You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

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Peregrine
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You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

Post by Peregrine »

No, seriously, you can! You don't even have to die or do anything evil. You just need the money to cover the travel expenses. It is actually a quiet little place with pretty trees, flowers, and birds. It also has a lovely little ice cream shop. It is situated about 15 miles north of Ann Arbor. When deciding on a name for their new little town, the founder of this community said, "You can name it Hell, for all I care." So it was done, on October 13, 1841. Every winter, there are cold days in Hell and Hell does indeed freeze over. It has a university and a dam. As expected, one can now get a degree at Dam U. Enjoy shopping at a gift shop called the $6.66 and Under World.

http://www.hell2u.com/


I thought I'd start my thread on Hell with a silly, light-hearted post but I intend to make more serious posts about Hell in the future. I've been on a mission researching the history of this place and have uncovered a lot of interesting tidbits about it.

Some of it you probably already know but, for the newbies and the occasional lurkers, I thought I'd have a go at it. Most hells, you do unfortunately have to die before you go there. Some are cold but cozy. Some are pale and gloomy. Others are outright trippy.

Many forms of Christianity and Islam want you to think that there is only one place called Hell, but I am here today telling you that we actually have quite a few alternative Hells that I find a lot more interesting and a lot less cruel, to put it mildly.

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Peregrine
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Possible Origins of Bible Hell

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Possible Origins of Bible Hell aka Gehenna

Gehenna: Greek transliteration of Hebrew words "ge hinnom" (Valley of Hinnom). Located along the southern part of Jerusalem, by historical accounts it used to be a giant pit or valley that served as the city dump. Garbage, waste, bodies of animals, corpses of executed criminals were all taken to this hell hole and set on fire, thus the visual images of "the firey pit" with its "everlasting fires" were born. If by terrible bad luck a poor sap fell into this pit, he was as good as gone. Any attempt to pull him out was practically hopeless. The long-term garbage-burning must have eventually worked as a great compost because in modern times, this area is a lovely garden although it is also a bit hot and muggy.

You can make a pilgrimmage to hell, take tourist photos, and post them on the internet. Others have, and there photos can be seen here: http://what-the-hell-is-hell.com/


According to some historical accounts, it is rumored to have been (during Old Testament times) an area where human sacrifices to a horned god, Molech, were made. I have found countless web sites by fundamentalists claiming horrific stories of the ritual of fire. By their accounts, a giant statue of Molech (a horned god with the body of a man and head of a bull) had a firey furnace inside of him. People would bring their children, oftentimes an infant or toddler, and place the poor tyke into the hands of this statue. The hands could be lifted and the child would roll into the mouth of this thing as though being consumed by Molech. Others claim the poor thing was simply roasted alive in the hands of this statue as the heat traveled through the hot metal into the statue's hands.

Earlier English translations of the Bible, however, do not specify a sacrifice of this sort. In the King James version, for instance, it simply says things like "do not let thy seed pass through the fire to Molech." Too many modern versions are mistranslating this as "sacrifice" although rarely, if ever, did this happen according to archaeological finds and testimonials by people who claim to do this ritual in modern times. Some resources claim that people merely, as earlier translations say, walk through the fire. It was either a path with fire on each side, or people hopped across some hot coals.

This would make more sense to me, merely walking through the path, as Hebrews were getting in trouble for participating in such a rite. Common sense tells me that if the Hebrews seriously had to burn one of their children alive to such a deity when they already had a "jealous" deity who actually forbad it, the temptation to participate in such a thing involved other factors instead. Apparently, by other accounts, it did. The whole shebang was an attempt at bringing prosperity and fertility. I have to research further but from what I have read so far, sometimes sex in the temple was involved again in a serious attempt to bring prosperity and fertility.

There are conflicts as to the name of this deity himself. Some resources say "Molech" is in reference to the ritual itself, in dedication to Ba'al who is a horned god (body of man, head of bull).

In any case, I am thinking this is how the images of eternal fire, burning people, and the horned god in the fiery pit had its beginnings an ancient garbage dump in the southern part of Jerusalem.

------------------------------
Here's a list of just a few of the tons of sites I was going through while researching this. Stuff about how the Canaanites (namely Ammonites) deserved to be all slaughtered (even the infants and livestock) due to the evil practice of sacrificing babies are a dime a dozen on the internet. Bible literalists are obviously scrambling desparately to rationalize the brutality of old warrior god and the genocide he ordered according to their literal interpretations of ancient mythologies...

http://molech.com/molech-and-human-sacrifice.html
http://canaanitepath.com/canaanfaq.htm#topcanaanfaq
http://phoenicia.org/childsacrifice.html
http://www.angelfire.com/oh5/bibhom/levdepth.html
http://alencon13.blogspot.com/2006/06/h ... anaan.html (Enjoyed reading Tony Malone's posts in response to this blog entry, especially his mention of Egyptian secret societies still performing the passage by fire ritual)

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Hel: Norse Goddess of the Underworld

Post by Peregrine »

While on my studies on Hell mythology, I soon discovered that more and more Christians no longer believe in an eternal place of torment called Hell. In fact, they blame the pagans for creating such a concept. (Note irony there.)

I soon learned that the very name Hell may have been borrowed from Norse mythology. In old Norse mythology, there was a place called Valhalla for the souls of fallen heroes. What of the children, the elderly, and the average Joe's that died of natural causes or suffered accidental deaths? They went to the Norse goddess Hel and her underworld realm was known as Helheim/Niflheim ("The Land of Mist"). To say to someone "Go to Hel" meant to wish death on them. To say, "He went to Hel" was to say he died.

By all accounts, Hel has a very gloomy, intimidating look about her. She is described as "Half Black, Half White," a goddess that has the appearance of both life and death, and as one who wears her bones on the outside. Some resources even describe her as having the appearance of a partially decayed person. She is the daughter of a giantess Angrboda and of the trickster god Loki. She determines the fate of the souls who did not die gloriously in battle. Her underworld had nine levels. Odin delegated her to the underworld. By all accounts, she liked it so much that she gave Odin the gift of two ravens, Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory).

Here's where I get conflicting stories.

Some sources say her realm is cold, damp, and gloomy on all levels. One says that on the rooftop are serpents that drip poison on the layers below and the inhabitants are given only goat urine to drink. Before Hel was born, disease had been unknown. She eats with a knife and a fork called Famine and a plate called Hunger.

According to other sources, her realm is only terrifying to those who were wicked in life (murderers, for example). The lowest level is also the coldest. It is where the worst of the bad guys went. Each level had less cold, more comfort, depending on the conduct of the soul during his or her lifetime. The highest level was the most cozy one. In Helheim, the souls await reincarnation.


http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Hel.html
http://paganpages.org/content/2010/04/g ... oddess-15/
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/norsede ... rofile.htm
http://www.goddessaday.com/norse/hel
http://www.hranajanto.com/goddessgallery/hel.html

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Re: You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

Post by ravenhecate »

Peregrine wrote:No, seriously, you can! You don't even have to die or do anything evil. You just need the money to cover the travel expenses. It is actually a quiet little place with pretty trees, flowers, and birds. It also has a lovely little ice cream shop. It is situated about 15 miles north of Ann Arbor. When deciding on a name for their new little town, the founder of this community said, "You can name it Hell, for all I care." So it was done, on October 13, 1841. Every winter, there are cold days in Hell and Hell does indeed freeze over. It has a university and a dam. As expected, one can now get a degree at Dam U. Enjoy shopping at a gift shop called the $6.66 and Under World.



Yes and US-23 is quite literally the Highway to Hell! I've always wanted to strap a hot air balloon gandola to the back of pick-up truck and ride in it while driving north on 23 so I could say I went to Hell in a basket. And if you look on a map, you will find that Hell is somewhere between Paradise and Climax (MI that is). I grew up in the Ann Arbor area so I am quite familiar with that little town.

Anyway, I do agree with you that there are several dimensions we might consider Hell, but in most cases, we experience Hell right here on Earth.

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Re: Hel: Norse Goddess of the Underworld

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Peregrine wrote: Here's where I get conflicting stories.

Some sources say her realm is cold, damp, and gloomy on all levels. One says that on the rooftop are serpents that drip poison on the layers below and the inhabitants are given only goat urine to drink. Before Hel was born, disease had been unknown. She eats with a knife and a fork called Famine and a plate called Hunger.

According to other sources, her realm is only terrifying to those who were wicked in life (murderers, for example). The lowest level is also the coldest. It is where the worst of the bad guys went. Each level had less cold, more comfort, depending on the conduct of the soul during his or her lifetime. The highest level was the most cozy one. In Helheim, the souls await reincarnation.

Possibly the reason you get conflicting stories about Hel and her realm is because, it was skewed by the Christians. I am sure that little evidence of the actual practices and beliefs of the Norse survive. Like so many other cultures and belief-systems, it is hard to piece together what is factual and what is not from what is left.

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Post by Peregrine »

Thanks for the input RavenHecate. Now when people say I am going to Hell, I get out an ice cream scoop and chant happily, "Ice cream! Ice cream! Ice cream!" Heh heh.

I like the sites comments on Hell and Universalism at Tentmaker.org. One mastermind behind that site seems like a very nice man and used to be an atheist. He goes under the alias Tentmaker777 on YouTube. Chances are slim to none I'll go back to Christianity, but at least they make it more interesting and logically debunk the eternal hellfire torture for everyone else who is "wrong." Only thing right now bugging me is the generic accusation that Hell was a Pagan concept. They have researched their Bible and Bible history well, but when it comes to paganism there is this sweeping generalization there. They should specify ancient Roman paganism in particular. They lead up to that themselves when they say that the church in Rome was the only one at that time teaching eternal Hell while the others either did not teach it or only believed it was temporary (a sort of soul-cleaning before entering Heaven). The Roman Empire was using that to intimidate people into their heavy brand of militarism and it spilled over into Christianity when Constantine took it over and establised Roman Catholicism.

Eh well, more on my Hell mythologies later. I have a few more I'm trying to get together. I'm wondering now if "Hell" did not come from Hella but actually from the Hebrew term "Helel." It was another term for Satan. More on that later.
It's like walking down an empty street, listening to your own footsteps. But all you have to do is knock on any door and say, "If you'll let me in, I'll live the way you want me to live. And I'll think the way you want me to think." And all the blinds will go up, and all the doors will open, and you'll never feel lonely. Ever again.

~Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind" (1960)

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Post by ravenhecate »

I have actually read about the Jewish Helel origin of Hell. Can't remeber where though.

Being raised in a Southern Pentecostal/Old Regular Southern Baptist home, eternal damnation and hellfire was an accepted part of my religious upbringing. Never really bought into it all that much. Of course my parents tried to teach me that people of African decent didn't go to Heaven because they carried the Mark of Cain. Never bought that one either.

Funny thing is out of us three kids, I'm a Wiccan and my oldest brother is a Zen Buddhist. Not really sure how my other brother felt about religion...he died pretty young. I suppose he was a Christian.

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Re: You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

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I almost forgot about this thread. I've learned a few more things since then.

About Helel, that is another variation on the name "Lucifer." From what I've gathered, Jews do not believe in the devil so what is going on here?

The reality of it is, Lucifer (mentioned in Isaiah 14:12) which means "Light Bearer" or "Day Star" was the name of a Babylonian king. According to some accounts, he was described as mighty (and/or tyrannical) but he had been brought down to Sheol (abode of the dead or grave). The Hebrews anticipate their freedom and use this taunting song against their oppressor: the image of the Morning Star, which rises at dawn as the brightest of the stars, outshining Jupiter and Saturn, but lasting only until the sun appears. This image was used in an old popular Canaanite story that the Morning Star tried to rise high above the clouds and establish himself on the mountain where the gods assembled, in the far north, but was cast down into the underworld. (Canaanite mythology has a story of an unsuccessful attempt by Athtar, the Morning Star pictured as a god, to take over the throne of Baal.)

The phrase "O Day Star, son of Dawn" in the New Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible corresponds to in Hebrew to Helel Ben-Shachar and means "morning star, son of dawn". As the Latin poets personified the Morning Star and the Dawn (Aurora), as well as the Sun and the Moon and other heavenly bodies, so in Canaanite mythology Morning Star and Dawn were pictured as two deities, the former being the son of the latter. Helel Ben-Shachar translated later on in Vulgate to Lucifer which later was recast in Christianity to the devil (Satan).

I had been a bit puzzled because I understand Jews do not believe in the devil. They are strictly montheistic so one god means one god (as in no devil, no angels, etc). This clarified things for me a bit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helel_ben_Shachar

More later. I can tell, the readers can't wait. :)
It's like walking down an empty street, listening to your own footsteps. But all you have to do is knock on any door and say, "If you'll let me in, I'll live the way you want me to live. And I'll think the way you want me to think." And all the blinds will go up, and all the doors will open, and you'll never feel lonely. Ever again.

~Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind" (1960)

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Re: You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

Post by skyslide »

Ha I always talk about Hell, Michigan when people say "when Hell freezes over!" My response is always "it already has , and continues to do so every winter."
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Re: You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

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skyslide wrote:Ha I always talk about Hell, Michigan when people say "when Hell freezes over!" My response is always "it already has , and continues to do so every winter."
Yep. There are so many smart remarks to go with it:

1. Of course Hell freezes over, just like any other city that far up north. Why wouldn't it?

2. It's hotter than Hell today in Texas. It's only going up to 82 degrees there.

3. Taking the highway to Hell (re US-23)

4. I went to Hell and back.

5. I had a vacation in Hell.

6. I burned in Hell. (I forgot to apply sunblock before I went kayaking.)

7. So you are selling tickets to Hell (according to some trolling fundie). I'd like one. I'm overdue for a vacation.

Heh heh. The list can go on indefintely of the bad puns. :lol:


Rumor has it that missionaries had to retell their stories of eternal torment in Hell to the Inuit people. The idea of everlasting fires sounded like Heaven to them. I wonder if they had to do likewise with the Nordic peoples, as their worst spot in the Underworld (reserved for the worst offenders) is freezing cold.
It's like walking down an empty street, listening to your own footsteps. But all you have to do is knock on any door and say, "If you'll let me in, I'll live the way you want me to live. And I'll think the way you want me to think." And all the blinds will go up, and all the doors will open, and you'll never feel lonely. Ever again.

~Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind" (1960)

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Re: You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

Post by ravenhecateana »

I have been to Hell (Michigan) on a couple of occasions. I have always wanted to put one of those hot-air balloon gondolas in the back of a pick-up truck, climb in and have the driver drive up US-23 (the official Highway to Hell) so I can say I went to Hell in a basket.

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Re: You can go to Hell! (It's not what you think *S*)

Post by Peregrine »

Ah, my little project continues. In my original post, I mention a "trippy" Hell but that is a bit misleading. I personally would not call it "trippy" but I've seen others say that it sure sounds like it. Here goes.

After a few years as an agnostic, I stumbled upon some belief systems of the cult of Orphism from ancient Greece and Thrace. This particular sect honored Dionysius/Bacchus and Persephone. According to a book titled In the Footsteps of Orpheus by RF Paget, some of the Orphic priests used to spend their lives in underground caves where people would visit and stare into a pool of water. This was a technique for communication with dearly departed. I am under the impression that this may in part be what inspired the story of the journey Orpheus takes to the Underworld and his failed attempt at bringing back his beloved Eurydice.

A modern researcher by the name of Raymond Moody created a similar setup and it appears to have positive affects for people who cannot fully let go, who cannot stop mourning for a loved one who has crossed over. Only they do not use pools of water; they use mirrors instead. They are called psychomanteums. Another site discusses this grief technique and its history here.
It's like walking down an empty street, listening to your own footsteps. But all you have to do is knock on any door and say, "If you'll let me in, I'll live the way you want me to live. And I'll think the way you want me to think." And all the blinds will go up, and all the doors will open, and you'll never feel lonely. Ever again.

~Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind" (1960)

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