For today’s post, I have decided to take a brief look at faery rings. For those that are unfamiliar with faery rings, they are naturally occurring rings found in grassy areas. They are commonly spotted in the woods, in fields, and even in gardens and backyards.
This ring can commonly be made of stones, mushrooms, or even darkened grass. Faery rings are said by classical folklore to be areas where the fair folk would gather at night to dance. The rings themselves are the remains that we, as humans, can find afterward!
There was a long tradition of tales in Celtic lands that associated walking into a faery ring with finding oneself unwittingly in the Otherworld land of Faery. In fact, a lot of the folklore that relates to faery rings speaks of them in this way. Sometimes an unknowing human will get trapped in Faery for an extended time by walking into a faery ring the day after the revelry had ended, as the ring itself was still active.
Tales of getting trapped in Faery by walking into a faery ring the morning after are not the only folk tales that deal with faery rings. Many tales have been passed down of people finding themselves in the middle of the dancing faeries at night. In those tales, they are often said to be so caught up in the revelry that they literally danced themselves to death, as a human could not survive the faery stamina to dance the night away! We also see this reflected in later fairytales that take inspiration from older folkloric sources.
At the end of the day, faery rings are powerful portals to the Otherworld. In modern times, faery rings are not always seen as dangerous. In fact, in some modern faery witchcraft traditions, faery rings are celebrated. It is even possible to construct your own faery rings in order to invite the fae folk into your life! I hope that you have enjoyed learning a little bit about faery rings. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is an illustration of a faery ring. I found the image on https://powerlisting.fandom.com/wiki/Fairy_Ring_Creation.
- The Book of Faery Magic by Lucy Cavendish & Serene Connelley
- A New Encyclopedia of Fairies by Morgan Daimler
- https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/08/what-is-a-fairy-ring/ (This one gives a less magical explanation of faery rings when they are composed of mushrooms, for those interested)