It’s possible to enter that dimension, go through death while still alive. But afterwards you don’t talk very much. What you’ve seen is shrouded in silence. There are things that just can’t be said. And when you do talk there’s something different to your words because death is the place where all words come from – like sparks that have their origin in fire. Then what’s said has a certain power, but not because the words mean something outside them or point somewhere else. They have power because they contain their significance and meaning inside them.

More than in the case of any other divinities it was normal not to give a name to the gods or goddesses of the underworld. Then the silence was deliberate. Any risk of confusion was accepted as a part of the mystery; ambiguity was inevitable. Things were left unclear in the same way that Parmenides doesn’t leave anything too clear about the identity of his goddess.

And all across the Greek world there was one particular divinity who was constantly left unnamed – but especially through southern Italy and the regions surrounding Velia. In ordinary language, in poetry, in the statements given by oracles, it was normal simply to refer to the queen of the dead as ‘goddess’.

Peter Kingsley, In the Dark Places of Wisdom

Magic is in part to do with the realisation that words can contain their significance and meaning inside themselves. There are works of magic, by which i mean texts which exercise a power not wholly explained by their meaning, by that to which they refer.

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