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Marine Goddesses The Nereids and the Room of Random Treasures

The Nereids seafaring sisterhood choose working together to patrol the seas and oceans. And gather trophies along the way.
Text title Nereids

Summary of Contents: Nereids in Mythology | Arrival and Appearance | Arethusa | Seaweed and Song | Galataea | Importance of Kelp | Psamathe | Thetis | Treasure Cave | Team Nereid

Festival Days - 28 January and 26 October

The Nereids in Mythology

The Nereids’ collective of marine goddesses was sometimes numbered as many as fifty members though four names only are listed: Arethusa, Galatea, Psamathe and Thetis; daughters of ocean god Nereus and goddess Doris.

Sometimes described as “sea nymphs” the Nereids are generally considered to be friendly to human ocean-goers.

Theoi reference

Goddesses Nereid Mythological references

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness? Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community. Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal; creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment. If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond, be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures; impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"Are the Nereids sisters or a collective?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Nereids' Arrival and Appearance

I don’t know why some Gods choose to gather in groups and why others work solo but with collectives we welcomed them first as a group. Then, if names were available, invited them individually.

In all encounters, I only ever met four Nereids. None of whom commented to me on the old stories in which they feature, but they did share their interest in the here and now.

Their first visit was of short duration. They appeared only in the form of four lights, sky blue, dark blue, grey and turquoise. Each shimmered and pulsed but I saw no face or features.

"It is kind of you to welcome us." A voice spoke from the turquoise light. "Even in the past we were not welcomed by many. I am Thetis," she said.

I looked for face and features but saw only silken turquoise of Caribbean Sea, as light.

"Do not fear us. We shall not lead you to a watery grave," she added.

Another spoke. "We are not as powerful as some of the mighty Gods, yet we bring to you as much strength, courage and love as we can. And hope you will welcome us here again one day."

Then all four lights vanished.

First encounter was brief as that.

Goddess Arethusa

The first of the Nereids to respond alone was Arethusa.

Legend told of how the hunter Alpheius saw Arethusa and instantly fell in love, but unfortunately for him she didn’t accept his affection so Alpheius chose force and gave chase.

She ran to the Isle of Ortygia where she was transformed into a fast-flowing spring but Alpheius too was changed into a river and so their waters forever mingled into the ocean, so the old legend told.

Sky blue light swirled like water and formed a female well over six feet tall. Long dark flowing hair, eyes of ocean green. Slightly sharp-featured, nose and chin.

Aged early twenty-something, I guessed but thousands of years' experience in her eyes. She wore an off-one-shoulder tunic, short cut but wide-pleated.

"It is a long time since mortals remembered us. I feel honoured that you pay homage to me,’ her voice high and slightly sharp. She inspected me.

"Come. I feel sad we were powerless to stop you being with the monsters, if even for a short time. You were injured," she added. "I take you for some healing."

Seaweed and Song

Next moment I was underwater in a clear tropical sea, gently she placed me on a comfortable lounge-chair shaped rock. Arethusa dressed my wounds with algae, and placed it around my waist.

A second female appeared. She wore a wreath around her head, it looked like feathered seaweed. Dark-hair, turquoise bright eyes.

"You showed courage." She stroked my head and began to sing, Arethusa joined in. They were singing to me! A strange beautiful music lilted through the water, the two females in sweet haunting harmony.

"Let the music sink deep within your soul," said the second female. "That you may face up to those of us who are not gentle."

Their song genuinely did soothe the trauma caused by Ceto, just as their algae dressing healed the damage done by her trident.

However, the Nereids were not always so gentle.

Goddess Nereid Galatea's Beauty

Like all goddesses and gods of the oceans the Nereid sisterhood expressed and shared their anger at the carelessness of humanity. When Galatea arrived alone next day I recognised her as the second Nereid who helped heal me.

Galatea’s legend featured her astonishing beauty. She attracted the attention of Polyphemus the Cyclops, but she didn’t ever confirm the story to me.

In fact none of them ever shared anything about their relationships, even to each other. So I do not know if they are sisters.

Like the three others in the sisterhood Galatea was slender when out of the water but plump and muscular when submerged. Their big muscle-toned upper arms seemed to contract into slim elegant body line when on dry land.

In addition to her wreath, Galatea wore a girdle of silver around her waist.

We sat together at the water’s edge on a beach of golden sand. My enjoyment of the ocean lapping over my feet experience spoiled only by the plastic, cans and rubbish littering the area.

Tide lines strewn with every kind of debris, and nets globbed with thick balls of tar, oil and dead fish. A disgusting spaghetti.

"Mortals must be made aware of the damage this does to those who dwell in the seas," she said. "They have as much right to live as do mortals."

The Importance of Kelp

She gestured to the debris-strewn beach. "This is only a very small example. It is happening all over your world. It has to be stopped."

Galatea’s frustration also focused on kelp harvesting. She showed me the crowds of divers with bin liners and knives, cutting away the lush kelp forests.

"It is not necessary for mortals to do this," she said appalled by the destruction. "The weed grows for the fish to lay their eggs among, and some to nibble. It is not for humans."

The Nereids told me they weren’t such powerful goddesses but I witnessed them sink sizeable boats. I also was present when they raised a storm to destroy a large marina.

Their summoned hurricane breached the wall and hurled yachts into the ocean-front hotels.

But mostly they damaged engines, tore trawler nets. Caused accidents at sea and anywhere inland close enough.

Psamathe Arrives

Dark Psamathe strode from the water and came to sit on the beach beside Galatea. "We always have our revenge," she said.

But even she would concede that revenge was not going to make a useful difference any more.

Legend told of how Psamathe sent a monster dog to destroy King Peleus’ possessions but she said nothing to me that day, or any other, about that particular vengeance.

Even a monster dog cannot help solve the problems of now.

Galatea was the only fair-haired and fair-skinned of the Nereids’ quartet. However, seeing them together I thought I recognised some resemblance in their features.

"We goddesses the Nereids help rule the seas and oceans," she continued. "The seashores are also our domain."

A filthy towel and cotton bud tangle wrapped in seaweed washed onto the beach beside a spray deodorant can and bright green bleach bottle.

"They are littered with mortals’ rubbish,’ she added. "The seas have been exploited and there has been little we could do except vent our spite on a few individuals responsible. Yet this does not stop it happening," she confirmed.

"We know mortals must eat but so many catch the creatures of the sea in cruel ways. This, these mortals will repent," said Galatea. "To sail from place to place carrying food or mortals who have to travel, is excusable."

Learn from the Oceans

Mostly my time with Psamathe was spent exploring underwater caves filled with coral, sea urchins and starfish. Or swimming with dolphins and tuna that glistened with health.

She showed me starfish clusters of spectacular beauty, and an amazing arrangement with a single huge starfish as centre-piece.

Sometimes we just sat on a rock to watch the variety of ocean life, aware of even the smallest things like sand-worms and tiny shellfish.

I didn’t know there were so many creatures. When a shark moved quickly off the ocean bed, it stirred up sand like a misted veil.

"Observing, you learn much," she said. "There is so much beauty, more so in the oceans than on land," was her opinion and I had to agree.

Psamathe’s anger mostly was focused on pearl-fishermen.

Sometimes the Nereids did help people in danger in the ocean. Swimmers caught in life-threatening currents, or fallen from boats. And sometimes they took trophies from those beyond saving.

Thetis and the Cavern of Random Treasures

Thetis showed me where those were kept.

Somewhere out there in the blue is a cavern of lost objects. I was invited inside, though only once. All four of the Nereid sisterhood were present as I arrived, accompanied by Thetis.

We entered a big dry meeting-hall sized rock cavern furnished as a sitting-room. Large mirrors encrusted with gilded scrollwork leaned propped against the rock walls. Tall decorative vases, some East Asian, displayed here and there.

Everything was draped with silk curtaining of every colour but nothing of the furniture seemed to match.

A variety of small tables; a cluster of comfortable though ordinary armchairs. A dressing table, Victorian by the look and several big travel-chests some with iron reinforcement. The cavern was a random muddle of mismatching furniture objects.

Thetis’ dark skin had a silvered sheen, perfectly smooth and beautiful. She wore her dark hair coiled.

Homer’s tale related her as mother of Achilles though not once did she ever confirm to me that relationship. She held my hand, her touch still felt cold even after the journey.

"One of our dwellings," she said guiding me toward an old leather liner armchair.

For all its variety it was comfortable in their cavern even though its walls and ceiling were bare rock draped with curtain. The floor too was rough stone dressed with haphazard scatter of rugs, mostly Asian.

A low chest with brass studs on the sides pushed against one wall. On top of which stood two large bowls containing fruit of all kinds, and a big urn with a lid though I couldn’t see what was inside.

Team Nereid

Galatea sat in a deck-chair, Psamathe and Arethusa in mismatching captain’s chairs.

"You need not fear us today," Thetis said. "We hope our presence will soothe, and the waters have healed."

Sometimes I did fear this sisterhood. Swims in the Nereids’ company weren’t always instructive and beautiful. They sometimes were as terrifying as with any ocean God. But that day I felt relaxed, and amazed.

"Everything you see here is from great liners sunk throughout the ages," Thetis gestured.

It certainly looked like that. I confess I looked around for signs of the White Star Line as we sat together in the Nereids’ room of random sunken treasures.

"It pleases us to know that you feel privileged that we visit you," said Arethusa. "You are privileged, yet you have earned it. We give you our thanks and our blessings and the gift of happiness in your work."

"And the gift of great courage," added Thetis.

Thank you for your company on this short introduction to the goddesses collective, the Nereids. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive in the hereafter read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Coexistence. Now available from Amazon.co.uk