From an early age, I’ve loved Greek Mythology. One of my favorite aspects of Greek Mythology is the concept of Muses. The Ancient Greeks gifted us with many amazing things: Democracy, Philosophy, The Arts, and The Sciences that elevated us from simple creatures who went from just eating, pooping, and procreating to thinking beings who questioned their existence and formed rational ideas about the world they lived in.
I find the concept of Muses fascinating because I believe they were The Greeks’ attempt to understand where inspiration came from. They tended to believe that human knowledge was gifts from their gods and came in the form of Muses, nine goddesses who were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who personified knowledge and the arts including Literature, Dance, and Music. Each had a particular name and personality and though many ancient cultures had their own interpretations, I’ll be sticking with the Greeks on this one. Who they are and what they did are as follows:
1. Calliope: Epic Poetry and her emblem was the Writing Tablet.
2. Clio: History and her emblem was the Scrolls.
3. Euterpe: Music, Song, and Elegaic Poetry. Her emblem was the Aulos, a Greek instrument similar to a flute.
4. Erato: Lyric Poetry and her emblem was the Cithara, a Greek instrument belonging to the Lyre family. A Lyre is similar to a small Harp but apparently has many distinct differences.
5. Melpomene: Tragedy and her emblem was the Tragic Mask.
6. Polyhymnia: Hymns and her emblem was the Veil. I suppose the Veil was to represent religious purity though I’m only giving an opinion.
7. Terpsichore: Dance and her emblem was an actual Lyre.
8. Thalia: Comedy and her emblem was the Comic Mask.
9. Urania: Astronomy and her emblem was the Globe and Compass.
According to Mythology, each muse would visit their charge and covertly impart knowledge and inspiration upon them, thereby influencing the creation process. I’m not 100% sure if this is exactly what’s going on, but it’s fun to think about and I don’t have a better explanation of why some of the stuff that pops into my head and onto my pages come to be. Could be random, could be a tumor (IT’S NOT A TUMA!), or could be Muses. Either way, it’s fun to contemplate while working on a particularly gnarly fictional scene…hehe.
Whatever the reason, just run with it and enjoy where the inspiration takes you. I’ve touched on this in more detail in earlier articles, but this should do us all for now.
Thanks and Happy Creating! 🙂