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Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, represents the Kósmos (Cosmos; Gr. Κόσμος) as populated by numerous deities, some greater than others. The Nýmphai (Nymphs; Gr. Νύμφαι) are divine beings, lesser deities, who are intimately connected with nature and specific localities such as trees, forests, meadows, and even clouds, streams, and within the sea. They sometimes accompany and are in the service of greater Gods with whom they share characteristics.

The Nýmphai are symbolized by the bees. This is because of the story Mǽlissa (Melissa; Gr. Μέλισσα), the Nýmphi (Nymph Gr. Νύμφη) who discovered and taught the use of honey; because of this story, the Nýmphai are often called Mǽlissæs (Melisses; Gr. Μέλισσες, plural.). [1]  Aristaios (Gr. Ἀρισταῖος), the rustic God, learned how to domesticate bees from the Nýmphai and, in turn, taught this to all mankind. The honey which is produced by the bees has a golden color. Gold is the color most associated with all the Gods. Honey will "keep" for an incredibly long period of time without deteriorating and it has the ability to preserve other foods that are placed in it. Consequently, honey is a symbol of the immortality of the Gods and the immortality of the soul.

The Nýmphai and the Olympic Pairs

While the pairs of Olympian Gods are the only beings which can deify the soul, if they wish to influence the soul before this, they send divine beings, a Nýmphi for a man and a divine Ǽphivos (Ephebos; Gr. Ἔφηβος) for a woman, symbolized as a pair of bees, to open the soul.

The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.


Æphivolipsía - (Epheboleipsia [not to be confused with ephebophilia]; Gr. Εφηβοληψία, ΕΦΗΒΟΛΗΨΙΑ. Etym. ἔφηβος, "adolescent boy" + λῆψις, "attack of," as in a fever.Æphivolipsía is the experience, by a mortal, of Ǽrohs (Eros or Attraction; Gr. Ἔρωςfrom the Gods when the partner is a male deity. This is not the same as erotic love between humans. Cf. Nympholipsía.

Ǽphivos - (ephebos; 

Gr. ἔφηβος,  ΕΦΗΒΟΣ)

 Plural = æphivi (epheboi; 
Gr. έφηβοι, ΕΦΗΒΟΙ) Anglicized singular: ephebus [archaic] or ephebe, and plural: ephebi [archaic] or ephebes). 1) An ǽphivos is an adolescent boy on the brink of becoming an adult. 2) An ǽphivos is a young man, often in military service, being educated to become a good citizen, such as in the official Athenian Æphiveia (Ephibeia; Gr. ἐϕηβεία), a cadet. 3) An Ǽphivos is an idealized heroic young man. 4) An Ǽphivos is the male equivalent of a Nymph in the mystical transformative experience of Nympholipsia, but when the partner is a male deity, the experience is called Æphivolipsía.

Æpimilídæs (Epimelides; Gr. Ἐπιμηλίδες, ΕΠΙΜΗΛΙΔΕΣ) The Æpimilídæs are the Nýmphai of mountain meadows who protect the flocks and fruit-trees.

Anthousai - (Gr. Ἀνθούσαι, ΑΝΘΟΥΣΑΙ) Anthousai are Nýmphai of flowers.

Aurae - See Ávrai.

Ávrai (Aurae; Gr. Αύραι, ΑΥΡΑΙ) The Ávrai are Nýmphai of the breezes.

Bacchae - See Vákkhai.

Dǽspina - (Despoina; Gr. Δέσποινα, ΔΕΣΠΟΙΝΑ) Lexicon entry: δέσποινα, fem. of δεσπότηςmistresslady of the house, of Penelope, of Arete. 2. princessqueen3. coupled with the names of Goddesses, δ. ἙκάτηἌρτεμιςδ. νύμφη; esp. as a name of Persephone. 4. in Thessaly, simply, = γυνή5. at Rome, Empress. (L&S p. 880, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Epimelides - See Æpimilídæs.

Kydra - See Kydrí.

Kydrí - (cydra; Gr. κυδρή, ΚΥΔΡΗ, fem. of κυδρόςKydrí is a title of Goddesses meaning gloriousillustriousnoble.
- Lexicon entry: (κυδρή is the fem. of:) κῡδρόςάόν, (κῦδος) = κυδάλιμος, in Hom. always in fem., as epith. of Hera and Leto, Διὸς κυδρὴ παράκοιτις; of Pallas; Δίκη; θεαί, of the Nymphs. (L&S p. 1005, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Mǽli - (Meli; Gr. Μέλι, ΜΕΛΙ) Mǽli is honey. Honey is a great symbol in ancient Greek religion. Honey has the color of gold, which is the color most associated with the Gods. Also, honey preserves, therefore it represents immortality and the divine Aithír which deifies the soul. 
- The word μέλι can also refer to anything sweet; it can also refer to the sweet gum of certain trees, manna

Mælíai - (Meliae; Gr. Μελίαι, ΜΕΛΙΑΙ) The Mælíai are: a race of nymphs said to have sprung from the spot of earth on which fell the blood of Uranus, Hes. Th.187, Call. Jov.47, etc. (The name implies ash-nymphs.) (L&S p. 1097, left column.)

Mǽlissa - (melissa; Gr. μέλισσα, ΜΕΛΙΣΣΑ. Plural: Μέλισσαι.Mǽlissa is the Greek word for the honey-bee; the bee symbolizes a Nýmphi. The term was also applied to the priestesses of Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί).
in Neo-Platonic Philos., any pure, chaste being, of souls coming to birth.

Nómios - (Nomius; Gr. νόμιος, ΝΟΜΙΟΣNómios is an epithet of pastoral Gods, i.e. of pastures and flocks, such as Apóllohn, Hermes, Aristaios, and Pan.
- Lexicon entry: νόμιοςαον: (νομεύς):— of shepherdsν. θεός the pastoral God, i.e. Pan; of Apollo, as shepherd of Admetus, Call.Ap.47; of Aristaeus; of Hermes; of Dionysus; of the Nymphs, Orph.H. 51.12but also, God of Lawof Zeus (ed. νόμος being Law). (L&S, edited for simplicity.)

Nýmphai - (Nymphs; Gr. Νύμφαι, ΝΥΜΦΑΙ) Nymphs, plural. 

Nýmphi - (Nymph Gr. Νύμφη, ΝΥΜΦΗ) Nymph, singular. The term can also be used to signify a young bride or wife, and many of the words derived from it are associated with brides and marriage. 
Nýmphi can sometimes be used to refer to a young bee.

Nympholipsía - (Gr. Νυμφοληψία, ΝΥΜΦΟΛΗΨΙΑ. Etym. Νύμφη, "female nature deity" + λῆψις, "attack of," as in a fever.Nympholipsía is the experience, by a mortal, of Ǽrohs (Eros or Attraction; Gr. Ἔρως) from the Gods when the partner is a female deity. This experience is not the same as the erotic love between ordinary humans. Cf. Æphivolipsía.

Vákkhai (Bacchae; Gr. Βάκχαι, ΒΑΚΧΑΙ) The Vákkhai are the Nýmphai who accompanied Diónysos.


[1] Some sources say Mælisséfs (Melisseus; Gr. Μελισσεύς), the "bee-man," a male rustic Daimohn (Daemon; Gr. Δαίμων), discovered and taught the use of honey.

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as


, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

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