F is for Finding entrances (and avoiding fairies)


This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project. It’s the second one for the letter F, and it’s pretty late. Compared to earlier ones, it’s also rather light-hearted and a bit random.

Judging from my cell phone photography over the last few years (all photos in this blog have been taken by me), it seems I’m a little bit obsessed with entrances into smaller worlds than the one I usually inhabit.


Partly that goes back to my childhood (at least as late as ten or twelve years old) where I could get lost in looking at landscapes of moss and roots and twigs and leaves. I remember imagining that tiny people lived there, but I never saw anyone. I also remember imagining that I could shrink down and walk through these worlds. I clearly remember a feeling of being in a kind of “alternate reality,” of not being quite in this world (but also not being quite gone). At the same time, I don’t want to make this sound bigger than it was, in a wrong-headed effort to “prove” my lifetime connection to these things. Looking back, I can’t say how I got there, but I can say it felt like losing myself in the world of a really good book, but without the filter of letters on paper inbetween. I can’t say how often I went onto those mental “trips” but I clearly remember doing it one day in the rough of a golf course of all places (it was a very small golf club, whose fairways were still in the making, so there were plenty of opportunities to just go off into the not-quite-woods).


To this day, I keep finding places that look like doors, or like landscapes, for beings smaller than I am (but somewhat human in appearance, in my imagination). To this day, I often imagine I could become small enough to go in there and explore the world from that perspective.

I never really thought about who exactly lives there, though. In my mind, I don’t see images of little child-like figure with transparent wings, or little men with beards, or any other knows species of “little folk” I’ve read about. In fact, I usually roll my eyes at all the glittery fairies that populate so many altars (and websites) of so many other Pagan(ish) people because I tend to find them terribly kitschy and overly cute. And yet, at least a part of me seems pretty sure that some kind of “little people” exists, even if I don’t know how they look like.

Unlike many other people, though, I’m very glad these “little folk” haven’t yet visually appeared for me. For quite some time, one example of “things that would freak me out if they actually happened” was seeing fairies dance in our little garden. And still, I left a little corner in the garden where I let everything grow however it wants to, “for the fairies.” I figure they can play there as long as I’m not looking.

I’m still not sure if this is all just an extended childhood fantasy of a little girl with a big imagination, or if there is more to it. After all, I’m not exactly the only one to feel drawn to openings at tree roots. The idea clearly is around in other people’s minds as well. There are even some tarot and oracle cards that feature doors in trees, for example the World Tree and Hermit from my beloved Greenwood Tarot, the redrawn version of the former from the Wildwood Tarot, or the card titled “Home” from the Enchanted Map Oracle.

And indeed, when I started doing shamanic journeys, I first entered the Lower World through the base of a tree (not the one pictured). During a later journey, I even came across a tree with an actual door, and for once I had the right size to go inside (which turned out to be a very interesting experience). There were also other encounters with doors in tree trunks on other journeys.

So there must be something to this. (As I was titling the images for this post, I also started wondering about the possibility of a linguistic connection between “entrance” and “in trance” or “into trance”…)

And even if it’s nothing but a fascinating idea, I’m still not cured of my desire to walk through a forest of moss or live in a cave beneath a tree’s roots…


12 responses »

  1. Such a lovely post. I have had these feelings and thoughts too, since I was young (I used to place smurfs into these landscapes and play) so it was lovely to read this and see these photographs. Took me back and was very inspiring.


  2. Thank you for the comments – I’m happy to hear you liked my photos!

    It’s also nice to know that other people had similar fantasies as kids.

  3. …..and then there is the “Friendly Tree”, that in the here and now allowed you to slip through its portal…….

  4. @ Sharyn:
    “My eyes caress trees wherever I go.” — Very poetically said!

    @ Mi-Shell:
    Yes, I thought about the Friendly Tree when I wrote the post… It was a very special moment indeed! But not every special moment belongs on the internet (sorry to those who weren’t there and have no idea what we’re talking about). :-)

  5. Beautiful photos, this found me at the right time. Doing some ritual work with the land and the Sidhe seem to be part of it. The more I work with shamanic journeys, the more I work with the spirits, the more my western concept of imagination gets challenged. Someone told me a well known female indigenous healer once said, “there is no imagination, there are only spirits!”

  6. Beautiful post, Cat. Trees and the way they can harbour so much life we can barely see, are unappreciated. I love old trees, all gnarled and covered in moss. They look positively luminous near water. :)

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