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Thread: Into the Sewers

  1. #16
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    it doesn't speak to necessarily leaving something of yourself behind in return

    tho that would seem like a logical exchange

  2. #17
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    deities and powers of the underworld are almost always malevolent and/or dangerous

    my understanding is that in Greco-Roman mystery cults, for example, chthonic deities were the most ancient and primal

    in the earliest days of Rome there was for example a ritual by which a general might offer himself as a sacrifice to those chthonic deities to secure victory for his army

  3. #18
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    "The trip to the underworld is a mytheme of comparative mythology found in a diverse number of religions from around the world. The hero or upper-world deity journeys to the underworld or to the land of the dead and returns, often with a quest-object or a loved one, or with heightened knowledge. The ability to enter the realm of the dead while still alive, and to return, is a proof of the classical hero's exceptional status as more than mortal. A deity who returns from the underworld demonstrates eschatological themes such as the cyclical nature of time and existence, or the defeat of death and the possibility of immortality."

  4. #19
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    yes I also looked at that wikipedia page

  5. #20
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    I found it interesting that some of the Mayan Death Gods represented specific diseases and deaths; there's a God of Pus for one.

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  7. #21
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    you can't really get a sense of comparative mythology from a wikipedia page

    for example, Odin traveled to Mimir's well in order to gain cosmic - or divine, true, however you want to put it - knowledge, for which he traded one of his eyes

    Mimir's well was supposed to be by the roots of Yggdrasil, which isn't the Scandinavian analogue of Hades (that would be Niflheim), but still a descent into the protean roots of existence

    I would be curious if other hero's journeys to the underworld involve similar sacrifices, literal or figurative

  8. #22
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    It isn't the same thing, but the temptation of Christ comes to mind when thinking of the hero's journey and being tested by the powers of the underworld.

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    I found it interesting that some of the Mayan Death Gods represented specific diseases and deaths
    yes that specificity is interesting - the jungle is a place with many ways to die, perhaps

    I spent a good deal of time - many years ago - in southern Mexico and interacted with Mayan people a fair bit

    their Catholicism is meant to be heavily syncretized with surviving folk traditions, albeit religion was well outside my purview when I was there so I didn't see any of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    It isn't the same thing, but the temptation of Christ comes to mind when thinking of the hero's journey and being tested by the powers of the underworld
    one imagines the mythical parts of the story of Christ must've been influenced by existing mythology of the time that writers of the gospels would have been familiar with, be it Greco-Roman, Semitic, etc

    I'm sure a biblical scholar could tell us

    but the temptation on the cross can certainly be seen as a figurative journey to the spiritual underworld

    and then his literal return from the underworld after three days

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    Dos anyone in the Bible other than Jesus visit either Heaven or Hell and return?

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    journeys to the underworld seem to involve gaining some true knowledge of what is

    either on the journey itself, or upon return into the light having passed thru some kind of crucible

    one thinks also of the Allegory of the Cave, and the journey from illusion to reality (true forms)

    or as in Dante, as a sinner must physically past through hell for his soul to attain a better knowledge of God

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    chthonic
    I should mention that "Cthulhu" was almost certainly derived from chthonic, lurking as it does in the abyssal depths of Ry'leh

    knowing Lovecraft is a big name around here as well

  14. #28
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    The underworld can also represent the unconscious.

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    I reckon the mine came before the sewer. the first organised descents were extraction missions. black lung arrived before cholera.

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  17. #30
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    There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world. Even Sauron knows them not, for they are older than he.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

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