The 12 signs divide the zodiacal year by 12, the Gates of Inspiration divide the zodiacal year by 9. The 12 division is solar / yang, the 9 division is lunar / yin. The Gates of Inspiration were personified in ancient Greece by the Nine Muses and in Egypt by the Ennead, a circle of 9 deities. The Muses also represent the nine personality types defined by the enneagram.
Divine grace enters the world through the nine Gates of Inspiration, the 9th harmonic of the zodiacal circle. This “Holy Spirit” is the third aspect of the Trinity. 3 is the number and ray of feminine Nature. The goddess of Nature is “triple and 9-fold.” The triune Goddess and the 9 Muses are One, all are 3rd ray feminine energy. The 'Great Goddess' of Nature is Ceres in Roman mythology and Demeter to the Greeks. Among the Celts she is known as Cerridwen, the keeper of a Cauldron of Inspiration and healing named Awen. Inspired by the Celtic mystics, St. Patrick added this intonation to the close of Christian prayer.
In Celtic lore, the Gates of Inspiration are symbolized by 9 Maidens who watch over the magic Cauldron of Cerridwen. The Cauldron is a vessel of death, rebirth and healing from which the hero king emerges whole in body and soul. The 9 Maidens alternate with their breaths to keep the 'fire of inspiration' burning. 'For a year and a day' Cerridwen prepares her magic 'greal' or 'graal.' Cerridwen is the original Queen of Avalon (the Apple Isle) and her Cauldron is the prototype of the Holy Grail. Like the Grail, this magic Cauldron gives to each according to their need.
Portals for Shamanic Journey
The Nine Gates are portals for shamanic journeying represented by 'the Nine Lords of Time' in the Mayans' Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque. Interred here was the mythic Mayan leader Pocal Wotan. The lid of his sarcophagus (illustrated above) depicts an initiate ascending the World Tree. Pocal Wotan is the Norse Odin or Woden (Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages). Odin hangs suspended from the World Tree at the top of the world for Nine Days to receive the mystery of the runes. These nine portal dates are symbolized by the Nine Lords of Time. These 9 are also symbolized by the 9 chevrons around the Star Portal in the popular TV series Star Gate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.
There are also Nine in the Fellowship of the Ring and Nine Ring Wraiths, their shadows. The spiritual capital of the human kingdom is called the White City. This is another name for Shamballa, an etheric city where dwell the world's spirit elders, keepers of the ancient wisdom. Shamballa is located at the north polar center, the nexus of the Nine Gates in the Earth Zodiac. A group of Nine is needed to link in consciousness with Shamballa. The power of three dispels astral shadows, nine are needed to channel the energy of Shamballa. The ring of autocratic power is cast into the fire from the circle of nine.
OPENING THE GATE
Dance is key to opening a Gate of Inspiration. Dancing clockwise in circle is the way of the Muse Dance. This dance releases tensions from the body that hold outmoded ways of thinking and emotional blocks from past experiences. New inspirations and understanding come through letting go and surrendering to spirit.
Gates of Inspiration and the Seasons of the Muses
Muse … Date of the Gate.. Zodiac Degree.. Planet…..Sephira
Thalia -------- March 21 .… 1 Aries ..……. Earth .… Malkuth
Clio ---------- May 1 ..…... 11 Taurus …… Moon..… Yesod
Calliope ----- June 10 ..…. 21 Gemini ….. Mercury… Hod
Terpsichore -- July 23 ……. 1 Leo ...……. Venus .… Netsach
Melpomene -- Sept 2 ..…. 11 Virgo .……. Sun ...…. Tifareth
Erato --------- Oct 13 ...… 21 Libra .…….. Mars ..… Geburah
Euterpe ------- Nov 22 .…… 1 Sagittarius .. Jupiter .. Gedulah
Polyhymnia -- Jan 1 ... …… 11 Capricorn ... Saturn … Binah
Urania -------- Feb 9 ...…… 21 Aquarius … Uranus .. Chokmah
These correspondences are found in a 500 year old diagram seen in Joseph Campbell's Creative Mythology: The Word Behind Words. The above image "Music of the Spheres" is by 15th century Italian renaissance artist Gafurius. The Nine Muses are depicted in zodiacal order from Thalia (0 Aries) corresponding to Malkuth / Earth ascending upward to Urania (21 Aquarius), Chokmah / Uranus, the realm of Stars. The planets are in order of their rate of motion. Meaningfully, the godhead Kether is identified with two figures: Apollo and the muse Thalia in her transcendent form. 0 Aries, the Spring Equinox, is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega of creation.
Music of the Spheres Franchino Gafurius Florence 1496
The allegorical diagram "Music of the Spheres" was published in 1496 as the frontispiece of the renaissance artist Francinus Gafurius's Practica Musica. The Muses appear in a zodically ordered ascending series at the left of the drawing.
Many interesting correspondences are found in this 500 year old diagram later published in Joseph Campbell's Creative Mythology: The Word Behind Words.The Nine Muses are depicted in zodiacal order from Thalia (0 Aries) corresponding to Malkuth / Earth ascending upward to Urania (21 Aquarius), Chokmah / Uranus, the realm of Stars. The planets are in order of their rate of motion. Meaningfully, the godhead Kether is identified with two figures: Apollo and the muse Thalia in her transcendent form. 0 Aries, the Spring Equinox, is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega of creation.
Following are notes from Joseph Campbell regarding this image:
There is an immediately evident and more than coincidental likeness of Gafurius's serpent descending through a graded universe to the Indian idea of a yogic "serpent channel" descending from the crown of the head, down the spinal column to a "lotus center" located between the anus and genitalia that is known as "Root Support" (muladhara), where the spiritual energy (sakti) of the unawakened individual sleeps, coiled on itself like a dormant snake (Sanskrit kundalini, "coiled serpent"), which is to be aroused through yoga and brought, uncoiling, up the spinal channel to a radiant lotus at the crown of the head called "Thousand Petaled" (sahasrara).
From the muladhara, where the kundalini sleeps, three portals open upward, those to right and to left leading to subtle channels bearing the breaths, respectively, of the left and the right nostrils; only the portal between opening to the subtle "serpent channel," sushumna ("most gracious, rich in happiness"), leads to the cranial lotus "Thousand Petalled" (sahasrara), "replete with every form of bliss, and Pure Knowledge itself "(52)
The channel descending from the left nostril is known as ida (nectarous draft, refreshment"); that from the right, as pingala ("fiery, tawney red"); the former conducting breath (prana) of "lunar" consciousness, and the latter, of "solar": "solar" consciousness being of eternity, hence threatening to temporal life (poisonous, fiery, destructive), whereas "lunar" (which is to say, earthly) is restorative and refreshing. Their two portals in the muladhara, flanking that of the sushumna, are likened to the guardians at the entrance to a temple
Now, it can be hardly by coincidence that those overhanging three heads of Gafurius's Renaissance design, based on ideas derived from Hellenistic Alexandria, should match in both placement and function the openings upward from the Indian muladhara. As understood in yogic terms: so long as the two breaths, left and right, are regarded in a dualistic way as separate and distinct from each other (as "spirit" and "nature," for example, understood as in opposition), the central portal is closed and locked. However, the yogi practicing "breath control" (pranayama), breathing deeply, first in through one nostril, out the other, then in through the second, out through the first, ensuring each time that the prana, the breath, goes all the way down to the muladhara, is transforming the opposed breaths into each other as they enter and leave that chamber of the dormant Serpent Power. Untiring, he continues the exercise until, of a sudden, in the muladhara, the two breaths blend to a single fire, which like a blast ascends, together with the awakened Serpent, into the suddenly unlocked sushumna.
In Gafurius's design, the symbolized stages of the transformations of consciousness that follow are represented metaphorically as under inspiration of the Muses graded in relation to the hierarchy of the ptolemaic order of the spheres. Immediately with the recognition of the instant HERE AND NOW nocturnal silence of a wasteland of dust and toil becomes eloquent of a universal joy.
For, awake and singing, Thalia, "Blooming and Abundance," is the Muse of bucolic poetry, telling of the innocence and blooming of a living earth. And in this function, her inspiration marks the first stage of the opening of any artist's senses to knowledge of the universal body of which his own is a part. The next Muse of the ascent is Clio (Kleio, "Acclaim"), the Muse of history, associated with the earth-shadowed sphere of the Moon; and the following, Calliope (Kalliope, "of the Beautiful Voice," once chief and leader of the nine), is of epic poetry and the earth-shadowed sphere of Mercury ( = Hermes, guide of souls from the knowledge of time to that of eternity). These first three of the Muses, representing states of mind overshadowed still by concerns of this earth, correspond in the Indian series to the "dispositions of energy" (saktis) of the first three centers of the sushumna, which are namely, muladhara (already discussed), svadhishthana (spinal center of the region of the genitals), and manipura (spinal center of the region of the navel), which are endowed, respectively, with the qualities of the elements earth, water, and fire.
The next three Muses together mark the transformation of consciousness that is in yoga associated with the fourth center, anahata, at the level of the heart, and of the element air (breath, prana, spiritus). They are (1) Terpsichore, "Joy of the Dance," assigned to the earth-shadowed sphere of Venus; (2) Melpomene, the "Singer," Muse of tragedy and of the fiery sun or "Sun Door" of an opening of the heart to compassion by way of an Aristotelian katharsis, or purging of egoity through an access of egoless pity and metaphysical terror; to which (3) Erato, "The Lovely One," attuned to Mars, the first unshadowed sphere, adds lyric poetry.
The Muses of the topmost stages are then of arts suggesting raptures such as yogis at the highest centers of their discipline may know: visuddha ("purified," center of the region of the larynx), ajna ("authority, absolute power": of the inner eye, between the brows), and the sahasrara. The related Muses are Euterpe, "Well Pleasing," Muse of the sphere of Jupiter and dulcet music of the flute; Polyhymnia, "Sacred Choral Song," of the austere sphere of Saturn; and finally, "The Celestial One," Ourania, of the science of astronomy and sphere of the fixed stars.
... the Muses, each of which is shown associated with a planetary sphere, in the pre-Copernican, geocentric, ptolemaic sequence: first, the heaven of fixed stars; next, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and the Sun; then, the shadowed spheres of Venus, Mercury, and the Moon; until, finally, wrapped in its increasingly weighty elemental envelopes of Fire (ignis). Air (aer), and Water (aqua), this Earth (terra) is entered, where its Muse, unheard, underground, is known as Surda ("Silent") Thalia, and is a Muse of Nocturnal Silence.
For her voice of the bounty of nature is by her intended poet unheard, whose whole mind is so obsessed by its vision of the hovering monster, fugientia tempora signant, that, terrified of his life and of the life also of the world, he has no ear for the gentle whisper of the supportive universe - which is there nevertheless to be heard behind the tricephalous tumult of the beast.
What is therefore required of him, if he is ever to hear that supportive voice, is to forget the passing of time, "regard the lilies of the field . . . and not be anxious" (Matt. 6:28 and 31): place his head, that is to say, together with all its desires and fears for the good of himself and his world directly into the lion's mouth of HERE AND NOW.
Who's your Muse? Each Gate of Inspiration begins a 40-day period that is the season of the Muse identified by the initial degree/day. Look at the table above to find your birth Muse. Each Muse season has its governing planet and corresponding light on the Kabala Tree. Each Muse season is unique and will vary in nature year to year according to the current status of the season's ruling planet.
"To poets and artists of the Renaissance, the Muses were openers of the senses to the music of the Spheres and a source of creative inspiration."
- Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology