perhaps Donn is simply a very selective god? Wow, that must make me really special and unique...
|The Dark Lord Favours Me!!!|
It makes sense that from "our" end, the deities with more interesting or compelling stories are the ones people seek out, and inversely are the same who seek "us" out. It is an interesting theological line of inquiry, that there is an observable correlation between the popularity of a deity, and the size of its devotee's/worshippers. Well, actually that isn't interesting, as much as its blatantly obvious. No, the interesting aspect is that because the relationship is (supposed to be) a two way street, that the more popular deities are also the more extroverted ones. So judging from the litany of UPG and SPG detailing these personal or shared experiences, and taking them at face value, the gods are reaching out to us in a very real, arguably observable way.
I expect this to be somewhat disconcerting because lets face it, GRP's (and CR's in general) are a rational lot and (my own biases definitely showing) the idea that we are actually being sought after by deities can be, well overwhelming to say the least. I posted the image above in jest, because it is all too easy to fall into delusions of grandeur and self importance. Yet there is something very comforting in the realization that the gods want us to seek them out, and they seek us out in return. We are not just praying, singing or screaming into the void. We are rebuilding something precious, something sacred, and it is difficult to articulate the significance of this in words alone...
The night may be long, and full or terrors, but we are not alone.