Rhine Maidens

Rhein maidens warn Siegfried. By Arthur Rackham. Published 1912. Copyright expired

Rhein maidens warn Siegfried. By Arthur Rackham. Published 1912. Copyright expired

Rhine Maidens

Common Names: Rhine Maidens, Rhine Maidens, naiads, river spirits, nymphs, sirens, nixies, nixen

Habitat: – Found in Germanic fairy lore. Attributed to the Rhine River of Germany.

Description: Rhine Maidens are water spirits known along rivers, especially the Rhine River in Germany, that protect children. The most popular myths depicts them as three sisters – water nymphs known as the “Rheintöchter” or “Rhine Daughters” most classically famous from the Richard Wagner’s opera cycle called “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. These sisters are named Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Floßhilde (Flosshilde) which were inspired by Wagner from myths and legends of the Nibelungenlied involving water nymphs, sprites, nixies, and mermaids. The tale tells that these river guardians along the Rhine were in charge of the golden treasures and through the renunciation of love had their gold stolen from them leading to world domination. Much of the myth today is influenced by Wagner’s works. They appear in the beginning and towards the end of his four opera cycle beginning in Das Rheingold and then in Götterdämmerung.

These German Nixen (Nixies) or Water Sprites were known to appear very innocent but with a range of sophisticated emotions. They are seductive, elusive, flirty, and enchanting. No one seems to know of their origin. Unlike much of the mythos they appear in, they do not originate from the Prose Edda (Iceland’s source for Norse Mythology), but rather from much older European based folklore. Sometimes they are described with siren and selchie traits, similarities to mermaids and naiads, but otherwise as shape-shifting seductive wise women found bathing and basking along the Rhine River or the Danube River nude. Much drama and trickery is mixed in the tales surrounding their stories which led to the creation of the modern day opera. Some say their existence was influenced by the German legend of Loreli – the lovelorn maiden who drowns herself in a river and becomes a siren luring fishermen to their deaths. Other similarities to Greek myths of the nymphs and naiads. Parallels of the Rhinemaidens of Das Rheingold to the Hesperides myth are extraordinary relating to three females guarding a golden treasure that ends up stolen. Most attribute them as daughters of the Rhine River. In the story telling they are however not destroyed by the fires at the end of Götterdämmerung but rather just swim away joyously in the river with their found treasure. They are said to have the good nature of the Oceanids (being helpful) and the austerity of the daughters of Ægir (willing to drown people). A mystical ring that belongs to the treasure was supposedly imbued with the powers to allow its wearer the ability to rule the world – but was cursed until the stolen gold was returned to the Rhine’s Maidens. In 1933 they were depicted on a postage stamp designed by Alois Kolb for use in the Third Reich. From the 19th-20th century they have been a highlight in Opera, theater, and the arts.

Folklore/Mythology:

Sightings:

For more German Faeries, visit our German Faeries page.

Article by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions: http://www.technogypsie.com
© 2013 All Rights Reserved. If you enjoy this article, please consider treating the author to a drink or meal, and/or donating to ensure that this article stays preserved on the internet. You can do this by going to our Donation Page or sending the treat to the author at leafworks@yahoo.com.

Rhines fair children bewailing their lost gold Arthur Rackham from The Rhinegold n the Valkyrie, by Richard WagnerLondon, N
Rhine’s fair children, bewailing their lost gold, weep. Arthur Rackham, from The Rhinegold & the Valkyrie, by Richard Wagner, London, 1910

Bibliography/Recommended Reading:


  • Terreno, Bella 2006-2008 “Mystical Myth: Germanic Faeries”. Website referenced 1/25/2014 at http://www.bellaterreno.com/art/german/germanfairies.aspx.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia undated “The Rhine Maidens”. Website referenced 1/20/14 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhinemaidens.

siegfried-and-twilight-of-gods-Art by Arthur Rackham- London1911
“Though gaily ye may laugh, In grief ye shall be left, For, mocking maids, this ring Ye ask shall never be yours.” (Art by Arthur Rackham – from ‘Siegfried & The Twilight Of The Gods’ by Richard Wagner, London, 1911).

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There are no mermaids: US government

You know there has to be something incredible about to be revealed when after thousands of years of myth and legend, all of the sudden the Government has to address fairy tales and telling people that such things “PROBABLY” do not exist … ~ Leaf McGowan

[cross post via WordPress PressThis ]
http://news.yahoo.com/no-mermaids-us-government-212628320.html

AFP
AFP – 3 hrs ago

The United States government has assured its citizens that, much like zombies, mermaids probably do not exist, saying in an official post: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

“Mermaids — those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea — are legendary sea creatures,” read the online statement from the National Ocean Service (NOS).

The agency, charged with responding to natural hazards, received letters inquiring about the existence of the sea maidens after the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network broadcast “Mermaids: The Body Found” in May.

File photo of Hannah the Mermaid in the Mermaid Lagoon exhibit at the Sydney Aquarium. The United States government has assured citizens that much like zombies, mermaids probably do not exist. "Mermaids -- those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea -- are legendary sea creatures." (AFP Photo/Torsten Blackwood)
File photo of Hannah the Mermaid … The show “paints a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like, and why they’ve stayed hidden… until now,” a Discovery Channel press release says.

Conversely, the US government declaration offered no conclusive proof to deny the existence of mermaids.

The statement comes after another government agency, this time the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), declared there was no conclusive evidence for the existence of zombies.

The CDC had published instructional materials on how to survive a “zombie apocalypse,” in what the agency now calls “a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with messages of preparedness messages.”

The campaign was followed by a series of cannibalistic attacks in North America.

People dressed as zombies march around the streets of San Francisco to promote a new game for the iPhone in May 2012. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared there was no conclusive evidence for the existence of zombies. (AFP Photo/Kimihiro Hoshino)
People dressed as zombies march …

In one such attack on May 26, a 31-year-old Miami man stripped naked and chewed off most of a homeless man’s face.

The Twittersphere was suddenly alive with people talking about the real and present danger of a zombie apocalypse.

The CDC was quick to respond to allegations of corpses rising from the dead to eat the living.

(more…)

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Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods (R: 2012)

Cabin in the Woods ~ (Rated R: 2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259521/ * Director: Drew Goddard. * Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. * Starring: Kristen Connolly as Dana; Chris Hemsworth as Curt; Anna Hutchison as Jules; Fran Kranz as Marty; Jesse Williams as Holden; Richard Jenkins as Sitterson; Bradley Whitford as Hadley; Brian White as Truman and many others.

Within the last several years Hollywood and the film industry has been evolving and expanding the classical monster tale, as we watched through the ages meandering from Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Werewolf, and Count Dracula towards a whole different species of Werewolves, vampires, and zombies. Then came the serial killers obsessed with pain, torture, maiming, and realistic grotesque murder sprees self styled after Ted Bundy, Fred West, or Jeffrey Dalmer only to exaggerate to supernatural tales of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now a new sense of horror, going back to supernatural beliefs on Witches, Druids, Spirits, and creatures from the races of Darker Faeries come crawling out from their sidhe with vicious mermaids and mer-men, leprechauns, gremlins, goblins, orcs, giants, and titans. The Old God/desses are being brought back to life. What one would imagine would be a typical hack n’ slash film by the title of “Cabin in the Woods” turned to a conspiracy theorie, Dark ancient Deities tale of human sacrifice at a high corporate level ploy to satiate the “ancient ones”. None other than a tale weaved by Buffy’s Joss Whedon to give that twisted plot some fantastical depth. These five friends go on vacation to a remote cabin in the woods, only to find them trapped and manipulated in a pseudo-realm where they are lined up to voluntarily sacrifice themselves to the dark spirits.

The five college-aged kids head off to a friend’s cabin in the woods and lose all communication with the outside world. During “party time” and unwinding, the cellar door mysteriously flips open, only to involved a truth or “dare” to investigate the darkness. Within is a treasure trove of artifacts, each with a secret and a beast to unleash. Meanwhile they are monitored by a high tech secret lab where the white coats bet on which creature they will face – Pinhead, the Mer-man, flesh eating zombies, a ghoul, or a prehistoric monster of dinosaur proportions. Dana reads from the diary of an imbred hillybilly family thereby awakening the now family of deadly murderous zombies. But this is not the only laboratory experiment of what supernatural creatures will be unleashed, as the lab coats are monitoring similar setups from around the world, hopeful of a successful stint with the cabin. As each of the college kids get knocked off, the ploy backfires as the “virgin” saved for the last, teamed up with the brainy pot-head discover the conspiracy and find their way down into depths uncovering an ancient temple lair holding back the ancient Titans from destroying the Earth – satiated by an annual sacrifice that was planned. None of the scenarios work out for the guardians and literally “all hell breaks loose” as magical and supernatural beings, creatures, and monsters look at the lab coats and armed forces as a smorgasboard brunch. The Director of the agency, played by Sigourney Weaver, tells them the truth that the ritual involving sacrifice of the Whore (Jules), the Athlete (Curt), the Scholar (Holden), the Fool (Marty), and the Virgin (Dana) was to appease the “Ancient Ones” who lived beneath the facility. They had to die in archetypical order until the virgin remained. Werewolves, mer-creatures, unicorns, ghouls, zombies, and a giant serpent take their wraith. The Ancient ones rise to destroy the facility and the cabin. While an element of “kitch” and whacky elements loomed over the film, the special effects and deep mythical supernatural plot humored and entertained me. [Rating:4] Rating of four stars out of five. ~ Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

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Ondine (PG-13: 2010)

 

Ondine (PG-13: 2010)
* Rated: 5 stars out of 5 * Starring: Colin Farrell … Syracuse; Alicja Bachleda … Ondine; Dervla Kirwan … Maura; Alison Barry … Annie; Marion O’Dwyer … Nurse – Dialysis; Tony Curran … Alex; and many more. * Director: Neil Jordan * http://www.ondinefilm.com/ *
A modern Irish lyrical faerie tale about a fisherman named Syracuse who pulls up a stunning woman in his net called “Ondine”. Her name means “She who came from the sea” and begins to believe his daughter’s theory that Ondine is a selchie or mermaid, a seal woman who in Celtic myth is believed to be able to become human by taking off her seal coat in order to pursue love with a human. They begin to treat Ondine like she is a selchie as many oddities in the situation, the events, and the tale is mystical and tragic. Whenever Ondine is aboard the fishing vessel and sings her siren song, his nets are filled with bounty. It becomes a torrid love affair that turns out to have an even crazier origin of truth. Beautifully woven tale embedded in myth. Brought tears to my eyes and edge of your seat excitement. Why can’t I pull up a beautiful selchie like that in my fishing nets? Amazing plot, storyline, and cinematography.

 

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Mermaids/Mermen

Mermaids and Mermen

A rich realm of characters in Faerie lore, Mermaids and Mermen have consumed popular myth through the ages – fantasy, entertainment, and imagery. Mermaids (and the male form “Mermen”) are a race of Faerie that consist of human-like mythological aquatic creatures that are depicted with a human head and torso attached to the tail of a fish. They are related to sirens, selchies, and sea nymphs. Their names come from the Old English root “Mere” for “Sea”, and “maid” for “woman”. Carribean tales of mermaids appear as the Aycayia – with attributes similar to the Goddess Jagua and the hibiscus flower of the majagua tree. Voodoo lore speaks of the Lwa La Sirene who is lwa of wealth and beauty and the Orisha Yemaya. Other names are “Mami Wata” (Africa), “Jengu” (Cameroon), “Merrow” (Ireland/Scotland), “Rusalkas” (Russia/Ukraine), “Iara” (Brazil), “Oceanids, Nereids, Naiads” (Greek), “Sirena or Siyokoy” (Phillipines). In folktales, mermaids were similar to sirens in that they often sang to enchant passerbys, distracting them, and causing them to walk off the deck of their ships and ground their ships. Some horror tales depict mermaids squeezing the life out of drowning men or carrying them down to their underwater realms thereby drowning the men by either not realizing humans can’t breathe water or to drown them out of spite. The first mention in lore of Mermaids appeared around 1,000 B.C.E. in Assyria with the story of the Goddess Atargatis who accidentally killed her shepherd lover. To bring him back she jumped into a lake and transformed into a fish, but the waters wouldn’t conceal her divine beauty, thereby forcing her into the form of a ‘mermaid’ – human above he waist, fish below the waist. Around 546 B.C.E. the Milesian philosopher Anaximander stated that mankind came from an aquatic species and thereby from mer-folk. Greek legend places Alexander the Great’s sister Thessalonike as a mermaid upon her death. 2nd century C.E. Lucian of Samosata wrote about mermaids in the Syrian temples – notably Derketo and Hera Atargatis. Many Arabian Nights tales talk of Sea People such as Djullanar the sea-Girl or Abdullah the Merman who can breathe water, interbreed with humans, and create aquatic half-breeds. In the British Isles and Ireland, there are many tales of Mermaids and Mermen in local lore and legend – mainly from Fishermen (1800’s). Seeing them were considered an unlucky omen – fortelling disaster or provoking it. Some were described as monsters as large as 2,000 feet in size. It is believed that Mermaids can swim up rivers to freshwater lakes, and that they often appear as drowned victims when presenting themselves to humans they are attracted to. Some lore portrays mer-folk as helpful, teaching humankind cures for diseases. Claims of sightings range from British Columbia to Ireland to Java. In the 19th century, P.T. Barnum displayed in his taxidermy exhibit the “Fiji Mermaid” which was proven to be a hoax. There is a rare congenital disorder called the “Mermaid Syndrome” where a child is born with his/her legs fused together combined with reduced genitalia that occurs as often as conjoined twins (1 out of 100,000 births and usually fatal due to kidney and bladder complications).

Related to Naiads and Undines.

More information:
Mermaids on the web: http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/mermaids/
Women of the Deep: A Light History of the Mermaid: http://members.cox.net/mermaid31/merhist.htm

(more…)

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