The Nine Greek Muses are classically seen as the divine ones who inspire the creative arts in all their many forms. Though we tend to think of the “arts” as specialized and reserved for “artists,” the arts are for everyone. They are ways to connect with the memory and mind of the cosmos. Remember, in ancient Greece the “arts” included science, astronomy, math, philosophy, grieving and history.

As stated in the previous post, the nine muses and their mother Mnemosyne are descendants of an ancient moon lineage. They are nine +1 portals with different access points to expand our human mind into Moon Mind.

See my previous post on the Goddess Mnemosyne: Greek Goddess Mnemosyne and Her Daughter Muses: Remnants of Ancient Moon Goddesses

The muses are the seeds of Mnemosyne

The muses are mind: mind as opposed to brain; mind, meaning the web of consciousness we are enmeshed in; the mind of the cosmos. The original intent of the muses was to augment the minds of humans through the mind of the cosmos.

The original function of the muses was to return humans to their wholeness through the creative process. When called upon the muse gives a boost of insight. The muses turbo charge the evolution of consciousness. The muses are involved in the evolution of mind.

The muses are like enzymes. They are catalysts.

They muses are ancient. With the moons in their chests, they are portals. They can push all the way back in time. They are seeds of the original primal fire. Seeds planted at the beginning of time.

Still, always, Mnemosyne is above them. She is their mother. She planted those seeds and she is connected to time. The muses are gifts that you open in time to access all time.

Follow along with these posts as I research and write part 2 of The Amazon Pattern

To muse with the muses and approach Moon Mind

Remember, to muse is first to listen, to reflect. The expression of what is heard or gained or gleaned from that musing is secondary.

Among the list of the many words muse is derived from in Angeles Arrien’s book, The Nine Muses is one I find especially fitting.

“The verb MUSE comes from Old French MUSER, meaning TO LOITER, to ponder, to reflect, probably originally TO STAY WITH ONE’S NOSE IN THE AIR”(Preface).

To stay with one’s nose in the air. This is a perfect prescription for engaging with the muses and Moon Mind.

Reading the room in a very big way. Reading the system, the whole ecosystem, the spheres of the earth, the cosmic systems, the planets.

To listen with nose in the air to yourself and your body and all that you are embedded within.

To Muse. To muse is to not be rushed. To muse is to be slowed down. Loiter, lallygag , ramble, perceive, inside and out, hear what is not said, see the unseen. Allow in the exterior, feel how it feels. Do nothing but sit in the presence of.

The movement comes later, the inspiration of the muse now alive within you, moving you to action.

Take the moon boat through the portal (of each muse listed below) in her heart and sail to the moon to remember .

Suggested Ritual:

Take time to come to know each of the nine muses individually. One at a time. Ring a small bell and close your eyes, envision a river of moving time going through the moon portal of her chest. In your tule reed boat you paddle into the white light of remembering. You are asking for access to the greater mind of the cosmos, you are asking for access to the moon.

1. Clio: Goddess Muse of History and Writing.

Unearthing and writing history, researching and documenting history, collective or personal, including autobiography, memoir and biography.

Time to reignite and revive this muse to include all the people who are inquiring, rewriting and revising history to add herstory, the story of indigenous people, the story of slavery, the stories of LGBTQ+ and all other marginalized peoples. No longer just the story of white supremacy.

Clio is called upon now for revealing the deeper and more complex truths about the stories of humans upon this planet, indeed the stories of all species on this planet. Whose “story” gets told. Whose “truth” is held up as Truth?

Dear Clio, please come and allow the full quilted blanket of truth to be revealed and for all voices to be heard.

2.Calliope: Goddess Muse of Eloquence and Epic Poetry

Angeles Arrien writes

“Calliope is considered the most eloquent and accomplished of the Muses because of her remarkable ability to synthesize all known forms of poetry , song and music into the origination of dramatic presentations known as epic poetry. Epic poems often tell the story of cultural values and the beginnings of a journey—of a country, a race or a hero. Through epic poetry, Calliope preserves the great stories and long tales full of many heroic figures and challenging plots. For her, poetry is a means of capturing the essence and beauty of a person’s courageous journey” (37).

Call on Calliope when speaking your truth, sharing your own stories or the stories of people you admire, present or past. Call on Calliope to help you speak with a strong and powerful voice, with eloquence, with rhythm and rhyme. Call on Calliope to guide you in speaking in a voice that will make people listen, help people hear, to influence cultural values, traditions and change indoctrinated taboos.

3. Urania: Goddess Muse of Astronomy and Science

Urania  instills wonder, awe and curiosity. The ultimate explorer of other frontiers, unknown territories, uncharted questions and mysteries. Biology, Astronomy, Astrology, Physics, Quantum physics, the why and how things work. These explorations can be psychological and spiritual in nature as well. Angeles Arrien calls Urania “the force of inquiry”(141).

Exploring the unknown, diving into the mystery, asking the questions why and how, wondering, musing on the big questions. What is life, why is life, why are we here, are we alone? Taking those questions to the vast and far reaches of the cosmos and also into the quantum and the micro realms of existence. This is Urania. Related to the planet Uranus, she is also a problem solver.

Call on Urania when you want to know why.

4. Melpomene: Goddess Muse of Tragedy

Melpomene helps us acknowledge suffering, ours and that of others, own our grief as well as our culpability in contributing to the suffering of others either consciously or unconsciously. We stand in witness to the tragedy and the despair, we bear witness to and allow the tears to be shed, the truth to be exposed, the recovery to begin in whatever form that may take.

We call on Melpomene to allow ourselves to feel the pain, rage and heartbreak not only of ourselves but of others, and then to articulate that experience in the form of song, wailing, story, dance, tragic plays, movies and novels. We offer these expressions in order to allow others to feel and express theirs as well. We allow grief and we allow sadness and sorrow to have their place in our lives. We give them proper due. We do not turn away from the suffering of others. And when there is nothing we can do, we bear witness and stand in alliance with Melpomene holding space at our side.

5. Erato: Goddess Muse of all kinds of experiences and expressions of that which we call “Love”

Eros, libido, Philia, and agape and the blending and combination of all four

Emissary of Eros

Desire to unify with

Erato demonstrates love’s need to be creatively expressed

Muse of the heart and desire. Muse of passion. Muse of sexuality and sensuality. Muse of Divine Love. Love songs, love poems, love stories. Muse of friendship and deep love of other, both individuals and the collective. Love of animals, love of humanity. Love of the Earth. Love of the ocean. Love is a high vibration. When articulated eloquently it elevates us all.

Call on Erato when you wish to write, compose, dance or sing songs and poems of love that elevate the hearts, minds and bodies of all.

What makes your heart and body stir awake with longing and excitement. And how do you sing about it? How do you show it? How do you experience it. What is love to you? How do you wish to see it expressed in the world. How do you wish to offer it to others?

6. Euterpe: Goddess Muse of Music, Lyric Poetry and flute

Giver of delight

The full range and power of the human voice

Singing, orating, speaking, wailing, recitation. Teaching with voice, oral tradition of storytelling. Voice quality and vocal expression, ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Spontaneous expression so invocations and prayer included here. Self expression. Speaking from the heart. defines lyric as following: (of poetry) having the form and musical quality of a song, and especially the character of a songlike outpouring of the poet’s own thoughts and feelings, as distinguished from epic and dramatic poetry.

characterized by or expressing spontaneous, direct feeling.

7. Thalia: Goddess Muse of Comedy

Joy, revelry, collective humor, jest and verbal banter. Jokes and riddles. Word play. Silliness. Giddiness. Thalia invites us to spontaneous healing through play and laughter.

The Goddess Muse of tricksters, pranksters and clowns. The ones who trick us into seeing things differently, thinking differently, therefore behaving differently.

Angeles Arrien describes Thalia as “committed to infusing us with insight and unexpected vision so we can create the experience of delight and happiness in our lives by developing and enhancing our sense of humor and our instinct for play”(131).

Bringing in lightness and humor, not taking ourselves too seriously, getting together with good friends and laughing a lot. The laughter of uplifting, never the laughter of demoralizing or making fun of.  The laughter of recognition of our shared humanity. Laughter as a healing medicine. The ability to laugh at ourselves. This is the medicine of Thalia.

8. Terpsichore: Goddess Muse of Dance and Movement

Terpsichore wants us moving and expressing ourselves individually and collectively through dance, movement, sports, yoga, ritual movement, trance dancing, walking, running, and other movement arts. She encourages us to dance for healing – allowing energies to move through us both cosmic and earthly, emotional and intellectual, spontaneous and choreographed.

Move them Bones!

Remember you are in a body and it too is an instrument that gives expression and opportunity for energy to transform, transmute, and evolve.

9. Polymnia: Goddess Muse of Sacred Poetry

Expressions of sacred experience, a feelings of one with the All, the divine, nature, life, God, Goddess, however you perceive of the numinous. Exalted moments of ecstasy and bliss to be alive. Moments where one feels transcendent and then to express and share that, give voice to that, share with others, or praise the All with our speech, the voice emerging from our hearts. The felt experience of interconnectedness, the moment where everything is a miracle, moments that bring tears of happiness, absolute understanding, leave us weeping with joy.

This is Polymnia moving through us, inspiring us to be bigger, more vast, rise above the mundane and realize the sacredness and absolute preciousness of all.

Angeles Arrien describes Polymnia as “the Muse who honors the subtlety, refinement, and hidden mystery found in daily living. She directs us to places of silence, contemplation, and reflection (107).

Get quiet. Be still. Breathe deeply. Invite Polymnia in. Her moments are fleeting but last a lifetime.

© Theresa C. Dintino 2023

featured image: Giulio Romano, Dance of the Muses

Works cited:

Arrien, Angeles. The Nine Muses: A Mythological Path to Creativity. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. 2000.

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