Goddess Lethe  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Lethe Image
"(THE RIVER LETHE)"

THERE ARE ACTUALLY TWO LETHES TO BE FOUND IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY--THE GODDESS AND THE RIVER. "LETHE" IS THE GREEK GODDESS OF OBLIVION; SHE IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF FORGETFULNESS AND CONCEALMENT. SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF ERIS (STRIFE) AND THE SISTER OF THANATOS (DEATH), AND ACCORDING TO SOME SOURCES, SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF THE GRACES/CHARITIES. NOT MUCH IS KNOWN ABOUT THIS GODDESS, BUT ONE OF THE EARLIEST REFERENCES TO THIS LETHE COMES TO US FROM HESIOD IN HIS "THEOGONY."

..."BUT ABHORRED ERIS BARE PAINFUL PONOS (TOIL) AND LETHE (FORGETFULNESS."...

THE RIVER "LETHE" IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE "RIVER OF FORGETFULNESS AND IS ONE OF THE FIVE RIVERS OF THE GREEK UNDERWORLD THAT FLOW THROUGH HADES. THE RIVER LETHE HAS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE AFTERLIFE OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS. IT IS SAID THAT THE NEWLY DEAD WHO, UPON THEIR ARRIVAL IN HADES, DRANK OF THIS RIVER WOULD FORGET ALL ABOUT THEIR EARTHLY LIVES AND THEIR HOW THEY DIED. SOME ANCIENT GREEKS HELD THE BELIEF THAT SOULS WERE MADE TO DRINK FROM THE RIVER BEFORE BEING REINCARNATED SO THEY WOULD NOT REMEMBER THEIR PAST LIVES. HENCE, THE RIVER LETHE IS STRONGLY CONNECTED TO REINCARNATION.

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