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Homer - The Odyssey - Asphodel fields

Identifier

013380

Type of spiritual experience

Background

In Greek myth, the Asphodel Fields was where the souls of ‘ordinary people’ went, the non heroes, the ones who hadn’t made much of an effort, who had ‘coasted’. 

It was a plain of Asphodel flowers.  Asphodelus ramosus is a perennial which can grow in acidic soils, mainly schist. It is to be found close to the sea.  Thus the symbolism is quite apt. 

A description of the experience

Homer Odyssey 24.5-9, translation by Robert Fagles

down the dank
mouldering paths and past the Ocean's streams they went
and past the White Rock and the Sun's Western Gates and past
the Land of Dreams,
and soon they reached the fields of asphodel
where the dead, the burnt-out wraiths of mortals make their home

The source of the experience

Homer

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities