The River Styx gets its name from the Goddess Styx. She was the Goddess of this river. In the Greek myths it is said that she sided with Zeus during the Titan War. Is this river in Greek mythology real? Many rivers have been named after it, but what is it or where is it? Herodotus says Styx originated near Feneos. Herodotus has been accused of making up stories for entertainment, but he maintained he was only reporting what he was told. One must understand that these myths and texts were written for the initiated. For those who are not initiated, it is just a wild fanciful story.
To understand the Styx myth you must realize that Hades is your physical body. You are infinite and are struggling in this finite body. Your spirit or soul fell into Hades. This is the great fall that is in all ancient texts. The infinite falls into the finite, a physical body. This is the underworld. Religions have bastardized this and made up a place called hell. This is simply done for control. Minds being controlled is the reason why the world is in the shape it is in today.
The underworld is simply that the spirit is under a material body. This has nothing to do with the afterlife. The infinite is sent here to learn how to live in a finite world. While in this form you must obey the physical laws and that is represented by Hades himself. All the restrictions, duality and laws of the physical world must be obeyed. That is the meaning of life. The infinite learning to live in the struggles of the finite. There is no right or wrong way in getting through the underworld. Yes there are ethical rules, but if you mess up you learn and move on. You play within the rules and limitations. As Alan Watts said, “Its just a game”. The ancient Greeks had it right because this life is one struggle after another and it has its highs and lows.
The River of Styx is literally the river of life. Life happens. If you don’t grab life by the horns and fight, you literally float like a dead fish through life and are devoured by any and everything. Styx literally means “to shudder”. When you are shuddering you are not living. Giving Charon a coin to get you across the river is a metaphor. Coins always represent worldly matters. Giving Charon a coin is you taking on worldly matters. You have accepted the journey and once you accept this journey you separate yourself from the dead and become the living. You can use the boat to go where you wish on the river of life. Go with the flow, use the rudders to steer or put the sails up to go against the current when you need to. You become a warrior of this world. You become a Goddess or God. You get the look or gaze. That is what Charon means “keen sharp gaze”. Because the unintiated take this literally, they have put coins in the mouth of the deceased. These coins ended up in the pockets of priests no doubt.
In some legends Styx has miraculous powers and in others it is poisonous. In one legend Achilles becomes invulnerable and in another legend Alexander the Great was poisoned by Styx. This is showing the highs and lows of life. With Achilles it is showing that your life can be going so well that you think you are invulnerable. But one will soon find out they are not. No matter how cocky you get you will fall. This is where the term Achilles heal comes from. The Alexander the Great legend is showing that you will have lows in your life that will make you feel like you have been poisoned. You must fight through them and keep moving or you will be banished from the abode of the Gods and Goddesses. This is why Styx was the gods most binding oath and Hesiod personified Styx as the mother of Emulation, Victory, Power and Might.
With this we can understand why Herodotus wrote that Styx originated near Feneos. The original text is Pheneos and it means ‘oracle’. If you can hear your oracle you can begin to navigate the river of life. If you can’t hear her, you will float along with the dead masses. Styx is the river of life and is represented by a Goddess. Oracles are always female. Are the ancients trying to tell us something? If you know my work, you know exactly what they are telling us.