What are fairy rings and What do they symbolize?
Fairy rings are circular shapes that just appear in the landscape in forests or grassy areas. For centuries they have been associated with the presence of fairies, elves, pixies, witches or the Devil.2 3
In English and Celtic folklore, these rings were caused by Fairies, Elves or Pixies dancing in a circle. It was said that if humans joined in the dance uninvited they would be made by the fairies to dance in the ring until they passed out from exhaustion.
Another folklore story is that you should never step into a fairy ring, as you may become invisible or become trapped there forever. Some people would leave tributes in these rings as a way of avoiding bad luck or gaining favour with the local fairies.
Christian religious leaders demonised and/or highjack the local traditions (they would say that fairies were either Angelic or Demonic) as a way of forcing people to the faith. Therefore Fairy Rings are thought to be good or bad luck, depending on the tradition.
A lot of people believe that they bring good luck and that they are a sign of a fairy village underground nearby.
What happens if you break a fairy ring?
That depends on the traditions you follow, some magic spells call for interactions with fairy rings, either by collecting dew from the grass or flowers inside a ring. Other believe that even the simple act of collecting dew from the grass or flowers in a fairy ring can bring bad luck.
Destroying a fairy ring is largely believed by a lot of people to be unwise.
These days we know a lot more about Mycelium and how it works and thus we have another explanation for these mystical seeming circles, but personally I still treat the Fairy rings with respect, if for no other reason then out of respect for the traditions and beliefs of our Celtic ancestors.
Interested in fairy doors? Check out this collection
Head Photo Head by Meik Schmidt.
2nd and 3rd Photos By Scot C. Nelson