Witch's circles or Witch's rings
Since the days of paganism, the ancestors paid great attention not only to deities, but also to evil spirits, to which witches, devils, mermaids and fairies belonged. It was these folklore creatures that were credited with the appearance of the so-called "witch's circles".
What is the "witch's circle"?
As a rule, this is an overgrowth of mushrooms, in the form of a regular circle shape with an empty center. Most often, our ancestors met such rings only from poisonous mushrooms, and since then, in the life of the Slavs, beliefs began to appear that mermaids danced around this circle under the light of the moon.
The mermaids are guilty!
Not only the Slavic peoples had similar beliefs and legends, in the rest of the world they were slightly adapted to local folklore.
And if the Russian people suffered from superstitious thinking and tried to bypass such damned places as far as possible, then, for example, in France, the people went further, and trying to justify themselves, blamed the fairies for everything.
In the 19th century, in one of the French villages, a massive pestilence of cattle began, and the locals decided to execute the shepherd who was watching the herd. The poor fellow had no chance of salvation, but his ingenuity saved him!
Having asked the court for the last word, the shepherd asked everyone to go with him to the pasture, where he showed those very "witch" circles, simultaneously informing that the herd of perfect did not obey him and entered this circle.
No matter how ridiculous the court's decision may sound, the shepherd was pardoned because: “a person is powerless in front of evil spirits that want to drink fresh milk.
How to escape from witches?
The people have always been famous for their ability to come up with some rituals to save themselves and their families from evil spirits, and so that the magic of the "witch's circle" did not work, it was necessary to run around the ring from right to left nine times. If the ritual was performed correctly, then a person could now hear the conversations of witches, fairies, mermaids, in general, the inhabitants of this circle. If a mistake was made, then you need to be careful, the witches will bring trouble.
There is also a belief that the circle is a place of imprisonment of people who disappeared in the forest. Goblin, using witchcraft, hid the people, and the mushroom circle appeared as a mark so as not to lose the entrance and exit.
According to the stories of old-timers, there were such cases that a person went out to pick mushrooms and did not return. The village people could search for him day and night, but there was no benefit, and then when all searches were abandoned, the person returned home. Only he thought that he was simply lost and wandered in the forest for a couple of hours, but in fact for a week. It was believed that this goblin takes the traveler into his own world, where it is impossible to find the way to the house, but as soon as he plays enough, he lets out.
Lie detector. The old method.
It is difficult now to understand who and when thought of using the "witch's" circle as a lie detector, but this is evidenced by numerous records of ancient protocols.
The essence of the method consisted in the fact that the suspect was driven into a mushroom ring and asked him questions, and whether from fear, or why, but the person began to honestly confess his evil deeds. It is surprising that those who visited the "witch's" ring later said that an unknown force literally forced them to lay out the whole truth to the court.
It is impossible to say for sure whether the mushroom rings really carry some witchcraft power, and whether mermaids really once danced inside, or maybe a witch and the devil got married at all, but meeting such a miracle in the modern world, it becomes a little uncomfortable, but on the other hand, the beauty and correctness of the form fascinates. Perhaps someday there will be answers to all these mysteries of nature.