Although the spirit beings of the four elements of nature have been represented in literature, religion, and folk tales, descriptions of these creatures have been vague, and direct experience with them is quite rare. Yet each of the four elemental kingdoms offers great gifts to humanity, if we are willing to recognize that the psychological and spiritual qualities they embody are already inherent in human nature.Mermaids dwell in the oceans, lakes, and rivers. They offer love and sharing, a sense of wonder, beauty, and innocence. Sylphs roam the sky; they represent harmony, balance, and the attainment of freedom. Gnomes live underground. Their quiet inner wisdom banishes depression and sorrow. Salamanders dwell in volcanoes and vast caverns of magma beneath the earth. They offer the power of intense heat to refine, transform, and integrate. Who are these mysterious creatures of water, air, earth, and fire? Author William Mistele has devoted a significant portion of his life to finding out.Addressing the perennial questions Why are we here? What is the deepest purpose of life? What are our options?, Mermaids, Sylphs, Gnomes, and Salamanders takes the reader directly into the realms of these spirits, telling stories from their perspective. Weaving together fairy tales and poems, thoughtful analysis, and meditative exercises, Mistele illuminates the qualities these beings have mastered and humanity must begin to embrace: empathy, an inner peace with the universe, a divine level of sensuality, and a love that is everywhere in every moment.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Undines-from the Latin root unda, which means "wave"- are water elementals, or spirits of the water world. Like their fellow elementals-salamanders (fire), sylphs (air), and gnomes (earth)-undines are united with, and personify, their element. First mentioned in the alchemical works of medieval botanist Paracelsus, undines appear throughout European folklore. Who are these mysterious creatures of lakes, oceans, and waterfalls? Undines takes readers directly into the water spirits' realm through stories, personal encounters, and interviews with such luminaries as Istiphul, the undine queen whose presence embodies the magical essence of the feminine. Whether seen as fact or fairy tale, Undines presents archetypal truths and insights into human nature. The powers and abilities that undines display are latent in us all and crucial to humanity's evolution (or mere survival): harmony with nature, empathy and compassion, a deep capacity to love, and a cooperative rather than combative relationship to the world. Undines will appeal broadly to readers of mythology, fantasy, and fairy tales, particularly to practitioners that work with nature spirits and elemental beings-Druids, Wiccans, pagans, and those interested in magic and mysticism.
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