Naiads

Naiad1-johnwaterhouse-copyrightfree
Naiad John William Waterhouse (1849-1917):
”A Naiad” or ”Hylas with a Nymph”. 1893
(first exhibited at the New Gallery, London 1893)

This work is in the public domain in those countries with a
copyright term of life of the author plus 90 years or less.

Naiads
http://www.naiads.org/well/?p=857

A Fresh water nymph that lives along springs, holy wells, rivers, waterfalls, and fountains known to be a guardian of the waters in her domain. Depicted as an attractive nude bathing woman, they are known to entice and lure men to their waters. Sometimes this is to seductive folly, a love affair, or a dangerous end. Derived from the Greek word ?????, or Naiás, meaning “to flow” or “running water”. The Naiad is a female water nymph or spirit that guard over wells, springs, streams, brooks, fountains, and fresh water pools or lakes. Some say the Undine is the salt water variant while the Naiad is the fresh water variant. They are not to be confused with River God/desses who embody rivers or inhabit still waters of ponds, lagoons, lakes, and marshes such as the pre-Mycenaean Lerna described in the Argolid.
They belong to Greek mythology but have spread throughout the European world-view. Although they are most believed to be associated with fresh water, since the Greeks believed that all of the world’s waters were one, flowing through a cavernous aquifer and inter-connected, they could be in more than one place at the same time. This is also their explanation in relation to Oceanids, Nereids, Undines, and Mer-folk. In the Greek myths about Arethusa, a water nymph of a spring, that could make her way from Peloponnesus to surface on the island of Sicily. They were worshiped by water cults who often made offerings into the waters or along its edges with such things as bins, coins, cloth, clothes, sandals, jewelry, treasures, figurines, flowers, and/or sacrificed animals to the waters in hopes the Naiads would bring them healing, inspiration, gifts, magic, blessings, or passage. In some practices, boys and girls that werre coming-of-age would dedicate their childish locks to the local Naiad of the spring. In Lerna, ritual cleansings utilized the magical waters from the Naiad’s spring or well that were believed to possess certain healing or medicinal properties. In ancient Mythology, Hylas of the Argo’s crew was lost when he was captivated by Naiads who were in awe of his beauty. They are known to be jealous fae folk – as in Theocritus’ tale of a Naiad’s jealousy when the Naiad Nomia or Echenais who was in love with Daphnis, the Shepherd. He was unfaithful to her on numerous accounts and she blinded him out of revenge. Hermaphroditus was forced into sex with the Naiad Salmacis, and when he sought to escape her, she fused with him, giving birth to hermaphrodites. In the mytho of Aristaeus, The Naiad Chlidanope marries Hypseus, the King of the Lapiths and giving birth to Cyrene. Aristaeus also consulted the Naiads when his bees died and his aunt Arethusa invited him below the water’s surface where he was washed with the waters from a perpetual spring and given his advice. Throughout Europe, magical springs and holy wells were at first attributed to various Deities and/or water nymphs before they were converted to wells and springs associated with Saints. It was a very common practice in Celtic cultures.

Related to Undines, Oceanids (salt water), Nereids (Mediterranean), Water Nymphs, and Mermaids and Mermen.

Written, researched, and Copyrighted (© 2013) by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions: www.technogypsie.com ~ http://www.naiads.org/well/?p=857.

    Bibliography, References, and Recommended Reading:
  • Burkert, Walter 1985 “Greek Religion”. Harvard University Press.
  • Graves, Robert 1955 “The Greek Myths”.
  • Homer “Odyssey” and “Iliad”
  • Poe, Edgar Allen 1829 “Sonnet to Science”.
  • Silver, Carole B. Silver “Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness”. ISBN 0-19-512199-6.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. undated “Naiads”, “Undines”. Web site referenced on March 8, 2014.

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Undines

Arthur_Rackham_Undine_by_De_la_Motte_Fougue_1909
Arthur Rackham ~ Undine by De la Motte Fougue ~ 1909 Soon she was lost to sight in the Danube.

Undines
http://www.naiads.org/well/?p=853

Ondines or Undines is the modern English term for Water elementals, spirits or nymphs. The term is derived from the Latin term “Unda” meaning “a wave”. Undines are seen as the true essence or spirit manifestation of waves in water. It is believed to first have derived from the Greek alchemical works of Paracelsus as the elemental spirits of water. It also is descriptive in some meanings and works for the focus of attention for water magic, whose course and function the undines control. They are believed to exist within the waters themselves and not usually able to be seen with normal human vision, unless the human has an artifact, charm, or spell to allow them to see faerie folk or unless blessed by the undine to be revealed. Some believe that they live in the coral caves along lakes or on the banks of rivers. Smaller Victorian imagery of the undines depict them living under lily pads. When seen, they resemble human beings, except for those of Victorian description living in smaller streams and ponds fit more with the “Disney”-esque Tinker bell humanoid forms. Their clothing is usually described as being shimmery and green in color though reflective of all the shades and colors found in water. Undines are also centered in European folklore, as a type of water nymphs that become human when they fall in love with a human male and is doomed to die if he is unfaithful to her. Her essence is believed to have come from the Nereids, the attendants of Poseidon, the Sea god. Paracelsus first wrote about them, calling them spirits who inhabit the element of water. They are believed to dwell within every body of water in existence from streams, ponds, rocky pools, marshes, rivers, lakes, rivers, and ocean waves. Every waterfall, fountain, or well is believed to have an undine living within its waters. These also describe the Naiad, a female water nymph or spirit that guard over wells, springs, streams, brooks, fountains, and fresh water pools or lakes. Some say the Undine is the salt water variant while the Naiad is the fresh water variant. Sometimes they are confused with Mermaids and Mermen. They are also sometimes confused or entwined with Oceanids. Most mythology places Undines in salt water environments like the Oceanids and these creatures overlap and combine in folk tales around the world as either Nereids, Mermaids, Oceanids, Naiads, Undines, Ondines, or Water Nymphs. Some say they have interbred and there exists combinations, half-breeds, and mutations of these in watery realms. Since the Greeks thought of all the world’s waters as one biological system (blood stream and veins of Gaia, the Earth mother – Gaia Hypothesis) which perculates in from the sea through the cavernous aquifers within the earth, the waters would mix and inter-lap. They explain this in tales of such nymphs like Arethusa, the spring nymph, that could make her way from her spring through the subterranean flows from Peloponnesus to surface on the island of Sicily. It is through this manner that Undines and Naiads often get confused. They became objects of local water cults and worshiped in various ways with requests for healing, blessings, magic, or passage. Sometimes people would offer them pins, charms, cloth, clouties, flowers, plants, or ritually drowned animals into their waters. In hopes that they might communicate prophesy, oracles were situated by ancient springs or wells. As they were seen to be a jealous lot, they could endanger seamen, explorers, or boats passing within their realms.

Related to Naiads.

Written, researched, and Copyrighted (© 2013) by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions: www.technogypsie.com ~ http://www.naiads.org/well/?p=853.

    Bibliography, References, and Recommended Reading:
  • Burkert, Walter 1985 “Greek Religion”. Harvard University Press.
  • Graves, Robert 1955 “The Greek Myths”.
  • Homer “Odyssey” and “Iliad”
  • Poe, Edgar Allen 1829 “Sonnet to Science”.
  • Silver, Carole B. Silver “Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness”. ISBN 0-19-512199-6.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. undated “naiads”, “undines”. Website referenced 3/8/2014.

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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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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”. Caribbean 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 – foretelling 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

Habitats: Mermaid Cove at Carrick-A-Rede in Antrim, Northern Ireland:

   

 

     

 

   

 

     


Mermaid Cove

 

   

Mermaid Cove 

     

 

Disney’s Animated Classic: The Little Mermaid
Throughout film and cartoons, the mythos of the mermaid has enchanted us all, including the popular character “Arial”, aka “The Little Mermaid”.

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30907), Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30907), Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30907), Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30907), Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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