30-Day Religious Meme Day 16 ~ Nature spirits, Khthonoi, & The Dead

This is an interesting post for someone who is a polytheist because it talks about the “lesser” spirits that inhabit the Cosmos. These are divided into three types — Nature spirits (like dryads), Chthonic spirits (underworld equivalent to nature spirits) and the Dead. These are somewhere between the Gods and humanity and are often paid cultus to.

I find that for me the various nature spirits are often the most comfortable to deal with. The spirits of trees, rivers, and other natural features are most often depicted as being friendly unless they are angered by the actions of mankind. These spirits are honored in many pagan religions by making offerings of milk, honey or other foods. These offerings are not only to keep the nature spirits happy, but are at times even supposed to be ‘feeding’ the spirits.

The Chthonic spirits are not as comfortable to deal with as they are not often depicted as being friendly to humans. They are also given the types of offerings that nature spirits are, but with them the offerings are typically made to avert the anger of these spirits and put them in a better mood towards the giver. The Silver race described by Hesiod in Works and Days are an example of this type of spirit when they are protective of mankind

The dead are honored because they are our ancestors and we are to keep their memories sacred. Most of the time, I find that the dead are more pleased by remembrance than by offerings in the modern day. However, offerings of wine and food are still appropriate. This is a custom that is carried on to this day in the custom of the wake.

I’m sure there are more things about each of these that I could add, but for now I’m letting this be my words on the topic.

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