Skip to main content

Questions tagged [afterlife]

For questions about what a being may encounter after death, such as a heaven, hell, or underworld.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
34 votes
7 answers
78k views

How was it decided which warriors would go to Fólkvangr and which to Valhalla?

I have read numerous times that some Norse warriors, upon death, would go in Fólkvangr, while some others would go to Valhalla. How was it decided which warrior would go to which place? Why did the ...
user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
8k views

Why did Charon collect a toll at the River Styx

Charon is known as the ferryman of the River Styx, letting certain people cross the river with a fee. Charon himself is well known for helping many significant heroes in multiple Greek legends. He ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 2,075
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is the ferry toll for Charon placed in the dead person's mouth?

In Greek mythology, the deceased pays a ferryman, Charon, to take them across the river Styx. Apparently this reflects a common custom in the funeral rites of antiquity. Sometimes, though not always, ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 7,856
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why are the "Fields of Reeds" the Egyptian paradise?

Aaru, the Field of Reeds was the Egyptian idea of paradise. Food was unlimited, and menial funeral statues could gather it for you. However, it is described as a “mirror image of one's life on earth”....
Reed -SE is a Fish on Dry Land's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
224 views

Why were the Isles of the Blest ruled over by Cronos and Rhea?

As I was researching Isles of the Blest, I came across something very confusing. According to Maicar... Rather, after three lifetimes, the souls of the good are conveyed to the Island of the Blest, ...
bleh's user avatar
  • 6,719
9 votes
2 answers
837 views

What sources describe the rivers of the Underworld?

Many stories about the Greco-Roman Underworld mention the rivers flowing through it: the Styx, the Acheron, the Lethe, the Pyriphlegethon, the Cocytus, the Eridanus, and sometimes others. Sources ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 1,368
8 votes
4 answers
593 views

How did Christianity come to equate the place of punishment and the place of demons?

In Hinduism, the cosmology works roughly like this: there's Earth; there are worlds above the Earth called Swargas where you go as a reward for good deeds; there are worlds under the Earth called ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
147 views

Traditional beliefs regarding guardians of burial grounds

Many years ago (the mid-1980s) someone described to me a belief that a Christian burial ground was guarded by the spirit of the most recently interred body. For this reason, when a burial ground was ...
arboviral's user avatar
  • 189
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Mythologies with a warrior afterlife, similar to Valhalla?

So I am currently researching into ancient war gods and goddesses of various ancient religions and also learning about all the various afterlives the dead go to. I'm trying to learning something ...
Set767's user avatar
  • 79
6 votes
2 answers
163 views

Do humans become angels when they die?

Where does the belief that humans become angels after death come from? Who (which groups) have this belief? Is it an idea from other religions that has been incorporated into Christian beliefs? Has ...
peterorme's user avatar
  • 369
5 votes
2 answers
298 views

What is the ancient Egyptian name for "The Book of Gates"?

The Book of Gates is an ancient Egyptian funerary text which describes the various bxn.t (gates), also known as a pylon (πυλών) in ancient Greek. I have been unable to find the full name of the Book ...
Walter's user avatar
  • 651
5 votes
2 answers
732 views

Why were the lungs left inside the mummy of Herakleides, instead of the heart?

In ancient Egyptian mummies, the heart was the only organ that stayed in the body. This was because the heart would be weighed against the feather of Ma'at in the Hall of Two Truths. The Romano-...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
5 votes
1 answer
867 views

Why are the three Judges of the Underworld Zeus's sons?

The Judges of the Dead in Greek Mythology are Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. Minos was a tyrant king of Crete. He made war with Athens because his son died there. He demanded 14 virgin youths, 7 ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the Native American term for Happy Hunting Ground?

The web has only the English term, or other European languages (most of those translate to "eternal hunting land", rather than "happy"). Frustratingly, even native storytellers use the English ...
Ralf B's user avatar
  • 396
3 votes
1 answer
466 views

Was Aaru considered part of the Duat (underworld) in ancient Egypt?

The sources I've found don't make a clear statement of whether Aaru was formally considered part of the Duat or distinct from it. I'm trying to understand if the deceased pass through the Duat and ...
crispyduck's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
101 views

What cultural significance and symbolism lie behind the ancestor figures in Osage Native American afterlife beliefs?

In the 2023 film Killers of the Flower Moon, based on the non-fiction book of the same name, there's a poignant scene that depicts the final moments of Lizzie Q, an Osage Native American, as she lies ...
galacticninja's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
811 views

Do all (or most) religions believe in the existence of an afterlife?

I'm talking about both modern and ancient religions that we know of. Christianity -> Heaven, Hell Greco Roman -> Hades Egyptian -> Anubis, Osiris among many others. Are there any exceptions to this ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

Origin of Folk-Belief that the Faithful Dead become Angels

There is a common folk-belief among Christians that the faithful dead become angels. As noted in this related question, this belief is not only unsubstantiated by scripture, but seemingly contradicted ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
1 answer
131 views

What is the original ancient Egyptian names for the "Book of Two Ways"?

After much research, I am asking for help with this matter. I can find no reverse translation for the "Book of Two Ways." Is it like the "Book of the Dead," a modern convenience ...
Walter's user avatar
  • 651
2 votes
2 answers
591 views

What is Tír Jovincon in Celtic Mythology?

In a song by Eluveitie, called "Black Water Dawn", we hear about a voyage across the sea, a journey to the Otherworld. At the end of the song the place Tír Jovincon is mentioned. The question is what ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 195
2 votes
0 answers
83 views

What is the origin of the 'Light' as a ghost?

As a ghost (or after death), it is popularly believed that you will see a light and that light will take you to the afterlife. Where, and/or when, does this 'light' emerge in folklore's history?
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Did anyone make it to the Isles of the Blessed?

The Isles of the Blessed, also called the Fortunate Isles, was a place heroes went if they successfully were allowed entrance to Elysium, or the Elysian Fields, three times (the Greek believed in ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
105 views

Why do Mormons believe they will become gods when they die?

The LDS scriptures declare that the ultimate goal of a Mormon is to become a god and procreate for all eternity in their own worlds. Why is the goal to become a god in their own world and rule over it?...
Orionixe's user avatar
  • 399