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Nymphs and Dryads

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:01 pm

What's a good way to go out in Nature and connect with the Nymphs and Dryads? Did the ancient Greeks have a specific practice or method for that?
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Re: Nymphs and Dryads

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:36 pm

The natural world, to the Greeks and Romans, was a divine, but semi-hostile force toward humanity. Much effort was put into placating and appeasing the divinities of natural forces in order to, so people believed, avert disasters.

As a result of this, if you were to walk down a road in the Roman Empire, just as is the case today in India, Japan, or Southeast Asia, you would find many, many small shrines to unnamed local daemones of landmarks in the area. If you were traveling through the area, it was the custom to offer some recognition to these daemones (of which there are, indeed, a variety of types with different names: nymphs, dryads, oreids, hamadryads, etc.) in order to ensure your safe travels and to keep from offending the local daemones.

Nymphs of bodies of water, as a side note, were often considered to have some influence over conceiving children, and women wishing for children would sometimes seek out nymphaea (nymph-shrines). These were also often associated with healing of sicknesses, partially because nymphaea were often constructed near natural springs, which are even still visited as 'health spas'.

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-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
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"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
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Re: Nymphs and Dryads

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:43 pm

So when I walk through my local park, would it be appropriate to give an offering to the woodlands Nymphs, Dryads and Daimons of the area?
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Re: Nymphs and Dryads

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:28 pm

AgathonZante wrote:So when I walk through my local park, would it be appropriate to give an offering to the woodlands Nymphs, Dryads and Daimons of the area?

If you have reason to do so, and so long as there is no danger of the spot being trampled/damaged/desecrated/mowed/trashed etc, and so long as it is permitted to do so by the park authorities.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Nymphs and Dryads

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:33 pm

Well I was thinking along the lines of something simple like a libation at the base of a tree, something that would go away quickly.
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