Mythology Monday ~ Nymphs!

In Greek mythology, nymphs are supernatural, female incarnations of nature — the plants, flowers, trees, mountains, wind, sea, etc. Nymphs are minor goddesses: more powerful than humans yet a step below the gods & goddesses.

Nymphs are typically depicted as beautiful and graceful women with soft, sweet appearances. Often, they are confused for fairies.

These magical spirits are neither good nor bad, neither benevolent nor evil — they do not perform miracles or play tricks on humans. Rather, they are beings of nature, and so they are concerned with keeping everything balanced.

There are several “types” of nymphs…

  • Air nymphs are one of the most common, and can be found practically anywhere. They prefer to reside high up in the sky. They do not form attachments with anyone and rarely stay in one place for too long. Limiting interaction with humans, they would rather step back and observe. Peaceful & passive.
  • Storm nymphs carry a dark energy and can be depicted with grayish-tinted skin. They have the power of turning normal clouds into storm clouds, capable of stirring up the weather and causing thunderstorms, lightning, heavy rain, tornados, hurricanes, etc. They are disliked and feared by most.
  • Earth (land) nymphs are attuned to rocks, stones, and crystals. They live underground and have the power to manipulate land, for example earthquakes. They also have the power to turn into a statue as protector of intruders. Typically depicted with a medium-to-dark complexion. These type associate most with humans, and in some cases will even marry humans.
  • Mountain nymphs are similar to earth nymphs, how they are attuned to rocks/stones/crystals and can manipulate land. However, living up in the mountains, they prefer a secluded life — far, far away from humans.
  • Wood nymphs are associated with the plants. They can manipulate plants, yet also recognize that all life is sacred, and so they treat them with respect. Wood nymphs can take over an entire forest and designate a queen. They enjoy interacting with humans and are happy to help, especially if one becomes lost in the middle of the woods.
  • Fire nymphs are rare and almost never interact with humans. They have the power to manipulate or create fire. Typically they are depicted as having red/orange hair.
  • Water nymphs are most beautiful of them all. Residing in the water, they love splashing in lakes, rivers, oceans, and waterfalls. Extremely giggly and flirtatious, they are known to seduce unsuspecting men. Water nymphs can be fickle and detached lovers; however, they are passionate and sensitive enough to die from a broken heart. It’s rare, but certainly possible for a water nymph to be a loyal/dedicated lover. Water nymphs are similar to mermaids and competitive of one another.
  • Many others… there are many other types of nymphs!

Daphne

One of the most famous nymphs in Greek mythology includes Daphne (Greek translated as Laurel), an independent woman determined to remain a virgin the rest of her life…

Apollo the sun god had just won the Pythian Games. Being a sore winner, he mocked Cupid. In return, Cupid’s mother (Eros) vengefully shot an arrow at Apollo, forcing him to fall in love with Daphne. Eros also shot an arrow into Daphne, forcing to her hate Apollo.

Under the spell, Apollo chased down Daphne. In desperate need of escaping him, Daphne prayed to the river god. Daphne was then morphed into a Laurel tree.

Apollo honored the laurel tree by using his powers of youth and immortality to turn the leaves evergreen. From then on, the Pythian Games were held every four years in honor of Apollo, and the winner would receive a Laurel crown.

Echo

Another famous nymph includes Echo. She was extremely talkative and charismatic until a curse was put on her, causing her to lose her voice and only speak the last of someone else’s words.

Echo fell in love with Narcissus. She followed him through the woods, remaining hidden. Unable to speak, she impatiently waited for him to speak first. When he did, all she could do was repeat the last of his words. He became irritated as she continued copying him. “Let us meet!” he said, “let us meet!” she said back — and when she came out, he was disgusted and rejected her. Narcissus went on to fall in love with himself after seeing his reflection in the water for the first time.

Devastated by Narcissus’ rejection, Echo ran away and hid in the forest and mountains. Eventually her weak body disintegrated into the rocks. However, her voice still remains alive to this day, only able to repeat the last of someone else’s words.

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