the nymphai

Nymph Classes

Celestial nymphs

  • Aurae (breezes), also called Aetae or Pnoae
  • Asteriae (stars), mainly comprising the Atlantides (daughters of Atlas)
  • Hesperides (nymphs of the West, daughters of Atlas; also had attributes of the Hamadryads)
  • Hyades (star cluster; sent rain)
  • Pleiades (daughters of Atlas and Pleione; constellation; also were classed as Oreads)
  • Maia (partner of Zeus and mother of Hermes)
  • Electra
  • Taygete
  • Alcyone
  • Celaeno
  • Asterope
  • Merope
  • Nephele (clouds)

Land nymphs

  • Alseides (glens, groves)
  • Auloniades (pastures)
  • Leimakides or Leimonides (meadows)
  • Napaeae (mountain valleys, glens)
  • Oreads (mountains, grottoes), also Orodemniades

Wood and plant nymphs

  • Anthousai (flowers)
  • Dryades (trees)
  • Hamadryades or Hadryades
  • Daphnaeae (laurel tree)
  • Epimeliades or Epimelides (apple tree; also protected flocks), other name variants include Meliades, Maliades and Hamameliades; same as these are also the Boucolai (Pastoral Nymphs)
  • Kissiae (ivy)
  • Meliae (manna-ash tree)
  • Hyleoroi (watchers of woods)

Water nymphs (Hydriades or Ephydriades)

  • Haliae (sea and seashores)
  • Nereids (50 daughters of Nereus, the Mediterranean Sea)
  • Naiads or Naides (fresh water)
  • Crinaeae (fountains)
  • Eleionomae (wetlands)
  • Limnades or Limnatides (lakes)
  • Pegaeae (springs)
  • Potameides (rivers)
  • Oceanids (daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, any water, usually salty)

Underworld nymphs

  • Cocytiae, daughters of the river god Cocytus
  • Lampades - torch bearers in the retinue of Hecate
  • individual underworld nymphs:
  • Leuce (white poplar tree), lover of Hades
  • Minthe (mint), lover of Hades, rival of Persephone

Other nymphs

  • Hecaterides (rustic dance) - sisters of the Dactyls, mothers of the Oreads and the Satyrs
  • Kabeirides - sisters of the Kabeiroi
  • Maenads or Bacchai or Bacchantes - frenzied nymphs in the retinue of Dionysus
  • Lenai (wine-press)
  • Mimallones (music)
  • Thyiai or Thyiades (thyrsus bearers)
  • Melissae (honey bees), likely a subgroup of Oreades or Epimelides
  • The Muses (memory, knowledge, art)
  • Themeides - daughters of Zeus and Themis, prophets and keepers of certain divine artefacts

{Nymphai of Hellenismos} The Mousai/Muses

The Mousai (Muses) were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass. Later the Mousai were assigned specific artistic spheres: Kalliope, epic poetry; Kleio, history; Ourania, astronomy; Thaleia, comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polyhymnia, religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore, choral song and dance.

In ancient Greek vase painting the Mousai were depicted as beautiful young women with a variety of musical intruments. In later art each of the nine was assigned her own distinctive attribute.

There were two alternative sets of Muses: the three or four Mousai Titanides and the three Mousai Apollonides.

Hellenizing your Polis?

I recently posted this question on a forum and I’m wondering as to what the Tumblr community might be able to chime in with.

as a Hellenic Polytheist it’s impossible ignore the enormous focus the Hellenes put on their Polis. The Hellenes also believed that just about every geographic feature embodied a naturalistic divinity, the categories these minor Gods fell into were: 

the Nymphai (Tree, flower, Spring, Lake Goddesses)
the Potamoi (River Gods)
the Ourea (Mountain Gods)

So my Question: Have you ever considered incorporating the rivers, mountainsides or hills, lakes or any notable park or green space into your religious world-view? As a Bostonian, I find the Charles River is a key feature to the city, I’m coming to perceive him as the Potamo Károlos, and the Appalachian Mountains as one of the Orea. I wonder if anyone else has done the same, or what they think about this?

The encounter of Hylas and the Nymphs - Giovanni Demin.
Palazzo Papadopoli, Santa Marina, Venice. 

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 26 mythographer C2nd A.D. 
“The boy Hylas went carrying a pail to the River Askanios (Ascanius) to fetch water for the leaders [Argonauts]. And when the Nymphai (Nymphs), who were the daughters of this River, saw and fell in love with him, they pulled him in, dragging him down into the spring. After Hylas had disappeared, Herakles saw that he was not coming back to him and deserted the heroes, searching everywhere in the thickets, calling ‘Hylas’ again and again. The Nymphai, fearing that Herakles might discover that they had hidden the lad among them, changed him into an echo which again and again echoed back the cries of Herakles … To this day local people make sacrifices to Hylas by the spring. The priest calls him by his name three times and an echo replies three times.”

anonymous asked:

Is there a section in your new book on Hypnos? And where can I buy your book?

Theoi Nykterinói: Praises to the Theoi of the Night includes sections for Hera, Hekate, Nyx, Selene, Artemis, Asteria, Astraios, Hypnos, Morpheus, and Eos. All with morning and evening prayers, at least one hymn, and a libation prayer for each of those Theoi. There’s also a section for Stars & Constellations which focuses on the heroes, heroines, monsters and nymphai associated with the 12 zodiacs and some of the other most recognizable constellations and star clusters. Finally, the book closes with hymns for other Theoi, who while not strongly connected to the night, have epithets which connect Them to the night.

The section for Hypnos contains an evening prayer, a morning prayer, two hymns to Hypnos, a hymn to His wife Pasithea, and a libations prayer to Hypnos.

My current book, Eusebia: Daily Praises to the Theoi is available for purchase as a softcover or a pdf on Blurb. You have to make a free account with them to purchase a book, but they allow me to keep more of the profits than the other services I was looking at, and they’re a print on demand service. Theoi Nykterinói will be available through Blurb as well, because I’ve been really happy with them. Blur also gives me the option of releasing my books through amazon, but I haven’t done that yet because it would be a several week delay and I just haven’t bothered since my sales on blurb have been fine.

Artemis’ bow is dancing, 
leaving notes that hang like dewdrops in the air,
a joyful clamor that dances
over Apollo’s guitar. The silver strings blur
in vibration under Her calloused fingers,
as deft on the bow as on a bowstring.

Young girls laugh, stomping and turning,
kicking up the dust to their goddess’s song.
Artemis laughs, white teeth flashing 
in Her tanned face, fingers flickering
over the ebony of the fingerboard. Maidens dance
to the keladeine fiddle,

and everyone around the floor remembers
that the God of music is Her brother,
that the Nymphai dance and make merry
in Her train.

—  Artemis of the fiddle, an epithet found by opalborn // r.s.b.

{Nymphai of Hellenismos} The Lampades

The Lampades were the torch-bearing Khthonian Nymphs of the underworld, companions of the goddess Hekate in her night-time revels and hauntings. They were associated with the Eleusinian celebrants who carried torches during the nocturnal Mystery rites of Demeter.

Greek Mythology | Nymphs » Underworld

Dark they are and cold but no less beautiful as other nymphs. Their skin is pale as death and lips red as blood.

Their prescence is haunting, bearing torches as they accompany Hecate on her night-time travels and hauntings. But do not catch their eyes or gaze upon their torches for longer than you must as it might drive you into madness.

Aristaeus | Son of Apollo | God of the Rustic Arts

“Now Apollon begat by Kyrene in that land a son Aristaios and gave him while yet a babe into the hands of the Nymphai to nurture, and the latter bestowed upon him three different names, calling him, that is, Nomios (Shepherd), Aristaios, and Argeus (Hunter).”

{Nymphai of Hellenismos} The Oceanids/Okeanides

The Okeanides (or Oceanides) were three thousand goddess Nymphs who presided over the sources of earth’s fresh-water, ranging from rainclouds to subterranean springs and fountains. Their numbers included the Nephelai (Cloud-Nymphs), Aurai (Breeze-Nymphs), Naiades (Spring and Fountain Nymphs), Leimonides (Pasture Nymphs), and Anthousai (Flower Nymphs). They were all daughters of the great, earth-encircling, fresh-water stream Okeanos and his wife Tethys.

The eldest among them were numbered among the Titanides - Styx, Dione, Neda, Metis, Klymene, Eurynome, Doris, Elektra, and Pleione. These were most likely heavenly goddesses of the clouds.

Some of the Okeanides personified divine blessings, such as Metis (Wisdom), Klymene (Fame), Plouto (Wealth), Tykhe (Good Fortune), Telesto (Success), and Peitho (Persuasion). The goddess Nemesis (Distributor) was also sometimes included, as one who provided balance to her sister’s gifts by punishing undeserved good fortune.
These Good Spirits (daimones agathoi) were ephemeral in nature much like the dark children of Nyx (Night), the Spirits of Harm (daimones kakoi).

Another group of Okeanides were described as attendants of the Olympian goddesses, the most prominent of these were the sixty Okeanis companions of Artemis, Peitho the handmaiden of Aphrodite, and Klymene a handmaiden of Hera.

The Okeanid Naiades were mostly Nymphs of springs, wells and fountains which never ran dry. They were often portrayed as the wives of the Potamoi (River-Gods) and mothers of a host of younger Naiades.

The Okeanides were very rarely described as Sea-Nymphs. It was only later, when the mythical, earth-encircling, fresh-water river Okeanos came to be equated with the salty seas of the Atlantic, that his daughter nymphs came to be described as marine.

Sing of mighty Rhea,
Great Mother, Queen of Time.
Make things easy, Mama Rhea,
fold us into Your motherhood
as You folded a stone to your breast: protection.

Purple Mountains Mother,
surely the maternity of the Blue Ridge
cannot have escaped You. There are midwives
here, bloody-handed lifebringers,
and You and Artemis will decide if that white
farmhouse will hear a squalling baby,
or if the vultures who ride the updrafts
above the river will call out instead.

We’ll sing of Lady Artemis,
who leads a pack of coonhounds down the mountain,
whose wildernesses shrink with each logging truck
rolling up the dirt road.

Artemis cuts deer stands from their trees, preferring the chase
and Artemis strikes women, young and old, with death;
Artemis bathes alone in the iciest of mountain streams,
and Artemis places the face of a black bear amongst the stars.

We’ll sing of the Nymphai Hyperboreai

Hekaergos—test the power of your bow,
shoot those universal orange-and-blue foam targets and
flex your muscles for strength until
you know exactly how much distance you need
between you and your prey,
between you and the blood,
between you and the guilt.

Opsis–paint your cheeks
black and dress in orange and green,
hide behind red maple trunks and take
your aim.

Loxos—the curve, a thrumming string,
the pulleys of a compound bow arcing back
into place even as the arrow arcs;
the white edge of an eye, looking at doom,
looking at
then death.

The Meliai run like death too,
bronze-armored, bronze-skinned trailer
park princesses. These girls don’t take your shit;
ash-stained fingers are just as good as ink-stained ones,
and when the snow melts and the rains of April come
(flooded homes or no)
they’ll fight your ass from Hades—
they are mothers of great men,
and great themselves—poverty, they’ll tell you, has nothing to do with it.
And yet they wash away.

We’ll sing of the Potamoi,
muddy-eyed, bull-horned
robed in red clay mud.
Take me back to the Green River,
where paradise lay shining in the creekbed

    and of the Okeanides, Naiades,
with whose blood I painted,
one thousand rivulets over dry leaves,
who feed rhododendrons aplenty
in the hollers and folds of the mountain,

    and of the Leimonides,
golden spaces hewn from the slopes,
who live now where ancient trees once stood—
pastures were not always for growing,
and You conquered thousand-year growth to get here.

Sing of Aristaios, whose pastures (once made)
give apiaries and sheep pens a place,
You whose fleeces line the shelves of county fairs,
You whose clover honey; locust honey; basswood honey
lines the stalls of every farmer’s market around.

We’ll sing of the Thriae,
given to Hermes, counting riverstones under bridges–
purple sandstone, red sandstone,
sometimes cold gray limestone, mossy with pollution.
not bridge-trolls, not a big deal,
but small prophecies, small women surrounded,
golden fur over dark skin,
black, stony eyes.

Sing of Kheiron, who teaches English
in a building with broken windows and rotting linoleum
Teachers can grow old and die, and this school
will never win a football game.

A blacksmith shoes horses for the rich,
and His hammer ringing on iron sings “Hephaistos, Hephaistos.”
He knows these white picket fences,
these green, rolling hills, these dreams of Southern romance
and knows that at least His crippled legs are planted firmly in the mud.

We’ll sing of Hephaistos, sing with coal-black lungs,
sing with coal-dust hearts:
protect our families from this black gold,
this earthen fire. We die to fuel the cities of our world;
Hephaistos, protect us, ease our passing.

Sing praises of Hermes, who plays the banjo on off nights at the Sycamore Café,
who ran for office too many times and now somehow runs the town.
Sing praises of Hermes, lest he leave us to our gambling addictions,
lest our football team should lose—those two things are intertwined.

Dionysos rests on a mound of kudzu,
vines twisting around him—he is growing chaos.
Copper piping twists near him like shimmering vegetation,
and as drunk as they are, the police will never find this still.
Their crown, Corona, twinkles drunkenly above,
and Ariadne smiles in her sleep.

—  Hymn to the Rustic Theoi, Praise andSupplication from Southern Appalachia ((A poem inspired by, and hopefully not too derivative of, the work of Mari opalborn ))

I haven’t shared my shrine is AGES so I thought it was about time. Here is what I have going on right now. Note I use a simple bookcase in my bedroom that is against the wall. Also I do a lot of oil offerings as smoke can really bother my boyfriend and our super sensitive smoke detector. 

Top Shelf

  • Hestia Candle
  • Cruet - every now & then I am smart. This is the best thing I have found to easily pour offerings. It keeps the liquid (in this case a nice Calvados) fresh and does not drip everywhere. Winning!
  • Small faux Wedgwood pitcher filled with khernips (I make a new batch each morning)
  • Zeus - jar candle that is currently closed, glass phial with cork (soon to be filled with a few items I have that remind me of Zeus!) and star offering bowl. I find Zeus likes food offerings quite a bit.
  • Hera - purple votive, small phial of fancy jasmine attar oil, liquid offering bowl.
  • Earthenware bowl for burnt offerings
  • Oil burner for oil offerings that reminds me of The Nymphai as well as flowers and my book on The Nymphai

Middle Shelf

  • Aphrodite - pink candle holder, pretty oil, offering dish with current offering and a shell.
  • Dionysus - amethyst egg and a wine colored votive followed by my books on each of them.
  • Selene - candle, lunar incense, lunar perfume and behind the candle is an offering bowl full of different stones.
  • On the box - Demeter - brown votive, silver apple thing I was just give and have no idea what to do with (it’s a salt dish it has a tiny spoon), and an oil for her.
  • Hermes - Candle and an offering bowl full of miniature D6s (dice!) - I super love this!
  • Athena - miniature owl statue, oil and candle
  • up front - Apollo Candle and oil plus an oil for The Mousai.
  • Poseidon - a simple scallop shell for offerings and a candle

Bottom Shelf

  • Ancestors - skull, candle and Memorium oil.
  • Agathos Daimon - offering bowl, 4 stones, herbs and an oil
  • Heroines & Heroes - Offering bowl, labyrinth & spindle
  • Persephone & Hades - Family cigar box for additional offerings, books, votives and a small tall offering dish.
  • Hekate - Candle, oil and an offering dish with a stone offering.

I just kind of slowly get a few things together. One day I’d like these to all be in different places in the house so they can be spread out. I’m currently looking for something for Hades. Usually I have a small vase of flowers for Persephone, but no flowers are found yet. As soon as they grow they are hers. Additionally I’d like something more for The Mousai and The Nymphai. I’m saving right now for a statue of Zeus and Hera for the top shelf. It’s always a work in progress. Additionally depending on the calendar and what is going on the top shelf also becomes an altar.

{Nymphai of Hellenismos} The Naiads/Naides

The Naiads (or Naides) were fresh-water Nymphs who inhabited the rivers, streams, lakes, marshes, fountains and springs of the earth. They were immortal, minor divinities who were invited to attend the assemblies of the gods on Mount Olympos.

The Naiades, along with Artemis, were regarded as the divine nurses of the young, and the protectors of girls and maidens, overseeing their safe passage into adulthood. Similarly Apollon and the River-Gods (fathers of the Naiades) were the patron gods of boys and youths.