Fairy rings are something that we sometimes come across while out in nature. While they are beautiful and quite captivating, they also hold a lot of meaning behind them.
For those who do not know fairy rings are circular areas of ‘abnormal turf growth’ according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison but normally they are referred to as mushrooms growing in a circle. These are thought to in regard to lore appear when fairies dance in a circle within that area. That having been said, they could just be empty areas forming a circle or flowers growing in an almost perfect circle that feel almost unnatural.
Now, within this article, we are going to dive into the magical side of things and really break down some of the lore behind fairy rings. While some people think they are traps of sorts, others believe that they are portals or places of transmuted energies. These rings can be quite large or quite small, but they do tend to be on the smaller side.
Utah’s State University wrote as follows on their website about these magical circles:
The name fairy ring comes from an old folk-tale. People once believed that mushrooms growing in a circle followed the path made by fairies dancing in a ring. Fairy rings are found in open grassy places and in forests. In grass, the best known fairy ring fungus has the scientific name Marasmius oreades. The body of this fungus, its mycelium, is underground. It grows outward in a circle. As it grows, the mycelium uses up all of the nutrients in the soil, starving the grass. This is the reason a fairy ring has dead grass over the growing edge of the mycelium. Umbrella-shaped fruiting bodies, called mushrooms, spring up from just behind the outer edge of the mycelium.
Large rings are created when the older mycelium in the center finally exhausts the soil nutrients and dies. On the death of the central mycelium, the nutrients are returned to the soil and grass can grow again. The living edge of the mycelium continues to grow outward. As it grows, it secretes chemicals into the ground ahead. These chemicals break down the organic matter, releasing nutrients so that the mycelium will have food when it reaches this area. For a brief time, the grass at the outer edge of the ring also benefits. The extra nutrients make the grass darker green, taller, and thicker than the rest of the lawn or pasture. This lush grass dies when the mycelium grows under it and steals the nutrients. Fairy rings made by fungi like Marasmius oreades are called “free” rings.
While that is more on the science side of things, I feel it is necessary to know how these fungi work in creating the rings they do. When it comes to superstition it is said that when someone stands in the center of one of these rings under the light of the moon itself, they can make a wish that will then come true. It is also said that if you run around the path of the circle itself nine times under the moonlight you will from there be able to see the fairies themselves.
All of that having been said it is according to Occult-World dangerous to do this on the Samhain or Beltane because on those nights the fairies may take offense and the person who disturbed them may end up being carried off to their world, leaving this one behind. While these rings are places of great power they can in that sense be quite concerning for those who refuse to educate themselves on the topic.
Actually, some believe that we should never enter into fairy rings as doing-so will place us into the fairy world whether that is our intention or not. From there the fairies would force the person who entered their world to dance until they basically can’t dance anymore. I guess at the end of the day if you’re entering them you’re doing-so at your own risk.
To learn more about fairy rings take a peek at the video below. While some think that by really focusing their energies within these rings they can tap into something more, it really depends on the person and how they make the most out of the energies these fairies leave behind in these places. I for one love seeing fairy rings and will always stop to enjoy them for a moment when I do spot them.