From the Archives: The Sidhe

By David Spangler

In my last blog I described my encounter with the Sidhe who called himself “the Lord of the Forest” and offered as well a passage on the concept of anwa from my oldest Sidhe contact, a woman named Mariel. Afterwards it came to my attention that many readers of the blog may be unaware of who Mariel is. So I’ve reached back into my archives and am offering this excerpt from Views from the Borderland (Year 2, Volume II). This also gives a sample of some of the material that I cover in Views, which is the place where I share the “field notes” of my experiences with subtle beings and with the subtle worlds.

The Sidhe

“Sidhe” (pronounced shee) is the oldest known name for the faery races of Ireland and means the “people of peace.” They are known by other names in other cultures and are often thought of as being nature spirits, but in fact, they appear to be a branch of the human species that did not fully descend into matter with the rest of humanity and thus remained in the non-physical world. The spiritual teacher R. J. Stewart refers to them as our “cousins,” and another spiritual teacher, John Matthews, has written a book about them (not surprisingly called The Sidhe) which Lorian Press publishes.

In the winter of 2011, my colleague Jeremy Berg and I were contacted by representatives of the Sidhe to collaborate on the creation of a card deck that could act as a point of connection with them. This was a great surprise to me as I had never had any contact with them in the past. The nature of the contact was different from anything I had experienced before and initially was difficult to maintain. However, the collaboration proved fruitful and delightful, and that summer, Lorian published its results as the Card Deck of the Sidhe.

I thought that might be the end of it, but the contact continued on and off, although weeks or months might pass between one visit and the next. Recently, a new cycle of contact and communication has started, and I want to offer my field notes of what has been transpiring as part of this issue.

The initial contact in 2011 was made by a female Sidhe accompanied by two males. Then, as the card deck project developed, she withdrew into the background and the two men came forward as my primary partners, one of them in particular. As I mentioned, the initial contact was difficult to sustain as it was different from anything I’d experienced before. The Sidhe, at least as I experience them, are not subtle beings, though they are non-physical. This may seem an odd way to put it, but after more than sixty years of contact with subtle beings, they have a kind of “solidity” to me. I am familiar with their vibrations and, more importantly, how they impact and interact with my own subtle energy field or aura. But initially, the Sidhe seemed to me wispy and diaphanous, hard for me to focus upon and hold, like trying to grasp quicksilver. I would sense movement, like white banners or ribbons wrapping around me and then fading away but surrounding me with a definite sense of presence. They interacted with my own energy in a way I had not previously known which required me to adjust my own methods of attunement and perception as well. Interestingly, this difficulty of contact and the fact that I had to work for it was one factor that convinced me it was genuine.

But as we worked together, it became easier to maintain the contact. It even came to the point where I could sense their forms, something I had not been able to do. Sometimes the female presence would come and sometimes not. The men seemed to regard her as a matriarch of some nature and as the one in charge of their team. They certainly seemed to think very highly of her and to hold her in high honor and love. When I was with her, she had a feel about her of someone versed in working with the inner planes and in making contact with other dimensions. So in my own mind, I thought of her as the Priestess.  

(I should say here that I am not good with names. I struggle to remember the names of people whom I meet and even at times the names of friends and family slip from my mind, much to their amusement. With subtle beings, their “names” are often a vibrational signature that expresses their complete identity and is thus not readily or easily reducible to a human name. The Sidhe do have names, but they seemed to me more like melodies than words, again a complex weaving of ideas and qualities that summed up a person’s nature in the moment.)

[Note: Eventually, I named this woman Mariel. This is a name that came to me out of that complex of images and sensations that arose when she was present;her actual name sounded to me like the joyous cascading of water over rocks in a stream.]

As I said, when the card deck was completed, the contact ended for awhile. Occasionally, the woman or the younger of the two men would return for a very brief time, but there were never any extended communications or conversations. I felt that my assignment with the Sidhe was finished.

But recently the woman returned, her presence stronger and clearer than before. Communication was much easier than it had been at any time in our work on the card deck. Apparently progress has been made in our connection.

This time she didn’t have a specific project in mind but wanted to offer her reflections about the work between humanity and the Sidhe. Our conversations took place over several days. Here are the highlights as I jotted them down. In so doing, I am writing on her behalf, putting her thoughts into my own words as the bulk of our communication was non-verbal. As much as possible, I have tried to capture the feel of her. She was serious, but at the same time there was lightness and a sense of joy and humor always just below the surface. I have felt this every time I’ve been in contact with the Sidhe. They seem to me a fundamentally joyous people.

Interestingly, what initiated this latest round of communications was a human tragedy: the mass shootings at the movie theater in Colorado. I had written a response to this event for our Lorian newsletter but was continuing to think about it and its aftereffects within the subtle energy environment. It was then that the woman appeared, her thoughts matching my own but going beyond them.  Here is what she said at this first contact:

We sympathize with your sorrow. We also are not immune to the shocks that run through the energy fields of humanity and of the earth itself. The sufferings and pains of your world reverberate into our own. More precisely, they reverberate throughout the planet as a whole, and our realm is a part of this world just as yours is. So we cannot be unaffected.  

This is particularly true for those of us who have chosen to live and work close to the physical plane in order to bridge the gaps between us. Think of us as flimsy, wispy clouds when we draw close to your world. The winds of your emotions can blow into and through us unless we are anchored by your calmness and love.  

Of course we stand in our own strength as well, and my partner here [a male Sidhe who was my primary contact when I was working on the Sidhe card deck and whom I can sense in the background as she speaks] laughs at the image of me as a wispy cloud, but there is still a truth to this. We have ways of protecting ourselves and minimizing or even canceling out the impact in some instances, but those of us who are working at the boundary to make future collaborative partnerships possible surrender some of these protections. We have to make ourselves vulnerable in certain ways if we are to achieve the closeness and connections we require to work with you in new ways. We open ourselves to your hearts and minds and to the forces that flow through them. If we do not do so, if we distance ourselves from your energy, we cannot make the connections we need to make in partnership with you.

Here is where we need your help, for we must draw on your steadiness of heart and spirit to steady ourselves. In a way, you are our protection from the storms of emotion and thought that humanity creates. So you see, to do our work we need you.  We need you to be like a rock, not unfeeling—no, never that—but strong and grounded and able to give shelter against the emotional and mental winds that blow through your world.

    [End of Excerpt]

A Final Thought

I’m actually glad of the opportunity to add a coda to my blog earlier this week. It’s wonderful to tell stories about the Sidhe; we all enjoy stories of the magical realms and beings that can impinge on our own. But it’s also easy to relegate the Sidhe to the status of an esoteric phenomenon, interesting but not necessarily possessing any relevance to our everyday lives.

For me, one of the values of thinking about the Sidhe is that they open our hearts and minds to considering our world in an expanded way. Wonder surrounds us, but more often than not we are blind to it. One of the things that drew me to science when I was a teenager and made me seek out a career as a molecular biologist was the way science revealed the miraculousness of nature and the wonders inherent in the world around us. We think of science as contributing to “hard-nosed realism,” but most scientists I have known became scientists because of their romance with the beauty and elegance of nature. For them, science is a discipline of wonderment. This was certainly true for me.

The Sidhe reintroduces us to that sense of wonder, I feel. If such beings can exist, what else may exist in our world? How much have we circumscribed our reality by insisting that it is only what we can see and touch? What doors and windows have we shut to the mystery and awesomeness of creation, preferring to live our lives fixated only on what we see on our screens?

The Sidhe for me are like a touch of a larger world, offering an invitation to expand our vision and our sense of possibilities. As the movie ad says, “Go large or go home!" I don’t have to have contact with the Sidhe for this to happen. I simply have to be open to larger potentials within myself and within my world, willing to explore, willing to suspend disbelief, willing to open my heart to new dimensions of relationship and connectedness.

Contact with the Sidhe has been a blessing and an on-going adventure. They bring wonder with them. But I felt blessed long before Mariel and her companions showed up, and life has always had its wonders. The adventures that surround me come as much from my wife, my kids, the land around me, the presence of friends, the challenge of work. I don’t need the Sidhe, but I do need the world. I need to be open to the world in a spirit of joy and love. That this is the spirit they embody and offer to us is why I think they are important, but it’s still up to me to embody that spirit in the particulars of my life.

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