They were then investigated and publicized by a theosophist, Edward Gardner, and by a spiritualist, Arthur Conan Doyle (Cooper 1997, 51–74). It is said that the Sidhes energy signatures vibrate at a very different, and yet compatible rate to ours, and their proximity to us causes our energy fields to subtly, and sometimes dramatically alter, opening up whole new vistas of awareness for us 200 vs 50 day moving average crossover strategy to experience. Once a fairy prince came to a great chieftain of Connaught, one of the Kirwans, and begged for aid against a hostile fairy tribe that had invaded his territories. They also much desire the aid of a powerful mortal hand to assist them in their fairy wars, for they have often disputes and battles amongst themselves for the possession of some coveted rath or dancing ground.

  • And you really got me thinking about my favourite representation of such creatures.
  • (In later interpretations, each tribe of the Tuatha Dé Danann was given its own mound.) Geoffrey Keating, an Irish historian of the early 17th century, equates Iberia with the Land of the Dead, providing a possible connection to the aos sí.
  • Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure.
  • They evidently have a child; who the hell knows how that works!!
  • The court may include an English Barghest, but they live underground and are referenced as “the Good Neighbors.”54 The BBC show Merlin includes beings identified as “Sídhe” who nonetheless look more like popular fairies.

These powers include items such as clairvoyance, levitation, bilocation, becoming as small as an atom, materialization, having access to memories from past lives. Some believed that Danu and Ana were separate entities, even both are mother goddesses. The fairies, with their true artistic love of all the gentle graces of life, greatly dislike coarse and violent gestures. A notable feature of the sidhe is that they have distinct tribes, ruled over by fairy kings and queens in each territory.


This part of the legend contributes to the Changeling myth in west European folklore. In many Gaelic tales the aos sí are later, literary versions of the Tuatha Dé Danann (“People of the Goddess Danu”) – the deities and deified ancestors of Irish mythology. Some sources describe them as the survivors of the Tuatha Dé Danann who retreated into the Otherworld after they were defeated by the Milesians – the mortal Sons of Míl Espáine who, like many other early invaders of Ireland, came from Iberia. Geoffrey Keating, an Irish historian of the late 17th century, equates Iberia with the Land of the Dead.

aos si

She was known under various names, such as Danu, Dana and Anu in Continental Europe and Ireland. Lady Cloncurry, mother of the present Lord Cloncurry, was of this race, and in her youth was the acknowledged leading beauty of the Irish Court and celebrated for the rare fascination of her manner and voice. The Sidhe race were once angels in heaven, but were cast out as a punishment for their pride. These distinct categories of sidhe beings ties in with the testimonies of seers who divide the sidhe into wood spirits, water spirits, air spirits and so on, the elemental spirits of each place. The hold that the Tuatha De Danaan had on the Irish mind was so strong that the new religion of Christianity could not shake it.

Book 3

Human doctors and midwives taken to tend aos sí could return with knowledge or gold if they kept their heads. The “fairy doctors” who treated sí-related problems among humans were typically women who had been stolen away to the Otherworld, where they lived for seven years or until “they grew old and ugly.”34 Their special skills and knowledge was the trade for their lost time. If angered, they might strike with fairy shot, causing “paralysis, madness, blindness or permanent lameness.”22 Alternately, they might pinch and poke through the night or bring bad luck and illness on people.

  • Maybe that means the fairies weren’t always seen as “fallen.” Interestingly, in Chinese and Korean media, “fairy” is often used as a translation for the celestial maidens who serve the heavenly deities.
  • In magical lore and mysticism, seven is a magical number, though all numbers are ascribed certain properties and energies.
  • Also, I would totally leave offerings out for these spirits, like food and wine — if I didn’t have to worry about insect infestation.
  • There are relatively few depictions of the Irish fairies available in the public domain, and many of those that are have unfortunately been caught up in giving them wings and the like, rather than representing them as they appear in the stories.
  • The most common names for them, aos sí, aes sídhe, daoine sídhe (singular duine sídhe) and daoine sìth mean, literally, “people of the mounds” (referring to the sídhe).

Fairies as we think of them today are woven from several different mythological threads. The word traces back to the French “Faeries” whose aliases “Fées” and “Fêtes” point to a connection with the Latin “fata” or “fate.”49 These Brittany faeries were pictured as wearing white and being extremely beautiful despite the mussels and algae growing on their backs. Abductions and changelings appear in several cultures, including Norwegian trolls, while the Seelie and Unseelie Courts frequently seen in YA fantasy hail from Scottish lore.

Sí Who Must Not Be Named

This world is described in the Lebor Gabála Érenn as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk among the living. The ancient Sanskrit word Siddha refers to an enlightened individual who has attained a higher spiritual state of being, having divested of many worldly things which encumber the soul. Siddhais expressed in its most ethereal and radical form within the religious system of Jainism which ascribes these Siddhaa wholly spiritual form without a physical body, based on their ability to overcome the wordly things. Scholars of Irish, Scots and Manx Gaelic mythology will recognise this as a state of being usually ascribed to the ‘Sidhe’ people (Sith, Sí, Shee, Sighe), otherwise often called ‘fairies’, or the Tuatha Dé Danann. Thanks for providing the pronunciation because I would’ve had no idea how to say that!

The most common names for them, aos sí, aes sídhe, daoine sídhe (singular duine sídhe) and daoine sìth mean, literally, “people of the mounds” (referring to the sídhe). In modern Irish the people of the mounds are also called daoine sí; in Scottish Gaelic they are called daoine sìth (in both cases, it means “people of the fairy mound”). The word “fairy” can refer to many different types of mythical beings. Both the teeny winged fairies still popularly pictured and the wilder human-sized fae of YA and adult fantasy novels often reflect a patchwork of source material. Since it would take many posts to adequately cover all those sources, I’m going to focus on the aos sí of Ireland today. A fair amount of modern fairy lore hearkens back to these Good Neighbors, who, like most neighbors, were never really good or bad.

The ending is also something I will remember for a long time. It was unexpected and yet, really, it made more sense for things to happen that way. In Khasi mythology, the seven divine women who were left behind on earth and became the ancestresses of all humankind.

The fairies take great delight in horsemanship, and are splendid riders. Many fine young men are enticed to ride with them, when they dash alone with the fairies like the wind, Finvarra himself leading, on his great black horse with the red nostrils, that look like flames of fire. And ever after the young men are the most fearless riders in the country, so the people know at once that they have hunted with the fairies. There are also guardian sidhe of most of the lakes of Ireland and Scotland. The existence of fantasy elements in the real world provides the basis for magical realism.


The only stories I read where they didn’t catch on right away was when the changeling plays dead and someone else has to tell the poor parents their real baby is still alive. Actually, your conclusion about how the clash of powers drives one into the underworld makes me think of some of the Russian pantheon stuff I dug up. Peres, the thunder/sky god, is in constant strife with Veles, the watery god of the underworld who also had connections to livestock and strategies for trading volatility with options the forest. Veles, who keeps trying to rise up only to be crushed again, is very similar to the Leshy, a forest god sometimes considered to predate the Peres-ruled pantheon. Of course, the Russian pantheon suffers from the same lack of clear and/or objective written sources as the Celtic one. The agricultural god Jarilo also gets routinely sent to the underworld, first because Veles kidnaps him and then because he cheats on his wife and she kills him.

Seiðr practitioners were of both genders, although females are more widely attested, with such sorceresses being variously known as vǫlur, seiðkonur and vísendakona. There were also accounts of male practitioners, known as seiðmenn, but in practising magic they brought a social taboo, known as ergi, on to themselves, and were sometimes persecuted as a result. In many cases these magical practitioners would have had assistants to aid them in their rituals. The Cottingley fairy photographs, taken in 1917, came to light at a theosophist meeting in Bradford (Cooper1997, 34–35).

His death and rebirth were interpreted as the cycle of the seasons, how wheat grows then dies then grows again. 😅 Most of what I learned about him came from Lady Wilde’s “Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland.” Her stuff about the “Irish race” is pretty suspect and full of Aryan references, but her descriptions of fairy lore seemed ok. She mentions that Finvarra was very fond of stealing mortal women.

aos si

One of Tara’s most famous monuments is the phallic-shaped Lia Fáil, or Stone of Destiny. It likely played a role in early fertility rituals, and was later probably used to initiate the area’s earliest kings. Mac Suibhne explained, “The fertility idea merged into politics, as kings were believed to marry the land.” Irish archaeologists recently discovered an enormous egg-shaped temple lies directly underneath the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland. Conor Newman, an archaeology lecturer at the National University of Ireland at Galway, located the temple, which he believes dates from 2500 to 2300 B.C. Since 1992, Newman has been preparing a survey of the area for the state-funded Discovery Programme.

Post navigation

An Dagda does have the epithet “Great Father” and there seems to be a tradition about his thang for water nymphs. The Lebor Gabála Érenn describes the Tuath Dé arriving in Ireland in clouds of mist in their perfect knowledge. Cath Mag Tuired says that really they burned their ships, creating steam. I wonder if the idea that fairies were fallen angels contributed to the depiction of them with wings. Along the same lines, maybe it isn’t that fairies are fallen angels, but that angels are fairies who serve as heavenly messengers. Ah, yes, many a mythological misadventure could have been prevented through sharing food or simple politeness.

I really want to learn Irish at some point, but it’s pronunciations are often not intuitive from an English-speaking perspective. True, I sometimes forget about that aspect of “sowing.” 😅 I guess it just seems best forex trading platform choices of 2021 like going at it like Zeus would be really bad for, you know, actually planting crops. 🤣 But sowing and “sowing” were figuratively analogous in the human mind… That’s a pretty could point you make, really.

There are modern cryptid sightings of fae-like beings in America, but I’m not sure that those are quite the same as American fae. Ack, the Finvarra theory is gigantic, it’s part of my crazy speculations about the blacksmith goddess, ha! Ug I even have a finished bit of writing to post… but whatever it’s more fun being here instead.

Also, the fear of abduction and changeling concept is certainly frightening. Since recently learning about the changeling myth, I’ve had so many questions, like why do these innocent babies have to be sacrificed to this “evil one”?! Or does it ever happen without the knowledge of their true parents? Also, I would totally leave offerings out for these spirits, like food and wine — if I didn’t have to worry about insect infestation. The aos sí took on the name “fairies” and some of the popular fairy characteristics as time went on.

For instance, there are a whole bunch of places in the Táin Bó Cúailnge/Cattle Raid of Cooley where men who otherwise seem to respect Queen Medb make very pointed remarks about her female rule being unnatural and disastrous. I have to suspect some of the 11th century transcribers of the tale threw those in to keep things in line with the narratives of their times. I did notice that there were stories in Lady Wilde’s “Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland” that involved both angels and fairies. Maybe that means the fairies weren’t always seen as “fallen.” Interestingly, in Chinese and Korean media, “fairy” is often used as a translation for the celestial maidens who serve the heavenly deities. I love how Jack and Estelle disagree about whether the fairies are all good or all bad, but in the end they just have their own goals and they don’t care how their actions look to humans.


Post comment

Go Top