Recently, Dr. Tracy Latz & Dr. Marion Ross (“The Shift Doctors“) met with Mythic Astrologer Steve Nelson to discuss their experiences in megalithic stone circles along various leylines in England. As it so often does when these three get together, the conversation eventually led to a deeper, metaphysical discussion of portals that they each had experienced in sacred sites around the world as well as in more private sacred space created with intention in and around each of their homes. Stone circles are just one of the ways in which energy may be directed to create a vortex to open the psychic or spiritual space for deep meditation or inter-dimensional shamanic travel. Such an energetic opening is also known as a portal, a two-way inter-dimensional door opening into several realities, including the astral world; the far reaches of physical, interstellar space; and alternate, parallel universes. There are auspicious, astrologically-linked, energetic dates or times, called Gates of Inspiration, where shamanic travel is more easily achieved.
Steve Nelson is an astrologer who follows a Jungian mythological tradition. Steve 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. The following information was supplied by Steve and esoteric teachings regarding the Gates of Inspiration. For more information about Steve see www.GaiaAstrology.com
A Gate of Inspiration opens every 40 days, every 40 degrees of the zodiac, starting with 0 Aries at Spring Equinox. These 9 Gates are the Stations of the Muses.
In Celtic lore, the Gates of Inspiration are symbolized by 9 Maidens who watch over the magic Cauldron of the witch queen Cerridwen. The Cauldron is a vessel of death/rebirth from which the hero king emerges whole in body and heart. Nine Maidens alternate with their breaths to keep the ‘fire of inspiration’ burning beneath the Cauldron. ‘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.
Nine Maidens alternate with their breaths to keep the fire burning beneath the Cauldron of Inspiration, a symbol of the cycling year. The Maidens, the Nine Muses, give poetic inspiration and insight into past, present, and future. The Breaths of the Maidens are the Gates of Inspiration. Breath is key to opening each Gate of Inspiration.
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 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 a name for Shamballa, an etheric city wherein dwell the world’s spiritual elder 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 light of Shamballa. The ring of ego and autocratic power is cast into the pit of fire from the circle of nine.
Opening the Gate, Native American Ghost Dance Tradition
Clockwise movement opens the way. An energy vortex for healing and transformation can be generated by simply circling or whirling in a clockwise (Sunwise) direction. The way is cleared and consciousness moves upward through clockwise movement, energies then contacted can be brought back into this world through counterclockwise (widershins) motion. Whirling dervishes use this movement to melt away worldly connections and to strengthen the energy channel between heaven and Earth. Through the whirling dance the ethers are stirred to send prayers to heaven or to open vortices of transforming / healing energy.
Placing attention in the air above the center of the circle and imagining a small vortex there can help stir the more subtle ethers and get a spiral movement started. This spiraling energy may take on the dynamic appearance of a whirlwind. Many 19th century Ghost Dance songs speak of the Holy Ghost coming down in a whirlwind.
The Ghost Dance is always clockwise with sliding steps holding hands and facing center. The Native spiritual leader Wovoka said the Ghost Dance would be performed ‘about every 6 weeks’ which is 42 days. Gates of Inspiration occur every 40 days. Wovoka’s Ghost Dance vision occurred on New Year’s Day, the first of the Nine Gates of Inspiration. Initially of pure intention, this ritual dance was later tailored toward the elimination of the white race and the history became rather muddled. The original way is remembered in doing.
“All Indians must dance, everywhere, keep on dancing. Pretty soon all dead Indians come back and live again. They all be strong just like young man, be young again. You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life… I want you to dance every six weeks. Make a feast at the dance and have food that everybody may eat. Then bathe in the water. That is all. You will receive good words again from me some time.” – Wovoka
I circle around –
I circle around
The boundaries of the Earth,
The boundaries of the Earth –
Wearing my long wing feathers as I fly,
Wearing my long wing feathers as I fly.
– Arapaho Ghost Dance Song
The stated purpose of the Ghost Dance is to open the way for the Holy Ghost. Divine Grace, the Holy Spirit, enters the world through the nine Gates of Inspiration, the ninth harmonic of the zodiacal circle. The Holy Spirit is the 3rd aspect of the Trinity. Three is the number and ray of feminine Nature. The triple and nine-fold Goddess and the Nine Muses represent this 3rd ray feminine energy.
The ‘Great Goddess’ of feminine Nature was called Ceres by the Romans. Cerridwen is her name among the Celts. Cerridwen is keeper of a magic Cauldron of Inspiration and healing named Amen. St. Patrick added this magic intonation to the close of Christian prayer.
Dancing clockwise in circle is the way of the Ghost Dance. The dance from right to left facing center releases tensions from the body, tensions that hold outmoded ways of thinking and emotional reactions from past life experiences. Dancers occasionally pause and sit in circle to bring up matters of the heart. Then the dance resumes. New truths, new realizations await letting go and letting Spirit guide.~ The Nine Muses, Hendrick van Balen
The Gates of Inspiration
The zodiac divides the cycle of the year by 12, the Gates of Inspiration divide the cycle of the year by 9. The 12 fold division is solar / yang, the 9 fold 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 nine deities. The Muses also symbolize the nine personality types defined by the Enneagram.
A Gate of Inspiration is an opportunity to release what needs to be let go and to receive what is needed to advance our spiritual destiny. Before a Gate of Inspiration, psychic shadows often come up to be dispelled. Whatever is blocking the way of receiving new inspiration emerges in the time before a Gate. Physical and psychological releasing can come through yoga, tai chi, and dance. The goal is to be free of tensions in the body that hold encoded, outmoded ways of thinking and feeling. Celebration is key.
Moving through the gate, it helps to breathe deeply until we can breathe freely. In this way we let go of our old fears and doubts and become more present to the spiritual power and promise of the new time. As the gate is cleared, new light pours through with bright new possibilities, new inspiration, and new creative energy. The more the psychic channel is cleared the more inspirations flow.
Seasons of the Muses
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. These nine Muse periods represent the ninth harmonic division of the zodiacal circle. Look at the table below to find your birth Muse. Each Muse period has its own governing planet and corresponding light on the kabalistic Tree of Life. As the Sun enters Sagittarius on Nov 21-22, we leave the Erato Muse period ruled by Mars and we enter the season of Euterpe ruled by the great benefic Jupiter. In this Muse season we celebrate Thanksgiving, a particularly Jupiterian and joy-filled (Euterpian) holiday. All traditional celebrations are based on astrology, consciously or by synchronicity. Celebrations in accord with natural cosmic cycles remain viable over time.
Thanksgiving occurs in sociable and fun loving Sagittarius and always on Thursday, the week day of this sign’s ruler, Jupiter. Thursday is Thor’s Day, named for the Norse god equivalent to Jupiter. The next three Thursdays after Thanksgiving are also special as the Sun empowers Jupiter (and Thursdays) in its transit of Sagittarius. Jupiter brings enjoyment, joviality and good cheer. Jupiter is the Greek Zeus, the Roman Bacchus, and Dionysus. Robert Johnson also draws a parallel between Dionysus and Jesus in his book Ecstasy: Understanding the Psychology of Joy. Dionysus is god of the vine, Jesus turns water to wine. The names Jesus and Zeus are of common Greek origin.
Each Muse season is unique and each will vary in nature year to year according to the status of the season’s ruling planet.
The Gates of Inspiration / Stations of the Muses
Muse – Date of the Gate – Zodiacal Degree – 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 8-9 ….. 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. In the image “Music of the Spheres” 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, Euterpe with fun-loving (‘jovial’) Jupiter.
“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
Cosmic Timing with Planetary Hours http://alabe.com/cgi-bin/chart/Input.exe?PARAM=RP&FINALFORM=ncgr.htm
Moon Magic, my monthly forecast http://awakeningcharlotte.com/content/?s=moon+magic
NCGR – The National Council for Geocosmic Research http://www.geocosmic.org/
Kabbalistic Astrology http://www.exploreastrology.co.uk/KabbalisticAstrology.html
Constellation Chamber http://www.novareinna.com/constellation/index.html
Ursi’s Garden Universe http://www.eso-garden.com/index.php?/weblog/C9/
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/
We hope that this post was inspiring! Dance joyfully and create powerfully in your life…
Steve Nelson, Mythic Astrologer with The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.)