Sunday Freak e-Magazine by Goa-Freaks.Com SUNDAY FREAK e-magazine - 32th Edition - - Page 26

As we’ve mentioned before, there are several different entrances to Xibalba, and researchers have recently uncovered another one in the Yucatan Peninsula. The underground and partially underwater ruins are a massive maze of caverns that contain some grim indicators of what the Maya thought waited at the end.

Archaeologists have uncovered 11 different temples in the caves, along with evidence of human sacrifice. There are a number of artifacts that were left as offerings to the dead, including pottery, stone carvings, and ceramics. Archaeologists excavating the caves have also found massive stone columns and structures that were built underwater, a testament to the time, effort, and dedication it took to create the shrine. While it’s not clear whether the myth of Xibalba was constructed around the discovery of the caves or if the caves reinforced the myth, it’s certain that the two were connected.

The Gates Of Guinee
According to voodoo tradition, the Gates of Guinee have something to do with the passage of the spirit from life into death. Since the traditions of voodoo vary wildly, so do descriptions of the gates. In the voodoo of New Orleans, the guinee are spirits that exist in the afterlife who are often consulted as one is passing from one life to the next. The Gates of Guinee areportals into that afterlife, comprised of seven gates. It takes seven days to pass through all of the gates, and if the spirit fails, they may return to Earth as a zombie.

Some voodoo practitioners believe that the seven gates are located in seven different cemeteries in New Orleans, although the exact location and numerical order of the gates is a closely guarded secret. Clues have allegedly been spread throughout the city and its cemeteries, left for those who are knowledgeable enough to decipher them, often taking the form of voodoo deities’ sigils.

The gates are supposedly the easiest to find and open around holidays like Mardi Gras and All Saints’ Day, but finding them is only the beginning of the problem. Gates have to be approached and opened in the correct order, and each one has a guardian who requires a suitable offering. Opening the gates in the wrong order or displeasing the guardians is said to allow angry, dangerous spirits to leave the otherworld and enter ours.

The Garden Of Hesperides
According to Greek mythology, Gaia gave Hera a wedding gift of trees that bore golden apples, which were kept in the Garden of Hesperides for safekeeping. Hercules was tasked with stealing one of the apples as his eleventh labor, which he accomplished by taking the place of Atlas and holding up the Earth while the Titan fetched one of the golden fruits.

The entrance to the gardens was said to be located in modern-day Lixus, a coastal city in Morocco. Once a bustling Roman port, the walls and buildings of Lixus are now ruins. They include the remains of one of the city’s biggest industries, the manufacture of paste made from fermented fish guts. The location of the gardens is mentioned in a nautical text dating back to Hellenistic Greece, but other locations have also been proposed for the gardens, including Cyrene and one of the islands off the coast of Libya.

Newgrange

Newgrange is a massive tomb that was built in Ireland’s Boyne Valley more than 5,000 years ago. It’s not only an impressive display of astronomical know-how but also one of the entrances to the Celtic otherworld. According to Celtic mythology, the gods traveled back and forth between the earthly realm and their own worlds through properly prepared and sanctified mounds like Newgrange.

Thought to be the entrance to a magnificent feasting hall for the so-called Lords of Light, Newgrange was said to lead to a land where no one ever died, aged, or grew sick. There was an infinite supply of food and drink as well as magical trees that continuously bore fruit. The oldest mythology surrounding Newgrange makes it the otherworldly home of the personification of the Boyne River and home to a well that was the source of all wisdom in the world. Trees near the well dropped their nuts into the water, which released the knowledge they contained into the human realm.

The next inhabitant of the otherworld associated with Newgrange was the Dagda, one of the oldest of the Irish gods, who is associated with knowledge, the Sun, and the sky. His son, Oengus, is closely tied to Newgrange, being born after a single day that was extended by the power of the mound to last nine months. Later, Oengus tricked the Dagda into giving him the portal tomb, which he is said to guard to this day.

The Scholomance
The Scholomance is a mythical school whose existence was only passed down through Romanian folklore until it was recorded by an English author named Emily Gerard. According to Gerard, the Scholomance accepts 10 pupils at a time, who were taught by the devil himself. They learned all of his spells and tricks, including communicating with animals and controlling the weather. After the curriculum was completed, only nine students were released. The last one was kept by the devil as payment for the class, who sent him away to an infinitely deep lake where he lived until the devil needed him to make more thunderbolts.

Gerard’s version of Scholomance is slightly different from the traditional Romanian one, which is chalked up to a mistranslation. In Romanian folklore, it’s called the Solomanari, and it’s located in a world that exists parallel to our own. After reading Gerard’s work, Bram Stoker used the idea of the Scholomance in Dracula to explain how Dracula’s family learned their demonic skills.

The lake where the devil’s dragon-riding aide sleeps and the school where he teaches is said to be high in the Carpathian Mountains near Hermanstadt, which is allegedly plagued by daily thunderstorms. Those looking for the lake will know they’ve found it when they see the cairns that line the shores of the lake, markers where hapless travelers were struck down by the devil’s bolts.

Luilekkerland


Luilekkerland, otherwise known as Cockaigne, was a utopian mythological city. Those fortunate enough to gain entry would find everything they could possibly want, especially when it came to food. Wall were made of great slabs of bacon, roofs of tarts and pancakes, and fences of sausages. Wine ran in all of the fountains, the rivers flowed with milk instead of water, and trees in Luilekkerland bore meat pies and fruit tarts instead of pinecones. Even the weather was made of food: Snow was made of sugar, and hail rained down in the form of sugared almonds. You could also literally make money in your sleep.

Unlike many mythical places, Luilekkerland wasn’t accessible only to those who were particularly good and righteous—you just had to be extremely hungry. In order to get there, you were told to head to North Hommelen, a city near northern France, and look for the gallows. The entrance, a massive mountain of porridge, would be unmistakable. Those who seek the city must eat their way through the mountain to get there, so a big appetite is required.