As far as we know the Enneagram was born with Gurdjieff, however he claimed an ancient yet secret heritage for it.
It is true that ‘the nine’ appears, in one form or another, in nearly all the traditional mythologies.
With the possible exception of the Egyptian’s, where the Ennead of ‘Divinities’ plays a central role, in most of the others ‘the nine’ appears to be ‘peripheral’ and a somewhat hazy conception.
This may suggest that the matrix for these forms was indeed by this time secret and possibly far too secret to be passed down in anything other than a rudimentary form.
The Matter of Britain derives from the Celtic Mythos and in the Celtic Mythos we have the conception of Nine Maidens around a Cauldron of Inspiration.
This could refer to the Enneagram.
The Celtic Cosmology utilised a three-fold pattern of worlds which with the advent of Celtic Christianity came to look a little like this:
1. The Stellar World of the Constellations. (Universal Being)
2. The Solar World of the Sun and visible Planets. (Christos and Angelic Powers)
3. The Lunar World of the Moon and Earth. (Saints and Humans)
It is tempting to depict this triadic cosmology thus:
And even more tempting to stand that figure upright, which here for both spatial and psychological reasons, for the moment at least, we will not do.
But this conception rests upon a far older one and is really merely the exoteric rendering of that esoteric truth which recognises a far more complex pattern thus:
In this cosmology we have:
1. The Over-World of cyclic patterns visible above the horizon and symbolised by the Moon, the Sun and the Stars.
2. The Mid-World of Flora and Fauna and other entities which within it reflects the triadic pattern as;
A. An Upper Zone of Climatic Conditions and augury through bird flight.
B. A Middle Zone of Four Directions which delineates a model of the Sacred Realm.
C. A Lower Zone, of caves, wells and springs.
3. The Under-World of ancestral beings and other entities controlling the mysteries of life, death and re-birth.
Clearly each world and zone depends upon the other.
Thus far then the Macrocosm…
For the Microcosm we turn to Gurdjieff…
To be continued…
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Post originally published on Stuart France