"a huge river, which ... was the barrier of the other world. They waded across, and as they did so ... his blue garments had turned white.

Cathar blue garments; white ones in Revelation of St. John


When they reached the opposite bank he looked back and behold, what he had though to be no more than flowing water had become a mass of thousands of serpents ...

Tenetehara: souls journey to the land of the dead over the bodies of snakes.


other travellers ... clothes as they made their way across were all changed to different colors, black, yellow or brown. ...



... walking along a narrow road choked with dead weeds as sharp as icicles.


On either side lay a deep ditch filled with loathsome worms and insects.


Above loomed a black cloud from which a terrible face glared down at him. Behind, a demon in a red jacket was trying to prod him with a sharp spear.

Chinese "Red Spears" (secret society)


Ahead of him he soon came to a deep river full of blood and pus, with no bridge, in which countless people, their bodies covered with leeches, were struggling and screaming. ...

Norse: rivers of blood etc. to be crossed in route to world of the dead in Balders Draum -- souls of the dead in river are bitten by leeches (T, p. 399)


Here he is again, sliding down an icy road, ... Down and down he fell, until his face and body were cut to pieces ...

Aztec route for souls of the dead: wind of knives cutting up souls


The lake was full of hairy caterpillars and horned snakes, and over it ... stretched a slender bridge of ice. ... Already several had slipped into the lake, to be bitten and squeezed by the snakes. ...

Hawai'ian route for souls of the dead: caterpillar along the path -- Hmon: the souls of the dead journey along "one mountain is made up of hairy caterpillars (there are fatally poisonous caterpillars in Asia)" (HR, p. 64) -- Kapalo: "Monstrous Women ... exposing themselves to ... venemous caterpillars ... result in ... musicality" (MVU, p. 307) -- Aiguptian horned vipers


Further on we see him again before a tall building as high as the clouds. ...



... he is killed, split in half with a sharp blade like a pear ...

persons were split asunder by Paras`u-rama


Once he was turned into a goddess. ...

South American Indian: gender-change


He saw running before him along the road, ... a strange woman with a pitted face, a long hanging tongue and sunken, glittering eyes. ... Eventually, erged on to a green plateau to see the woman, who now had a long thick tail, surrounded by goblins. With her tail the woman killed the goblins and ... began to lap up their blood. As she drank, horns sprouted from her forehead, her body swelled, ... and her teeth turned to tusks like swords. ...

long-tongued goddess Kali


... before him a large black snake with the face of a woman ... She plunged into the sea and swam frantically away ...

snake woman of Skuthia ( Herodotos)


... as he looked through his telescope he descried in the distance a golden pillar [this golden pillar later became a dragon (RT, Vol. 1)] which spun round to the left. Faster and faster it spun, ... churned ... into lumps which took their place in the sky as stars.

Borneo (Iban & Kayan): telescope is used by souls of the dead (from Ananai-kyo in Japan?) -- Borneo (Naju) "Prince of the Sun ... on Gold Mountain" = hornbill on water-snake (p. 155) -- Skanda Puran.a: churning of the milk-ocean, into curd-lumps


Another pillar then arose, silver and spinning to the right. As it spun ... became mountains ...

Welsh: mythic Silver Island, revolving


... a great river, beyond which was paradise. Over it hung a great arched bridge made of gold. ... There was no railing and the golden surface was very slippery, so that he had to take off his shoes and cast away everything he was carrying before venturing to step upon it.

Chinese Triad Society: bridge of copper & gold


... reached the other side safely. There he saw before him, standing on a vast lotus, a marvellous palace made of gold and agate and the seven jewels.

Tantrik man.d.ala-castle


On to the lotus he climbed and saw all ound him ranges of blue mounains, and a great lake rippling with golden waves. Among the waves rose innumerable islands, covered with pine trees with crane's nests among their branches.

Daoist divine crane-birds


Above the lake flew golden doves and crows, while on the surface of the water swam mandarin ducks and turtles with green fur."

Arawete`: "An eater of tiny tortoises ... made the big doves fly off" (FEPV, p. 229)

MISTLETOE BOOKS, No. 2 = H. R. Ellis Davidson (ed.): The Journey to the Other World. D. S. Brewer; Rowman & Littlefield, 1975. pp. 42-72 Carmen Blacker: "Other World Journeys in Japan."

RT =

HR = ASIAN FOLKLORE STUDIES, Vol. 48 (1989). pp. 59-95 Nicholas Tapp: "Hmong Religion".

MVU = Ellen B. Basso: A Musical View of the Universe. U. of PA Pr, Philadelphia,1985.

T = W. H. R. Rivers: The Todas. Macmillan & Co., London, 1906.

NgR = Hans Scharer (tr. by Rodney Needham): Ngaju Religion. Martinus Nijhoff, 1963.

FEPV = Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (tr. by Catherine V. Howard): From the Enemy's Point of View. U. of Chicago Pr, 1992.