Many folk have been told that hell is down below; that “down below” there is something terrible to be afraid of. We were told not to look for bliss, love and belonging down there and to expect hell instead, but this may have been a terrible deceit. As a result of this metaphysical sleight-of-hand some folks find it hard to find bliss and community and ecological belonging anywhere. By contrast for ancient followers of Dionysus, “down below” was the location of the Hieros Gamos rite of marriage with the God and “the eternal banquet of the blessed”, a realm of Elyzian celebration. In 16th century Lambourd (a former French province in the Basque country) a female witch was recorded mentioning to their persecutor that the ecstatic joy of the witch’s Sabbat was a “prelude to a much greater joy they (the witches) would experience in the underworld.”
In certain Tibetan tantras one descends into the land, which is also an enormous ecstatic buddha body. In British, Welsh, Scottish and Irish faery lore, the abundant faery world, where earth based spirits and the greatest illuminated ancestors live, is often seen to be “down below.” Likewise for any human individual, a journey into the strangeness and otherness of the animal, plant, mineral, sensual body and faery realm below, can be deeply fructifying. There may be fear, aggression, sexual energies and wildness “down below”, but do we really want to get rid of them? These are all helping powers. We just mistook them for obstacles. There is waking up in the dream of life, fulfillment, vast abundance, whole universes, enormous belonging, deliciousness and bliss found there below. Perhaps In our psycho-mythogeography “down below”, is not something hellish, its the treasure at the end of history, its what we’ve been searching for all along.