Geoff Stray, Author of the Month for March 2010
The Tortuguero Prophecy Unravelled (cont.)
By Geoff Stray
In the Earthly counterpart of Avalon, Glastonbury, the archaeologist Bligh Bond, was appointed by the Church of England as director of excavations at Glastonbury Abbey. Bond enlisted the help of a psychic who brought through the spirits of nine dead monks who called themselves the Company of Nine, or the Nine Elect. They told him where to find the Grave of Arthur and the lost Edgar chapel, and a grave and chapel were duly dug up just where they said. When the Church authorities found out, Bond lost his job at the Abbey, but the episode reinforces the connection between the Underworld (Avalon and the world of the dead) and number nine.
The harmonic vision of Martianus Capella, a 5th-century neo-Pythagorean, assigned the nine spheres around the Earth to the nine muses, with a three-headed snake connecting Heaven to Earth, as illustrated in Kircher's diagram below. The mythologist Joseph Campbell says the snake correlates to Kundalini, the Hindu fire snake that lies dormant in the base chakra, Campbell says the Earth represents the base chakra, so the Earth and the next two spheres are equivalent to the bottom three chakras; the next three muses/spheres represent the Heart chakra, and the top three Muses/spheres (excluding Heaven) represent the top three chakras. Kundalini's full title is Kundalini Shakti - the Earth goddess, who comes up from the ground and when awakened, rises up the spine, energising the chakras until she meets Shiva, her male consort, who descends from above, and they meet in the Crown chakra, annihilating the ego in a trance called Samadhi. At the Navatri Festival in India, nine forms of the goddess Shakti are worshipped for nine days. The first three days are a purge, and the first goddess encountered is Durga, who "destroys our impurities and defects". The second group of three days centres around wealth, and the last three on success.
Anastasius Kircher's drawing (Ars magna lucis, Rome, 1665) connecting the nine Muses to the nine heavenly spheres, that relate to the chakras, connected by Kundalini.
It is now known, due to John Major Jenkins' discoveries, revealed in his book, Pyramid of Fire (2004)  , that the Toltecs, who worshipped Questzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god (Kukulcan to the Maya) regarded Quetzalcoatl in a similar way to Kundalini - a serpentine evolutionary energy that climbed up the spine. There is a prophecy from the Chilam Balam of Chumayel that says Kukulcan will return in Katun 4 Ahau, and the current katun is katun 4 Ahau, from 1993 to 2012, so this suggests the descent of Bolon Yokte could be associated with a mass Kundalini awakening.
THE ENNEAD OF HELIOPOLIS
Egypt had several enneads, or pesedjets (nine-god groups), to use the original Egyptian term, rather than the Greek. The most important was the Ennead of Heliopolis, (or pesedjet of Annu or On), that consisted of Ra-Atum, the creator, who self-begat Shu and Tefnut, the air and moisture gods, respectively. Shu and Tefnut were the parents of Geb and Nut, the Earth and Sky. Geb and Nut were (like the Maori Sky and Earth gods Rangi and Papa), in a close embrace, and produced children before separating. The offspring were Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys. All these gods are associated with the Underworld, or Duat, which is really the region between the Earthly and spiritual worlds, according to Jeremy Naydler. Atum-Ra travelled each night through the Duat. Shu was the division between the living world and underworld and he protected Ra on his journey through the Duat by using magic spells to ward off Ra's enemy, the snake-demon Apep. The pyramid texts suggest that Tefnut was the atmosphere of the Duat. Geb was sometimes seen as god of the underworld, and protector of the dead; Nut contains the Duat as part of her body. Osiris was the god of the dead, resurrection and judgement, and Isis as his wife was thus Queen of the Duat. Set protected Ra on his nightly journey through the Duat, and Nephthys, the helper of the dead, also accompanied Ra and Set on the boat.
In the Book of Coming Forth by Day (known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead), nine human components are described. They are the khat, or physical body; the ka, or double, which is equivalent to the etheric body; the ba, or heart-soul, equivalent to the astral body, and symbolised by a bird with a human head; the akh or khu, (spirit-soul), which is a divinised ba; the sahu, or spiritual body, which carries the akh; the khaibit, or shadow; the sekhem, or vital power; the ren, or name, and the ab, or heart.
Jeremy Naydler has done a great job of decoding this Egyptian soul-science ("psyche-ology").  The Osirian initiation was centred on achieving the experience of the ba, where consciousness is externalised into the astral body and the physical body can be observed from another viewpoint. However, the next stage in the process was to neutralize the khaibit, symbolised by a dark human silhouette, since it represents "all the untransformed Earthly appetites and obsessions that fetter the ba to the physical realm and prevent it from moving on". The divinization of the ba creates the akh or khu ("shining one" or "illuminated one"), symbolized by another bird - the crested ibis. It is also called "the imperishable one" that returns to its source beyond the Duat. In order for the akh to be released from the body, a new spiritual body had to be germinated from the physical body as a vehicle for the akh. This spiritual body is the sahu. This sounds like the immortal man in Taoist yoga that is gestated in the abdomen and expelled through a psychic opening in the top of the head to appear as a person sitting on a lotus within a golden sphere.
When Robert Monroe found himself floating outside his body in the nineteen fifties, he thought he was going mad, until his doctor told him that the experience was not uncommon, but people just didn't like talking about it. Monroe had been listening to subliminal learning tapes while he was asleep at the time he had the experience, so he tried to replicate it by experimenting with sound. He discovered that the brain could be entrained into producing theta waves while awake using binaural beats, where the difference between frequencies heard in each ear is the required frequency - in this case, around 4Hz. He set up The Monroe Institute - a charitable binaural research and education facility in Virginia, to explore the phenomenon.
In Far Journeys, Monroe describes the results of thirty years of exploration of the astral realms. The first realm experienced by those leaving their bodies is the Physical World - identical to everyday life, but with extra inhabitants - the souls of the recently dead, and those who are unaware that they have passed on, plus the dreaming bodies of those who are asleep and dreaming. Next is the Innermost Ring; then the Waiting Ring; then the Major Ring, which is split into four quarters - the Inner; Lower; Upper and Outer; then the Outermost Ring, and beyond that Graduation. This adds up to nine astral realms. Personal development allows the soul to climb the rings until they make it to Graduation, after which no more Earthy incarnations are necessary.
NINE STEPS TO TRANSFORMATION
In Mercurius,  Patrick Harpur says that the aim of the alchemists was to restore man's unity with Nature and to heal the rift between Heaven and Earth that had been caused by the Fall. They tried to reinstate the Golden Age by reproducing the operations taught to man by Hermes Trismegistus. He explains that in tribal societies, "when people are profoundly subject to physiological processes", such as puberty or pregnancy, they have to be "cooked" in an oven. This symbolic cooking is a rite of passage, and "some Amerindian tribes place pubescent girls and women who have just given birth into 'ovens' hollowed out of the ground…". The Hermetic vessel, he says, is "analogous to the ritual tomb, or womb, or oven in which rites of passage take place", and the physical changes inside it "are symbolically correlated with the spiritual changes of the alchemist". The Magnum Opus, or Great Work of the alchemists incorporates all the rites of passage, according to Harpur:
"Solution = the birth of Sol; Separation = his initiation at the hands of hitherto unconscious desires and effects such as occur at puberty; Conjunction = marriage (and death in the forbidden union between Sol and his mother/sister/daughter Luna); Putrefaction = burial (a mixture of cremation and burial, perhaps -cooked: rotting: cremation: burial); Congelation = rebirth (the same configuration as solution/birth but transformed to a new spiritual status); Sublimation (Rubedo) = ? Some state for which nature supplies no equivalent. The Opus re-enacts one's whole life in a short (or shorter) space of time in order to raise it up into consciousness and recreate it". 
There are usually said to be seven stages of alchemy. Harpur gives eight; Michael Maier, a sixteenth century Rosicrucian alchemist described nine stages of "involutive-evolutive transmutation of the threefold body of the human being, the threefold soul, and the threefold spirit".
At the end of the 13-baktun cycle, the Sun will be reborn as One Hunahpu according to Maya mythology. Perhaps this could be a macroscopic alchemical initiation for the Earth: the rebirth of Sol. Could this be when we find out what rite of passage is represented by Sublimation? In chemistry, sublimation is "the transition from a solid to a gas, with no intermediate liquid stage". Here we may have a clue.
In the spiritual alchemical process of Taoist Yoga, there are nine impediments to the Vital Breath that allows restoration and circulation of the generative force. These are called "The Nine unsettled breaths", and they are "caused by anger which lifts and fear which lowers the breath; by joy which slows it down; by grief which disperses it; by terror which throws it out of gear; by thinking which ties it up; by toil which wastes it; by cold which collects and heat which scatters it." The generative force is collected in the lower tan t'ien centre (just below the navel), where it is purified. Then it is raised to the middle tan t'ien at the solar plexus, where it is "transmuted into vitality". After this it is sent to the upper tan t'ien (pineal area), where vitality is transmuted into spirit. Each of these centres is called a cauldron, but when the upper tan t'ien takes over, it is called the precious cauldron.