The Spirit of Water (Soothing Lullaby and Music video) + Inspired by the Mythology and Folklore of Water Elementals (Anjanas, Undines, Naiads)

POV (Point of view) Some thoughts to envision the music The Spirit of Water: Mystical Soothing Lullaby for Clarity of Mind and Awareness, inspired by clear ever-flowing waters.

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POV: You feel serene, free from all tension, gently floating on this watery bed that cradles and sing you to sleep... Unleash your dreams or reveries. Envision, focus, clear your thought as you listen to the angelic voice of a water nymph singing and let your worries flow away. If your heart is pure she will be your guardian and protector, and you will be rewarded with peaceful bliss and clarity of mind.

A soothing lullaby

This is a rework of a theme I composed for animated short movie "Time and Space Reflections" in 2014, but this is an extended version with more instruments recorded and filmed late Summer - Early Autumn 2021. It was probably my last bathe in the creek of the year.
As you know I have previously posted about the folklore of water elementals, not long ago I made a post about mermaids mythology, but this time we are going to focus in a particular type of "fresh water" water spirit, thus the title of the song and video.
I made also the dress and crown myself a long time ago but I had never made a video with this one. It had been a while since I had last tried on, it was indeed a lot of work.

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Mythology of Fresh Water Elementals and the benevolent "Anjanas" of Iberian Folklore

In Greek Mythology Fresh Water Nymphs were minor deities were called Naiads and there were different name (from rivers, fountains, wetlands). Since medieval times, the figure of these female Water Elementals have been linked to the Fae or Fairy Realm.

The Anjanas are benevolent water dwelling spirits that live near creek and ponds from the Iberian Mythology, in particular from North of Spain by the Cantabrian Sea. The term “Anjana” is the one used in Cantabria and varies slightly in other regions (Xana in Asturias, Jana in León, Mora in Aragón). Related also to Lamias and Undines. They are guardians of the forest, its creatures and the water bodies in them.

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Just like sirens their voice is hypnotic and clear as water and it is perceived as blissful, serene and calming by those who have a pure soul, but unnerving or eerie but those who have not. They can indeed communicate with Water. They are described as small, with fair skin, with light golden hair they tend to with a magic comb made of moonbeams. They often in white or blue garments and adorning their hair with flower garlands but also other colours as the seasons shift. During the Spring (Vernal) Equinox they dance all night long scattering flowers petals all around.

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They are shapeshifters and can disguise as birds, insects or even trees like dryads. They can also become invisible at will and not be seen at all. They are usually of good Nature and tend to injured animals and trees that have been struck by lightning. Sometimes they walk out of the springs and creeks they inhabit to eat berries and honey.

Janas was also used as a former word for “Witches” in the Middle Ages but really refer to this water deities in Cantabrian Mythology. The origin of the term Anjana (Janas or Xanas) is unknown but some scholars speculate it comes from Roman Goddess of the Moon Diana, who also protects wildlife. Similarly in Portugal the word Xana is also used for “Water Nymph” and in Romania Zâna means “Fairy”

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They also hide treasures in grottoes and caves and sometimes tempt and lure humans with gold. It is well known that fairy gifts can be deceiving and a test. And they will not hesitate to punish the wicked just like most of their darker and more vengeful mythological counterparts in other countries (Nymphs, Undines, slavic Russalki and even mermaids). If you are a good person you can even summon them to protect you as they protect travellers in their journey, but remember that if you’re lost in the forest attempt to hurt its plants or creatures or you might never find the way out as you would have offended its guardian.

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Sometimes they visit very poor families or those they find worth to bestow gifts upon them, but there are also tales where they get inside people’s homes to steal human babies and replace them for their own (as they don’t have milk to feed their offspring) in what is known as a “Changeling” or also to curse or enchant someone. They can also bit or steal something that spark their interest.

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A related folklore figure is the “Ayalga” or Chalgas in Asturias, also nymphs living in caves, underwater or sometimes in ruins. Like the Anjanas they are also treasure keepers, but their origin is that of an enchanted mortal woman with supernatural powers, their beauty less otherwordly than that of the Anjanas and Xanas, but also with a haunting voice, as they have to sing to calm the “Cuélebre” (a winged serpent dragon) that guards the treasure. Their spell can be broken during Summer’s Solstice and so this night they lure men to break their curse.

As always find "fufunchis" in the video

There are four to be found, Fievel, Tuula, Ritva and Taika. As you know there are some hidden rats and mice in every video, here you will find four. Let me know in the comments if you can spot them.

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The Story of Undine

Undine (also spelt as Ondines) is a term for fresh water nymphs that first appeared in "A Book on Nymphs, Sylphs, Pygmies, and Salamanders and on the Other Spirits" a book about elementals (creatures linked to air, earth, fire and water), published posthumously in 1566

It also provided name to a vary famous novel and Sad Romance "Undine" A popular German Romance from the XIX century I have previously written about but as it's related with current post I'll refresh your memory.

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The story is similar to "The Little Mermaid" and maybe less well known now yet very compelling and also very tragic.
Undine itself is inspired on previous folk tales like "Melusine" a French folk-tale of a water spirit that marries a knight on condition that he shall never see her on Saturdays, when she resumes her mermaid shape.

In the case of Undine, the water nymph is adopted by a Fisherman and his wife after they lose their child, and thus innocent and wild Undine becomes a beloved daughter and falls in love with a Knight. She has a "spirit" but not really a human "soul" which she gets at the moment she marries (and also the weight of human feelings upon her). When the lost daughter appears and her husband also betray her she losses all, family and love... Several times she is betrayed and the ending of the tale is as romantic as "dark" (no spoilers here). It is more a romantic novel than a fairytale for children. Still this is the main inspiration for "The Little Mermaid" that we all known.
The book was a hit during the XIX century and there are several illustrated versions. It spawned a musical, an opera, a ballet, even the famous classical piano piece "Ondine" by Debussy and an early XX century silent movie. The one copy of the book I own and my favourite is illustrated by artist Arthur Rackham who is in fact one of my favourite artists of all time and one of the most prominent visual artists in the "Golden Era of illustrated fairytales"

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Undine is about a water elemental that falls in love with a Knight. The irony is that even if she was no human, the purity of her feelings was stronger than his. It's a sad story (be warned). The ending is rather eerie, and I would say mysteriously bordering on "ghost tale" (Wuthering Heights vibes). Being him unfair and unfaithful to her she returns to curse him so he would not breathe while sleeping.
A story about love, betrayal and broken promises.

In fact nowadays we use the expression "Ondine's curse" to refer to what central hypoventilation syndrome — is an often fatal respiratory disorder that occurs during sleep a congenital disorder or in cases of damage to the brain stem, so you forget to breathe involuntarily and stop breathing if not consciously inhaling and exhaling.

Oh did I tell you this was a sweet lullaby? Sorry it's spooktober, so ahem! as I say ANJANAS are benevolent.

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The whole Ondine book is now public Domain and it can be easily found online. It is not a long read, and I highly recommend it.

Here an illustration of Undine drawn by one of my favourite artists and illustrators Arthur Rackham in 1909 (Public Domain)

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FILMED IN NAVARRE, SPAIN (Late Summer 2021)

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Priscilla Hernandez
singer-songwriter & illustrator. Cantante e ilustradora
http://yidneth.com

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