For today’s post I would like to discuss nymphs and sexuality. Nymphs are ancient Greek faerie woman, who can be associated with several elements. That is why we have tales of woodland nymphs, water nymphs, and even nymphs associated with trees alone! These magical women sometimes get a bad rap for having been sexually rapacious.
The sexuality of nymphs has even lent its name to nymphomania! These are faerie women who were truly symbols of nature. Sex is one of the most natural things in the world, and this is not something that should be demonized. Unfortunately, in the western world and even today, we live in a world that often sees sex as dirty.
I feel women should be honest about their sexual nature, and embrace their sexuality. That is part of why I am drawn to the subject of nymphs, not to mention love goddesses and faerie queens! Love is such an important part of life, and sex is the physical expression of love, as well as how we produce offspring. All of this should make sex something sacred, and instead, all too often, it is something that is seen as a reason to ridicule others. This is especially true of women who embrace their sexual natures.
These beautiful and diminutive faerie women were also incredibly playful, besides being sexy. From most accounts of tales involving nymphs, one of the most important things to them was having a good time. This certainly falls in line with how sexual they are, because that is obviously a good time! What it also represents is a woman free of societal restraints, living a life by her own rules. There is something truly beautiful and liberating about this side of the nymph! We can all learn a bit about how to let go and enjoy the good things from this faeries. We need not be promiscuous to embrace our sexuality, we can do so in a loving committed relationship, or marriage. We need not live in the woods to honor nature, and we need not be faeries to learn from them!
Nymphs would often dance around the woods, and at edges of lakes, with their satyr. A satyr is a male nature spirit, with ears and a tail that resemble a horse. He is seen as a counterpart of the nymphs, and together they work magic around the forest! Satyrs are associated with fertility, and that makes them the prefect companions for the sexy nymphs!
Nymphs were creators of nature’s wild beauty. This means they are responsible for all of the beauty in the natural world. They cared for lakes, streams, the sea, woodlands, springs, and meadows. They were also the companions of the gods! The maenads of Dionysus can be seen as a type of nymph, huntress nymphs accompanied Artemis, and water nymphs were close to Poseidon. Hekate, goddess of witchcraft had dark nymphs with her in the Underworld. Not to mention that goddesses that resided on Mount Olympus had many nymph handmaidens! There were even nymphs that nurtured the infant Zeus, after his mother Rhea gave his father Cronus a stone to swallow in place of the babe.
All of this shows that although they are sometimes maligned for their sexuality and playfulness, nymphs were of great importance to the Greek gods and goddesses! They were also as I mentioned integral to the welfare of nature, and acted as creators and protectors of all sorts of natural resources. If we all embrace a little bit of that magical faerie energy that nymphs exude, we may see ourselves becoming a little freer!
I hope that you have enjoyed this post, and my feelings about nymphs and their relationship to sexuality. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus by John William Waterhouse. I found the image on en.wahooart.com.
- Mythology by Edith Hamilton
- A Witch’s Guide to the Faery Folk by Edain McCoy
- Enchantment of the Faerie Realm by Ted Andrews