The faeryland/ fairyland

The Otherworld, Fae Realm, and Religious Connection in Ancient History

Heaven, Nirvana, Limbo, Hell, they all hold weight, and a similar truth: The existence of a world or realm invisible to human eyes━ The Otherworld and Fae.

The beginning of Catholicism in 590 BCE  in Rome, Italy, started the belief in one secular God. Before that, Paganism, Buddhism, Taoism, and many other polytheistic religions were widely practiced in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Scandinavian colonies. It wasn’t deemed evil to hold rituals, sacrifice humans and animals, or even pray to multiple gods (or none at all).

Following the conversion of Christianity throughout the 4th Century, a majority of the polytheistic religions fell to the wayside. Many turned to Jesus and recognized him as the son of a higher power rather than their God. 

Despite the religious shift in the world, the existence of the Otherworld remained.

The Otherworld is often explained as a subconscious yet very real plane of existence. There are different religious, mythological, or metaphysical definitions for this. But, there is a consistent consensus that other realms exist here. One of these realms that has been proven to humans through various natural monuments is the Fae Realm.

What is The Fae Realm?

Lesson 5-2 - Fae Folk: The World of the Fae
Fae folk

In Irish folklore, it is believed that the Fae or the good folk exist in a realm similar to ours. Legend has it that good folk such as Banshees, pixies, Leprachauns, etc. live in the Otherworld on a different plane atop of Earth. It is believed that the fae often reveals themselves if a person is in a forest within a ring of wild mushrooms, or subtly in a ritual when they grant a wish provided you offer them something in return.

The question of whether there are different realms aligned with our physical world has yet to be proven. However, there are clues sprinkled throughout history that have given thousands of cultures reasons to believe there is in fact another world on top of ours restricted to Fae Folk. After doing an abundant amount of research, it seems that out of all of the nine realms of the Otherworld, the fae realm is more intertwined with ours. There are signs the fae use to show themselves to humans in subtle ways, using elements of nature. 

Stone Circles

If you’re a fan of the captivating and timely show, Outlander, then you already have an idea about the historical reputation Stone Circles have.

Castlerigg Stone Circle | Cumbria.com
A Stone Circle Found near Keswick, Cumbria

During the Neolithic period (approx. 3000 BCE), large stones were arranged mostly to form a circle. Many believe these formations and monuments were made by the Druids or witches.

Druids are Celtic priests or magicians of Fae descent who hold valuable knowledge of the fae realm, the human world, alchemy, and sorcery. Just like any other spell or ritual, the seasons and form played a significant role.

With over 1,300 stone circles in Great Britain and Ireland alone, there is an underlying meaning that’s within these stones.

Structure and Meaning

According to BBC UK, the earliest monument is the Stones of Stenness on Orkney. The twelve stones were formed when split with timber. The entire stone circle, made out of sarsen, was aligned atop an earthwork.

Other stone circles were made very similarly, but there’s one that provides insight into what they were used for. The Callanish on Lewis.

Callanish Standing Stones
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmicherb70/13547009015

The inner “ring of stones” is made to surround “a small chambered cairn and has four avenues of standing stones leading off roughly to the points of the compass.”

In Druidry and other forms of magical or shamanic practice, a compass is used at the beginning of spells or rituals. North, South, East, West can represent the natural elements of the world: wind, fire, earth, and wind. 

Also, these positions can be used to enter the “crossroads”, or the “in-between”. The term “in-between” has been used to refer to the Otherworld in many other magical practices, such as Hoodoo and Traditional Witchcraft. It usually means that your physical body is in this world while your subconscious or soul is traveling to another. This can happen during astral projection when you are sleeping or meditating.

(Speaking of astral projection, a magnificent book to read about this and otherworldly beings is Journey’s Out Of The Body by Robert A. Monroe)

Druids and witches often held rituals, honored the dead, and traveled to other realms within these stone circles. Depending on the season, specific human sacrifices were previously made. The significance of the circular shape has been utilized to provide strength and unity. The form of the stone circle gave these magicians concentrated power provided by the land, which meant those inside were “held” within during a ritual. More importantly, the rituals they held were enhanced by the ancestors of the land.

Since many people lived and died in a single village for generations, the Druids were able to utilize this resource by connecting the stone circles with tombs and cairns. The Druids didn’t worship their ancestors, but they instead asked for their ancestors’ guidance, strength, and knowledge.

A more popular historical stone circle, Stonehenge, is a more obvious reason to believe there’s meaning in its position.

English Heritage explains the formation in detail:

“The whole layout of Stonehenge is therefore positioned in relation to the solstices, or the extreme limits of the sun’s movement; the word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”). The solstice axis is also marked by the Station Stones which are positioned in a rectangle on the edge of the surrounding circular ditch, with the short sides of the rectangle on the same alignment as the sarsen stones.”

Mushroom Rings 

Mushroom ring- faery ring of fae
Faery ring.

While mushroom rings are very pretty to look at, these faery rings are considered sacred to the Otherworld.

How?

Well, the Fae have been using these rings for generations. There are many urban legends involving these rings, mainly for the protection of the Fae realm.

Therefore, these formations create portals or doorways into our world and can be dangerous if touched or entered. It is said that if you indeed touch or step into a fairy or faery ring during a full moon and run around it ten times, then you can be transported into their realm.

Formation

While you would assume someone did a spell on someone to make these rings appear, these formations are naturally occurring.

According to Garden Collage, Ariel Kusby writes, Fairy rings occur when a mushroom spore falls in a favorable spot, grows a mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus), and spreads out an underground network of fine, tubular threads called hyphae.” The fungus spreads into an arc (as seen above). Eventually, once the mushrooms have decomposed, the area usually has a dark ring embedded in the earth.

This disease can stay in someone’s lawn throughout the spring and well into fall. Ironically, this period is during Midsummer. This holiday is the time Pagan summer solstice rituals occur.

Coincidence? It could be, but probably not.

Religious Connection

In various Northern European cultures, faery rings are referred to as Pixie Rings, Sorcerer’s Rings, Witch’s Rings or hexenrings, and Elf Rings. In fact, the first appearance of these supernatural rings occurred in German-speaking Europe, which was a widely pagan region throughout the early 4th century. One of the celebrations that remains intimately connected with the supernatural is Beltane.

Beltane, which roughly translates to ‘bright fire’, is a pagan holiday. It is one of the yearly Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year; it’s the celebration of life and occurs preceding Midsummer. This majestic night of Beltan’s Eve is celebrated between April 30th and May 1st. The night represents the peak of spring and the beginning of the summer season. It’s the night where the energies of the earth are at an all-time high and is one of the most sexual holidays. Beltane is a Fire Festival where the pagan Green Man (God) and Maiden Goddess are either united in marriage or separate amicably. 

Pagans participate in the celebration by holding a massive bonfire: dancing, singing, and escaping to the woods to indulge in intercourse. Many couples hold their marriages on this night because of the union of their God and Goddess.

Significance of Faery Rings

Faery rings are dangerous to anyone who dare touch them. Especially on this night.  As I mentioned before, the mushroom rings or faery rings are very sacred to the Fae.

Imagine if someone was knocking on your door late at night. Imagine they forced their way in to make you do something for them?

Would you like it? No, probably not.

If pagans or pedestrians found and ran around the ring nine times or stood within the ring to make a wish, it would be extremely disrespectful to the fae. Essentially, this disrespect would often cause the Fae to act out in dangerous ways. The fae had very special abilities. For instance, they could disappear and reappear whenever they please. Allegedly, they would transport the intruder into their realm. Or, they would force the person to dance with them until you go crazy or die of exhaustion.

In the tale Thomas the Rhymer, a gentleman accidentally steps into a faery ring. He was coaxed to Fairyland by the Queen. Then, was transported to their realm for several years. When he came back, he was able to write poetry and ballads about what he’d seen. Eventually, the Faery Queen came back for him. People have reported seeing him as an old man at the beginning of each summer “riding out of a fairy dwelling below Eildon Hills, from another fairy dwelling below Dumbuck Hill, near Dumbarton, and a third fairy dwelling below the boat-shaped mound of Tom-na-hurich at Inverness”.

Mounds

Dating before the spread of Christianity, mounds have held great significance to the indigenous people. These earthworks are man-made and formed for a specific purpose. Mounds were used as burial grounds, homes, and cities over the course of their existence. Hundreds upon thousands of mounds across Europe, Asia, and America still exist to this day.

Culture

The oldest mound in Louisiana, Watson Brake, dates back to over 3500 BCE. Initially, the Native Americans built this mound for seasonal ceremonial reasons. This specific mound, like many others, was a base for the village that resided there.

America's Forgotten City Of The Otherworld
North American Mounds | National Geographic

Richard Thornton Access Geneology blogger describes, “Beginning around 1600 BC and continuing through to around 1000 AD, native peoples living in the interior of the eastern United States constructed dome-shaped mounds from either earth or freshwater mussel shells at locations where they congregated seasonally to fish, harvest shellfish or hunt. Some of these mounds were possibly used for burials.”…”Between around 800 BC and 200 BC, an ethnic group, now known as the Adena People constructed hundreds of domed and cone-shaped mounds in the Ohio River basin.

During the same period as the Adena Culture, Native peoples in the Southeast built many burial cairns and some large effigies out of fieldstone. They also constructed some cone-shaped, earthen burial mounds.

The functions of these mounds are culturally different. However,  there’s meaning in the structure.

In Irish folklore, it’s believed that the Fae liked it there so much that they made themselves smaller and built mounds to live in. Thus, it birthed the notion that faeries currently reside in various mounds across Europe. More importantly, it’s believed that these mounds were sacred. Many of them are burial grounds within them as well.

Is it a coincidence that Ireland has no virtual communication with prehistoric America, yet has similar burial and ritual practices?

Maybe, but it’s unlikely.

Something or someone was connecting them.

Connecting the dots

Let’s break down what we’ve just read.

The Otherworld has existed for millennia. It has allowed humans into the fae realm in various ways. We can subconsciously connect to it by meditating or elevating our minds. We can enter through these portals through ritual, as well. Based on the three monumental earthworks we’ve discussed, we are now able to understand there are other forces at play here.

The Fae have shown us that they are real. To see they are in fact real, we have to pay attention to the signs:

  • Circles are universally known as timelessness, original perfection, God. Circles have been used in rituals since basically the beginning of time.
    • They’re used to uniting the energy provided by the individuals performing them.
  • We are made up of all of the elements used in rituals: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire (aka Spirit).
  • Completely different ancient cultures have a singular understanding of death.
    • A.) Your body is preserved for power
    • B.) Your soul is energy
  • The solstices are significant.
  • Meditation is real.
  • You can dream and leave your physical body by astral projecting.

4 thoughts on “The Otherworld, Fae Realm, and Religious Connection in Ancient History

  1. Such great insight we need the world to wake up and open their eyes to the possibilities of the extraordinary

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