A Conversation with the Gods: Hades

  • SumoMe

 

As adopted as I felt, I was now without a father.

I watched as the coffin closed.

But he was not gone; I knew it in a dream. He walked through the door wearing a raincoat and said:

“Why is everybody crying? Don’t cry.”

Hades

Hades

The darkness of night, the shadow of life, the opposite of Sun. Equally disliked but equally respected by the Greek Gods and humans. 

Mysterious and rarely seen; he stayed to himself and didn’t bother much with matters outside his realm – with the exception of oaths and curses that would reach his ears.

Perhaps Hades was a grumpy god. We can’t really blame him. When he chose the divided lots of shaken realms with Zeus and Poseidon, he received the short end of the stick; the Underworld.

Yet still, Hades was often referred to as the Zeus of the Dead. He was a hospitable God.

 

Goethe Elysium

The Five Rivers of Destiny

There were five rivers that led to the Underworld. The names of these rivers echoed both the Gods and humans’ reactions to death.

The Styx was the central river, which circled the Underworld seven times and was associated with hatred but also vulnerability.

The Acheron river was that of woe. Charon, the Ferryman, would row the souls to Hades from here (though it should be noted, sometimes he rowed them over the Styx river or both.)

The Phlegethon river was that of fire. Plato tells us that this river led to the depths of Tartarus, where Zeus cast the Titans.

The Cocytus was the river of tales and lament.

Lethe was the river of forgetfulness, oblivion, and later Hypnos; a metaphor for eternal sleep.

But Hades was not the only realm a soul could reach. There were levels per say, but first one must face the Judges.

The Judges of the Underworld

The Judges of the Underworld were three demi-gods: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. Below the Earth they dwelled and held their trials. Depending on what souls did or did not do, they were judged.

Sebastiano Conca 1680-1764 The Vision of Aeneas in the Elysian Fields

The Realms of After Life

 

The Fields of Punishment

For those who brought injustice upon the living, committed evil and brought misery beyond comprehension; this realm was specially reserved for them. Hades himself would personally visit these souls and deliver unimaginable pain.

 

Asphodel Meadows

For those who wandered through life without purpose and consciously did not make a difference on Earth, but brought harm to no one. They would be guided to the neutral fields of Asphodel.

 

Vale of Mourning

A sad realm for those who were utterly consumed by grief and lived their waking lives in eternal sadness. Here, they would join other like-felt souls, flutter among ghostly flowers and mourn together.

 

Elysium

The realm of heroes and greatest minds; whether they cultivated enlightenment or weld their swords with utmost bravery; they inspired men and awed the Gods. Virtuous souls such as Achilles and Socrates were led to this utopia of infinite tranquility.

 

Isle of the Blessed

The Isle of the Blessed were islands inside the Elysium realm.

When a soul achieved Elysium, they could choose to be reborn. If during three life cycles on Earth, they reached Elysium in death, these souls were awarded residence at the Isle of the Blessed.

Ancient Greeks often described the Isle of the Blessed by its weather: The islands were untouched by thunderstorms and snow; the climate was continuously mild and enjoyed the most heavenly air. Crops were abundant.

Journey Hades

Breathing the Past

Such a place I once visited, in the lonely lands western Greece. The archaeological site of Necromanteion, an archaeological site reached by a hole in the ground under an abandoned church. I thought it strange and feared upcoming nightmares but as I climbed down the metal stairs and reached the honey colored marble, from somewhere I heard the slow drops of water. All I felt was peace.

 ◊

 Forever light

Gravitational Pull 

Every star in every galaxy, every galaxy in every universe and every universe in our minds; for as often as books have been opened and books have been closed, we have all struggled with the concept of death.

Every star in every galaxy eventually reaches supernova, destroying all the planets in its solar system. For millions of years, debris will rapidly spin around the fading star, slowly being pulled in by gravitational pull. Debris comes together; new planets form.

Dead is not dead. 

*

 And as I was awoken from dreams within dreams, I knew he was soaring over the mountains like a bird.

He loved the mountains.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: