Water is undoubtedly an important component of our lives. We require it to survive and depend upon it for growing, it surrounds our land masses and is contained and falls from the sky in the form of clouds and rain. But it also features in a number of things to do with our past mythology and folklore.
Underworld – in general, the underworld is a heavy feature in most cultures and mythology somewhere along the line. Also the basis for many a book, film and idea. Depicted as either Hell, or a functioning world of the dead, or as a controlling force to the ‘topside’.
Water portals – Mayans believed that water was a portal, to the underworld which they called Xibalba, and they say that they left offering within cenotes as these were the gateways to that realm. I am also reminded of the stargate in the film Stargate, where once activated, looked to be a shimmery water type substance, which incidently led them to a place rather like ancient Egypt (a good film actually if you haven’t watched it).
Egyptian – To me the Egyptians were the masters of the dead for the longest time, their underworld being called Duat. They mummified their remains and held them in great ceremony (so we are told), and had a language and book of the dead, cities of the dead and so on. Almost making you think they had created an Underworld, but above ground. Or maybe it was that the veil between the worlds was really quite thin there, and it was a strange mix of realms, giving rise to the animal and bird headed people shown in the multitude of painting and statues they have.
River Styx – this is from ancient Greek mythology, where the souls of the dead are ferried onward, the river being the border between earth and the underworld. A watery pathway or entrance again, appearing time and time again. Obviously it could just be coincidence, and because water is such a mystical force, we try to understand it, or give it extra purpose and meaning. Or, there might be something to it.
And a small complete sidenote, I sometimes think about Australia being referred to as ‘Down Under’, maybe nothing but still lingers in my mind.
I’ll chuck in a movie reference here, as aside from the inanity and strange overall plot in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, there was a part when they were trapped on the calm ocean, and had to turn the ship upside down to get out of it. Down is up, and it was activated by sundown. That bit seemed relevant, but only when I put it in the bigger scheme of what might be down there without you even knowing. But it also made me think, how you would know if you were in the right ‘Up’ if it has been flipped upside down? I’ll also mention Stranger Things here as I have done before, as that storyline heavily features the ‘Upside Down’, where there is a dimensional tear, which seems to allow something through, but also people end up becoming part of that world without realising as such. Which is fine in the TV series, because they give it a dark overlay, and creepy atmospheric fog or snowy mist and there is no-one else there, very much revealing you are somewhere else. But it made think, what if it didn’t have the creepy overlay to show you, and it did look just the ‘normal world’ still. Same people, same places and things to do, and on the face of it, there isn’t a terrifying creature you know is hunting you down, so you don’t know to be afraid. But what if, that just how it looks…