|The Riders of the Sidhe|
Who are the Sidhe (pronounced shee) and what do they look like? Where do they come from? Are they ghosts or another race of being all together? These are the answers I am searching for as I read The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y. Evans -Wentz. I hope to come to my own conclusions by the time I am finished reading this book. Of course, the study of the Fae could take more than a life-time.
In this book, Evans-Wentz interviews many people on the belief in the Sidhe. From peasant folk to the well read scholars, he leaves no stone unturned. I find it fascinating that all levels of humanity in the time this book was written had a belief in the unseen. Whether Fae or ghost, they believed in something. Below are some snippets of stories I found of interest in this book so far.
On page 58 a schoolmaster is asked for his opinion on the gentry (another name for the Fae Folk).
"...They consider them the spirits of their departed relations and friends, who visit them in joy and sorrow."
On page 59 we have the opinion of an unknown Irish Mystic
"...They are described as a race of majestic appearance and marvellous beauty, in form human, yet in nature divine. the highest order of them seems to be a race of beings evolved to a superhuman plane of existence, such as the ancients called gods...."
So we have two different theories of who or what the Fae could be. I am leaning toward the fact that both could be right. Maybe after death some of us go to Faery Land and others go to Heaven or any other world that may exist. I will have to study this farther to truly understand , if it can be understood at this time.
My favorite part of this book so far is the section where Evans-Wentz has a question and answer session with an Irish Mystic. For now I will share the answer to the question of where the Sidhe come from.
Q.- "By the inner world do you mean the Celtic Otherworld?"
A.- "Yes; though there are many Otherworlds. The Tir-na-nog of the Irish, in which the races of the Sidhe exist, may be described as a radiant archetype of this world, .... In Tir-na-nog one sees nothing save harmony and beautiful forms. There are other worlds in which we can see horrible shapes."
There is much more to this question and answer session that I will share at a later date. It is refreshing to see that I am not the only one who believes in many Otherworlds. I have been to some of these worlds in dreams. Some are beautiful, pleasant place and some are worlds of pure horror. I think many of us have been to a few of these places in our dream-state. Trance journeys are a wonderful time to visit the Otherworlds. But just like in our world, there are beings you need to be cautious of, even in the worlds that are filled with beauty and wonder.
As I reads this wonderful book on the Fae I will continue to highlight the parts I find of interest and share them here. The adventure of finding out who the Fae are is turning out to be a trill ride. I am sure I will encounter some unsavoury beings, but I have met some of those in the human world.