Myths & Legends – Mushroom Circles

Mushroom circles, also known as fairy rings, have played a part in my imagination since I was young…and they’ve got the one superstition I am proud to uphold. Of course there are scientific explanations for mushroom rings, but we’re not talking about them here, okay? Okay.

fairyroom_t-h-thomas
Plucked from the Fairy Circle, T.H. Thomas Illustration

I don’t recall where I first heard or read of them, but I know I was drawn into the legend quickly. Though there are a few, the legend I started out with was the one that warned people not to enter a mushroom ring, lest you be transported beyond the veil, where you are forced to dance until you die of exhaustion. If you happen to get in and out of one, then the faeries will harass you, causing all sorts of mischief in your life. Stealing things, breaking things, etc.

 

 

I’ve only seen, I think, 3 mushroom rings in my entire life. The first was when I was at a park with 2 of my girls. I nearly cried when I saw it.

It was a glorious Fall day, and the ring was growing through the fallen leaves. A strong wind blew, and I saw it. My oldest daughter wasn’t sure what the big deal was, (she was maybe 6 at the time) but thankfully, she was old enough to be told the tale.

I count that as one of my favorite mom moments.

The second is hard to remember, but I’m pretty certain I had another sighting before my last one.

fairy-rigerThe last was in a graveyard of a person I’ve never met, but felt was going to be someone important to me. That entire day was special to me, and I still firmly believe there were signs that day, telling me I’m heading in the right direction in life.

With mushroom rings, some will say, “silly fairytales.” Others will swear by them, claiming that something special happened on the day they came across one.

There’s a song about the legend I know, called “Dance of the Wild Faeries.” I’ll share that below, with the lyrics.

Dance of the Wild Faeries

I wandered alone to the forest one night
Led by a music strange to hear
And followed the glow of a shimmering light
That seemed to grow distant as I grew near

The woods were alive with the fragrance of spring
But winter was everywhere clear to see
The moon shone bright and a bat on the wing
Beckoned me closer and said to me:

“A clearing close in the forest you’ll find
A fabulous banquet, a fairy ball
If you close your eyes and you open your mind
The veil disappears and you’ll see it all”

Come and play as the wild fairies play
In a magical circle, a fairy ring
You won’t want to leave and forever you’ll stay
Where the vision is bright as spring

Come and dance the wild fairy dance
Spin in a circle as fast as light
Once you begin you are caught in a trance
And the world can grow old in a single night

When I closed my eyes to the shimmering light
All memory faded and I could see
That a mushroom circle of red and white
And myriad fairies surrounded me

Beyond all space and beyond all time
On gossamer wings did the fairies fly
With a joy unknown to a music sublime
The fairies danced, and there danced I

Come and play as the wild fairies play
In a magical circle, a fairy ring
You won’t want to leave and forever you’ll stay
Where the vision is bright as spring

Come and dance the wild fairy dance
Spin in a circle as fast as light
Once you begin you are caught in a trance
And the world can grow old in a single night

“Those who seek us surely find us
See the trail we leave behind us
Some bewildered, some enlightened
Some are brave, some are frightened

Are we kind or are we vicious?
Nectar poison or delicious?
That, my sweet, you will discover
Fairy foe, or fairy lover”

Come and play as the wild fairies play
In a magical circle, a fairy ring
You won’t want to leave and forever you’ll stay
Where the vision is bright as spring

Come and dance the wild fairy dance
Spin in a circle as fast as light
Once you begin you are caught in a trance
And the world can grow old in a single night

I wandered alone to the forest one night
Led by a music strange and clear
If you happen to pass when the moon is bright
And the veils are thin you will find me here
If the veils are thin you will find me here

Whether or not you’re a believer in magic and the fay, the myth is always a fun piece of history to carry.

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