Psychic, Occult and Mystical Definitions

Letter: H








Another name for Hell. In classical mythology, the underworld, the kingdom of the dead, the abode of the departed spirits, a place of gloom but not necessarily a place of punishment and torture.

It was named after its ruler, Hades (Greek) or Pluto (Roman), which was one of the twelve great Olympians, son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. His queen was Persephone.

The underworld lies beneath the secret places of the earth, says the Iliad. In the Odyssey, the way to it leads over the edge of the world across the ocean. Other poets described its entrance through caverns and beside deep lakes.



Hadrian's Wall

In antiquity, a wall that was built as a defensive barrier to guard the northern part of the Roman province of Britain from barbarian invasion.

The area that is now England was conquered by Julius Caesar in the middle of the first century BC; in 122 AD the Roman Emperor Hadrian (76-138 AD) began construction on a 73 mile (117 kilometer) long wall, part of which still stands today. Hadrian's wall extended from what is now Solway Firth to the coast of the North Sea near Newcastle-on-Tyne. The wall was originally 20 feet (6 meters) high and 8 to 10 feet (2.5 to 3 meters) thick. Roman guards were posted along the wall at intervals, and larger forts were built at intervals of 3 to 7 miles (5 to 11 kilometers).

Although built to keep out invaders, most of Hadrian's wall was eventually breached by northern Pict tribes in the third and fourth centuries. Nevertheless, much of the wall still stands as a symbol of Roman conquest in Britain.


Greco-Roman mythological creature with the lower body, wings and claws of a bird and the chest and head of a woman, often portrayed as very ugly and loathsome.

Harpies were fierce, extremely ill tempered, and lived in an atmosphere of filth and stench, contaminating everything they came near. They are associated with the wind, ghosts, and the underworld. Their chief employer was Hades who sent them to bear away by force and bring to Tartarus those who were unwilling to die. But they also did vengeful errands-for the other gods.

In a famous Argonaut story they tormented a king named Phineus who had incurred the wrath of a god. They swooped down at his table and snatched his food before he could eat it; they defecated in his plate. Phineus would have starved to death or killed himself but he was rescued by the Argonauts Zetes and Calais, who drove away the Harpies and, some say, killed them.

There were three Harpy sisters. Various names are given to them (Aello, Celaeno, Ocypete), but the most noted one is Podarge, who, despite her appearance, attracted the notice of Zephyr (in some accounts his brother Boreas, the North Wind), the West Wind. She bore him a pair of beautiful colts, Xanthus and Balius, who became the fabulous stallions of Achilles.