Throughout the world, there are ancient and medieval, and a few centuries old legends of the fairies: very, very small human looking people. Europe seems to the place with the most stories on fairies. These super miniature people would live far away from the general; normal population. Most of these super little beings were only an inch to a few inches tall. In some cases, fairies are said to have tiny sets of wings attached to their bodies that enable them to fly.
According to very old legends, most of these supernatural beings would live deep in the forest where there would a large number of mushrooms. We shall see that there is actually a key link between these super tiny folks and observers, in most cases, that involves mushrooms. In many very old drawings, paintings, and illustrations of these extremely wee folks, there are also images of mushrooms. Fairies are seen standing by mushrooms, playing around mushrooms, especially dancing, or sitting and resting on mushrooms. This matter is especially true regarding what is called “fairy rings” that involve mushrooms that grow in a wide circle; sometimes in an extremely big wide circle of many, many, many feet in circumference. We shall talk more soon about fairy rings. In the forests, and on the lands there are two types of mushrooms to be found. There are mushrooms that are edible and there are mushrooms are poisonous and ingesting them has killed people. Only an expert on mushrooms, known as a mycologist, can tell the difference.
There have been people who did eat a poisonous mushrooms, did not die, but became horribly sick. Such people almost died and developed terrible bodily damage. There have been hallucinations experienced by these people. There is no doubt that in at least some the cases of people centuries ago who reported seeing fairies in the woods or fairies dancing inside a fairy ring or fairies resting on the mushrooms of a fairy ring were the result of a strong belief of fairies and a hallucination of fairies caused by these poisonous hallucinating mushrooms that have been called, for many years, “magic mushrooms”. Some, at least of the cases of people seeing fairies as super, super tiny humans flapping their wings while in flight were, in no doubt, hallucinations of very, very tiny insects as flies, moths, or mosquitos being illusionary portrayed as extremely tiny humans flying wings they have while flying or hovering in the air.
The most widely know of the species of mushrooms that produce hallucinations is the golden top (Psilecybe Subaeruginosa). Besides these mushrooms being hallucinogens, they cause terrible problems as confusion, muscle weakness, agitation, rapid heart beat, and migraine headache. The golden top mushroom looks very much like some of the varieties of the Galerina mushroom, which are potentially fatal. Other poisonous mushrooms are the species of Lepiota and Conocybe.
Many poisonous mushrooms cause gastrointestinal illness, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. There is a great deal of harm to the liver and kidneys, and death can occur. Now, getting back to fairy rings, these rings are also known as a fairy circle, elf circle, elf ring, or a pixie ring. The most popular; mysterious fairy ring is an arc or circle of mushrooms (that grew that way naturally). Fairy rings are usually found in forested terrain, but also appear in grasslands or range lands. How a fairy ring forms is based on mushroom spores that fell, as during a wet weather summer or more particularly a wet weather autumn, on an area of soil high in food for them, as a location of a tree stump, logs, leaves, or roots buried in the soil; the spores, underground,secrete an enzyme, underground, called a mycelium, that sprouts ; spawns a thread that goes in all directions from where it first started, and then decomposes; eats dead or dying organic matter,under the soil.
The mycelium moves outward from the center and when all the food is eaten, the center dies, but, above the ground, a living plant ring; the fairy ring, the cluster of mushrooms, grows and flourishes. For a fairy ring to thrive, there must be areas with sustenance that are evenly distributed in the soil so no obstructions hinder the outgrowth of the ring. Much lesser of the elf ring is the very least sensational simply green rings of grass that are seen over an area, which can be short or wide, of grass without any mushrooms present. Such rings grow lush green grass or show a dead circle of grass depending on the type of fungi underground.
Fairy rings appear in many sizes since the undersoil fungi keep growing outward throughout their life time. A very famous; very popular fairy ring in Belfurt, France has a diameter of a quarter of a mile and is believed to be over 700 years old.In France, Germany, England, Spain, big wide fairy rings have been called witch’s rings or sorcerer’s rings. The rings were believed by some people to be caused by witches ritualistic dancing around or by sorcerers who created a magical ring for protection when summoning up ghosts or spirits to appear.
For centuries, there was a belief that fairies were most active inside fairy rings on a Halloween night and during a Walpurgis night; the dark evening of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurgis, an 8th century abbess in Francia, and is celebrated on the night of April 30th and the day of May 1st (Mayday). Old, old stories tell of people observing and hearing the fairies dance in a circle, and of people stepping into the circle, and the fairies ferociously attacking. Other very old tales told of people who stepped in to the fairy dance, could not stop dancing, and then fell into exhaustion or even died. Some very old legends tell of people who entered a fairy circle and were taken by the fairies to fairy land, never to be seen again.