In case you haven't noticed I have totally fallen in love with this deck. It's a deck that I had been thinking of getting for some time but after reading a review of it on Bonnie Cehovet's blog I decided to finally order it. What a brilliant deck! As someone who works a great deal with the world of the Fay and who is mostly connected to working within the Celtic world, this deck spoke quite strongly to me on that level, but from a purely artistic standpoint it's colorful and vibrant and different. Some of the visual interpretations that Emily Carding worked with for this deck are truly refreshing (particularly her Warrior Ten/Ten of Swords). Truly a fabulous deck all around.
So at first I thought we would work through the deck together from start to finish since that's just the logical way to do this sort of thing. But then I was guided not to do that, specifically being guided not to apply logic to this process since the deck isn't one that draws on logic but on just about every other mental faculty. Instead I'm just going to shuffle the deck and pull a card and we'll go from there. I'll be doing these posts twice a week until we work through the whole deck. I'm going to continue to do the weekly and monthly tarotscopes with this deck as we work with it in these posts.
With this post I wanted to just give an introduction to the deck and how these posts will go. Then (today) I'll be posting the first Tarot of the Sidhe posts. If you don't have the deck, not to worry! I'll be sharing photos of the cards so that you can see what they look like but you can also visit Emily Carding's website for the deck to get a better idea of what the deck is like. Please consider purchasing a copy! You'll be glad you did.
So the first thing we should talk about is what or who are the Sidhe? The Sidhe (pronounced "shee") are a race of magickal beings that have long been considered part of the faery races. They are also sometimes known as the Sith within the Scottish culture and mythology. The word "sidhe" means "mound, hill, or earth barrow". When we talk about the race of the Sidhe we're talking about beings who reside within these mound and hills. The specific type of mounds that are referred to here are burial mounds and this creates a strong link with this race of faeries to the dead. In time the word "sidhe" became connected with the Old Gods; these were the deities of the early people of the Celtic lands that, as Christianity began to spread, were being driven underground. The Old Gods began to morph into the Fair Ones themselves. The Sidhe began to be seen as the Fay who Witches and other magickal people were in contact, or in some cases in contract with.
They are sometimes regarding as being a darker or "negative" race of the Fay because they are said to kidnap babies and replace them with Changelings or that they steal away beautiful young women in order to make them faery brides. It's also thought that they make a habit, and to some a hobby, of cursing humans. From my experience this is something that is more of a misunderstanding and a way that people have tried, through the telling of myth, to deal with what they don't understand. While they are somewhat of a darker, or what I would call "heavier" race of the Fair Ones, I think that's largely due to their connection to the Underworld and the dead. And we all know that this is something that many people fear because it's something that is just largely misunderstood.
The Sidhe are often depicted as being very tall, thing, with long flowing hair that sees to become part of the environment around them, creating another link to the earth that they reside in. They have a deep connection to the earth and the animals that reside within it which is one reason that it's not uncommon to find the Sidhe depicted with animals and birds around them. Some people say when they connect to the Sidhe in their magickal or journey work that they are always accompanied by certain animals or birds who can often become animal guides for connecting to the Sidhe races.
I think that Emily's deck is fantastic at connecting with the Sidhe and making their Underworld wisdom more understood and accessible to us. This is one of the reasons that I am enjoying working with them so much and why I have decided to bring them into the blog in this manner.
Please participate in the discussions in the comments. Ask questions, share your own interpretations and thoughts. The great thing about the way I work with the cards is that I address them from an intuitive point of view. So what you see in these cards may be different than what I see and that's part of what I love about working with others to interpret the cards.