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Sheol, Hebrew "Pit," is a term symbolizing a cavern, womb, or underworld; related to the uterine paradise-garden called Shal-Mari in Tibet and Shalimar in India. Originally Shoel was the Virgin's "enclosed garden" of flowers, fruits, fountains, and fairy nymphs. Sacred kings dying on trees entered this world. The Markandeya Purana mentioned an underworld realm when men's souls are impaled on trees.

Shal-Mari probably became Sheol-Mari in the Middle-East, where Mari was Ishtar, and there was a long tradition of hanging human sacrifices on trees. A.G.H.


Walker, Barbara G. The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. New York, HarperCollins, 1983. p. 933

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