Fairies in the Woods

While walking an established path through the Palos Forest Preserve, Lovely and I came across a strange little shrine. Out in the middle of a deeply wooded forest was this stump covered with bits and pieces of stuff, and flowers. Why, we asked each other? Who did this? I snapped a few pictures for reference.

Today, I did some searching on Google and came up with a number of sites but none came close to explaining what a woodland shrine is. I was curious about the origins of these mysterious little spaces. The best I could deduce is that they are based on the fairies of deep woods England. Most of the websites and videos that came up are based on video games like Minecraft. Some were personal web sites of artsy people who make and sell stuff made from bone, stone, and fairy like material found in the woods.

I suppose there must be people all around the world who believe in beings of human form that possess magical powers. One such fairy exists in and around the Palos Forest Preserve walking path. Looking deeply into the web for some explanation I finally came across a Wikipedia page on fairies. The basis is mystical in nature. There are many different forms of fairies depending upon who is defining. Some people consider that fairies are fallen angels, demons, spirits of the dead, pagan deities, hidden people, and the list goes on. There are references to fairies in literature going back centuries. Even Shakespeare used them as characters In his Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairy’s can be anything we want them to be and over the years men have used fairies in any number of capacities.

I would like to know what each piece on this sacred altar symbolizes in this shrine. They were collected, saved and transported to this site to be placed on the perfect altar to commemorate, or to worship. Which is it? Did they build this in the day, or at night? There is a candle stub in the center of it all indicating a connection to a spirit, perhaps a loved one who is lost, or has crossed over into the world of angels and fairies. Without personal contact with the fairy herself it will be impossible to know. In the mean time one can imagine, and guess.

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