The Graces, also called the Charites (sometimes spelled Kharites), are three beautiful daughters of Zeus, the supreme ruler of Olympus. Their mother was the sea-nymph Eurynome, daughter of the Titan Oceanus.
The Graces, then, would be related to Zeus’ other children, including the nine Muses, Goddesses of the arts and inspiration. Like their sisters, the Graces are able to endow artists and poets with the ability to create beautiful works of art.
The youngest of the Graces, is Aglaia, who personifies beauty and radiance. She is the most beautiful of the three, which is saying a lot. In some legends Aglaia was wed to Hephaestus, the craftsman among the Gods, reinforcing this traditional association of the Graces with the arts.
In the Hermetic magickal tradition, Aglaia is the Grace who draws up the energy of the helical pingala current of the Serpent-Fire. Pingala is the name given to the hot, red masculine nadi (psychic nerve or energetic body meridian), which spirals up and around the core of the body, paralleling the spinal cord.
This Serpent-Fire, of course, is called the kundalini in Sanskrit. It is the awakened consciousness that rises and revolves parallel to our spine, and is where our major chakras are located.
This conduit, called the Sushumna, is also the equivalent of the Caduceus of the Tree of Life, and the trunk of Yggdrasil, the World Tree.
More about this very magical Mystery tomorrow!