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The location of Lethe in the underworld, in classical and Gnostic imagery, originates from the oracle cave of Earth-deities (Chthonioi) at Lebadeia, where an individual made elaborate preparations to enter down into the dark pit to learn his fate through "things seen" or "things heard." Among the preparations, "he has to drink of the water of Lethe, in order to achieve forgetfulness of all that he has hitherto thought of; and on top of it another water Mnemosyne, which gives him remembrance of what he sees when he has gone down."
Classical writers made Lethe one of the principle rivers of the underworld, along with Acheron, Cocytus, Phegethon, and Styx. A.G.H.
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