Definition: Lethe (pronounced: lee-thee); Greek; noun
1. A river in the Greek underworld that, when drunk from, made souls forget the sufferings of life; make you enter oblivion and forget.
Why I love this word:
Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades (and for the curious, the other four are Styx, Akheron, Pyriphlegethon, and Kokytos.) Lethe is known as the ameles potamos (river of unmindfulness), flowing around the cave of Hypnos, where it's murmur induces drowsiness. It flows all through the underworld and whoever drinks from it experiences a loss of all things they once held as memories. The river is identified by the Greek spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion, whose name is Lethe.
As I sit here and think about this word, I wonder if making Greek souls forget their experiences is a good or bad thing. I guess it depends on what sort of memories you possess in your mind that you have collected in your lifetime that you would want to forget.
Photograph by Julia Trotti