Offerings of the Naiads Book Project

Please help fund our research project and publication of our book “Offerings of the Naiads: Holy Wells and Sacred Springs in Western Culture” by our Founders.


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Faerie Winterland

We’re gearing up some activities with Santa’s Elves as naughty merriment will take place with our crews at the Portland SantaCon, Seattle SantaCon, and Bellingham SantaCon this month. We hope to sponsor a misfit toymaking party as well soon in Mt. Hood, Oregon area …. inquire darkleaves@gmail.com for more information and interest …


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Mobile shop, festival tour – Spring and Summer

We’re gearing up for the Spring and Summer season of festivals, fairs, and events. The Festival Theme Camp Tir na nOg and The Tree Leaves’ Oracle festival booth will be a joint manifestation of treasures, gifts, art, and services from The Tree Leaves Oracle (Pirate, Faerie, eco-, fantasy, and folklore collections), Technogypsie Treasures (found treasures, unique art, post cards, photo cards, art prints), Technogypsie Productions (photo booth, costumes, face and bodypainting, tarot reading, photography, design, characters, and art services), and Pirate Relief (Pirate garb, gear, and treasures). Our camp appears in the Tir na nOg portal that will open across North America during different times and locations. This shopping cart will remain in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – however our selection of books and faerie figurines will vary with availability when we are away from our base camp. The Tir na nOg theme camp offers colorful body painted characters of lore and fantasy, magic shows, a Mad Hatter’s tea party, themed fairy forest, parties, classes, workshops, and events. If you want us at your festival with our talents, book us today via technogypsie@gmail.com.


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Tree Leaves’ Oracle Leaf and Dragon Shop Holiday Hours:

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE:

The Online Shop will be open 24/7 as usual for receiving and processing order payments, however any orders received after 2 pm on Christmas Eve (12/24/14) will not be shipped out until January 8th when we return from Ireland. We will still be able to answer questions and internet inquiries daily during Holiday Break.

The Leaf and Dragon, our brick-and-mortar storefront will be closed for Winter Break December 25-January 7th

The physical storefront all of these online goods are displayed at may close as early as 2 pm on Christmas Eve (December 24) and will re-open its doors on January 8th with fresh new stock, gifts, and surprises as well as new stuff from Ireland and the United Kingdom.

We wish you the happiest of holidays this Winter Season, regardless of your faith or tradition, may family, community, and prosperity surround you. Happy Yule, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Saturnalia, and a very Happy Roman New Year!

Our Winter edition/Newsletter is available here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treetalk/vol5-no4/TreeTalk-Vol5-No4-2014.pdf

TreeTalk-Vol5-No4-2014-coverpic


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Tree Talk: Volume 5, number 4: Winter Edition

The most recent edition of Tree Talk, the quarterly newsletter of The Tree Leaves Oracle and The Leaf and Dragon is now available. You can come into our store at “The Leaf and Dragon” 33 North First street Suite 1, Ashland, Oregon 97520 to grab a physical copy (or subscribe by being a member of the Tree Leaves’ Folk Fellowship) or free PDF version here: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/treetalk/vol5-no4/TreeTalk-Vol5-No4-2014.pdf. Enjoy! Leaf

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2014 Fairy Human Relations Congress

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2014 Fairy Human Relations Congress
* June 27-29, 2014 * Skalitude Retreat * Twisp, Washington * www.fairycongress.com *

Every year around the Summer Solstice in June, Fairies and Humans gather together to network, communicate, co-create, and bridge relationships on Planet Earth. Specifically focusing more on Nature Spirits, Devas, and the Faery Realms rather than on the Sidhe, Fae, and Faerie, the more human-like races also attend this spiritual gathering. The Congress was first held in the early 1950’s by Daphne Charters in England, but migrated to the United States under directorship of Michael Pilarski at Skalitude near Twisp Washington. The first American gathering was held in 2001 and became an annual event ever since. It was the early ones that I first attended and then with my travels around the world and moving away from the Pacific Northwest, I haven’t had the chance to return until this year. Amazingly it has retained its same beautiful community natured cohesion, peacefulness, center of love and harmony I remembered from 2003-2004. It has grown a bit with more attendees, but never infected with the riff-raff you get at most other festivals. It still has the trustworthiness and balance I remembered loving about the first Pagan gatherings and festivals I went to. Not having to worry about theft, violence, disorderliness, nor people with ulterior motives. The Congress is like the very first spiritual Rainbow Gatherings (before Rainbow fell apart and decayed with riff-raff) meeting a Pagan academic conference. Peace, Love, Healing, and Community empowered the grounds the entire space of the event. I felt recharged and rejuvenated albeit it I was unable to attend many workshops or rites since I was chasing around our little one and watching our festival booth The Tree Leaves Oracle.

As the world has been seeing a full blossom of Fairy and Faerie festivals popping up around the globe, this is the only one that I’ve ever attended that is primarily knowledge and spirituality based unlike some of the others that are music festivals wrapped around the faerie cloak, commercial malls, fantasy dress-up balls, role-playing game conventions, and what-not on a different level than you experience here. This is a true community with more rituals than a normal human can handle and great workshops abound. The music scene is primarily drum circles, although some bands and entertainers will take the small stage in the evenings. The entertainment is drumming, dancing, meditating, yoga, frolick, and education. Of course all the fairy / faerie festivals I attend all have a spiritual nature and rites/rituals embedded in their fabric, but many you have to be “in the know” or hunt around for those aspects if you seek them. Not here, they will be an essential part of your experience. It was good to be back after a 10-12 year hiatus.

Every year, world renown authors and experts on faerie/fairy wisdom hold workshops and classes at the event. Next to the rites and rituals, this is the prime purpose of the Congress. This year, the congress secretly began on thursday and ended on monday as opposed to the flier posted dates – with a special immersion workshop thursday evening by Michael Dunning on “The Dragon Body”. Friday Morgan Brent did “songs from the Garden”, Kirsten Sogge did Eurythmy, Aimee Ringle a Meadow Walkabout, followed by a communal breakfast, opening ceremony and morning circle, Joanna Schmidt on “Opening and Nurturing Your Intuitive Gifts”, Diane Pepper “Meeting Your Multi-Dimensional Selves”, Maia Klevjer “Introduction to Shamanic Journeying for Young Adults”, Joseph Freeman on “Animal Communication”, Ellen van de Viss on “Gardening with the Joyful Devas and Nature Spirits”, Saphir Lewis on “Standing Up as a Human in the Co-Creaetive Relationship”, followed by a communal lunch, then David Spangler on “Understanding the Subtle Worlds: A Foundation for Partnership”, Orion Foxwood on “Growing the Tree of Enchantment: A Journey of Fairy/human Co-creation and Companions”, Laurence Cole: “Listening Deeply to the Emergent song of Now”, Michael Dunning: “Standing in the Power of the Spiritual Stream of Human Becoming”, Creeksong: The Taoist 5 Element(al)s: Using Ancient Sounds as Invocations”, Bridget Wolfe & John Curtis Crawford: “The Alchemy of Unity: When the Whole is more than the Sum of its Parts”, Evening Yoga with Kat Allen, Integration Hour, Circle, a communal dinner, Ecstatic Dance and Drumming with Burke Mulvaney and Friends.

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Saturday saw repeat performances and presentations of Friday morning, with added in the afternoon Jacqueline Freeman: “Shrines: Doors to the Fairy World”, Michael Dunning: “21st Century Grail Stream and its Guardians”, David Spangler: “Partnering with the Subtle Worlds: Rules of the Road”, Flora LaRayne and Fransisco: “Blossoming: A Soul’s Longing”, Deborah Koff-Chapin: “Bringing the Subtle Beings into Form Through Touch Drawing”, Shoshana Avree: “The Essence of Existence, Essence of your Soul”, followed by communal lunch, and then
Rj Stewart: “Elizabethan Fairy Magic”, Orion Foxwood: “Clearing the Soul Cage: Cultivating Presence, Clarity and Wonderment”, Saphir Lewis: “Attunement for Powerful Co-Creative Communication”. Ellen Vande Visse: “Gardening with the Joyful Devas and Nature Spirits”, Bridget Wolfe & John Curtis Crawford: “Being in the Other: A New Perspective o Co-Creation”, followed by repeat activities from friday night of yoga, integration, and communal dinner. After dinner was the main Ritual and Fairy/Human Parade, Acousitc Concert in the Lodge with RJ Stewart, Drumming/Dancing/ and Merriment all night long. Sunday had repeat activities from friday and saturday morning, but after Circle held the spectacular “Angel Wash” in the meadows, and the afternoon presentations of Anastacia Nutt on “Celtic Fairy Traditions: Herbs, Charms and the Wise Ones Who Made Them”, Creeksong “Cernunnos: Lord of the Forest, Lord of the Wild Things”, Orion Foxwood: “The Re-Sourcing Prayer: A Technique for Attunement and Alignment”. Jacqueline Freeman: “Honeybees: The Vibratory Voice of Transformation”, Dolores Nurss:”Dreaming with Fairies”, Closing Circle followed by Yoga, Integration Hour, and communal Dinner. Monday had a special Immersion workshop by RJ Stewart of “The Four Cities of the Tuatha de Danann: Beyond the Hidden Crossroads”. It was a most spectacular weekend with clear weather, good sun, fun nature, and a charming community. All meals were communal and included in the festival fees – good wholesome vegan, vegetarian, and free-range organic foods. The food alone was worth the 12 hour drive we had entering this realm.

In previous years, the notable speakers and workshops were done by Peter Tompkins (Secret Life of Plants), Findhorn co-founders Dorothy Maclean and David Spangler, and teachers in the Celtic Faery tradition RJ Stewart, Caitlín Matthews and Orion Foxwood. Other presenters also included flower essence specialists, animal and plant communicators, shamanic practitioners and herbalists, wildcrafters, fairy seers, intuitives, geomancers, Bards and Druids, and Native American storytellers.

The founders and organizers feel this event is very important as the Congress affects the planet by joining with the nature, devic, and other higher realms to bring more peace, love, and understanding into the world with a goal of not escaping the outer world but to positively affect it. It is a time on the globe wheras multiple crises are affecting humanity and they feel it is very important to seek alliances with as many light forces as possible in other realms. Although many deny their existence, the fairy realms and Mother Earth are big players in what is happening on the planet and this vanguard event bring these people together with an intent for communication and cooperation for ourselves and humanity. They feel that the event has more fairies, devas, and light being in attendance both seen and unseen, albeit registration for 2014 was over 250 in attendance, with a feel of close to 300+ frolicking in the meadows. It was a perfect sized event and one I hope to return to again and again for years to come. It has been a long time since I’ve had a good recharge like I did at this event which makes it worth all the more.

~ Leaf McGowan, Druid, Ovate, Faeid, & Healer
founder of the Faeid Fellowship, Tree Leaves Folk Fellowship & Pirate Relief
www.technogypsie.com/chronicles

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Photos from the Event:

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Summer Tour 2014

We’ve got an exciting summer planned … In addition to vending our wares at the upcoming festivals, we are planning on opening a new storefront in Ashland, Oregon teamed up with the world famous Viking wares supplier Jelling Dragon from the U.K.

Visit us during ~

JUNE 2014 at:
Fairy-Congress-Handbill14-450

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The Great Forgetting

Cross-posted from http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/have-you-heard-of-the-great-forgetting/ with lengthy article here: . Reference: Quinn, Daniel date-unknown “The Great Forgetting”. Website referenced 1/26/2014 at http://www.filmsforaction.org/news/the_great_forgetting/.

Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life

Republished from deep-ecology-hub.com
By Deep Ecology Hub

The Great Forgetting refers to the wealth of knowledge that our culture lost when we adopted our new civilized lifestyle. The knowledge that allowed indigenous cultures to survive, the knowledge that we had once also been tribal and the understanding that we were but one mere culture of thousands. All of this disappeared in a few short generations.

The Great Forgetting accounts for an enormous cultural collapse as once tribal people found themselves in a new and strange mass centralized society. New beliefs, new ways of life rushed into this cultural vacuum to fill the void. But without being tested by natural selection over thousands of years this new culture was evolutionarily unstable.

It is only recently that the Great Forgetting has been exposed. Understanding it holds the key to making sense of our destructive culture. And remembering what it is that was forgotten holds the key to our future.

How The Great Forgetting Took Place

It began around 10,000 years ago when one culture in the Near East adopted a new way of life that humans had not tried before.

They began to practice an intensive form of agriculture which enabled them to live in a settled location.

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Lia Fáil: The Stone of Destiny

Hill of Tara

Lia Fáil

The Mythic Cycle: According to the 11th century text known as the Lebor Gabala (The Mythic Cycle) this is an enchanted stone of high magic. The mythical remnant of the Tuatha Dé Danann, one of the four magical treasures gifted to Ireland when the faerie people settled here as the story goes. Legend has it that the Tuatha Dé Danann were first instructed within the four cities of Falias, Gorias, Murias, and Findias in the “Northern Isles” of Druidry and magic. They traveled from these cities with a magical item from each city, these treasures are known as the four legendary treasures of Eire. This stone came from Falias. The other three treasures were the Sword of Victory (Claíomh Solais), The Spear of Lugh (Sleá Bua), and Dagda’s Cauldron (Coire Dagdae). “Lia Fáil” means in Irish Gaelic “the Stone of Destiny”. It is sometimes confused with the Stone of Scone, of which the Blarney Stone is rumored to be made of. There are references at Blarney Castle suggesting the Stone of Scone and the Stone of Destiny are one of the same, though this is not accurate and is more modern Irish urban myth.

Hill of Tara

The Stone of Scone Myth: It is believed that the stone is that upon which Moses struck his staff when he parted the Red Sea for the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt or alternatively part of Jacob’s Pillow where the prophet Jeremiah brought it to Ireland or the Stone of Ezel which was used by David when he hid from King Saul or the traveling altar stone of St. Columba. Whatever the origin, it is rumored to have been brought to Ireland during the Crusades. From there it was said to have become the Lia Fail atop Tara until Robert the Bruce took it to Blarney Castle and gifted to Cormac McCarthy the then King of Munster and incorporated into the Castle as the “Blarney Stone“. However, the Scottish stone of Scone is believed to have been kept in the Scone Abbey in Scone by Perth, Scotland until the British Monarchs captured it and held it at the Westminster Abbey. In 1950, four students stole the stone back for Scotland discovering that it had been broken for hundreds of years. The Stone of Scone was described to be an oblong block of red sandstone, nothing comparable to tales of the Irish Stone of Destiny nor the Blarney Stone. It is not one in the same. This myth came from Scottish chroniclers in the likes of Hector Boece and John of Fordun in the 13th century C.E. According to their accounts, the last King to be crowned at the stone was “Muirchertach mac Ercae” in 500 C.E. The tale goes that MacErc loaned the stone to his brother Fergus in Scotland for his coronation. Shortly after the coronation, Fergus, his crew, and their ship sunk off the coast of County Antrim stranding the Stone of Destiny in Scotland. However, there are other legends that state the stone originally came from Scotland.

The Stone is said to possess great powers – much akin to King Arthur’s Sword in the stone, as being when the right true leader of Ireland put his feet on the stone – the stone would roar in joy endowing said individual with a long reign. When the legendary leader-warrior Cúchulainn approached the stone and it did not cry out, he struck the stone with his sword, splitting it, thereby preventing it from roaring ever again except for Brian Boru and Conn of the 100 Battles. This legend is similar to the Scottish “Stone of Scone” that was used for coronations for English, Scottish, and British Monarchs; the Stones of Mora where Swedish kings were elected; the Carantania Prince’s Stone where installation of princes and dukes took effect; King Arthur’s Sword in the stone; the Blarney Stone’s magical gift of gab; and the De Shíl Chonairi Móir.

The Lia Fáil is a standing stone atop the Inauguration Mound (an Forrad) on the Hill of Tara within County Meath. It was the place where kings and leaders went for their coronation as mythology dictates it is the stone that chooses s/he who will rule. All the Kings of Ireland until 500 C.E. were crowned here. It is also the stone that Ireland was named after, as it is said the “Tuatha Dé Danann” called Ireland originally “Inis Fáil” leading to Eire being first called “Fál” meaning “Island” (Inis) of the King (a.k.a. enclosure, hedge, ruler) (Fál). Lia Fáil was the Stone of Ireland, or carried from the term “Fianna Fáil” as “Soldiers of Destiny” leading to the name “The Stone of Destiny.”

In more modern traditions, it is a common place for lovers to court and propose. It is the stone at which me and my wife visited on November 7, 2011 when the stone sung to me to propose to her – and I did – we wedded a few months later.

As the stone is not greatly monitored, some vandalism on occasion has taken wear to the monument such as in 2012 when some idiot damaged the stone in 11 places by a hammer.

McGowan, Leaf 1/26/2014 “Lia Fail: The Stone of Destiny”. Official web page: http://www.technogypsie.com/faerie/?p=1189. © 2014 – Technogypsie Productions: Colorado Springs, Colorado. If you enjoy this article, please treat the author to a drink or donate to keep this article preserved online.

Bibliography/Recommended Reading:


  • Campbell, Ewan 2003 “Royal Inauguration in Dál Riata and the Stone of Destiny.” Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
  • Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth 2004 “Royal Inauguration in Gaelic Ireland c. 1100-1600”. Woodbridge.
  • Keating, Geoffrey 2010 “The History of Ireland”. Website referenced 1/26/14 at http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100054.html.
  • Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia undated “Lia Fail”. Website referenced 1/26/14.


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Fairy Rings (mushrooms)

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Fairy Ring at Tobar Ghobnatan, Cork County, Ireland

Fairy Ring
aka fairy circle, elf circle, elf ring, pixie ring, ronds de sorciers, sorcerer’s rings, witches rings, hexenringe, dragon circles, faerie rings, fairy rings, elf circles, elf rings, elferingewort, cylch y Tylwyth Teg
article by Leaf Mcgowan, Technogypsie Research, © 2013 (12/29/13) – All rights reserved – www.technogypsie.com

Every now and then you’ll discover these mysterious rings in the woods and think immediately they were the mark of faeries / fairies. They are a naturally occurring ring of mushrooms that can be found in the woods, on a lawn, or in a meadow.

Folklore: ~ Ah the many mysteries of these fairy rings. Nothing radiates more folk or fairy lore than does the magical ring of mushrooms that opens a natural gate between the worlds. This is the reason they are called “Fairy Rings”. They are also known as “sorcerer’s rings” (France: ronds de sorciers), “witches’ rings” (German: “Hexenringe“), “dragon circles”, etc. The Germans believe they mark the site where witches had done their dances during Walpurgis Night, while the Dutch claim the circles show where the Devil placed his milk churn. In Tyrol, it is believed they were created by a dragon’s tail had laid there and nothing but toadstools could grow there for seven years. Much of folklore warns humans from ever entering them, for they were guarded by harsh magic, faerie magic, or giant bug-eyed toads that would curse those who entered them. Some say, those who enter a fairy ring would lose their eye. In English, Scandinavian, and Celtic lore – fairy rings are the result of fairies or elves dancing and in such regard they were called “elf rings” or “elferingewort” (translates to “a ring of daisies caused by elves dancing”) as early as the 12th century C.E. in written record. Olaus Magnus in the “History of the Goths” published in 1628 claimed that fairy rings are burnt into the ground by the dancing of elves and in his “Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus” says the brightness of the ring is Puck who refreshes the grass after a fairy dance. Thomas Keightley, a British folklorist, claimed that even in 20th century C.E. Scandinavia the beliefs were still strong that these were created by dancing elves. He warned that those humans entering the ring would allow the trespasser to see the elves, but might also trap the intruder in thrall of their illusions.
Rings are known as cylch y Tylwyth Teg in Wales as late as the 19th century and once again represented a place where faeries are dancing in a group. Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, England, and Ireland still have stories being told of them. Some tell tales of joining a fairy dance within the ring, this act sometimes opening a portal between the worlds, and trapping some humans eternally – especially if they have fairy food and drink after the dance. The parties are known to be done during moonlit nights as the rings only become visible to humans the following morning. In the Philippines, these fairy rings are also associated with diminutive spirits. Theree are 20th century tales of fairies dancing around a hawthorn thereby creating a fairy ring around them with a tree in the center. Ethnographic tales of a Balquhidder Scotland resident who claims the faeries sit atop these mushrooms and use them as dinner tables, while a Welsh woman says they use the umbrellas as parasols and umbrellas, and in Devon that a black hen with chickens will appear sometimes at dusk in a large ring on the edge of Dartmoor, while Manx and Welsh legends from the 1960’s claim fairy rings appear where there is an underground fairy village underneath. The Dartmoor’s “Pixies’ Church” is a rock formation that is supposedly surrounded by a fairy ring, and the Northern Wales Cader Idris site consists of a stone circle where fairies like to dance. Some believe that those trespassing into the fairy ring will meet the wraith of Psyche and Eros as it is forbidden for Psyche to view her love and when she does, her palace disappears and she is left alone. Some say fairy circles are sacred spaces and if interfered with will lead to a curse. THere is an Irish telling of a tlae that once a farmer built a barn atop a fairy ring despite his neighbors warning him not to – he was struck senseless one night and a local ‘fairy doctor’ had to come over th break the curse, he dreamt he had to destroy the barn to make amends. Some believe even collecting dew from the grass or flowers of a fairy ring would bring bad luck. Legends claim one who enters the ring will die at a young age, others claim they are a ‘galley-trap’ so that if a thief or murderer enters the ring they will be hung. Those who enter the ring become invisible to mortals outside of the ring, and visible to the fairies within the ring and unable to escape it. Sometimes the fae will force the intruder to dance to the point of exhaustion, injury, death, or madness. Many Welsh legends talk of this, luring mortals within and then dance them to death. It is supposedly even more dangerous for a human to enter the ring during Samhain (Halloween) Eve or May Day / May Eve as this is the most sacred dancing nights of the fae and they would be horribly angered if disturbed on such momentous times. There is a tale of a shepherd who accidently disturbed a ring of rushes where fairies were getting ready to dance – in such reaction they held him hostage until he married one of them. One can only gain escape from the ring by outside help. A Welsh method was to cast wild marjoram and thyme into the circle to befuddle the fairies so they can help their friend or family out of the ring. Others claim one needs to touch the victim with iron and that would let them exit. Rescue though could be as simple as someone reaching in and pulling their friend out of the ring. One Langollen farmer claimed he had to have four men tie him to a rope so that when he entered the ring to save his daughter they could pull him out. Christian theory is to rely on the faith to break the enchantment, alternatively using a stick from a rowan tree (wood the cross that Jesus was on was made from) would break the curse or the stating of the phrase “what, in Heaven’s name” would break it. The longevity of the rescue could be as long as a year and a day to wait and the victim would appear in the same spot s/he vanished before being able to pull them out. Time also moves faster in the realm of fae, so what seems like an hour could be days, weeks, or years later. Those rescued could also lose memory of their encounters. It was told of a man who escaped the fairy ring, once he stepped outside of it he crumbled to dust. Another moulders away after his first bite of food after he escaped the ring. In the Aberystwyth region, a woman who was saved from the fairy ring once touched by metal disappears. Most claim that the only way one can safely explore a fairy ring is to run around it 9 times which will allow the runner to hear the fairies dancing underground, while others claims this sprint must be done during a full moon and the runner travelling in the direction of the sun others a widdershins direction will allow the fairies to take control of the sprinter. If the runner miscounts, to do it a 10th round would be a fateful error. If one wears a hat backwards this will confuse the fae and make them inable to pull the wearer into the ring.

Traditional Scottish Rhyme warning about fairy rings:

    He wha tills the fairies’ green
    Nae luck again shall hae :
    And he wha spills the fairies’ ring
    Betide him want and wae.
    For weirdless days and weary nights
    Are his till his deein’ day.
    But he wha gaes by the fairy ring,
    Nae dule nor pine shall see,
    And he wha cleans the fairy ring
    An easy death shall dee.[48]

Fairy rings can ring true as blessings as well, as they represent fertility and fortune. The Welsh believe if a sheep were to eat of the grasses within the ring, they would flourish and crops sown from the place would be more bountiful than other land. According to the Athenian Oracle, a house built atop a fairy circle would ensure prosperity to those living within. The legend of Pen y bonc in the 13/14th century claims the residents of Corwrion watched fairies dance around a glow worm every sunday after mass with some of the townsfolk joining in knowing “with the fairies nimbly dancing round / the glow-worm on the Rising Ground” would lead to fertile blessings. In Much of European lore the fairy ring is the location of a gateway into Faerie worlds and lands, elfin kingdoms, or as a portal to Tir na nOg.

Science: They start to grow when a spawn (mycelium) of a mushroom falls in a selected spot and sends out a underground network of fine tubular threads called hyphae which grow out of the spore evenly in every direction, forming a circular mat of underground hyphal threads. These produce mushrooms that grow upwards in similar patterns as below ground and eventually the underground mycelium at the center of the circle dies out, but its living edges keep growing year to year and the diameter of the ring keeps increasing and as the ring’s underground network dies out until the surface ring can no longer be detected. These are very common with the Agaricus campestris that measures normally around six feet in diameter. But also the Marasmius oreades, nicknamed the fairy ring mushroom, will form a large irregular ring that have been recorded upwards of 1,200 feet in diameter. Science has two prevalent theories as to how fairy rings are formed – one idea is that a sporocarpus delivers a spore underground and the presence of that fungus there can cause withering or color changes in the grasses above it. These spores give blossom to fungi and mushrooms through the soil after rainstorms, but also grows a huge network of thread-like mycelia in the soil and while the mushrooms look like individual fungi, they are all a part of the mycelia just beneath the soil’s surface. The other theory is that the rings are formed by connecting oval genets of the mushrooms with other neighboring mushrooms. In this way if they grow in a ring or an arc, they are continuously grown from the center of this object. Fairy rings also create a necrotic zone during their composition and decomposition – this is an area in the grass or local surface plant-life that has withered or died away. Fairy rings can cause arcs, circles, rings, double arcs, sickle-shaped arcs, and other geometric formations during this process. The Fungi will deplete the soil of other usual readily available nutrients like nitrogen which makes the plant life in the circle to become discolored while others will cause luxuriant growth as they release chemicals which act like hormones. Some theories believe they are dependent on wildlife such as rabbits – as in the case example of the fairy rings on Shillingstone Hill in England, where chalky soils on higher elevation slopes and meadows produce numerous rings – and its believed the rabbits mow the grass short and add to it nitrogen-rich droppings that feed the soil the nitrogen the mushrooms need, feeding the mycelium. Later generations of fungi grow outwards as the parent generations have depleted the nitrogen levels, and as the rabbits keep dropping n’ cropping the grass, they ignore the fungi, take away competition by the consumption of the grasses, allowing the mushrooms to prosper. Once a circle of mushrooms reaches a 6 meter diameter, the rabbit droppings will replenish the nitrogen levels in the center and a secondary ring can grow within the first. There are two recognized forms of fairy ring fungus – (1) tethered – found in woods and are formed by mycorrhizal fungi living in commensalism with the trees. (2) free – mushroom fungi that are not connected with other organisms and are often found in meadows as they contain saprotrophic mushrooms. Within this type the Calvatia cyathiformis will affect the local grass to grow more abundantly while the Leucopaxillus giganteus causes the grasses to wither. The are 60 species of fungi that can grow in fairy ring patterns – the most popular is the edible Scotch bonnet (Marasmius oreades) that is also known as the fairy ring champignon. The largest ring recorded was near Belfort, France at nearly 600 meters in diameter (2,000 feet), over 700 years old, and was the Infundibulicybe geotropa fungus. Southern England’s South Downs rings formed by Calocybe gambosa also seem to be several hundred years old.

Species that form fairy rings: Agaricus arvensis, Agaricus campestris, Agaricus praerimosus, Amanita muscaria, Amanita phalloides, Amanita rubescens, Bovista dermoxantha, Calocybe gambosa, Calvatia cyathiformis,
Clitocybe dealbata, Clitocybe nebularis, Clitocybe nuda, Clitocybe rivulosa, Chlorophyllum molybdites, Chlorophyllum rhacodes, Cyathus stercoreus, Disciseda subterranea, Entoloma sinuatum, Gomphus clavatus, Infundibulicybe geotropa, Lepista sordida, Leucopaxillus giganteus, Lycoperdon gemmatum, Marasmius oreades, Sarcodon imbricatus, Tricholoma album, Tricholoma orirubens, Tricholoma pardinum, Tricholoma matsutake, Tuber melanosporum, and Vascellum curtisii.

113013-134
Fairy Ring at Tobar Ghobnatan, Cork County, Ireland

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