Category Archives: Underworld

Saving Bull (2)

Duomo di Monreale | Art and FaithHistory of the Devil
By Paul Carus, [1900]

THE IDEA OF SALVATION IN GREECE AND ITALY.

Part 1 Here

In the days of Augustus and his successors the people were taught to expect salvation, the dispensation of justice, protection, peace, and prosperity from the emperor; and just as we have to-day monarchies where the king regards himself as the Anointed One by the grace of God and a representative of God on earth, so the Roman emperor arrogated to himself divine honors, and even philosophers such as Seneca did not hesitate to acknowledge the claim. The practical significance of this view is that the government should be regarded with religious awe, and its officers, as such, are divine. The Christians who refused to worship before the emperor’s images must have appeared to the Romans of those days as anarchists and rebels. But when Nero committed matricide and other most outrageous crimes, the belief in the emperor’s divinity dwindled away, and the idea of the suffering God, the man who died on the cross because he would rather be than appear just, gained ground among the people.

Christianity was not the only religion which promised deliverance from evil through the saving power of blood and by means of a vicarious atonement, for we know of the immortality-promising mysteries, and especially of the cult of Mithras, which had embodied many ideas and ceremonies that are also met with in Christianity. Continue reading

Salve Tores

Art - Art And Art History 253 with Bent at Washington and Lee University - StudyBlueHistory of the Devil
By Paul Carus, [1900]

p. 193
THE IDEA OF SALVATION IN GREECE AND ITALY.

ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ ποηροῦ.
Matt. vi. 14.

THE first century of [this] era is a time in which the fear of evil leads to the organisation of religious institutions having in view the atonement of sin and the redemption of the soul from the terrors of hell.

The ideas evil, sin, hell, salvation, and immortal life were familiar to the Greek mind even before the days of Plato, but were still mixed up with the traditional mythology. When philosophers began to wage war against the gross idolatry of Greek polytheism, a fermentation set in which prepared the Greek nation for the reception of Christianity. We say “prepared,” but we might just as well say that it resulted in the formation of the Christian Church as an institution to deliver mankind from evil.

The fear of punishment in the life to come led in the days of savagery to human sacrifices as a vicarious atonement. This barbarous practice was abandoned in the progress of civilisation by a substitution of animal victims. But the idea lingered in the minds of the people and was retained in Christianity, where, Continue reading

Such Aiacus

king minos greek mythologyJudges of the Dead

RHADAMANTHYS, MINOS and AIAKOS (Aeacus) were the judges of the dead, three demi-god ministers of Haides. They were originally mortal men, sons of the god Zeus, who were granted their station in death as a reward for establishing law and order on earth.

Individually, Aiakos was guardian of the keys of Haides and judge of the men of Europe, Rhadamanthys the lord of Elysion (Elysium) and judge of the men of Asia, and Minos the judge of the third and final vote. According to some Triptolemos was a fourth judge who presided over the souls of Initiates of the Mysteries.

The name Aiakos was derived from the Greek words aiaktos and aiazô, “wailing” and “lamentation.” The etymology of the other names is obscure.

The mortal lives of the three judges is not detailed on this page only their role in the afterlife.

ENCYCLOPEDIA Continue reading

72 Houri

Houri

The concept of the houri received wide publicity as “virgins” (most usually 72 in number) promised as a reward to Muslim shahids (martyrs), after their death. However, the Quran states that all believers who go to Heaven shall be granted the company of more than one houris—explicitly mentioned in the plural. The number 72 comes from a hadith, and not the Quran.

In the Quran the houris are called “companions”, described as being “restraining in their glances (chaste)”, with “modest gazes”, “wide and beautiful/lovely eyes”, “eyes like pearls”, “splendid” and “full-breasted”. Surah Al-Waqia (56:35-37) of the Quran describes the houris as “most refined”, created by God “in the best of form”, “virgin, loving, and well-matched”. Continue reading

Moving Zombis

ZOMBIES
From University of Michigan

Zombie History and Haitian Folklore

The origin of the concept of zombiism stems from Haitian Voodoo culture. The word zombie–in Haitian it is “zombi”–means “spirit of the dead.” Voodoo folklore contends that Bokors, Voodoo priests that were concerned with the study and application of black magic, possessed the ability to resurrect the deceased through the administration of coup padrecoup padre is a powder that is issued orally, the primary ingredient of which is tetrodoxin, the deadly substance of the notoriously poisonous fou-fou, or “porcupine fish.”

According to legend, “a zombi(e) is someone who has annoyed his or her family and community to the degree that they can no longer stand to live with this person. They respond by hiring a Bokor..to turn them into a zombi(e).” (Keegan, www .flmnh.ufl.edu)

Once they had been issued the coup padre, the subjects being prepared for their descent into zombidom would appear to die insofar as their heart rate would slow to a near stop, their breathing patterns would be greatly subdued and their body temperature would significantly decrease. The public, thinking that Continue reading

Loa Kalfou

Kalfou
From Hougan Sydney, 2014

Spirits in Vodou are known as Loa. During slavery in Haiti, white french [enslavers] forbade [enslaved Africans] from pursuing Vodou as a religion and anyone caught practicing any religion other than Catholicism were severely punished.

The [enslaved Africans], still deeply attached to their African roots, were obliged to use Catholic Saint Image during Vodou ceremonies, pretending to be praying to them while deep in their heart they were praying to their African gods. This is the main characteristic that differentiate the Vodou that is practiced in Haiti and in Africa.

Over 400 years have passed, but the tradition strangely still remains today; it is so deeply rooted in the religion that it is almost impossible to even imagine Haitian Vodou without the representation of the Loas with Catholic Saints’ images.   Continue reading

Say Aah for Apep

Apep, Demonic Water Snake of Chaos and Enemy of Ra
by Caroline Seawright, 2004

Apep (Apepi, Aapep, Apophis, Apopis) was a demon of the underworld, in the form of a giant water snake. It was believed that he was created when Nit spat into the primeval waters of Nun. An alternate belief from Iunyt (Esna) was that the umbilical cord of Nit’s son (eg. Ra), who she bore in the waters of chaos, turned into Apep after it was cut. He was the enemy of the sun god, trying to stop him as he travelled on his barque through the underworld each night. He was so powerful that little could defeat him, and even then, he was back again the following evening to threaten Ra. He was a demon outside of ma’at, the opposite of order, a demon of darkness and chaos. Continue reading

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