Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe
By: Morgan Daimler - Moon Books, $12.95
Description: An introduction to the Aos Sidhe, the People of the fairy mounds, and to Irish fairy beliefs, this book takes readers on a journey to understand the place that fairies have had in Ireland across the millennia and into today.
Verdict: So we are all on the same footing here, Aos sí (pronounced [iːsˠ ˈʃiː]; older form: aes sídhe [eːsˠ ˈʃiːə]) is the Irish name for a supernatural race in Celtic mythology – spelled sìth by the Scots, but pronounced the same – comparable to fairies or elves.
They are said to descend from either fallen angels or the Tuatha Dé Danann, meaning the People of Danu, depending on the Abrahamic or pagan tradition.
The aos sí are said to live underground in fairy forts, across the Western sea, or in an invisible world that co-exists with the world of humans. This world is described in the Lebor Gabála Érenn as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk among the living.
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). Indeed, they are variously said to be the ancestors, the spirits of nature, or goddesses and gods.
Furthermore, these beings can be found playing roles both significant and subtle in folk belief and their stories are part of the land itself, making them an intrinsic aspect of Ireland. And yet for those who haven’t grown up with these beliefs there can be many misunderstandings and confusion surrounding who they are, and what they can do.
And so Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fair Folk by Morgan Daimler will help people new to the subject, as well as those with a wider knowledge, to understand the range and depth of the folk beliefs. Covering everything from myth and folklore to modern anecdotes and specific types of Irish fairies, this book provides a solid understanding of what can be a difficult subject.
In short, Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe is a very well-researched and timeless guide to understanding the Aos Sidhe, stripping away the modern folklore of common parlance to find the rubies and emeralds within.
Opening with Who are the Aos Sidhe, Morgan then brings us the more expansive Across Belief into the Changelings chapter, into the highly in-depth Types of Fair Folk, before concluding with sections on Safe Dealings, Popular Misconceptions and a beautiful Conclusion.
So yes, for all of you inquiring, Daimler’s respected research and voice has burst lovingly forth once again, but as he freely admits, he primarily wrote the book because of an aisling, a vision, he had and because he felt like this book was a necessary thing to help people sort out Irish folk belief from pop culture and fiction.
That said, and no matter the inspiration, he has again presented his beliefs as objectively and as honestly as possible for all to read and for that alone, trust me when I say that this book is most assuredly going to be referenced in future works of this ilk for years to come.
About the Author - Morgan Daimler is a blogger, poet, teacher of esoteric subjects, witch, and priestess of the Daoine Maithe. Morgan is a prolific pagan writer, having published more than a dozen books under Moon Books alone, and she is one of the world’s foremost experts on all things Fairy. She lives in Connecticut, US.
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