Traveling through Ireland is like stepping into the pages of a fairy tale storybook. Around every turn is a tale of wonder.
The traditional Celtic folklore in Ireland tells that a lone Hawthorne tree growing in the middle of a field is called a fairy (or faerie) tree. This tree is the gateway or portal between the worlds of the mortals and the world of the faeries. These wee folk are very protective of their portals – and legend has it, will severely punish those who damage or cut down their trees.
Fairy Tree Magic ensures the trees stay safe. The legends claim bad luck will befall anyone who cuts down the faerie tree. The wee folk will see to it that you will never get a good nights sleep again for the rest of your life!
Hawthorn branches hung above a door were believed to protect from evil spirits rather than incurring their wrath and at Beltane it was customary to hang decorations upon the fairy tree.
The magical Wee Folk, faeries, or fairies are called ‘Sidhe’ in Irish. Legend tells that when the Milesians – a mythical race described in the 11th century Book of Invasions – came to Ireland, they banished the faeries to the underground. The wee folk took their pots of gold and hid them near the trunks of hawthorn trees. A popular story among Irish children is that in order to see that pot of gold, you must go to the tree at the stroke of midnight and sit on a three legged stool made from an Ash Tree. 🌳
Irish Pot of Gold
A recent highway bypass in Ennis was re-routed around a faerie tree on the original proposed path. This particular hawthorn tree was said to be especially important as it was the meeting point of traveling wee folk from all around the Otherworld
In 2009 there were numerous sightings of an ancient ghost thought to reappear in Tyrone after the felling of a fairy tree.
The hawthorn was also associated with love and springtime, as the warm weather of May would bring couples together under the sweet blossoms of the hawthorn.
Hope you enjoyed my story, these fairy trees were photographed in the Lost Valley in early May.