Doris of Greek mythology is an Oceanid, her name represents the bounty of the sea as she is a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Doris was mother to the fifty ‘Nereids’ including Thetis, who is was mother of Achilles and Amphitrite. The ‘Sea Nymphs’ are the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, and each are a spirit guardian of a particular Spring, Pond, Lake, River, Sea, Rain and Clouds.
Nymphs and Nereids are not human, they are spirit guardians of nature. Through the journey of humankind over thousands of years, they have been portrait by artists as young maidens. But its wise to remember that they are spirit guardians of water, especially if you are fond of doing ceremony with water. Doris when not associated with a god, is considered the fertility of the ocean, of the rich fishing-grounds found at the mouths of any rivers where fresh water mingled with the brine of the ocean.
Being an Oceanid meant she is the Spirit Guardian where the Ocean and River meet.
Her name is derived from two words: Dôron meaning the “gift” or “abundance”
Zôros meaning the “pure” and “unmixed”
Zôros was often used to describe fresh water in terms of the pure soul of a woman (enlightened in todays terms), and from this derived words such as zôrua “the transference of flowing water” or the purification processes of the living source (within) and zôrux “water conduit” which meant the connection to the source.
The Sea Nymph Okyrhoe “swift running and fast flowing”
Okyrhoe’s father was Chiron, wisest of the Horse clan (Centaurs) and her mother was the water nymph Chariklo. Okyrhoe main gift of healing and prophecy, both waking and dreaming. In one of the myths, Chiron was entrusted by Apollo to care for a baby named Aesculapiu and so he brought the child to his cave. Okyrhoe came out to greet him, and upon seeing the child burst forth into his prophecy:
“Grow strong, dear boy, healer of all the world. Often to you, Men shall owe health and life, and yours shall be the rites of the departed souls. And, though you dare this once in heaven’s despite, Jove’s bolt will thwart that gift a second time. You, now divine, shall be a lifeless corpse, and from a corpse become divine again, and twice born, you shall renew your destiny and fate.”
In this, she predicted that the baby would grow up to be one of the greatest healers able to bring the dead back to life (the dead karmic soul aspects) or what is termed transformational healing today, death and rebirth medicines. But in doing this, he would eventually anger the gods, who would strike him down and yet even within that, the Fates who were stronger than any God, would bring him back to life, and thus he would be reborn.
Okyrhoe was a Prophet, but the ruling men of the day had used maidens gifts for their own advancement in the building of their kingdoms and were punished if it didn’t serve these ruling classes. If she broke the rules, she suffered for it. One day, she predicted that her father, would be granted death by the other gods because the pain of a serpent’s venom would torment his soul (in order to heal it). But she only was able to speak part of the prophecy:
“And from her deepest heart sighed, and tears ran down her cheeks; she said: “The Fates halted my speech. I am allowed to say no more. What good was there in having learned this art, if now it only draws the wrath of men against me? Would I not be better off without the power to predict the course of days to come? I can already sense that they are stripping all my human semblance.” (Ovid’s Metamorphoses of woman’s story of their corruption by the new clans of pagan and religious men). She was a maiden, she was not an adult woman nor a grandmother, so she could not protect nor defend herself from the abuse.
Its wise to remember when working with mythology of the Goddess, that these ancient goddess names were born forth from the elements like fire, water, wind… they were not “human” they were the spirit of the elemental. Its also wise to remember that the Greeks (or any writers that were men in any tradition on earth around the 2nd bce to 2nd ce centuries), made symbolism of the real soul and its emotional experiences non-existent when equating it to emotional sensitivities and their deeper meanings of real human beings, especially women.
Ancient Theater back then like today, did bring forth the actions of emotional embodiment into a living process but it was during the destruction of the feminine, the female in cultures, and the soul which was then eventually overtaken by mind-body cultures. The dreaming tree died. But, it has been the artists, the philosophers, actors and women scholars over the ages who have not only brought back the symbolic meaning into the actions of our real soul and our emotional meaningful past (that was deemed either hysterical or over sterile) throughout history, but it was not.
Original mythologies spoken through oral traditions, folk stories and folk legends of women are centered around Symbolism, Dreaming and the Creative Art processes giving a real life communications to our soul’s life. The real living ‘waters’ or actions to the soul to our human story outside of pain and suffering and outside the perimeters of war, kingdoms and conquering which caused that suffering.
Source: Water Maiden (Nymph) painting by Yuriy Ivanovich Starodubov; Water Lantern on the Coast by Branislav Jovanović; http://www.zanestein.com (Ocyrhoe myths); Emanuela Comito
The Healing Waters and it’s uses for Spaces, Cleansing and Intentions by Phoenix of Elder Mountain – As artists, healers, dreamers, magicians, pagans, witches, druids and moon children, we deserve a spiritually clear and clean space. In our busy lives, many do mind-body practices like yoga or meditation to balance, but there is something missing and that is our emotional and soul care. Rituals and counsel which assists us in feeling calm in a non-physical and non-thought way. And to help us reconnect back to ancient times when ‘water’ rites were very important. The spiritual tradition of our emotional and soul bodied health.
Intense energy from within the self or others or life itself, leads to soul loss, inability to ground emotionally, inside the self or from life itself, which can energetically allow chaos into our personal lives or our living area which can make our home, place of work all statically charged effecting our emotions. Too much electricity and lights and florescent lights will do the same thing. Even extra feelings of stress when there is not the flow of liquids occurring within, will effect us. For those who live on a river, near an ocean or a creek, it can cut down on stress, but living in a rushed or busy life, we can add water rites into our home or living area in very small but effective ways.
Here are some helpful things I have learned and used along the way and this one is very simple to keep your spaces “emotionally clear” – I have never used crystals because as a dreamer and magnetic (empathic) person, the energy of crystals charges and always disperses energy like electricity (which its suppose to). But my composition as an artist, dreamer and healer is that I need the energy to soften, not only me but my space. About 15 years ago, I began to use large a sacred bowl and fill it with water with my intent of whispering to the water element asking it to be receptive for me and take any emotional releases when I held goddess and then moon circles. I started then to use it more, a few years later because I was doing a lot of healing work and meditation every week with other healers and my own healing practice. What was just my two once a month circles with the water bowl, became several times a week in my healing practice and I began to feel the presence of intentional water right away in my living space. It then became a permanent sacred water bowl in my living room from then on. . For those who love water in general, or like to swim in a pool, hot tub, creek, river or ocean or you feel all watery and emotional or empathic in general, you will find this type of clearing and cleansing makes you feel lighter of burden in small ways. I began adding a large bowl of water to my main living area and I whisper specific things into the water, asking it to receive any and all emotional releases from me, my children, family or clients and apprentices that visited my home and around my home in general. I moved a lot in the last twenty years, so I was always having to set up new altars, new spaces where many people had lived before me, so before I even moved anything I would do a water and fire cleansing. I even use it for any shadowy souls who roamed before I was strong enough to push them out as a shaman. Many shadows attached to my clients who came over for healing work, and because they had issues with healthy boundaries, more difficult and intense things happening to them and the bowl of water in my healing room helped both them and me weekly.
On each new moon, put a large “bowl of water” and let it sit the entire moon cycle (month) in the living room or in the room which is most active or your healing room. Change the bowl of water on the next New Moon and whisper again, adding in fresh water and repeat the process until the space feels lighter (or you notice it being light). I started off this way but about ten years ago, I keep it out year round.
You can add some seasonal herbs to sit in the bowl of water like St. Johns’ Wort (fresh) or Rosemary from the garden. In Winter I add a little Pine with dried Mugwort that was dried in the Autumn and I do that for my dreaming to remain clearer in my cottage when I awake in the morning from a night of dream travel. Try your own favorite herbs and keep note if it feels lighter in the room or space, if it doesn’t – go back to pure water or try a different combination of herbs. Generally I only add the herbs if its a challenging moon cycle (we generally will get 3 moons a year) and I will know this from the previous years of moon work for the past 22 years what will repeat on a given moon cycle, since this is what I teach.
I also brush myself off and throw the energy into the water when I am feeling that sticky feel after being in town. As a healer, I also do this with clients with chord cutting work, its mandatory so they release all of the residue of emotional energy from their astral body. When I go to a healer, I ask them to set a bowl of water out during the session just in case they enjoy an occasional wine or something like that and I don’t want to absorb it from their emotional body.
I learned in my 40s when I went to a lot of healers, that after a session they felt great and I felt drained even though I worked with many disciplines and healers as things arose. It wasn’t them pers sat, its just I was giving them a healing at the same time, and taking in their energy that was toxic, when they didn’t go to healers to work on their issues in life. I found out during this period, many, many healers do not go to other healers nor do they do trades, they are not getting work done and when a ‘receptive’ enters their healing practice, they get a healing also. Once I realized this, I became very discerning about who I worked with, if they did healing work with other healers, and if they were sober (no pot or drink) and this made a huge difference. I stopped feeling drained after that from the healers I went to, from then on. I chose never to go to free energy circles either, too many energy vampires.
I learned just how “receptive” or magnetic (empathic) I was in my early 40s and used the knowledge for change, and did something about it. The “intentional” water bowl, made a huge difference for me during those years and I still use it in my space, and all around me, and the ‘feel’ of a room stays clear.
Water always keeps things flowing and it is the greatest purifier of emotional energy, dream energy, even much stronger than sage. Sweat Lodges are also good because it too is water based with the fire and stones. Sage is great for both the mental body’s energy clearing and makes the physical body feel relaxed and by adding sage (earth/air elements) to the water ritual and bowl of intentional water, it doubles the clearing and cleansing.
Emptying your Water Bowl When you are finished with the whole moon cycle, just take the water bowl outside and pour it on the ground asking Mother Earth to cleanse it and give her thanks. This is very important, because the moon is magnetic and pulls energy up and forth to the surface, so make sure you empty your bowl on the either the full moon or the new moon. Consistency is what keeps the flow of the moon phase that your working with.
Water Charms Water Charms are talisman and amulets that help you when you are out and about at work, play or especially for those who live in more arid or desert environments. I recommend making them yourself and making sure that you can refill the water periodically so its not stagnant. Wearing them whenever you are in large crowds, baseball or football stadiums, etc. They will help absorb just like the home water bowl I described above.
I have suggested that some bring a plastic or glass water bottle and fill it with water for the specific intention when they go to town or the hustle of a big city and whispering in the water to take any negative emotional energy that is around them. Make sure this water is given to mother earth to cleanse, so no one drinks from it or else they will get sick, especially children, it can be quite toxic.
Plus Water Charms, Talisman and Amulets are very creative and wonderful to make, be exploratory with images of water, mermaids, rusalkas, dolphins, whales or sea shells. Sea shells make great protection talisman for all things emotional and has been used by ancient cultures and indigenous cultures for millenniums.
Feng shui means literally “wind” and “water” and is the ancient Chinese practice of positioning objects to achieve harmony. This involves assessing various factors including flows of Qi (energy) and the patterns of yin and yang (opposing forces) or masculine and feminine energies. Things that block the flow of Qi cause problems; things that allow it to flow freely are good. The popularity of fish tanks are due to feng shui; that both fish and water is lucky and auspicious.
Before adding any symbols for elements in your home, make sure you know in which direction your home is set and where each element is located. For example, you don’t want to add a water element in your fire sector unless there is an issue of too much fire and you need to weaken it. If you think in terms of how the real elements function in nature, it’ll help you in determine what corresponding and helpful elements to add to each sector of your home. Adding elements that fortify the energy in certain areas of your home will attract more of that element.
A water fountain, small or large is an excellent symbol you can use inside or outside your home. Moving water symbolizes wealth and emotional health flowing to you. If you choose to use a water fountain there are four very important feng shui rules you need to follow when placing this feature.
Never place a fountain or any water feature in a bedroom. The energy is too disruptive and will result in loss;
Be careful when placing a fountain in your home. The mistake often made in placing a water fountain is locating it in the wrong sector. The best place for a water fountain is outside your home or in a known water sector of your home. In the Black Hat sect of feng shui, north is considered the water direction. In Form and Compass Feng Shui you’ll want to utilize the Eight House Theory and Flying Star principles to determine the sectors of your home for each element.
Outside fountains should flow toward your home. If you place a water feature outside your home and the water flows away from your home, you will quickly see your money flowing away from you either in mounting bills or even the loss of your job. By the same token, inside fountains should not flow out of the room or out a door or window.
Only use one water symbol in each appropriate room. Placing more than one water element in your room won’t create greater wealth. This will overload the energy and backfire on you by creating great loss. Remember, it’s all about balancing the chi energies in your home.
Art, Paintings and Photographs of Water
Using paintings and photos of rivers, waterfalls, oceans, and other bodies of flowing water is an easy way to introduce a water symbol into your home. Again, you want to be certain that you are placing the painting or photo in the correct sector of your home.
Chinese Character for Water
A popular way to introduce the water element into a room is by using a scroll that has the Chinese character written on it. If you’re an artist or know calligraphy, you may wish to create your own version for a frameable work of art.
Colors for the Water Elements
In Black Hat Sect of feng shiu, color is used to activate elements. If you practice this school of feng shui, you’ll want to use the colors assigned to the water direction, north. Black and blue are the first choices for water element activation in Black Hat Sect feng shui. You can also use northwest colors of white and gray.
You may have noticed an aquarium inside many Chinese restaurants. This is an ancient feng shui practice, taken from the use of koi ponds throughout China. The correct placement of this water feature ensures wealth and a successful business. The practice is to place seven red fish, usually goldfish, and one black fish in the tank or vice versa to activate the elements that bring prosperity. Never place an aquarium tank in a bedroom.
Objects to Activate Water Elements
You can also use an object for a water symbol in your feng shui design. The Chinese use some some very specific water symbol objects.
Sculptures and drawings of fish, especially koi make a wonderful symbol.
Brass or other metal frog, especially Good Luck Frogs that sit on top a pile of ingots. This popular Chinese depiction shows the frog with its third foot firmly planted on the gold and has a Chinese coin in its mouth. This frog serves two purposes. As a water dweller, it represent water and comes bearing an actual coin to help stimulate the flow of money.
White cranes are a long-time favorite symbol for water. All kinds of boats and ships can be used. You aren’t limited to just Chinese symbols, you can also use American symbols of the ocean such as anchors, sea gulls, crabs, seashells, and many other symbols. Be creative in your choices for your décor.
Андрей Ленкевич. Язычество – Belarus people have an original culture rooted back in the pre-religious times. The Belarusian culture has benefited from the fact that when the Slavic tribes came to settle in nowadays Belarus lands, they accept the achievements of the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes. This form of religious perception existed for about 15-20 centuries and made the basis of today’s Belarusian culture.
Belarusians had a written language already in the pagan period (earlier the emergence of the written language was attributed to the advent of Christianity) and when Prince Vladimir’s efforts to baptize people in the 10th century C.E., he could not completely destroy the pagan beliefs. The trust in the magic powers of trees, birds, flowers and stones could not be stopped. All of the pre-pagan and much of the pagan traditions were lost or ceased in their celebrations in the 19th to the 20th centuries. A great number of still existing traditions and celebrations are reconstructed by people interested in Belarus culture and by folk unions.
The major traditions in Belarus that have arisen because of the pagan influences related to the process of natural renewal that is characteristic of spring like Gukannie Vjasny (Welcoming of Spring) or less known Sula and Ur’ja (dedicated to future harvest). The festivals are accompanied by their appropriate spring songs and mostly related to the worship of the sun which is paganism. The older pre-pagan Slavic and Balkan cultures honored and still honor the sun goddess.
The Kupalle that is a celebration accompanying the Solstice on June 21st is one of the most cherished pagan festivals. In later times however the festival has been thought to be a Christian celebration of a male saint called Ivan Kupala. This is the way Christianity interchanged with Pagan holidays. The primary part of the celebration related to this festival is the worship of “fire” which is thought to be the symbol of renewal.
The absolutely forgotten tradition of “Rusallie” is dedicated to the water-nymph and still exists in Kuzmichy village: Six people of the village have a meal together on the river bank and then choose the best water-nymph for the next year.
Another major holiday in Belarus is given for the festival called Dzyady, the cult of worshiping the spirits of the dead ancestors. It consists of a ritual dinner which commemorates the dead relatives of the concerned family and is celebrated about three to four times a year. Along with this, Belarus holidays also consist of celebrating the Kaliady, which is the Pagan version of celebrating Christmas and the New Year. The celebration starts from December 25th and goes until January 7th.
Together with that, Pagan culture still exists as a “Dark Magic”. “Villages wizards “ practice their rites in the country side. They cure people using charms and special kinds of herbs.
About photographer: Andrei Liankevich, Belarusian photographer, born 1981 in Grodno and based in Minsk (Belarus). 2004-2005 he studied on World Press Photo seminar in Yerevan (Arminia). In 2007 Andrei took part in the Focus on Monferrato master class in Tuscany (Italy). In 2008 he participated in a program by French Association Pour l’Instant, shooting a photo story on “Modern family institutions”. In 2009-2010 Andrei produced portraits of the Belarussians living in Poland during “Gaude Polonia” program. Since 2004 Andrei taught a course on Photojournalism at the European Humanity University in Vilnius (Lithuania).
In 2010 “Pagan” was published, Andrei’s the first book about Belarus Pagan traditions. In 2009 Andrei wins prize at the Humanity Photo Awards with his work about “Pagan traditions in Belarus”, late that year the project was among finalists of “Magnum Expression Award”. Later Andrei wins 1st Prize at the Polish Photography Contest dedicated to 170 Years of Photography. And in 2010 Andrei won OSCE photo contest and got 1st prize in Belarus Press Photo contest in “People in news” category.
I made this video based on the power and message of this particular song, which is about the great losses that women suffer from men’s wars. With such destruction, to both woman and her family, her husband, brother or even her own rape from the darkest sexual misuses of soldiers of war. How she must look to her sisters, her mothers, grandmothers and women friends to rebuild herself, her life, through her community, and even her own soul.
She must include the ancient rituals like Kupala and Kupala Night of the summer solstice, which has a much deeper root of emotional renewal in it’s original roots of women’s circles before paganism. Kupala (Belarusian Купала, Russian Купала, Купало, Polish Kupała, Ukrainian Купала, Купало/Купайло) is a traditional goddess in Slavic mythology. All of the variants of the name in the Slavic languages are pronounced in the same or almost exactly the same manner regardless of the language and alphabet. In his book Deutsche Mythologie (1835), Jacob Grimm noted that Russians used the word kupala to describe the bonfires they light at the summer solstice and explained that the name Kupulo, was a harvest god.
Although the word kupala (or kupalo) is usually explained as “bather” (from kupat(i) ‘to bathe’), some scholars claim that it is not an epithet of John the Baptist, but a name of a pre-Christian Slavic deity, derived from some other root. The cult of Kupala, the god of fertility and sexuality is a direct link to the pagan god Dionysus which spread like wildfire through Europe and Eastern Europe from ancient times around 1000 bce, but later in the slavic pagan traditions into Christian was presumably replaced by worship of John the Baptist.
Many of the rites related to this holiday are from the ancient Kupala rites connected with the role of water of women’s rites (fertility) for direct ritual purification of emotional issues, distress, hardships or the hardships of raising children and families. Modern Kupala day, young people jump over bonfires ritual test of bravery and faith. The failure of a couple in love to complete the jump while holding hands is a sign of their destined separation.
Girls may float wreaths of flowers (often lit with candles) on rivers, and would attempt to gain foresight into their relationship fortunes from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river. Men may attempt to capture the wreaths, in the hope of capturing the interest of the woman who floated the wreath. There is an ancient Kupala belief that the eve is the only time of the year when the sacred Vesta fern bloom. Prosperity, luck, discernment and power would befall on whoever finds it and this is linked with the Firebird, but was lost written traditions from the oral traditions.
Therefore, on that night, village folk would roam through the forests in search of magical herbs and especially the elusive fern flower. Traditionally, unmarried women, signified by the garlands on their hair, are the first to enter the forest. They are followed by young men. Therefore, the quest to find herbs and the fern flower may lead to the blooming of relationships between pairs of men and women within the forest.
My video is the other 80% of a woman’s life, the sorrows, heartbreaks, divorces, or war and how she must use these very powerful rituals long before pagan or Christians took them over and made them about only the maiden (young girl and young woman) who starts out her life. I made this video for what happens when women grow up and the folktales that were forgotten about birth, death, transformation and rebirth of her ‘whole’ journey.