dryads

Mythological creatures around the world | Feyfolk

Dryads come from Greek mythology and are female tree spirits. They are generally very shy and hard to catch a glimpse of as they hide deep in their forests. The dryads are tied to their trees; they will become injured when the tree is injured, and they die when the tree dies. For this reason, the Gods punish any human who harms or cuts down trees without first propitiating the dryads.

{Harmony} by {Lamin Martin}

{Mythical CreaturesDryads}

In Greek mythology, the dryads are female spirits of nature (nymphs), who preside over the groves and forests. Each one is born with a certain tree over which she watches. A dryad either lives in a tree, in which case she is called a hamadryad, or close to it. The lives of the dryads are connected with that of the trees; should the tree perish, then she dies with it. If this is caused by a mortal, the gods will punish him for that deed. The dryads themselves will also punish any thoughtless mortal who would somehow injure the trees.

modern myths: dryads

You’ll see them at night, weaving flowers into each other’s hair under the streetlights. Florists everywhere are finding anonymous donations on their doorsteps; there has been, the news reporter says, a resurgence of bees. You wake up and there’s an oak tree growing out of a crack in the pavement. You say, “I could swear that wasn’t there yesterday." 

Dryads are tree nymphs in Greek mythology. In Greek drys signifies ‘oak,’ from an Indo-European root *derew(o)- 'tree’ or 'wood’. Thus dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general. “Such deities are very much overshadowed by the divine figures defined through poetry and cult,” Walter Burkert remarked of Greek nature deities (Burkert 1986, p174). Normally considered to be very shy creatures, except around the goddess Artemis who was known to be a friend to most nymphs.

The dryads of ash trees were called the Meliai. The ash-tree sisters tended the infant Zeus in Rhea’s Cretan cave. Rhea gave birth to the Meliai after being made fertile by the blood of castrated Ouranos. They were also sometimes associated with fruit trees.

Dryads, like all nymphs, were supernaturally long-lived and tied to their homes, but some were a step beyond most nymphs. These were the hamadryads who were an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs.

In the myth of Daphne, the nymph was pursued by Apollo and became a dryad associated with the laurel.

{Forest Nymph} by {Saver-Ag}

{Mythical Creatures- Nymphs}

In Greek mythology, nymphs were minor female deities associated with nature. Typically pictured as beautiful girls or young women, they could live for a very long time but were not immortal. Most nymphs were the daughters of Zeus* or of other Gods. In Greek mythology, different types of nymphs were associated with particular parts of the natural world. Nereids lived in both saltwater and freshwater.humans. However, some stories tell of nymphs who lured unsuspecting mortals to their deaths.Different kinds of nymphs were associated with particular parts of the natural world. The Oceanids were sea nymphs, daughters of the sea god Oceanus. One of the Oceanids married the sea god Nereus, and their daughters became the Nereids, nymphs who dwelled in both freshwater and saltwater. Another group of water nymphs, the Naiads were freshwater spirits associated with fountains, streams, rivers, and other forms of running water. Forest nymphs were divided into Dryads, originally linked specifically with oak trees but later known as nymphs of woods and forests in general, and the Hamadryads, who dwelled inside particular trees and perished when the trees died. Other types of nymphs included the Orestiads or Oreads (mountain nymphs), Meliae (nymphs of ash trees), and Leimoniads (meadow nymphs.)

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Swan Queen Week Day 7: Accidental Marriage

The two had spent the summer sneaking away from their mundane lives, Princess Regina from Cora’s castle and Emma from the blacksmithery, making magic together in the forest. They meet up one night and find a nest of forest nymphs. Guided by the nymphs, the girls eagerly exchange the ritual rings to complete a traditional dryad spell, unaware the mischievous deities had been watching them fall in love from the branches of the trees.