DIY: Sidhe (fairy) mounds out of tree stumps
There was a dead duo of trees that needed cut down in the yard before they fell down on the neighbor’s house, which left two foot tall stumps. I had considered taking an axe to them, to get a little exercise, but then luckily my weekly thought popped in: I should turn them into an outside shrine to the Sidhe!
As the trees were rotten, the stumps were hollow. So my first thought was to add some wooden rods inside one of them as steps for the Shining Ones to use when they wanted to come out. Not that they would need it, but I thought it would make it easier if they wanted to use it. For the steps, I had purchased an eight food 1x1 piece of wood, and cut the sections by measuring the inside of the stump. Naturally, if your tree stump had not been rotten, this part would be skipped. In the other, I used the wood to create a triangular holding platform so I could set offering plates on it.
Then over the “steps,” I placed a little lattice and covered it over with fill dirt and added a few plants, as well as a pumpkin (it was September when I first put it together – this past spring, I planted some wild flowers that are just now starting to come up). The area around the stumps was flat, so I used the fill dirt to build up a slope around the front and then planted grass seed.
I also wanted to decorate the area around the stumps, so searched around the local hardware stores to see if they had anything that would suit. It’s amazing what you can find on sale if you go at the right time of year (so I’d recommend just occasionally stopping by and seeing what seasonal specials they have, for use at later times).
I got quite lucky and found, on sale, ceramic mushrooms, solar powered flower lights, and glass paned candle lanterns, one of which I used as a candle holder on the platform, to light the way for my ancestors to share in the offerings I leave out for the Lords and Ladies (and the others I am working on a Samhain/Halloween project). The offerings are usually placed in a dual-hole bowl for liquids, the smaller hole for ale and the larger holds milk, and on a plate for food. Luckily, there is a flat spot on the stump next to the lanterns where I set the offerings, which allows the lantern to stay. As an extra note, I did make sure that none of the items contained iron. The Shining Ones would not appreciate that very much, after all!
Naturally you’ll want to create your own style and make it your own, but even if this just gave you some ideas on what you can do, I consider that a helpful success. Slainte!
Note: article first written in the fall of 2014 -- by the time all the grass had grown in, it was late spring 2015.
© 2016 James Slaven