Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Nymphs #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 76: Solitary Fae: Nymphs

The folklore of nymphs in a nutshell, how I reimagined them for my writing, and this faery translated to Afrikaans.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2023 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about nymphs in folklore here.

Get the transcript here.

Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com


You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.

I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With nearly a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.

This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.

Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.

This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Solitary Fae.

Today’s Faery: Nymphs

Folklore in a nutshell by Ronel

The nymphs, always female, are minor nature goddesses who populate the earth. They preside over nature: everything from springs, to clouds, to caves, and everything in-between. They are responsible for the animals and plants in their care. They are closely associated with the Olympian gods of nature such as Demeter, Artemis and Pan.

Nymphs are always portrayed as young and beautiful. They are regarded as benevolent beings, and the term “knock on wood” comes from hoping one would come from the trees to protect the person invoking them.

The male counterparts to the nymphs are the Satyrs and Tritons.

There are several classes of nymphs, depending on what they protect. From the nereids, naiads and oceanids who inhabit the various waters, to the oreads who inhabit the mountains, to the dryads who live in trees, and others inhabiting the natural world.

There are several named nymphs throughout classical literature, such as Amphitrite who is the wife of Poseidon, and Calypso who lived on the island of Ogygia and loved Odysseus who was marooned on her island.

The nymphs were the nurses for Zeus and Dionysus when they were infants. Some nymphs follow certain gods, such as the Thyiades who are wild, frenzied nymphs who follow Dionysus. Nymphs are also relentlessly pursued by gods, satyrs and mortals – some like the nymph Daphne was saved from Apollo by being turned into a laurel tree. There are nymphs who are the mothers of great Greek heroes, such as Achilles. And, of course, nymphs were the companions and attendants to the goddess Persephone.

Nymphs are infinite in number. And though some are nearly immortal, others are closely tied to their environment, such as dryads who die when the tree they are tied to dies.

Nymphs are featured in classic works of art, literature and more. They are usually scantily clad or even naked. Since the Middle Ages, they have been associated or even confused with the fae.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the fae: Nymphs

Nymphs are fascinating Fae – they can have the power of almost anything found in nature.

They are nearly immortal, but can be killed like any other fae. Certain nymphs are bound to their trees, springs, etc. and will die when their source of life dies.

Not all nymphs like to be classified as anything specific, as they feel they should be protecting all of Nature. Nymphs, no matter their association, can all breathe underwater, in the places between realms, and within the earth. They can also open portals between realms, fly without wings, and reverse any spell wrought upon the earth.

In my own writing, I like to use the different kind of nymphs as Solitary Fae (and bound to the land) who can act as ambivalent guides to my heroines.

As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Nimfe

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.

Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!

Available at

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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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