"In Ireland this world and the world we go to after death are not far apart."
- W.B. Yeats
The Heaven-World of the ancient Celts, unlike that of the Christians, was not situated in some distant, unknown region of planetary space, but here on our own earth. As it was necessarily a subjective world, poets could only describe it in terms more or less vague; and its exact geographical location, accordingly, differed widely in the minds of scribes from century to century. Sometimes, as is usual today in faerie-lore, it was a subterranean world entered through caverns, or hills, or mountains, and inhabited by many races and orders of invisible beings, such as demons, shades, faeries, or even gods. The underground world of the Sidhe-folk was divided into districts or kingdoms under different faery kings and queens, just as the upper world of mortals.
In the old Irish manuscripts, the Celtic Otherworld was located in the midst of the Western Ocean, as though it were the 'double' of the lost Atlantis; and Manannan Mac LIr, the Son of the Sea - perhaps himself the 'double' of an ancient Atlantean king - was one of the divine rulers of its faerie inhabitants, and his palace was there rather than in Ireland. And in that island world there was neither death nor pain, nor scandal, nought save immortal and unfading youth, and endless joy and feasting.