Over the years as I grew older, I began questioning the doctrine of the Church and found that my beliefs about Heaven and Hell shifted. It became increasing difficult for me to embrace the idea of eternal torment in Hell. I still poignantly recall the moment when I accepted that I no longer believed in the Christian Hell. At that time I was engaged in a Bible Study with one of Jehovah's Witnesses. We were discussing scriptures in 1 John most notably 1 John 4:8. It speaks of God being Love, not that God is like love or has the ability to love, but that God IS Love. God = love, love = God. They are one in the same.
You can the Bible verse I am referring to for yourself.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
- 1 John 4:8:
I still believed that there were spaces that the majority of people understood to be Heaven and Hell and perhaps even Purgatory, but my understanding of what they were had changed. As I accepted my own experiences with Astral Projection and Astral Travel I realized that these places were realms beyond the physical where only spiritual energies and entities existed. They were spaces where the authentic self was able to connect with not only other spiritual entities, but the fragmented parts of oneself in order to bring about healing. It was where I worked on my own Shadows, the parts of myself that I hid from other people and often times even from myself. It was for this reason that The Underworld is also referred to as The Shadow Realm.
The Underworld is a place where my own demons reside, where the darkest parts of me run free ... my "bad" thoughts, feelings, unaccepted or unwanted behaviors. The Sun doesn't illuminate the sky, but it isn't a place of evil or sinister monsters snacking on my soul ... or is it? Perhaps metaphorically those things I deny within myself do drain the energy of my spirit, which is why some people perceive The Underworld as a place of eternal torment and suffering, but that isn't all it is. It is a place of healing ... a place of resurrection once those Shadows are integrated within oneself.
The Underworld is not a place where I can hide even when I exert the effort to linger within the darkness, I am unable to do so. When traveling through The Underworld I am stripped of my "jewels" and "clothing" and I am forced to stand before the Lord of Death and the Queen of the Underworld and it is as they look upon me that I know I must face that which I attempt to hide. During the Winter season, from Winter Solstice to Imbolc, I find that I retreat to The Underworld for introspection and contemplation for it is within The Underworld that our journeys begin as it is also seen as the Mother's womb and it is where our physical human experience ends as we are placed within the tomb.