12. Above + Below + Christ
12. Christ Journey through Hell
Many know the story of Christ being buried and rising again in three days -- going into and out of a cave with nights between. In the Medieval world, there was much more interest in the Harrowing of Hell, which is the story of Jesus' journey through Hell during those nights. When he goes into the cave he goes into Hell, and when he leaves the cave, he leaves hell. In his journey, he confronts the Devil, and on his journey, he rescues Adam and Eve. This journey through the underworld associates Hell with night, death, tombs and subterranean caves. As Easter is on the first full moon after the spring equinox, we also associate his resurrection with the renewal of the moon and the return of spring. In the story of Christ, we also recognize allegorical references to the narratives of grain and grapes--bread and wine. These will be engaged later in the course.
The living adult descends to night, death, sleep, and unconscious through which they journey until the direction is changed towards light, life, and consciousness, to which they return, bringing knowledge of the other world and a path therethrough. Heroes personify the cycles of mortality, sexuality and fertility, the day, the month, the year, the whole cycle of time! The monomyth, the hero’s journey, heroine’s journey, night sea journey, they’re all these journeys.