Pagan Blog Project Week 41- Undines

Undines are one type of four elemental spirits in alchemy, and they represent the element of water.  Their counterparts are salamanders (fire), sylphs (air), and gnomes (earth).  They were first discussed in relation to alchemy by Paracelsus in the 15th century, but were later found represented in art and literature as a later representation of Nereids, Greek handmaidens to Poseidon, and were often portrayed as mermaids. The legend arose that if an undine fell in love with a human man, she became human herself.  But if that man betrayed her, she would die.

Related myths are the selkies of Ireland, Scottish Kelpies, Greek Sirens, Greek Naiads, German Rhinemaidens (or Lorelei), Slavic Rusalkas, and Polish Syrenka.  Water is a powerful element, representative of the basis of life here on earth, and also of deep emotions, hidden depths, and a nourishment as well as danger.  It has inspired myths all over the world, and it’s not so far fetched to believe that you can hear the whispers of water spirits in the gurgling of a creek, the crashing of the waves, or the roar of a waterfall.

Typically, in western Pagan traditions, water is located in the west of a cast circle, and is representative of autumn.  Here in Georgia, however, the ocean is located to the east and our springs are more rainy than our autumns.  So here, it makes sense to switch the position of air and water, thus tying water to east and spring, and air to west (the direction from which our weather comes- including breezes), and autumn (the season where leaves blow through the air, and inspiration is everywhere you look.

By all means, if you use the traditional association of water with west and autumn, now is an amazing time to work with that energy.  I’ll wait until the spring, however, when emotions are high after a long winter indoors.  Blessed be!

Black Mermaid / Sirena Negra
By: Jesus Solana