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Shades -- the subjects of Hades

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: (Mark Diller)
Subject: Re: Shades -- the subjects of Hades
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 14:58:30 GMT

Quoting: |tyagI@houseofkAos.abyss.coM (tyagi mordred nagasiva) 
         |> (Tery Steelman) 

|>Hades has some interesting nicknames, one of which is "the Wealthy One."
|>He was called by this name in general conversation.. no one wanted to draw
|>his attention with his true name. "Ruler of Many" in reference to his
|>subjects..the shades.... 
|Is there any more information available about these shades?  I am reminded
|of the dark howling creatures which came to carry off the antagonists in
|the movie 'Ghost', and as I'm going to construct an inversion of that
|film for my own ritual purposes (the individual dying and being carried
|off to rule in the Lower World), I'd like to learn a bit more about these
|shades.  Thanks.

The best literary picture is the Odyssey, in two primary spots:  when Odysseus
visits the Underworld, and when the shades of the recently-slaughtered suitors
reach the Underworld towards the end of the poem.  Mostly they are pictured
as insubstantial and insensible beings, "gibbering" and "squeaking" being the
usual translations of the Greek terms (which I don't know offhand;  maybe
someone else can fill this in?).  It wasn't until the shades had partaken of
the blood that they were able to speak with Odysseus, or even see him for that

In iconography, shades were usually depicted as sort of Tinkerbell-type 
figures, very small human shapes with wings.  I've heard some speculation that
butterflies in Bronze Age art were intended to depict shades, but that's
entirely speculative.

As a single good source, I'd suggest Emily Vermeule's book, _Aspects of Death
in Early Greek Art and Poetry._
Mark Diller - Univ. Chicago Divinity School - aka

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