Friday, February 1, 2013

Studying The Muses

The Nine Greek Muses are-
Clio- History, Symbols: books and scrolls
Calliope-Epic poetry, Symbol: writing tablet and pencil
Erato-Love poetry, Symbols: cithara ( a type of lyre)
Euterpe-Song, Symbol: aulos ( in the flute family)
Melpomene-Tragedy, Symbol: the tragic mask
Polyhymnia-Hymns, Songs of Prayers, Geometry, Symbols: a veil
Terpsichore-Dance, Symbol: lyre
Thalia-Comedy, Symbol: comic mask and wreaths of ivy
Urania-Astronomy, Symbols: globe and compass
These nine lovely ladies were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory.
Diodorus Siculus, Greek historian, who wrote works of history between 60 and 30 BC states Osiris first recruited the nine muses along with Satyrs or male dancers while passing through Ethiopia before embarking on a tour of all Asia and Europe, teaching the arts of civilization where ever he went.
These Greek goddesses of art and inspiration are the most familiar ancient deities today. Our words music, museums and to muse on something still evoke their presence.
These goddesses are ancient; they were being worshiped when the Greeks came down from the north to the peninsula that is named for them.
The Greeks reinvented them into a group of siblings, all daughters of Memory and set Apollo up master of the group.
 Some ancient literature talks of just three muses, symbolic of the way an artist creates: Melete (practicing), Mneme (remembering), and Aoide (singing).
To further complicate and confuse matters the group as a whole had many names usually derived from places that were sacred to them such as streams , rivers,  and mountains.

The Muses were so connected to nature that their connections to art and civilization seems curious.
Our foremothers knew that art is a part of nature.  Before she was an artifact of culture, the Muse was a force of nature. She was the womanly presence that spoke in the woodlands, that sang in the bubbling streams and danced in the ocean waves.  The artist looked upon all the beauty of nature and brought it unto the people to enjoy.
The quality of the art is special when the artist works to become a clear channel from the divine.
To the original worshipers of the Muses, the divine lives within and speaks through nature's beauty.

To move into a creative relationship with the Muses, do just that move. The Muses are not served by a contemplative order. To honor them we must create.
 They speak clearest in nature, in the wind, in the sound of water and in the swishing and murmurings of the
trees.   Go outside; spend time in your yard, in a park or down the street in a vacant field.
They are there waiting for you.

The Goddess Path, Myths,Invocations and Rituals by Patricias Monagham

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