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underworld (ùn´der-wûrld´) noun
1. The part of society that is engaged in and organized for the purpose of crime and vice.
2. A region, realm, or dwelling place conceived to be below the surface of the earth.
3. The opposite side of the earth; the antipodes.
4. Greek & Roman Mythology. The world of the dead, located below the world of the living; Hades.
5. Archaic. The world beneath the heavens; the earth.

underworld (noun)

depth: caisson disease, the bends, underworld, bottomless pit, hell
the dead: world of spirits, underworld, netherworld, Sheol
lower classes: demimonde, underworld, low company, low life
offender: criminal world, underworld, Mafia, wickedness
wickedness: low life, criminal world, underworld, demimonde
hell: hell, place of the dead, lower world, nether world, nether regions, infernal regions, underworld

Sigmund Freud

Freud was a hero. He descended to the "Underworld" and met there stark terrors. He carried with him his theory as a Medusa's head which turned these terrors to stone.
internal linkR. D. Laing (1927-89), British psychiatrist. The Divided Self, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1959).

The internal linkMayas, Aztecs, and internal linkIncas all believed that the universe was composed of the heavens, the earth's surface, and an underworld. The earth's surface was divided into four quadrants. Each of the three peoples claimed to inhabit the center of the universe, where the earthly and internal linksupernatural realms came together. Pre-Columbian religious leaders were essentially internal linkshamans, people who were believed to be capable of moving back and forth between the earthly and supernatural realms. Many Maya, Aztec, and Incan deities were derived from astronomical observations. Just as the heavenly bodies move and replace each other in specific sectors of the sky, a number of major pre-Columbian deities had shifting, overlapping identities.

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Maya Religion

The Mayas believed that the universe had been, and would continue to be, created and destroyed multiple times, and that each such cycle lasted somewhat longer than 5000 years. By their estimate, the current universe would be destroyed in the equivalent of the year AD internal link2012. The Mayas conceived of the earth as the back of a giant alligatorlike reptile floating in a pool. Above the earth was a heaven with 13 levels. Below the earth was an underworld with 9 levels. The entire universe was linked by a internal linkgreeninternal linkceiba tree that stood at the center of the world, its branches extending into the heavens and its roots into the underworld.

The Maya pantheon (family of gods) included a host of gods and goddesses. The rain god Chac, for example, was actually a composite of four different Chacs of different colors who lived at the corners of the world. Furthermore, every deity of the heavens had a counterpart in the underworld and vice versa.

For the Mayas, religious leadership was the responsibility of the kings and nobles. One of the rulers' principal duties was to determine proper courses of action by communicating with ancestors and the gods in visionary trances. Self-mutilation for the purpose of shedding blood was a central element of vision-seeking rituals. The loss of blood helped to bring on hallucinations, and the shed blood was offered as a sacrifice to the gods.

The prospect of the afterlife for Mayas was wretched. After death souls descended into the underworld, a cold, damp, foul-smelling region ruled by cruel and fearsome deities.

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Aztec Religion

Like the Mayas, the Aztecs believed in multiple creations and destructions of the universe, but with important differences. Most notably, the Aztecs thought they were living in the fifth and final cycle of creation, the so-called Fifth Sun. At the end of this cycle everything would be swallowed by eternal darkness, and there would be no Sixth Sun. The Aztecs believed they could keep the sun strong by nourishing him with a source of vital energy: human blood, preferably the vigorous blood of warriors captured in battle. To the Aztecs, unceasing warfare and human sacrifice were sacred duties upon which the preservation of the universe depended.

The Aztecs believed the earth was divided into quadrants. The four quarters met in Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital. This temple was also the point where internal linksupernatural forces from the heavens and the underworld came together. The heavens were composed of 13 ascending levels. The internal linksun, the internal linkmoon, the planets, and the stars traveled through the lower levels. The upper levels were the homes of winds, storms, colors, and remote gods. The underworld contained nine levels, all descending, unpleasant, and dangerous.
Sol Luna

The Aztecs believed in a pantheon of shifting and overlapping gods and goddesses. Some were combinations of heroes and gods from the Mesoamerican historical and mythological pasts. Examples of these god-hero combinations included internal linkQuetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, the creators of the fifth universe.

The ultimate destiny of most Aztecs depended on the manner of their deaths, not on their positions in life. The souls of most dead Aztecs were thought to enter the underworld and start on a difficult downward journey to the lowest level, where they dwelled in eternal darkness and oblivion.

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internal linkIncan Religion

The Incas emphasized the arrangement of space into a sacred geography. A crucial aspect of this sacred geography was the concept of huaca. This term referred to any person, place, or thing with internal linksupernatural power; almost anything unusual was considered a huaca, including prominent features of the landscape, oddly shaped or colored pebbles, and plants. Cuzco, the Incas' capital, was the center of their universe. Most of the important huacas in the area around Cuzco were conceived of as lying along lines that radiated from Cuzco. The Incas also saw the earth as being composed of four quarters, whose dividing lines intersected in Cuzco. Like the earth, the heavens were divided into quadrants. The movement of astronomical bodies through the four quadrants determined the Incan agricultural and ceremonial calendars.

The upper pantheon of Incan gods and goddesses contained a creator-sky-weather complex with three principal components: internal linkViracocha, the creator; Inti, the sun god and ancestor of the ruling dynasty; and Illapa, the thunder or weather god. The core of Incan religion was ancestor worship. The Incan ruler and the mummies of his predecessors were the most important religious leaders. An elaborate ritual life surrounded the mummies of deceased rulers, who were treated as if they were still alive. They were maintained in state in their palaces, and they continued to own the property they had accumulated during their lifetimes. The Incas were strongly moralistic, and they believed the souls of virtuous people joined the sun in heaven. The souls of evildoers went to the underworld, a cold and barren place where there was nothing to eat but stones.

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The internal linkLong Count end date on December  21st, internal link2012  A.D. highlights an astronomical alignment determined by internal linkprecession. The  alignment occurs when the winter solstice internal linksun conjuncts the crossing point of internal linkMilky Way and ecliptic in Sagittarius. This crossing point is where the "dark rift" in the Milky Way is, which was known to the ancientinternal linkMaya as xibalba be (the  Road to the Underworld) or simply "the Black Road." Linda Schele identifies the nearby crossing point of Milky Way and ecliptic as the Mayan  Sacred Tree, and the modern Quiche call that spot  "Crossroads."

- John Major Jenkins - _From The Center Of Mayan internal linkTime_ 

Mayan glyph

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The southwest's most intriguing natives, the internal linkHopi, have always claimed that their sipapu (place of emergence from the underworld) is in the internal linkGrand Canyon.  They say their ancestors went underground to live with "the ant people" when the great flood wiped out the last world.  Later, they emerged through the sipapu to begin their lives and migrations in the present world.  The many circular internal linkkivas found in internal linkAnasazi ruins are said to be symbolic of this emergence, i.e. underground ceremonial chambers with a roof entrance/exit, still called the sipapu.

Kiva Praying Mantra - art by Jim Koehnline

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In Rumania, offerings are made on April 7 to the spirits of the internal linkwater and the underworld.  Though hidden, they apparently are deemed beneficent if given their proper due:  They go by the name of Blajini, or "internal linkkindly ones."

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The internal linkshamanic cosmos consists of three worlds: this world, the earthly realm; the underworld, populated by ancestral spirits and demons; and the upper world, where gods and celestial beings dwell. This cosmos is usually represented by the symbol of the World Tree; the underworld in its roots, the celestial realms in its branches, and this world where the trunk meets the ground. During hir initiatory sickness, the shaman's soul travels down into the underworld, and is torn apart by spirits. The mutilated pieces of the shaman's body are then brought back together, usually in a large cauldron, or in a blacksmith's furnace. Often an extra organ or magical stone is included in the body as it is re-forged. This is followed by an ascent into the celestial realms, where the shaman meets the tribes' gods. SHe then returns to this world, healed (often hir body has been lying prone, unconscious, in a tent or hut for several days while hir soul internal linkvoyaged to the underworld). It is the fact that the shaman has healed hirself, through hir internal linkecstatic journeys to the other worlds, that grants hir the power to heal others (one of the many social functions of the shaman). In healing others, the shaman induces in hirself an ecstatic internal linktrance, through internal linkdrumminginternal linkdancing or internal linkhallucinogenic plants, which enables hir to journey again to the underworld, to battle with the spirits that have caused the illness, and to recover the client's lost soul. The shaman also uses hir powers for divination, finding lost objects (or people), and for conducting the souls of the recently deceased to their place in the underworld.

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McKenna chuckles. "The best answer I've gotten yet is out of Don DeLillo's _Underworld_, where the nun discovers that when you die you become your Web site."

internal linkTerence McKenna's Last Trip by Erik Davis

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entity Underworld

Underworld is the name of an electronic band popular during the 1990s. It emerged from the ashes of the electropop group Freur in the early internal link1980s, ventured briefly into electro-rock-funk in the late 1980s, and has produced danceable electronic music since then.

Probably best known for their 1996 hit "Born Slippy", featured in the movie _Trainspotting_, Underworld is comprised of Karl Hyde, Rick Smith and, up until 2001, DJ Darren Emerson. The duo were also known by the names Lemon Interrupt and Stepin' Razor before joining with Darren for the first time, when they remixed such varying acts as internal linkShakespeare's Sister, St Etienne and Simply Red.

The addition of Emerson completed Underworld's internal linkdance/rock internal linkfusion and seemed to moderate some of hardfloor elements in the original duo's work. Their first album, dubnobasswithmyheadman, was considered more accessible than the group's earlier material and crossed a large spectrum of dance music. The signature Hyde lyrics were in place: poetic, hypnotic and whispered; mixing conventional songwriting with the use of found material from overheard conversations, answerphone recordings and the like. Hyde had been the lead singer in Underworld Mk. I but the original Hyde/Smith dance material was lyric free as was most of the electronic music emerging from the aftermath of internal linkAcid House.

After the release of Beaucoup Fish Hyde declared in his interviews that he had sorted out earlier problems with alcoholism but all the members admitted that the sessions had been fraught problems, with the individual members working in their own studios and only communicating via mixes of the raw material passed back and forth on DAT. After the release of the album a large number of mixes of the album tracks seemed to surface on singles, magazine promotional CDs and similar ephemeral formats perhaps indicating the number of revisions the tracks had gone through to get to point where they were acceptable to all three.

Despite these problems, Underworld embarked on a spirited and well-received tour which resulted in a live CD and DVD drawn from several dates on the tour. Called Everything, everything, the project was said to capture the live Underworld very faithfully.

After the release and promotion of Everything, everything Emerson decide to leave Underworld to internal linkfocus on his solo projects and record label. Hyde and Smith decided to continue, once again, as a duo. They dubbed the project Underworld Mk. III and recorded a new album, A Hundred Days Off, which was released to general approval.

This band has been regarded by some as one of the pioneers of the modern electronic movement.


As Freur:

* Doot Doot
* Get Us Out Of Here

As Underworld (mark I, funk rock):

* Underneath The Radar
* Change The Weather

As Underworld (mark II, electronic):

* Dubnobasswithmyheadman
* Second Toughest In The Infants
* Beacoup Fish
* Everything, Everything (live)
* A Hundred Days Off

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Underworld - Pearl's Girl video - mystery Bruce Lee in his only television interview


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formerly  known as Freur

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Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants on Wax Trax! (1996)

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Dragonfly Steve Roach - Lost Pieces on Projekt (1997)


Nation Of Ulysses - Plays Pretty For Baby

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