MAUI Water Spirit
Ondines or undines ((Latin: unda — a wave) Fr. Mermaid) are elementals, enumerated as the water elementals in works of alchemy by Paracelsus. They also appear in European folklore as fairy-like creatures; the name may be used interchangeably with those of other water spirits. Undines are said to be able to gain a soul by marrying a man and bearing his child. An undine is the heroine of the popular 1812 novella Undine by German author Baron Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué and has since been adapted into various manners, such as ballets and operas. The German folktale of Ondine, a water nymph who curses her unfaithful husband to cease breathing if he should ever fall asleep again, is the basis for "Ondine's Curse," the historical term for Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, in which the afflicted lose autonomic control over breathing, placing them at greatest risk when they are asleep.
According to a theory advanced by Paracelsus, an Undine is a water nymph or water spirit, the elemental of water. They are usually found in forest pools and waterfalls. They have beautiful voices, which are sometimes heard over the sound of water. According to some legends, undines cannot get a soul unless they marry a man and bear him a child. This aspect has led them to be a popular motif in romantic and tragic literature.