Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe
Everything you ever wanted to know about Irish fairies
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. 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. /Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe/ 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.
Click on the circles below to see more reviews
I have always been a fan of Morgan Daimler’s work, and this book is no different. Aos Sidhe (pronounced Ace She) is a small book, only about 75 pages not including the resources, bibliography, and other back matter. For such a small book, Morgan does an amazing job giving the reader a glimpse into many different types of Sidhe, their folklore, and the potential history of the Sidhe. Morgan dedicates an entire chapter to Changelings, which I find fascinating as a subject and important as a topic. There is a lot of folklore around changelings, both historically and moving into modern times. I think it is really important that Morgan touched on this subject that can be controversial today. Morgan briefly touches on the idea that some believe changelings were no more than mental or physical disabilities. They mention that that removes the belief in changelings altogether, so it really depends on the person. I enjoyed this chapter myself because Morgan Daimler included stories from folklore of real people to give the reader a glimpse into how these beliefs shaped lives. One thing I always enjoy about Morgan’s books is the back matter, the things that are written after the book. I know the book itself is important, of course, but the author doesn’t just write 75 pages of folklore and educational material and leave it at that. Morgan includes two appendices — a terms and pronunciation guide as well as a resources for further study section that includes books, YouTube channels, and people that they recommend. There is also a substantial bibliography available at the back of the book so you’re not left alone wanting more information. All in all, I really recommend Aos Sidhe by Morgan Daimler, especially if you are interested in the Irish Othercrowd. This book is not flowery in language. It is matter-of-fact, academic-leaning writing with no discernable bias. It leaves you with the information you need to get started on the research path, or just enough information to quell your curiosity! ~ Round the Cauldron, https://roundthecauldron.com/2023/03/04/book-review-aos-sidhe-by-morgan-daimler/
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. FULL REVIEW: https://annecarlini.com/ex_books.php?id=373 ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review
This is a slim book but packed with information, so be prepared to read slowly. I loved that the author included a terms and pronunciation guide, and this came in very useful while I was reading. There are also useful resources listed at the end of the book, including books and websites, so I can continue my exploration of the fairy folk. Written in a conversational tone, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to explore their own Irish heritage or has an interest in folklore and fairy tales. ~ SpookyMrsGreen, https://spookymrsgreen.com/2022/10/05/bookreview-aos-sidhe-meeting-the-irish-fair-folk-by-morgan-daimler/
"Surprising exactly nobody who knows me, or my own work, I absolutely loved this book. For those who don't know me, I'm an Irish author with multiple books on my own native spiritual traditions, run the Irish Pagan School, and I'm now pursuing an MA in Irish Regional History. With that context in place, and understanding that I don't usually see a lot to recommend in non Irish authors writing from outside the culture... buy this book. Daimler's latest work will bring you on an easily digestible guided tour of the Irish Fairy Faith traditions, laying the beliefs and best scholarship out exactly as it is, from who and what They are to how to deal with Them as safely as possible. They even get into busting some horribly common misconceptions that you do NOT want to fall prey to, if you have a genuine interest or belief in the Irish Sidhe. Seriously. Buy this book." ~ The Irish Pagan School
Journeys have not been easy to come by for me this summer. However, although the pandemic kept my physical travel plans on hold, I was able to journey to the Emerald Isle with Morgan Daimler to visit the land of the Fair Folk through the pages of Pagan Portals – Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fairy Folk of Ireland. Ireland is one of my favorite places to visit but I do remember being warned not to disturb the places where the fair folk dwelled. I was surprised by this warning as we are living in the 21st century. Did people still believe in the fair folk? This book answered my question with a resounding “Yes!” In the Author’s Note, Daimler indicates that she is “writing this book because of an aisling, a vision, I had and because I feel like this book is a necessary thing to help people sort out Irish folk belief from pop culture and fiction.”1 Aos Sidhe (pronounced Ace Shee) means “people of the fairy hills” or people of the Otherworld. According to Daimler, “They are the beings who interact with our world but exist in and come from a place that is foreign to our world, and that is the realm of the sidhe, beneath the earth, also called an Saol Eile, the Otherworld.”2 The English term for Aos Sidhe is fairy. Although short in length, the book is packed with various sources of information on what Morgan refers to throughout as the Good Folk or Fairy Folk which “do not exist within one cohesive grouping.”3 The book is divided into six chapters. Chapter One investigates just who the Aos Sidhe are by looking at folklore and myth. Chapter Two, “Across Belief”, provides sources of accounts with the Fairy Folk, including anecdotes of people who have had experiences with the Aos Sidhe over the last hundred years or so that they have chosen to share. There are certain times and places, liminal points, where one could have a greater chance of encountering these beings or as Morgan writes “running afoul of the Fair Folk.”4 Samhain, the month of November, and Beltane are the strongest times. Various traditions grew around these times to appease or avoid bothering the Fairy Folk through offerings or ways to protect one’s self from the Fairy Folk. To make matters worse for us humans, the Fairy Folk cannot be seen except by choice, only manifesting in physical form if they so desire. Chapter Three focuses on Changelings, “a fairy surreptitiously put in the place of a human being.”5 Typically, those taken are infants, young children, newly married adults, and new mothers. They are taken to increase the number of the Fairy Folk, or for entertainment, or on a whim. She recounts four cases from 1826 – 1895 of people who were accused of being changelings and the treatments they suffered at the hands of friends and family, all of which ended in death. To aid in protecting against being taken, iron and Christian holy items were used, such as pinning a safety pin to a baby’s clothing or by the sacrament of Baptism. Descriptions of the types of Fair Folk are covered in Chapter 4. A few favorites stand out in this chapter for me. Having grown up watching the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People. I was scared at a young age by the screams of the Bean Sidhe (banshee) in the movie. This “woman of the fairy hills” is probably one of the best-known of the Fair Folk, as being one who predicts death. I was surprised to learn that there are Cat Sidhe and Dobharchu or water dogs. Other Fairy Folk include Maighdeana Mhara, or “sea maidens” or mermaids, Puce or goblins and sprites, and Ronata, seal folks who the Scottish refer to as Selkies. The Ronata use seal skins to transform themselves. Of course, everyone has heard of Leprechauns whose name is thought to come from the Old Irish word, luchorpan which means a very small body6. According to Daimler, there remains debate as to whether Leprechauns are part of the ranking order of Aos Sidhe or are separate, distinct beings. Chapter 5 is titled “Safe Dealings with the Fairy Folk or Good People” to ensure people responsibly interact with these folks. As Morgan warns: “Throughout recorded accounts of the Aos Sidhe there have always been humans who have encountered or interacted with these beings, sometimes with good results and sometimes with bad results.”7 She cautions that there are rules to interacting with the Good People in order to promote safety but that there are “real risks of encountering or dealing with these beings.”8 The chapter covers etiquette, offerings, and protections that include things to carry on one’s person in those liminal times (such as salt or a red thread) or hanging an iron horseshoe above one’s door. Chapter 6 and the Conclusion deal with common misconceptions of the Good Folk. Morgan reminds us that “stories of these beings have been woven into Ireland’s very earth for well over a thousand years.”9 Daimler notes that the book is meant to be an introduction not a tome. Also included at the end of the book is a much-appreciated Terms and Pronunciation Guide. Though, I would have liked to see this at the beginning of the book, as I spent the entire book mispronouncing the Irish terms. I highly recommend this book by Daimler, an author with many books on subjects such as Fairies, Brigid, and Irish Paganism to her credit. I learned a lot in reading Pagan Portals – Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fairy Folk of Ireland, but I have to admit that it left me with an uneasy feeling. I do not want to cross these beings, or inadvertently encounter them. I avoid conjuring them up. I recently resisted the temptation of staring too long at a fairy garden because as Morgan reminds the reader, the Aos Sidhe are “always leaving but never gone.”10 ~ Anne Greco, https://musingmystical.com/pagan-portals-aos-sidhe-meeting-the-irish-fairy-folk-of-ireland-by-morgan-daimler/
Daimler (Pagan Portals—Raven Goddess) delivers a handy reference guide to Irish fairies. Mining the Irish folklore collection at University College Dublin, Daimler explores the myths surrounding the “people of the fairy hills” known as aos sidhe who, according to Irish legends dating back to the ninth century, are short, humanoid creatures who come from the “Otherworld” and dress in antiquated fashion. The author describes common motifs in aos sidhe stories, and notes that the beings are said to be visible only to a select few humans and can cause mysterious illnesses with a power called the “fairy stroke.” She furnishes recommendations for engaging with fairies and suggests readers respect fairies’ privacy, refrain from bragging about being blessed by fairies at risk of losing the blessing, and decline any offers of fairy food, which would prevent one from returning to the mortal world. A comprehensive reading list provides resources for those who want to dig deeper. Daimler makes for an enjoyable tour guide through the realm of the aos sidhe, moving briskly through the legends around the fairies without sacrificing thoroughness. Readers of magic and the esoteric should take note. ~ Publishers Weekly
I'm sure everyone expects me to be hyped in every sense of the word because of this book, and I am. It's hard to say anything negative about Morgan's work, what they've done, they write, and how the present all the information. Being an expert in the field, you can't not expect perfection coming from them, and that's exactly what you get in this book. Although brief, Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fair Folk is a book that summarizes pretty much what you need to keep in mind if you want to start working with the Aos Sidhe. From etiquette to folklore, types, protections, associations, and even some history regarding their accounts. I would say my favorite part was the one about misconceptions. Morgan debunked a lot of them with ease, and I can only wonder the amount of work it should have taken to do it. For those who've read Morgan Daimler's previous books, there won't be much new information. Maybe a few more bits and pieces of information that will come at handy, new explanations, resource, etc. However, I do think it will be useful for many to have this introduction at hand with the most essential and most of the basics covered. All in all, Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fair Folk will be an instant favorite for those interested in Irish folklore and mythology. Far from being exhaustive, it serves as an excellent introduction with a solid foundation, and easy-to-follow style that could serve as a starting point for newcomers interested in Daimler's work. As a side note, if interested in knowing more after reading this book, I would recommend reading A New Dictionary of Fairies and their Fairy Witchcraft trilogy (Pagan Portals - Fairy Witchcraft; Fairycraft; Travelling the Fairy Path; Pagan Portals - Living Fairy). ~ Kyler B. Warhol
"Pagan Portals Aos Sidhe- Meeting the Fairy Folk of Ireland, by Morgan Daimler is a refreshingly reliable read in a field rife with misunderstanding. Daimler's solid research concisely covers both types of fairies as found in Irish folklore and mythology and the wider fairy traditions of Ireland with insight and clarity. A great introduction and resource." ~ , Danu Forest MA Celtic scholar and traditional wisewoman, author of Wild Magic- Celtic folk traditions for the solitary practitioner .
"An excellent overview of the Aos Sidhe and their place in Irish culture through time. The strength of Morgan's work is its sound foundation in the Irish source material which she clearly references and encourages and inspires the reader to dig deeper into this facinating topic. This book is a great resource from soneone who has researched the topic indepth and who seeks to ensure a strong introduction to help clarify what is from the original culture and belief and what are later add ons. Another gem from an important author who can take the diverse and hard to find strands scattered through our medieval texts and present them in a concise, lucid and educational way. I consider Morgan a National Treasure of Ireland for her work in service to promoting indigenous Irish spirituality." ~ John-Paul Patton, author of The Poet's Ogam and Lightning Bolts and Dew Drops: a Cauldron of Poesy
Daimler has once again produced an invaluable resource. This book is for individuals who believe in, or want to believe in, the Fairy Folk and is an essential read for all of the above; a work that is intellectual, accessible, and absolutely un-put-downable. It was a literal cover-to-cover experience for me and I’m going to read it again as soon as I finish typing this sentence. ~ ~Courtney Weber, author of Brigid: History, Mystery and Magick of the Celtic Goddess and The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might.
In her book Pagon Portals: Aos Sidhe, Morgan Daimler shares with us magical lore and as well as how to work with these enchanting fairy beings. She also dispels many of the misconceptions of these magical folk that have crept into our modern storytelling so that we may have a more accurate idea of who the Aos Sidhe really are. This wonderful book takes you into the liminal space between magick and history revealing the enchantment of the Aos Sidhe. ~ Chris Allaun author of Otherworld: Ecstatic Witchraft for the Spirits of the Land and A Guide of Spirits: A Psychopomp’s Manel for Transitioning the D
'Our best short book on the Aos Sidhe: Morgan writes elegantly, humbly and wittily about Ireland's oldest community.' ~ Simon Young, folklorist
Once again, Morgan Daimler delights us with an exceedingly informative and useful guide to an aspect of Irish folk belief. This book is the perfect introduction to the Aos Sidhe, and guides the reader through many of the initial questions one might have when beginning to delve into this topic. As always, Daimler’s writing is accessible and approachable, and this book will delight complete beginners to the subject of Celtic fairy lore, or those hoping to expand their knowledge. Daimler provides a wealth of knowledge within such a small book. I truly believe that this book will act as a leaping board for many who wish to delve into the world of the Aos Sidhe for years to come. Dispelling misconceptions, and tackling the most frequently asked questions, this book is a treat from beginning to end. ~ Mhara Starling, author of Welsh Witchcraft: A Guide to the Spirits, Lore, and Magic of Wales
Pagan Portals Aos Sidhe by Morgan Daimler is a 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. Daimler’s respected research and voice has borne fruit yet again. Sure to be referenced in future works for years to come. ~ Amy Blackthorn, author of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic and Blackthorn’s Protection Magic
This handbook is essential for anyone looking to dip their toes in the ocean that is Irish fairy lore and for those wanting to lay the groundwork for their studies into genuine Irish fairy lore. It is no easy feat to condense the vast corpus of Irish fairy lore into a book of this size, but this treatise neatly ties the older material into modern folk belief and serves as an excellent introductory volume on the subject. This book also gives the reader the tools to further their research and importantly differentiates between good and bad sources pertaining to the subject. ~ Shane Broderick, folklorist