An often forgotten part of Hellenismos, Hellenic myth, and Hellenic religion in general is the worship of nature spirits. This group of divine and/or supernatural creatures was worshipped by many local cults back in the olden days, sometimes more actively than the worship of the Olympic Gods. This was especially true in the more rural areas.

The most famous of the nature spirits are the Nymphs. Nymphs are the female divinities of the natural features of the landscape, and there are many kinds, depending on the landscape they frequent. Their male counterparts are Centaurs, Sileni, and Satyrs.

A certain animistic worldview can be seen in the worship of nature spirits. It's one of the major links between Paganism and Hellenismos and yet, very few Hellenics actively partake in this type of worship or use it as a bridge. When I was young, I used to talk to trees and bushes. The rustling in the leaves reminded me of words. When I discovered Paganism, I made connections with trees or areas I felt were inhabited with something more than organic matter. I was never much of a tree hugger in the new age sense, but I know that some natural features are home to beings who are worthy of our respect.

The worship of nature spirits is easy; when you visit them at their home--an especially old oak tree, a lively stream or a bee visited meadow--you can leave them offerings. Nymphs recieved libations of water, and Satyrs enjoy wine. Seeing as you usually already have water with you when you go on a hike, you only have to pour some out and say a few words of thanks and greeting to satisfy them. This is a practice I much enjoy and gladly take part in.