“Relentlessly the muses call forward our authenticity and our gifts and talents. All nine of these mythical creatures inspire us to create our futures and to meet our destines; compel us to take up our own soul tasks; and require us to bring our authentic natures to earth—which are all functions of the feminine principle found within men and women. What the muses tell us is that the beauty of the human spirit is not an eternal decoration or frivolous expensive adjunct to serious matters like knowledge, work, justice or social responsibility. Rather our inherent beauty lies in trusting our deepest natures and authentically expressing who we are in the world in wise and life-affirming ways.”
Angeles Arrien (The Nine Muses: A Mythological Path to Creativity)
In case you've forgotten as I had, the nine muses are Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (music & lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy & pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy) Terpsichore (dance) Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Erato (love poetry), and Urania (astronomy). We don't think about them these days because we don't give much credence to ancient stories; we're too busy having lofty thoughts. The myths, however, are stories about active principles operating within human beings. These principles were depicted as gods or goddesses for lack of a better term for observable human aspects that manifest differently person to person. All nine muses were goddesses, which lumps them squarely into the feminine principle category, even though they manifest equally in men and women.
All of that is to say that each of us has a muse within, because the urge to create is built into the human DNA. We may not write poetry, but we each have a unique voice. We may not play an instrument, but some of us express ourselves most clearly in our choice of music. We may not study astronomy, but we may be most at home in the natural world. We likely don't write love poems; but we best express love with our hands, to soothe and to heal.
Yesterday, a woman at church was whistling a hymn as she poured herself a cup of coffee. I asked, “Are you a whistler, too?” and she told me a story of the uncle who had taught her to whistle. Another person chimed in about her father who had been a great whistler. My own grandfather could whistle entire songs while shaving—with a straight razor! I can't sing in tune at all, but I daily entertain myself by whistling. Many of us have music in us, just expressed in different ways.
Whatever your muse may be, listen to her, honor her. She will lead you to your heart of hearts, to your soul work. She will reveal what is most authentic about your true nature. It is she who will guide you in bringing your gifts and talents to the world.
In the Spirit,