One of the most well-known journeys to Hades is found in Book 11 of Homer’s Odyssey.
Α “descent” that is referred to as Nekyia and describes how Odysseus travels to the land of the Cimmerians, on the outskirts of the world, a place in eternal darkness.
The purpose of the trip is to consult the dead prophet Teiresia about the route back to Ithaca.
Unlike other similar journeys of ancient heroes to Hades, such as Hercules, Odysseus and his men never literally descend to the underworld. They remain on the surface and are visited by the dead.
Nekyia essentially describes an ascent where the souls of the underworld ascend to the land of the living.
Odysseus goes to Hades, out of nostalgia for Nostos, while the dead rise to the surface, full of nostalgia for life.
These opposite paths are associated with nostalgia and the leap beyond human logic and nature.
— developed during “PERIPLUS” residency – Ithaka 2020