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This is the main blog for the fellowship Comhaltacht na nGaedheal: Cairdreabh nan Gàidheal. Edited and managed by Rob Barton

Nan Sìdhichean.....

Gaelic culture and religion.Posted by Rob Barton Sun, December 11, 2016 01:42PM
..... is Scottish Gaelic for The Fairies and the word Sìdh is a adjective that can be attached to describe any noun as being of a fairy nature..... of - of the fairy world..... There are lots of native terms in the Gaelic languages that are translated as 'fairy' and lots of euphemisms.... and they carry over into English.... The Good Folk..... The Fair Folk... People of the Mounds....... The Other Crowd.... Good Neighbours.... and many more...

Myths - tales - customs - traditions....... these things abound across Gaelic lands - and with an enormous variety of detail and thought as one moves from one local area to another.... even from one family to another.... some families and clans are directly related to the local Troop or Tribe or Kingdom of the beings of the Other-world..... the Fairy-world..... some people may have positive interactions with fairies while their neighbours may be terrified of the same local beings.... there are division of Seelie (nice/helpful) or Unseelie (dangerous) Fairies.....

..... it is my experience that Seelie and Unseelie are less a matter of identity and more a matter of mood and attitude.... and that any fairy can act mercurial.... so it is best to remain considerate and respectful of them so as to avoid giving offence...... I am constantly astounded by the people-folks who believe that the other-folks are generally interested in our lives in any significant way..... it has been my experience that fairies in general do not give a pair of poops what we get up too..... and we should all be very happy about this.... I know I am.... and I actually do intentionally interact with them..... from time to time....

Other-world..... fairy-world....... and it is just that - it is its own world with its own time and its own space and places.... and while we seem to focus on certain beings of the Realms of Fairy we should remember that there are fairy dogs... fairy horses.... seals..... birds..... pigs... deer.... goats (watch the goats) really pretty much every type of creature that we know will have reflections in the otherworld..... (be careful when chasing or following an animal, especially speckled or white ones).... there are fairy fields growing fairy foods and fairy trees bearing fairy fruits..... fairy tables holding fairy feasts.... fairy houses ..... it is a whole world - complete in and of itself (if you are lucky???smiley enough to visit, you might not wanna eat anything)

While there are certainly many beings and creatures of fairy..... don't look for the Disney versions of fairies with their cute little butterfly wings and scanty clothing over a buxom figure.... those cute little Victorian Fairies are not what you are going to find if you go looking..... and your Midsummer Night might see you looking like and ass in many ways... because there is more truth in the actual traditions than you can shake a spear at.... and cute... safe... loving fairies are not common to the lore.... even when they are a Leannan Sidhe (Fairy lover).... enjoy cautiously???? or run like hell and make sure that you cross a running stream as you flee...

This could become a book about fairies so easily... there are a lot if them already.... books that is.... well and fairies too... there are lots and lots of them..... every culture in the world seems to know them..... not as fairies (that's us) .... but with lots of words from lots of languages..... but there are many of these Other-world beings out there.... everywhere.

Some people hold that some of the Sìdhichean are the An Deithe (Un-Gods) of ancient lore..... sometimes people seem to be able to join them and become one of them... even sometimes taken as a child..... changelings we call them...... some people call these great and powerful other-world beings Sìdhechean Mor (Great Fairies) as opposed to the smaller nature spirits running around here an there who would be the Little Fairies or Sìdhechean Beag ....in some places a few of the ancestors are seen to have joined their ranks...

Whatever views one holds and whatever lore one has studied there are a few good practices to which one should adhere..... tip a drop of whatever you are drinking outside to them.... leave them goodies but always as a sharing of your bounty and NEVER AS A PAYMENT.... cookies on the window sill and bit of milk or even something stronger.... leave gifts at hollow trees or anywhere that feels like it sees you or is watching you.... and don't pee in those places or behind those trees...... if they do something nice for you, let them know that you appreciate it but don't say thank you (they really seem to hate that) .... and they don't like feeling like the hired help.... don't leave garbage lying around, they like things to be clean.

The basic principle is that you should try to be as good a neighbour to them as you can because they are your neighbours..... they are just around the corner.... it is just that it is the corner where worlds and parallel universes meet... and while we may not easily be able to go 'round that corner they can come 'round it any-where and any-when ..... time and space are relative to individual worlds so they can be justifiably angry today for something that you did tomorrow..... and you can give them a gift today that they received yesterday.... that's just the way that it is with them.