Gifting the Sidhe (aos sí) ~
The aos sí or Sidhe are a supernatural race in Irish/Scottish tradition comparable to or thought to be the beings known as fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. This world is described in the Book of Invasions (recorded in the Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living.
In the Irish language, aos sí means “people of the mounds”. In Irish literature the people of the mounds are also referred to as the daoine sídhe and in Scottish Gaelic literature as the daoine sìth. They are said to be the ancestors, spirits of nature or goddesses and gods.
In folk belief and practice, the aos sí are often appeased with offerings, and care is taken to avoid angering or insulting them. Often they are not named directly, but rather spoken of as “The Good Neighbors”, “The Fair Folk” or simply “The Folk”. The aos sí are generally described as stunningly beautiful, though they can also be terrible and hideous.
The Gaelic Otherworld is seen as closer at the times of dusk and dawn, therefore this is a special time to the aos sí, as are some festivals such as Samhain, Beltane and Midsummer.
The placing of appeasement gifts is thought of particular value at this time (even on this date) as Samhain draws near. Lore asserts that the Sidhe abhor a miserly spirit so it is considered worthwhile to leave small but generous gifts of fruit, food and drink on one’s doorstep, in the garden or any outside place of meaning…