Episode 80: Solitary Fae: Oread
The folklore of oreads 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 oreads 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.
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We’re continuing our exploration of Solitary Fae.
Today’s Faery: Oreads
Folklore in a nutshell by Ronel
Simply put: the oreads are the nymphs of the mountains, hills, caves, ravines and grottoes. They are usually found in the company of Artemis. But they were also associated with Dionysus as he liked to party with all nymphs. Their name literally means “mountain”. Their names were usually derived from the rocky slope, grotto or mountain they inhabited. These minor goddesses weren’t only the protectors of those living in their hills, caves, mountains and what-have-you, they were also the patron goddesses of travellers ensuring their safe travel through their realm.
The oreads are tougher than other nymphs and are thought to be truly immortal. They are thought to be the keepers of the gems that come from their mountain homes, and that they give these as gifts to others, especially the gods of Olympus.
As Artemis is the goddess of the hunt and prefers hunting in hilly regions, it is thought that the Oreads are part of her retinue.
Echo is the most famous of the oreads. She was cursed by the goddess Hera to repeat the words of others and never utter her own after she ran interference between Zeus and the other nymphs, keeping Hera from finding them. In other versions of the myth, she was cursed for being too chatty. She’s usually connected to Narcissus – the guy who loved himself to death. Some say Echo died and that Gaia preserved her voice so it would sound everywhere forever.
In some myths, the oreads are simply the nymphs of mountain conifers and not much different from dryads. As most forests were on the slopes of rugged hills in ancient Greece, it is understandable that these nymphs might have inhabited the trees, too, as they are part of their domain.
Whether spirit, part of the mountain and its surrounds, or pretty young women, the oreads are powerful nymphs inhabiting the rocky places in nature.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the fae: Oreads
These mountain nymphs are just as pretty as their forest counterparts, just more muscular. They protect the mountains, caves, ravines and more from human destruction as much as they can. They also protect those who live in their domain: animals, insects, plants, etc. As followers of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, they are also more aggressive than other nymphs.
As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Bergnimfe (this is of my own making)
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!
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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No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.