crossing the River Styx


Hades, the Underworld, consists of three sections. At the trivium sacred to Hecate, where three roads meets, souls are judged, returned to the Fields of Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent by the road to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium (Elysian Fields) with the heroic or blessed.

Inferno
And there, all in their order,
are the sources and ends
of gloomy earth and misty Tartarus
It is a great gulf,
and if once a man were within the gates,
he would not reach the floor
until a whole year had reached its end,
but cruel blast upon blast
would carry him this way and that.
Theogony II

Les Champs-Elysées
Les Champs-Elysées
The literal translation is:
Elysian fields.
*
Men lead there an easier life
than any where else in the world,
for in Elysium there falls
not rain, nor hail, nor snow,
but Oceanus breathes ever with
a West wind that sings softly from the sea,
and gives fresh life to all men...."
Homer, Odissey, book III.

The People that Walked in Darkness
The Fields of Aspohdel
(a grey, unattractive flower,
a favorite food of the dead)
is not a place of punishment
but a place where
the shades exist in a
confused and oblivious state.

Sibilia Cumaea
Sibilia Cumaea
She serves as a guide to the underworld.
*
All night long, all day,
the doors of Hades stand open.
But to retrace the path,
to come up to the sweet air of heaven,
That is labour indeed.
Aeneid 6.10

Rosa Triplex
Rosa Triplex
Hecate, goddess of the crossroads,
is often shown with three heads,
each facing one of the roads to Hades.

Psyche and Charon
Psyche and Charon
Charon, the ferryman of the River Styx,
(some say the River Acheron)
who,for a coin, transports the properly buried to the Underworld.
*

THE FIVE RIVERS OF HADES
Encylopedia Mythica

Psyche Opening the Golden Box
Psyche Opening the Golden Box
One of several who
journeyed to and returned from
the underworld.

Orpheus returning from the Shades
Orpheus returning from the Shades
Another who returned.
*

ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD
Jean Delville
artmagick archives

Return of Persephone
Return of Persephone
This one returns yearly.

Hercules and the Hydra
The Hydra greets the condemned
before they descend into Tartarus.
*
The right to Pluto's golden palace guides;
The left to that unhappy region tends,
Which to the depth of Tartarus descends;
The seat of night profound, and punish'd fiends.
Aeneid VI

The Chimaera's Despair
The Chimaera's Despair
The Chimeara is a greeter
at the gates of Tartarus.

The Murderer
The Furies.
These little beauties
torture the guilty in Tartarus.

Puttenfries Musik (Frieze with putti: Music)
Dante considered the upper level of hell to be ELYSIAN.
A place where the unbaptized and unbelieving,
yet virtous among us, could exist in peace.
*

MAP OF THE UNDERWORLD
thanasis

Dante and Virgil in Hell
Dante and Virgil in Hell

The Waters of Lethe by the Plains of Elysium
The Waters of Lethe by the Plains of Elysium
One of the five rivers of the underworld.
Souls were made to drink from
this "River of Forgetfulness"
before being reincarnated
so they would have no memory
of their former lives.
*

PHLEGETHON
ArtMagick Archives

Proserpine
Proserpine
The consort of Hades,
God of the underworld.
Odysseus presented her with a golden bough
to prove his visit to
the Underworld was harmless.

The Lady of Shalott
Time stands still in this blue green place.
Leaf dappled and drowsy,
drunk with apple-scented breezes,
I lie beneath golden boughs
that mouth their response
to my mute soliloquy.
A swollen rictus,
glittering and purple stained
from slumber-laden berries,
emits a silent scream.
The blooming silence echos
as I drift unshriven and without coin
on the anguished shoals of the Acheron.
annie

The Springs of Lethe
The Springs of Lethe

Dante Drinking the Waters of the Lethe
Jean Delville
artmagick archives

Cadmus and Harmonia
Cadmus and Harmonia
Husband and wife
transformed to serpents
by Zeus who spend their afterlife
in the Elysian Fields.

Odysseus and Calypso
Odysseus and Calypso
Ordered to the underworld by Circe
in order to learn the outcome of his wanderings.

Eurydice sinking back to Hades
Eurydice sinking back to Hades
The wife of Orpheus
who was unable to escape her fate.

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1/28/2007 12:41:52 PM Lysia Interesting!
1/28/2007 11:04:15 PM chiaroscuro I like this theme, the background & the choice of paintings. I also like that poem in the middle (towards the bottom) by someone named, annie. :)
1/29/2007 5:47:01 PM stargazer C, the River Styx has been fixed in my mind since, many years ago as a teen, I wore Styx perfume. Go figure. That annie, she has a million of 'em...:)