When I started talking about the branding and name for my business, Divining the Muse, some people argued against it, suggesting that most people would not recognize what a Muse is.
While I agreed that some might not, I also insisted that most people who work in the creative arts would know. And those who read Western mythology would certainly know who the Muse is. But we can all use reminders and clarification, so, just in case, let me introduce you to the Muse and give you five ways you can encourage Her to visit you.
First of all, in classical Greek mythology there was not one Muse but nine. Yes, nine. One for each of several branches of literature, art, history and science. Yes, there is a Muse for science because science, good science, is an art as well. Three of the Muses inspire poetry—epic poetry, love poetry, and sacred poetry. There are also Muses for music, comedy, tragedy, astronomy and science, dance, oratory and sacred hymns, and history and writing.
These amazing daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory) use the god’s fire to ignite that creative spark within us and the goddess’s wisdom and knowing to fan that spark give passion and meaning to our creations.
According to Angeles Arrien, “The ultimate call of the Muses in contemporary life is to live a creative and authentic life.”
Not an easy thing to do, certainly, given a culture that more often values consuming than creating. But, if you are willing to enter into a relationship with your Muse, then you invite in creative magic and meaning.
To invite the Muse into your life and creative work:
- Create space. That is, create physical space. It doesn’t have to be a whole room. It can be a part of a room, an empty closet, even a chair. Just designate a space as your creative space, your space to receive your Muse.
- Create time. This is another kind of space. Making time in our schedules to quiet down, to slow down and to really listen is important.
- Be willing to play. Listening to and honoring the Muse is not all about serious work. It is also about play and whimsy, about dancing and singing, about stepping outside to listen to the world’s creativity around you.
- Write the Muse an invitation on lovely paper with colored ink. Try something along the lines of, “Dear Muse. I invite you to join my in my creative space. I promise to provide and open mind and heart and a listening ear.”
- Create an altar for the Muse and your creative project. This doesn’t need to be anything more than a vase of flowers, or a seashell, or some incense. Put a picture or the title of your project there as well. Honor the sacredness of your connection with your Muse and Her gifts.
Like any good relationship, your connection to your Muse takes time, patience and commitment. By honoring Her, you honor your creative life.