What is Fairycraft, Part III – “The Otherworld & the Fairy Gods
This week, I’ll continue to share more of the concepts and beliefs found in the fairy faith in my journey of understanding and in my sharing of this particular tradition.
The book, “Fairycraft ~ Following the Path of Fairy Witchcraft,” by Morgan Daimler, has figured prominently in my understanding of the fairy faith. I’ve quoted several passages from the book for convenience.
Since the beginning of time, there has a been a belief in a place called the Underworld, or the Otherworld. It is thought that when we die we go into limbo, or pass into the Inbetween.
In Tibetan Buddhism, this place is called the Bardo, a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death. (Wikipedia.org) It is a place where we pause to reflect before being reborn into another body. I’ve simplified the concept of the Bardo as it is much more complicated than I’ve stated.
In the fairy faith, the Otherworld is the place where the spirits go after death. This is sometimes portrayed as another dimension.
“Celtic mythology calls “The Otherworld” (Orbis Alia) as the “Realm of the Dead, the Home of the Deities, or the stronghold of other spirits, and the Mighty Sidhe.” (Technogypsy.com)
Folklore suggests the Otherworld exists beneath the sea, or even as belonging to a realm that is invisible to humans. In my mind, I picture the realms of the elementals, the fairies, the gods, and the Otherworld as distinct dimensions, like layers of transparency that float over our universe.
Irish mythology describes the Otherworld as a place where no one grows old, gets sick, or dies. There, eternal peace rules. This is similar to the Christian belief in Heaven.
The Fairy Gods
“Fairy Witchcraft honors any deity that is connected to the fairies, which can include a wide range depending on the culture a person prefers.
Fairy Witchcraft also has a special group of deities which are honored called the liminal Gods. These are nameless Powers which are referred to by titles: the Lady of the Greenwood, the Lord of the Wildwood, The Hunter, and the Queen of Wind.
The Lady of the Greenwood and the Lord of the Wildwood rule during the light half of the year, from Beltane until Samhain, and are also honored on the full moon.
The Hunter and the Queen of the Wind rule the dark half of the year, from Samhain until Beltane, and are honored on the dark moon.
There are other liminal Gods as well, of many different kinds who may appear in different ways, but these four are the main ones honored in Fairy Witchcraft.”
A fairy witch always has a choice in who they decide to pay homage to. Daimler includes the list below. Remember, these are suggestions, but it is best to select a few that deal particularly with the fairy realm. (I’ve added the Wikipedia links to the names so you can do your own research).
“Freyr (Norse): Said to be the ‘owner’ of Ljiossalfheim, the home of the light elves
Odin (Norse): Associated with the Wild Hunt, who some sources say include the Fey
Frau Holle (German): Associated with the Hiddenfolk
Frau Perchta (German): Associated with a type of Fey called the perchten
Hecate (Roman/Italian): In later periods called the Queen of Fairies
Nicneven (Scottish): Goddess of witches and a Fairy Queen
Gwynn ap Nudd: Welsh God of the Underworld/Otherworld and King of the Fairies
The Tuatha De Danann: All of the Irish Gods are associated with the fairies because it is said the Gods went into the fairy hills when humans came to Ireland.”
*Daimler, Morgan. Fairycraft: Following The Path Of Fairy Witchcraft (pp. 28-29). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Fairy Witchcraft honors a tradition where the practitioner looks to the gods as a connection between the gods and the fairies. We want to foster that kind of connection as part of our practice. It all depends on who you forge a connection with.
The Liminal Gods
Daimler pays homage to the Lady of the Greenwood and the Lord of the Wildwood, and the Hunter and the Queen of the Wind. She says:
“The liminal Gods are not like other deities – they have no millennia of myths and stories behind them, no layers of theology, no nuanced understandings. They are both primal and wild and the only way to truly understand them is to experience them directly. They are of Fairy.”
*Daimler, Morgan. Fairycraft: Following The Path Of Fairy Witchcraft (p. 32). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle Edition.
This post explains Daimler’s thoughts about the liminal gods in more detail: Irish-American Witchcraft Honoring the Liminal Gods.
**I searched for links to the lore behind these liminal gods but found little about them. I’ve quoted the author to explain who these liminal gods and goddesses are. If you are interested in following this path, please buy the book: Amazon.com.**
“The Lady of the Greenwood is a Goddess of potential, growth, healing, and ultimately life. She nurtures and comforts as well as guides and inspires those who follow her, and her energy is boundless fertility, sexuality, and beginnings. She is often portrayed as wearing green.” (Daimler)
“She is also often accompanied by different animals, particularly deer, hounds, cows, bears, and rabbits. Her special bird is the wren and her tree is the rowan. Roses are her flowers. I often see her as a woman in her prime, full figured and smiling, with light brown hair. She is the soul of the forest and its Queen, the Queen of the Greenwood, the quintessential Fairy Forest.” (Daimler)
“The Lord of the Wildwood is a God of the physical. He is physical prowess and good health, a spirit of movement and action that embodies the will to live, to overcome, to win. He is the nurturing masculine element that guards and protects but is also the sense of adventure that drives exploration and takes risks. He can be seen in every father protecting his young, in the urge to reproduce, the lust for life that drives us, and in the fullness of completion.” (Daimler)
“He is a guardian of the wildwood and a protector of the life within it. He appears clad in shades of brown, from the light tan of tree bark to the rich deep brown of fresh turned earth. His animals are the horse, stag, bull, mouse, and fox. His birds are the bluejay, pheasant, and sparrow. His tree is the oak and his special plant is the foxglove. I see him as a man with dark brown hair, clean shaven, carrying a staff hung with many charms, with a look of mischief on his face. He is the spirit of everything that lives in the Fairy wood, its King, and he rejoices in lives well lived.” (Daimler)
“The Queen of the Wind is a Goddess of the deep dark time of winter, of renewal, introspection, and enchantment. She is the balance between death and life that creates harmony. A Goddess of magic, she is a seer who knows all fates without judgment and therefore is a deity of divination. She is death and rebirth, the cold earth holding the sleeping seed and giving rest to the bodies of the dead. She is the spirit of the wind carrying ice and snow that kills and the wind that brings the warmth of spring that thaws and renews. She appears clad in white, her hair black and shifting in the wind that accompanies her. Her touch is rest, and peace, and relief, as well as magic and new beginnings. Her animals are the white hind, the skunk, and cat. Her birds are the crow and the owl. Her tree is the birch and her special herbs are the nightshade and the bluebell.” (Daimler)
“She appears to me as a stately woman, strong and beautiful, her hair always moving, clad in white and carrying a sword. She is the spirit of timelessness that exists between the worlds, the essence of the liminal spaces of that which was, and is, and may yet be.” (Daimler)
“The Hunter is a God of planning, tactics, and wisdom. He is the psychopomp who guides the newly dead into the next world and carries new souls into this world to be born. He is the blade separating life from death and the energy planting each new soul in the womb. Within him is the heart of every warrior, beating fiercely, the shrewdness of each predator seeking a meal, the ruthlessness, and determination to make the hard choices and see them through the tough times.” (Daimler)
“The Hunter is the guardian of every living thing in the darkness of winter, and also the one who will bring death or grant life. His colors are black and grey, his animals are the wolf, boar, weasel, and porcupine. His birds are the hawk and goose. His tree is the yew and his plants are the fern and dandelion. When I see him he appears as a well-grown man, blond and bearded, strong and enduring. He carries a bow, which is always strung, and a quiver of dark arrows. He is the timeless moment that is always now: the instant before the arrow strikes, the moment when first it hits, and the blood flowing afterward; he is all of these things at once and always.” (Daimler)
You can seek the guidance from the liminal gods any time you like but they are the strongest during the times they rule. To connect with these gods one must be open to the possibility of their existence.
A final reminder from the author:
“Remember though that all liminal Gods contain both shadow and light within themselves and that they are all directly part of Fairy in ways that other traditional Gods are not.”
Daimler, Morgan. Fairycraft: Following The Path Of Fairy Witchcraft (p. 37). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Thanks for stopping by to learn about Fairycraft. See you next week. ❤