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See also: nether world
netherworld (plural netherworlds)
- The place to which one's spirit descends upon death, conceived as below the surface of the earth.
- In some religions, one's soul departs to a netherworld, hell, instead of the heavens.
- 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 174:
- As Inanna prepares to descend she fastens the seven divine laws to her side, and as she walks toward the netherworld she speaks to her vizier, Ninshubur.
- The locale of the spirit world or afterlife, whether deemed to be situated below the world of the living or not.
- While I was astrally projecting, I felt my soul pass through many insubstantial netherworlds.
- Specifically, a location of punishment in the afterlife; a hell.
- The missionary was motivated by a sincere desire to rescue souls from eternal torment in the netherworld.
- (by extension) A hidden, shadowy, or sinister subculture, such as that of organized crime.
- Richard had been initiated into the netherworld of dog racing by his father, and knew all the popular greyhound performance-enhancing drugs.
Depending on cultural context, it may be appropriate to construct this as the netherworld, if only one is supposed to exist.
- (subterranean region for spirits of the dead): Hades, hell, nether region, underworld
- (location of the spirit world or afterlife): astral plane, heaven
- (place of punishment after death): damnation, Hades, hell, underworld
- (hidden, shadowy, or sinister subculture): underworld