Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Undines & Mermaids
The water elementals fall into two distinct sections: freshwater elementals who dwell inland and saltwater elementals who inhabit the seas and oceans.
The freshwater elementals are known as undines. They are generally portrayed as female in art and literature. Though their male counterparts do exist, they are rarer.
Undines are the Faerie Priests and Priestesses of water, the spirits and guardians of wells, lakes, trickling streams and natural springs. Their element governs the emotions and feelings that run deep within us. Water also holds connections and gateways to the Otherworlds. Although when you look into water it reflects earthly reality, beneath the surface is another place of an entirely different quality. Water is the magic looking glass into Faerie land, both symbolically and actually.
As with all elementals, undines should be treated with respect, for they reflect the facets of their element. One moment a lake can be a beautiful place, reflecting the sun’s rays and bringing a sense of peacefulness and in another moment it can be responsible for injury or death. Just as water should be respected, so should the undines. However this does not mean you should not work with them, as they can lead you on journeys to illuminate the inner self and can reflect your emotions so that you can see them more clearly.
An undine’s appearance is traditionally that of a beautiful and alluring young woman resembling a female human in every way. Undines are very often exquisitely beautiful, so much so that in myth and legend mortal men have a hard time resisting their beckoning advances. They have extremely luxuriant hair and many sing so finely that it is a perfect sound.
The saltwater elementals are most known for their merpeople. Mermaids are the female faeries of the sea kingdoms; they are the magic in the waves and the whispering in a seashell. They keep beneath the tides the hidden enchantment which most humans have ceased to believe in.
The appearance of a mermaid is of course legendary, with the upper body of a bewitching young woman, usually with very long hair. Her legs are replaced by the tail of a fish.
There are many seafaring legends of mermaids. Some are said to have saved the lives of sailors from stormy seas, whereas others have summoned storms to cause a shipwreck.
Like the undines, they have exquisite singing voices and lure mortal men to be their lovers. Some have been known to marry human lovers and bear their children, although they always yearn for the sea and some do eventually return, with or without their human husbands.
Sea elementals take many other forms apart from mermaids, including the selkies, who are the seal people, the merrows who are the Irish sea people, the kelpies who are the water horses and the morgans of Cornwall and Brittany, who are the alluring sea people. All sea elementals demand the same respect as the element of water and are a privilege to work with.
Information taken from – Faeriecraft by Alicen & Neil Geddes Ward
Water element kit available from http://www.kitchenwitch.org/