The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.) are thrilled to have our good friend and guest blogger Steve Nelson return to share his wisdom. Steve is an astrologer who follows a Jungian mythological tradition. He was raised by a part Cherokee shaman Aunt Maude who learned much of her lore from Molly Runningwolf, the mother of Amanita Sequoyah, the last Cherokee medicine man officially recognized by the Eastern Tribe. Steve’s Indian name is Steven Red Wolf, his lineage is of the wolf clan, one of the 7 tribal groups of the Cherokee. Steve follows many of the Cherokee traditions especially as these relate to celebrations, the use of ritual fire and star lore. For more information about Steve Nelson see www.GaiaAstrology.com
Mythic Times: 7th Moon Celebration Key to the Mystery of Creation
“Through celebrations in their seasons are the deeper powers of human nature realized”- Rudolph Steiner
Every 500 years the Phoenix dies and is born anew from its fiery nest. An old world passes away and a new world is born. This is the repeating cycle of global Renaissance. The last Great Renaissance was centered in Rome inspired by cultural winds blowing through Florence, “the city of flowers.” The political center for the new Aquarian renaissance is Washington DC and the cultural center is New York City, the mythic city of Liberty/Ceres/Demeter, the torch bearing mother of Persephone (goddess of flowers) whose mysteries are celebrated in this 7th Moon cycle. Of course, world renaissance isn’t dependent on just one or two cities or places. While the 1500s Italian Renaissance was cooking up in the Old World, the Iroquois Renaissance was stirring to life in the New. 500 years before, c 1000 CE, the Norse settled Iceland and ventured to America while the Chinese sailed to Africa and the Kukulcan (Feathered Serpent) Renaissance was humming along in the Yucatan.
Each Renaissance builds on the Renaissance periods that came before, rather like pearls on a necklace connected by a single thread. The image above is one of the symbol keys connecting these Renaissance periods. This illustration also reflects the 10 lights on the Kabala Tree and the 10 Days celebrated in the 7th lunar cycle of each zodiacal year. Importantly for us, these 10 spheres and these 10 Days also represent, forecast and shape parallel time periods in the year ahead. The correspondences between these 10 days and the times ahead are detailed below. An additional analysis of the above diagram by Joseph Campbell is at Mind*Fire http://www.mindfire.ca/under the header “The Mystery Number of the Goddess” with the subheading “The Muses Nine.”
The Mayans knew Morning Star Venus as Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent. The “flying of the Feathered Serpent” predicts a Renaissance period when America comes to full life and spiritual expression. When does the Feathered Serpent fly? When Venus rises before the Sun in a special time that is unfolding these next 24 months. Venus becomes the Morning Star again on November 3rd following a conjunction with the Sun on October 28th 2010.
The heliacal rising of the New Venus on November 3rd coincides with the beginning of a very special Mayan Year that is known as the 7th Day and is embodied in the Dual-Creator/Divine-Couple god-goddess Ometeotl. This passing Year, on the other hand, has been under the influence of the dark god Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (pronounce that one!), a shadow form of Quetzalcoatl, also known as the God Before Dawn. Tlahuizcal is an angry god who shoots arrows at the Sun because he is offended by its brightness. At the close of this cycle the arrows come back to slay the dark god and he goes off the stage just as Ometeotl comes on. The reign of this shadow god has been a time for emotional and psychic purging for all of us, for our nation and world.
Following this shadow period known by the Mayans as the 6th Night we enter the 7th Day that brings us into the light of the new creation. And, we have folded within this 13th Tun (360 day Mayan year) the 260 day “9th Wave” (2/10/11-10/28/11) when, like the pieces of the dismembered Osiris, the essential myths of all time will come to life in an integrated whole that leads us to a unified global consciousness. These are our mythic times. Our grand opportunity now is to use these next few weeks to leverage awakening consciousness toward maximizing transformation and re-creating our world in the best possible way. This is the purpose of the 7th Moon’s 10 Holy Days.
This particular 7th Moon celebration 10/8-18/2010 is extra special because the dwarf planet Ceres (a.k.a. Demeter) is currently in the 29th parallel south aligning with Adhara “the maiden,” the fixed star identified with Persephone. This alignment occurs once every 4 years when the the Greek Mysteries are revealed.
THE 7TH MOON KEY TO THE MYSTERY OF CREATION
The appearance of the crescent New Moon on the evening of October 8 marks the beginning of a 10-day period when the world is recreated. The creation and re-creation of the world at the turn of the Autumn season is a tradition shared by the Cherokee, the Jews, Hindus, the ancient Chinese and followers of the Eleusinian Greek mystery school.
The 7th New Moon of the Zodiacal Year, the 7th after Spring Equinox, begins the lunar cycle when the world is recreated each year. The Cherokee call this the Great New Moon (Nuetiegawa) or Big Medicine Moon. Cherokee women dance from the time the New Moon crescent appears until Moonset. This dance continues for several evenings. With this dance the spirit of the new time is grounded and embodied. The world is reborn.
The shadow of the past cycle shows itself in the days and weeks before this New Moon. All that is doubtful, fearful and discordant from the past cycle crowds the dawn of each new cycle. This is more true this year due to a great convergence of cycles. The more there is awareness of personal and world shadow in the predawn time, the more spiritual power is invoked for transformation, healing and renewal.
The blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn, announces the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. The shofar is blown when the New Moon crescent appears. Rosh Hashanah begins the Ten High Holy Days also known as the Days of Awe. [Note: The Jewish Ten High Holy Days were celebrated in September this year due to a divergence in lunar calendars. These observances more often agree. This year other traditions highlight this time in October as most apt for this annual cycle of re-creation.]
At the sighting of this New Moon (Oct 8), Cherokee women begin their dance, the 9 North Star Spirits start their descent (China), Kali enters into homes to consume the past year’s discord (Hindu) and initiates gather at Eleusis to receive the Mysteries.
The initiating power of the lunar crescent is most strong during the time between Sunset and Moonset. This is a cosmic beginning time when the Moon is in the 7th House. The next few evenings are ideal for aligning with soul purpose and opening to new energy flow. Meditation helps to re-pattern the unconscious and recreate our personal world. Good wishes more readily take wing now. Prayers seeded in this time bring blessings for the Moon cycle (Oct 8-Nov 6) and for the New Year to be.
Revelation, awakening, spiritual renewal come through the nine nights and ten days that follow culminating on Day Ten when in the Hindu tradition the goddess Kali “slays the demon bull” (a symbol of our individual and group shadow). Spiritual union is celebrated at this time by both the Jews and the Cherokees. This is the Jewish Yom Kippur and the Cherokee Atohuna “when two are joined as one in the presence of yowa, the creator.”
The ten days beginning at Sunset on Oct 8 correspond to the Sephiroth of the Kabala, the planetary spheres and the muses (hence the title of Gefurius’s illustration Music of the Spheres). Each day represents - indeed shapes! – the corresponding period in the year ahead.
These ten days / nine nights bring opportunities for realizing hopes and dreams. The way is cleared through celebration. The more our way becomes clear the more blessings flow. The more we attune and listen to our heart, the more core issues are resolved, the more empowered we become to recreate our world.
Re-creation through celebration opens the way for the New Year to be. All fortunes turn on the tide of the Seventh Moon.
DAY AND YEAR AND THE 7TH MOON
All peoples from ancient times have recognized the life giving power of the lunar cycle and celebrated when the crescent appears. At this time the life force is renewed and all outward activities are supported by the rising lunar tide. The early Celts, Jews, Arabs, Hindus and Native American tribes began their day at Sunset. Catholic holy days are celebrated from Sunset the evening before (e.g. Halloween / All Hallow’s Eve, Christmas and Christmas Eve). Lunar holy days begin just after Sunset when the crescent Moon becomes visible.
Day is born from night as yang is born from yin. The Spring/Summer yang half of the year is born from the yin Autumn/Winter. And, just as the day begins with Sunset, so the year has its beginning with the Autumn Equinox and its New Moon.
The Moons of the zodiacal year are numbered and the 1st, the New Moon of Aries, marks the natural or mundane New Year for the Cherokee, the Jews and the Hindu. The 7th New Moon, that of the Autumn Equinox, marks the spiritual New Year or source of natural unfoldment. 7 is the number of synthesis and the Eternal Return, the 7th lunar cycle is the Re-creation Moon.
HINDU NINE NIGHTS FESTIVAL 10/8-10/18/2010
Hindus celebrate Navaratri, the Nine Nights Festival, beginning on the night of October 8th. During these nine nights Kali is invited into homes and provided a place at the dinner table. Mother Kali enters in to consume the discord of the past year.
Ritual bathing, burning incense, anointing with oil, shared prayers, mark the beginning (at Sunset) of each of the Nine Holy Nights. One meal is eaten each day and this is after Sunset, following prayers. (Fasting by day and feasting at night nourish the yin spirit of creation.)
The swastika is a key element of Hindu New Year celebration. This geometric pattern is believed to quicken positive changes and bring luck and prosperity. The swastika drawn with smooth spiral arms rotating clockwise represents the energy spiral around the North Star and the North Pole umbilicus. The drawing of this symbol is believed to create connection with the center and heart of the world.
The swastika is drawn on the floor of the celebration space or on the ground in front of the home. Flour is sometimes used to make this design. On the middle of the pattern is placed an earthenware bowl or pot that may be decorated with red and white swastikas. (An old clay pot at the N.C. Cherokee Indian Museum likewise shows four spiral swastikas, one in each direction.) This vessel is filled with holy water and mango or other aromatic leaves. The whole arrangement is believed to bring prosperity and good health for the year.
Navaratri, the Nine Nights Festival, culminates (on day 10) with Vijaya Dashami or “Victory Day” celebrating Durga’s victory. “When the nine values of life – the five senses, mind, intellect, ego and the transcendental value – have been enlivened during the nine ”Days of Mother Divine”, then on ”Victory Day”, the tenth lunar day (Dashami), the wholeness of life evolves which is more than the nine aspects together. … Yagyas performed on this day bring victory and success to one’s undertakings.” [In Greek myth, Nike or Victory is born from Pallas (mind) and Styx, the river whose boundary is 7 degrees Libra corresponding to the Sunset hour in the day.] More information about Navaratri can be found at wikipedia.org/wiki/Navratri On the 10th day, (October 18th) Kali slays the Demon Bull and evil is vanquished from the world.
CHINESE NINE NIGHTS FESTIVAL 10/8-10/18/2010
The Nine North Star Spirits descend to Earth during the 9 nights following this New Moon. The ancient Chinese believed these 9 nights are the most important of the calendar year. Nine North Star Spirits descend and the God of Death walks the world to help free us from our old ways. This time is observed by fasting and sexual abstinence. The conserving of ching (primal energy) for the new creation parallels the biblical parable about ’saving oil for the lamps.’ The lights or chakras of the body are to be illuminated now.
Transcendent purpose is remembered by facing north in meditation and focusing attention (imaginatively, if not actually) on the North Star. This star is the pivot around which turns the mandala of creation. Meditation on the light and spirit of the North Star helps realize soul purpose and renew ancestral power. (The North Star Polaris is a giant white star far more massive and more brilliant than our Sun.)
In Chinese myth, Dou Mu is the Goddess of the North Star and mother of the 9 Celestial Sovereigns or North Star Spirits. She is the Taoist equivalent of the Buddhist bodhisattva Kuan Yin. Dou Mu is enlightened in all divine mysteries and she can move freely between the heavenly spheres. Dou Mu is keeper of the book of life and death, those seeking longevity pray to her. Chung Yeung or “Climbing the Heights” is Day 9. Celebrants trek to a mountain top or high hill where they share a picnic that includes “top cakes” and chrysanthemum wine. This tradition parallels “the vision of the shining one” on day 9 of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
In the view of the ancients, the world is shaped and reformed by prayers made at times and places of power. By all accounts, mountaintops are among the most spiritually powerful places on Earth. The consciousness that rules the heights shapes the realm.
TEN HOLY DAYS, KABALA AND THE GREEK MYSTERIES
Initiates were instructed in the Mysteries of Eleusis during the ten day period beginning with the Autumn Equinox New Moon. Candidates for esoteric training would meet on the first evening to receive verbal and written instruction for this 10 day period.
A key part of what was shared at Agormos, the day of assembly (Oct 9), was the correspondences between these days and the Lights on the World Tree. The 10 luminous spheres on the mystical Kabala Tree represent stations of the soul’s journey. Each Light is related to a planet beginning with Malkuth, the Earth (the first day) and moving upward toward Kether. The activities prescribed for each day of the Mysteries of Eleusis correspond to the planets related to these Sephira.
The sephiroth and planetary rulers with 2010 dates are: Oct 9 – Malkuth/Earth, Oct 10 – Yesod/Moon, Oct 11- Hod/Mercury, Oct 12 – Netzach/Venus, Oct 13 -Tifareth / the Sun, Oct 14 – Geburah/Mars, Oct 15 – Gedulah/Jupiter, Oct 16 – Binah/Saturn, Oct 17 – Chokmah/Uranus (the realm of stars), and Oct 18 – Kether/Neptune (Each day begins at Sunset the evening before.)
Pluto is Daath, the invisible Sephira. In myth, Pluto wears a helmet of invisibility. The debate in the kabala community about whether Daath is a true Sephira parallels the debate among astronomers about whether Pluto is a planet. If Daath is a sephira then what is it’s number? Some say 11 and others say 0. Generally, it’s the latter option chosen and, interestingly, 0 is the number of the Fool in Tarot. The Fool is the guy who appears to be stepping off the ledge – into the abyss – yet never quite does so. That’s because the ledge is the edge of creation (the sword’s edge path in Grail tradition) that grows out before the feet of the Fool. As long as he keeps looking up / doesn’t look down, the Fool can keep moving forward across the Abyss. The higher nature of the “Divine Fool” arcanum is represented by Dionysus, Iachus and Jesus. (Myers Park Baptist Church here in Charlotte has an awesome stained glass window c. 1500 German Lutheran design titled The Tree of Life featuring the risen Christ holding a Pluto shaped chalice at the location of Daath.)
Pluto is known as the god of death, rebirth and the occult and these are also the venue of Daath. The dark side of Pluto and Daath is the dark lord of every mythic tradition: In Star Wars, the shadow of Daath is Darth Vader; in Harry Potter, Daath’s shadow is is the Dark Lord Voldemorte; in the Lord of the Rings, Daath’s shadow is Sauron; in the Andromeda TV series, the shadow of Daath is more aptly named the Abyss; in Heroes, shadow Daath is Siler; in The Dark Night, he is the Joker. Abyss is a name often used interchangeably with Daath though not accurately. Daath is actually the bridge over the Abyss and, in its higher nature, Daath is the way over and through, the way between physical, psychic and spiritual dimensions. Daath is the sword path followed by Grail initiates.
In the human body, Daath is a little known chakra behind the head at the top of the spine. Neck rolls before meditation stimulate the Daath chakra and help to shift consciousness into the subtle world. Daath is equated with the mythic River Styx. Ancient astrologers located the Styx at about 7 degrees Libra just after Autumn Equinox (the time of the Eleusinian Mysteries). As the day parallels the year, each Sunset is like Autumn Equinox. Generally the best time for meditation is just following Sunset when the yang of day is balanced by the yin of night. Neck rolls and meditation in the Sunset hour allow one more easily to cross the Abyss and enter the higher world.
THE MYSTERIES OF ELEUSIS AND CROSS CULTURAL OBSERVANCES
October 9th (from Sunset Oct 8) – Day 1 in the Greek Mysteries is a time for sharing instruction. Some of this is verbal and some is nonverbal through a revealing of the “hiera.” The hiera are sacred objects that stimulate new, broader, deeper realizations. The hiera are revealed by the hierophant, a male initiate who remains silent. Further revelations come in dreams during this time. Gathering with friends who share interest quickens this revelatory process.
The Cherokee Great New Moon Ceremony begins a period of renewal and healing that culminates 10 days later in a celebration of divine union called Atohuna, the Friends Made Ceremony. The intervening days are a time for healing relationships, for making amends with friends, and opening hearts to the wellspring within. Now we are being prepared for a communion in spirit from which comes a new creation. Traditional Cherokees fast until Sundown on the night the New Moon becomes visible. The day begins with “going to water” a self immersion ritual to prepare for the new cycle that is paralleled by the Greek initiates bathing in the sea.
October 10th - ”Halade Mystai!” To the Sea Initiates! was shouted at Eleusis on the 2nd Day of the Mysteries (the day of the Moon, ruler of the Sea). Candidates wore deerskin before entering the water and donned a new white cotton robe afterward. The ritual bathing was to release the past and absolve from evil. River immersion at dawn is also customary this day among the Cherokee. Jews cast bread crumbs into the sea, river or stream to release the sins of the past year.
October 11th – Day 3 is the day of Mercury. A wake honors Aesclepius, the god of healing. Mercury with his tell tale caduceus is the Roman god of healing. Teaching is given about raising primal (serpent) energies to bring healing. Health giving fruits of the harvest are shared on this day. Seven sacred herbs were gathered this day by the Cherokee to make their purging/healing black drink. 7 Cherokee women began a 7-day fast to bring revelations to the tribe.
October 12th – Hymns to the Goddesses were sung on Day 4 (Venus), ”Kathathion” in the Greek Mysteries. A solemn procession occurred during which sacred objects of Demeter were revealed one by one from a holy basket to stimulate the consciousness of the initiate. These objects are both symbolic and energetically instrumental. They included sesamum, carded wool, rock salt, a serpent, pomegranates, reeds and ivy boughs. Mysterious pyramid shaped cakes called kykeon were also prepared this day.
October 13th – The 5th Day of the Mysteries was called Torch Day. This is the day of the Sun and Tifareth. People would run about in the evening with torches in hand to light the way for Persephone. Demeter carries a torch into the netherworld to search for her daughter. This goddess of the inner world and of the heart (Kore is her other name) enters the Greek ritual drama now.
Demeter, the Great Goddess of the Eleusinian Mystery School (she who reveals the Sacred Mysteries) was the favorite of the Age of Enlightenment Freemasons and so became the prototype for America’s Statue of Liberty. Ceres/Demeter is the Great Goddess, Gaia or Anima Mundi. She holds the torch that reveals the Mysteries and leads to freedom. Demeter’s torch symbolizes the raising of the Fire of primal nature to become the Light of understanding and divine purpose. Demeter, Liberty, leads to soul freedom rather than just license to satisfy desire. All true desire, all true love, is realized as the soul is liberated. The Greater Mysteries are entered this day at Eleusis. Pools of purification are visited at Sunset following which occurs the Mystical Entrance.
October 14th – The Day of Iacchos / 6th day. This is called Holy Night in the Greek Mysteries. Iacchos is the child son of the Holy Mother Demeter [this is a blind, Iacchos is actually a child of Persephone]. Iacchos accompanies Demeter in her underworld quest for Persephone. Iacchos, whose name means “fish,” is an ancient precursor to Jesus/Iesus as a world savior. (Jesus who comes to fulfill the prophecies and the Mysteries.) Iacchos leads a procession with singing and dancing and clashing of brass cymbals. Priests in this parade displayed the “toys of Iacchos.” His toys included: “knucklebones” in the shape of the five platonic solids, a ball, an apple, a mirror, a top, and a doll. The Day of Iacchos is also called the Day of Sacrifice.
October 15th – Day 7, Day of Jupiter, is the Day of Games. Jupiter is jovial and favors frivolity and enjoyment. Music and dancing highlight this day of merriment before the more serious (Saturn) day that follows.
October 16th – Day 8, the Day of Saturn, is a solemn occasion. The mystical drama of Demeter and Persephone was enacted. Sacred places, “the Stations of Kore”, were visited. Kore is another name for Persephone. These include a Holy Well called Callichorus which translates as ”Stone of Sorrow.” A circular path around this well has been worn deeply in stone by millennia of spiritual seekers. This is a day to feel and release sorrow that may otherwise block the way to greater understanding and self-realization. We can emulate this ritual by simply walking clockwise around a bowl of saltwater with head bowed. Along with Demeter (America’s Liberty) we now feel the sufferings of the world. Like Native America’s Ghost Dancers, we let ourselves feel the pain and release it through deep breathing, chanting, and perhaps through emotive moaning as we move clockwise/Sunwise around the releasing circle. Prolonged deep breathing while feeling deeply each emotion that arises eventually brings full emotional clearing. It helps to drink lots of good water today while emotional toxins are being released.
October 17th – Day 9 of the Mysteries is called Plemo Chori or “Pourings of Plenty.“ A ritual drama called the Vision of the Shining One is enacted in a subterranean grotto. Day 9 is the Chinese Chung Yang, Climbing the Heights Festival. Celebrants go to the top of a mountain or high hill where they share a picnic that includes ”top cakes” and chrysanthemum wine. This ritual helps brings prosperity in the coming year. During the ”yin hour” between 3-5 PM local (starting halfway between true noon and Sunset) the ”Spirit Star” will come down from heaven with blessing and good fortune for the year. Those who receive a vision of the Queen of Heaven (Dou Mu) are especially blessed.
Today the Cherokee Chief climbs to the top of the 7-sided Council Lodge and sings praises to Yowa the Creator who descends from above. Cherokee men chant and beat around each home and building clockwise with white sycamore rods to clear away evil spirits so the new spirit can freely enter. The way is now clear for the kindling of the sacred New Fire.
October 18th – Day 10 in the Mysteries of Eleusis is shrouded in the mystery of union with divinity. Day 10 is when Kali slays the Demon Bull and evil is vanquished from the world. Statues of Kali are then bathed in the sea to wash away the evil of the past year.
The Jewish Yom Kippur is a day of solemn observance and penitence. Fasting from Sunset to Sunset is an important part of this celebration. Forgiveness is sought for past sins. This is the Day of Atonement. Through repentance, reconciliation and surrender atonement becomes At-one-ment with God. Yom Kippur is the time for turning back to God. “Turn toward me and I will turn toward you.” Women wear white today and men wear kittels, white robes, as symbols of purity. This holy day brings renewal to those who seek it in their hearts. The invocation that is spoken “Hadesh yameinu ke-kdem” literally means “Make our days new as of old.”
The Cherokee call this day Atohuna, the Friends Made Ceremony. A New Fire is kindled and vows of eternal friendship are made in the presence of Yowa the Creator. As with the Jews, this is the day held most sacred in the Cherokee calendar year. The New Fire started this day was kept lit in the council lodge through the year until the following Atohuna New Fire Ceremony. The spirit of this sacred time was perpetuated by that living flame throughout the year in temple and home. The celebration of Atohuna continues each day until the Full Moon on October 22nd. So, in Cherokee tradition, we have 5 days to get this all important 10th day right.
Key observances of the 7th Moon Celebration
1) Dancing while the crescent is visible on the first few evenings
2) Water immersion on Day 2 to purify and release attachments
3) Evening meditation facing northward toward the North Star
4) Fasting, evening meals only (Hindu tradition), vegetarian diet
5) A mountaintop picnic on the 9th Day, ”climbing the heights”
6) Fasting on Day 10 with reverence for the Creator “Yowa”
7) Deep breathing to energize and integrate new realizations
8) Celebrations to release tensions and open the way to Spirit
The Gates of Inspiration / Stations of the Muses
Muse,GateOfInspiration,ZodiacalDegree,Planet,Sephira Thalia - March 20-21 …… 0-1 Aries …. Earth … Malkuth
Clio - Apr 30- May 1 ….. 10-11 Taurus .. Moon…. Yesod
Calliope – June 10-11 ….. 20-21 Gemini .. Mercury.. Hod
Terpsichore – July 22-23 .. 0-1 Leo ….. Venus … Netsach
Melpomene - Sept 2-3 …. 10-11 Virgo … Sun ….. Tifareth
Erato - Oct 13-14 ….. 20-21 Libra … Mars …. Geburah
Euterpe - Nov 22-23 ….. 0-1 Sagittarius Jupiter Gedulah
Polyhymnia- 12/31-1/1 … 10-11 Capricorn. Saturn .. Binah
Urania - Feb 9-10……….. 20-21 Aquarius.Uranus .. Chokmah
These correspondences derive from 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. Each Muse is identified with a planet, the Sun or Moon. The Mysteries are revealed in the season of Melpomene the Sun sphere.
“Beyond the frightening visage of all-consuming time, the arts – the Muses – initiate us to the enduring harmony of the universe, the planes or aspects of which are controlled by the planets and their [sepherathic] spheres. Gafurius shows the signs and deities of these … Euterpe, the Muse of Flute Music, elevates the mind to the plane of Jupiter [Gedulah]…The rapture of the Muses will be experienced in the body of this world itself, transporting our spirit from glory to glory, to that summit of joy in consciousness where the world eye – beyond hope, beyond fear – surveys the universe…” – Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology, pp 102-103
The Greeks celebrated the Mysteries of Eleusis in early Autumn coincident with the Hindu Navaratri or Nine Nights Festival. These Nine Nights correspond to the Nine Muses and reflect forward through the muse periods of the coming zodiacal year.
“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
Notes from The Muses Nine by Joseph Campbell: In Gafurius’s design the symbolized stages of the transformations of consciousness 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 [1st Day], “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 [2nd Day]; 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).
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.
Each Muse 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.
Joseph Campbell at Mind*Fire http://www.mindfire.ca/ header “The Mystery Number of the Goddess,” subheading “The Muses Nine”
The Mysteries of Eleusis http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/e/eleusinian_mysteries.html ‘Iacchus’ was the shout uttered by the faithful .. Iacchus was considered the reincarnation of Zagreus, son of Persephone and Zeus. http://www.themystica.com/mythical-folk/articles/persephone.html For nine days and nights Demeter wandered the earth in search of her daughter … The torches she carried in each hand guided her way. On the 10th day she met Hecate and after sought help from Apollo. Only the Sun, being “the eye of the world,” could tell the grieving mother what she wished to know. http://san.beck.org/Eleusis-5.html ‘I saw a white bird with outstretched wings. It alighted on the figure of a woman, clad in blue, who sat there like an antique statue. The bird perched on her hand, and in it she held a grain of wheat. The bird took it in its beak and flew into the sky again.’
The Essene Gospel of Peace, Angelic Purification http://www.essene.com/GospelOfPeace/peace1.html
Durga Puja or Navaratri http://www.durga-puja.org/about-goddess-durga.html “Durga, in Sanskrit means ’She who is incomprehensible or difficult to reach.’ Goddess Durga is a form of Shakti worshiped for her gracious as well as terrifying aspect… She is often shown riding a lion from which comes Her august name, Simhavahini, ’She who stands astride the king of beasts’. As Shakti power, she shapes, nurtures, and dissolves names and forms, while as subtle spiritual energy called Kundalini, She lights the lotuses of the seven centres of awareness in the sacred human body. Goddess Durga killed the powerful demon Mahish and all his great commanders. When demonic forces create imbalance all gods unite becoming one divine force called Shakti or Durga.”
THE WAY FROM SHADOW TO LIGHT
All that is shadow, doubtful, fearful and discordant crowds the Dawn of each new cycle. At the close of every cycle, Pandora opens her magic box and out fly the monsters, phantasms of the astral world, shadows of the cycle past. All hope seems lost and yet in the end it is the winged angel Hope who rises from the bottom of Pandora’s box. The monsters flying from Pandora’s box are the children of Eris, the goddess of discord. Astronomer Mike Brown slyly named his new planet ”Eris” after the IAU denied his request to name her Persephone. To justify their decision, the IAU demoted Pluto to ”dwarf planet” status along with his larger partner. Eris is the dark goddess who brings the apples of discord when she’s not invited to the (planet) party the other gods and goddesses are attending. Ultimately – as Hope is reborn – Eris is to be given planetary status and renamed Persephone. Pluto and Persephone are planetary partners with a coterie of smaller companions.
Persephone, the goddess of the under(inner)world, has a magical child named Zagreus and his story is quite remarkable. Zagreus is Persephone’s child fathered by Zeus. Reborn, Zagreus appears as the youth Iaachus in the Mysteries of Eleusis and, reborn, he becomes Dionysus the ultimate partner of Persephone. Zagreus/Dionysus represents Hope rising from Pandora’s box. Pandora, Eris and the mystery goddess Persephone are one. “Persephone’s wild child” Zagreus appears now in the heavens as Mike Brown’s new dwarf planet Haumea, a body originally nicknamed ”Santa” having been discovered near Christmas. Haumea/Zagreus is the 3rd largest dwarf planet found in the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune. Zagreus is consonant with Dionysus and Mithras, ancient gods born at Winter Solstice. Eris brings out discord yet reveals Hope, the winged angel of our time. All shadows fly before the coming Dawn.
One of the more remarkable synchronicities between astronomy and mythic astrology is found in the relationship between the Greek Mysteries and the dwarf planet Ceres. We might remember that while the 10 day / 9 night “7th Moon” celebration occurs each year, the Greeks Mysteries were revealed at Eleusis only once every 4 years. Leading the revelation of the Greek Mysteries was an Initiate representing the goddess Demeter, the Greek form of the Roman goddess Ceres. Coincidentally, Ceres has a 4-year cycle and just once every 4 years Ceres descends “into the underworld” and crosses the 29th parallel South as projected on the Earth. At this parallel we find the one bright star Adhara, “the maiden.” Adhara, the 22nd brightest star in the sky, is the High Priestess in Tarot. The Priestess sits before the twin pillars at the portal of initiation. The entrance is veiled by a curtain decorated with pomegranates arranged in the pattern of the Tree of Life, a mystical key to the Mysteries. The time when Ceres descends to join with Adhara is this October 2010. This great event is what we’ve all been warming up for, our time is now.
Happy Holy Days!
Steve Nelson, Mythic Astrologer with The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.)
-For more information about Steve see Gaia Astrology www.GaiaAstrology.com
COSMIC CONNECTIONS NCGR – The National Council for Geocosmic Research http://www.geocosmic.org/
Kabbalistic Astrology http://www.exploreastrology.co.uk/KabbalisticAstrology.html
Planets in Astrology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planets_in_astrology
M. Kelley Hunter’s Moon letters http://www.heliastar.com/sun3.html
This Week’s Sky http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance
Astro*Pic of the Day http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Anne Wright’s Fixed Stars http://www.constellationsofwords.com/
Esoteric Astrology by Liz Magnus http://www.mermaid-uk.com/
Roxana Muise *The Muse* http://www.roxanamuise.com/
Eileen Eilight’s Galaxy http://eilight.com/pages/toclotus.htm
Astrolabe, astro*weather http://www.alabe.com/
Space Weather http://www.spaceweather.com/