Having dediced to illustrate the little known Slavic mythology for my next exhibition, I am reading recently published books which extracted myths form old songs, to discover that Slavic mythology has many similarities with the Greek and Celtic, even Egyptian which I have read upon for years. It has a hierarchy of gods, each empowered and serving their role in ensuring the cycle of life on earth and the change of years seasons. The main god is the god Poseidon god of the skies, and the female is Mokush, goddesss of the Earth, and water. In the west today, Mother Earth has hippy frivolous conotations of earth and nature,recycling and green protesting , but digging up old myths one must sooner or later discover that this goddess is literally the keeper of the gates of the underworld. She symbolises death, and blossom or feritily. A paradoxical mix. Slav and Celtic ancestors in did not believe in an all ending death, they belived they go somwhere else after life, to a real country with real but different skies. You live and than when you get tired of life you go on a vaction to summer-land before being borne agian sometime. And this land according to different myths can be hidden beneath lakes, across seas, in the ground, beneath the grass. In Ireland milenias ago people built stone homes in the earth which they believed would be their homes in the other world. Now they are seen as graveyards. But they where built to be homes. . When you come to one of the many gates be that on a lake or in a cave, of Mother Earth, she will take you into safety and woomb of the earth to this new world, and will introduce you around to the children of other land, makes sure you are OK. Mother earth also has a role as gate keeper to stop people who sohuld not be going in to other land. A few myths describe how girls simpley pay a visit the otherland and take bread as a gift, to the inhabitants. . In Spring time the mother earth uses keys with which she opens the gates of earth, and realises the dew and water on to the Grass and makes fertile the fields. She closes winter within the earth, and lets out summer. She makes sure plants grow, animals are born and children too. There used to be many festivals of fertility at the begging of spring time, in which people would imitate the walk of gods ower fiels to fertilise them, they also would drink, be merry and make love, celebrating the spring and fertility . . In the Autumn Mother earth would takes sacrifices, for the fertilety of the new year. There are myths depicting three women of different ages, often known as 'Maiden, Mother, Crone' or three fairies, or three white women always taking lives of young married men, or women in order to have enough water left for babies just being born. . In the last milenia since the belif of the mother earth has lessened the inside of earth has been associated with a hell, maybe just because it sounds so finite, lonley, we are all defiantly returned to the earth, and whiteout all the knowledge of the otherland- and visits to it,cultural introduction to it, the idea is simply frightening and claustrophobic. Mother earth who assures all is well down there has been forgotten and lost, her reasons too have been forgotten, and the fertility she fought for, in the contemporary world has less of a value, that is until it unobtainable. The other land, place within the earth has relocated, Heaven, up in the sky has replaced it, and it floats somwhere in the reign of the sky God. On a more everday note, most people have experimented with meditation. I have encountered many mediation recipes , which guide a person to imagine a path, down into depths of a house into the earth, down the staires, deep down. The mediation always leads to water, and than a light, and in this light we are supposed to encounter our essence, find subconscious solutions, reprogramme our conscious. To me it now appears that meditating in this way we enter the otherworld that the ancestors believed in. For it is a land buried deep down with its own skies and waters. The idea of going there eventually, is not so frightening if one has visited the place and becone familiar with it in this life . However is it not a wee bit macabre entering this underworld whilst alive? Where do the roots of this mediation come form? Have they been around in some form from the days described in the myths " when girls visit the insides of earth and take bread as a gift, so that they may be allowed out again?.