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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Does Your Muse Light Your Fuse?


Would you like to travel the world and be enthralled every day of your life? Budget is not a consideration—this sort of travel costs nothing and delivers a million dollars worth of pleasure daily. No, this is not a copywriting article for a tour… 
 
The name of my imaginary ‘travel agency’ is The Armchair Traveler and I’m talking about starting my days with a mug of coffee and loading Bing’s picture of the day onto my browser. As I sip, I'm inspired, excited and blown away. I love it, and so does my muse.

Yes, I admit I’ve become addicted to search engine Bing’s picture of the day. The stunning photography takes me to a different exotic land each morning and has totally captivated my insatiable craving for adventure and exploration. If the image really resonates, I check back several times throughout the day and download it. An added plus is that my muse is stimulated by this new daily habit. 



Recently Bing had a beautiful image of a skyscape (roof tops against a darkening sky) in Arachova, Greece. One of the info tidbits mentioned that nine divine sisters make their home on the mountain above the town—The Nine Muses. 

I had to explore… and here is what I found.

Their sacred mountain is now a ski resort, and just a few miles west is Delphi, home of the famous Oracle. That’s quite a piece of legendary real estate.

The Muses would be termed demi-goddesses in our current culture, with Zeus, the chief god, as their sire and a mortal woman, Mnemosyne (Memory), as their mother. One legend states they slept together on 9 consecutive nights and their tryst resulted in the birth of 9 daughters, the muses. 

This version of the legend also amplifies the concept that these are divinely inspired beings. The ‘birthplace’ of the 9 Muses is said to be Pieria, and according to Hesiod, it is watered by the springs that flow from Olympus, mountain and home of the gods.



There were many muses in different time periods. Some believed they were goddesses connected with prophetic springs. The early muses were not assigned areas of expertise—this came later in Hellenistic times. 

~*~

A brief description of The Nine Muses: 

Clio: Carries a clarion and scrolls or a book, is known for history and the guitar.
Euterpe: Holds a double flute, is credited with inventing many musical instruments, song and dialects.
Thalia: Is shown holding a theatrical comedy mask, ivy wreath and shepherd’s staff. She protects geometry, architecture, agriculture and comedy.
Melpomeni: Carries a theatrical tragedy mask and a bat or ivy wreath. She is Thalia’s opposite, and invented and protects tragedy, she also invented rhetoric.
Terpsichore: Wears laurels on her head, carries a harp and dances. She invented the harp, education, and dance. Dance is said to have amused her.
Erato: She holds a lyre, bows and love arrows. She protects Love and Love poetry, and as such, is the friend and co-muse of all romance authors (my opinion)…
Polyhymnia: Depicted sky gazing, wearing a veil, holding a lyre. Credited with inventing geometry and grammar. She protects mimic art and hymns to the divine.
Ourania: She appears carrying stars, a compass and a celestial globe. She is credited with inventing astronomy, and protects the stars and planetary objects.
Calliope: Considered superior to all the other Muses, she accompanied royalty to ensure justice and peace was imposed upon the land. She protects epic poetry and rhetorical art and is seen carrying a writing tablet. 

~*~

Muses were considered deities, tasked with inspiring humans and helping us tap into our divine potential and source creativity. They help us manifest our wishes and dreams. Muses are depicted in paintings and statues as women. Perhaps because our divine feminine—whether we are males or females—is where our creativity resides.

Do they represent the spark that occurs when our human selves meld with our divine selves? Is it that when we reach for the stars, our creative impulse is awakened and spurs our imaginations to soar beyond all limitations? 



The Nine Muses are credited with a wide scale of achievements that benefit all of us—inventing the five senses, seven chords of the lyre, seven planets and celestial zones.

One of the most enchanting tributes to the Muses is found on the Greek island of Corfu, where Austrian Empress Sissi placed individual sculptures of each Muse in her retreat garden at Achilleion. 

Plato bestowed the unofficial title of Tenth Muse on Sappho of Lesbos, in appreciation of her magnificent poetry. 

 ~*~

Which muse calls to you? It may be a blend, or one not mentioned here. There are many names given to Muses throughout history in many cultures. 

I can never choose just one of anything whether it’s ice cream or perfume, so I would choose Erato and Ourania, given my passion for love, the stars, and all things celestial.

What about your personal muse—male, female, playful, serious? Is there a sign or symbol associated with your must that means something special to you?

In the epic fantasy romance I’ve been writing and editing for nearly fifteen years, muses of different cultures blend with mortals and their worlds collide.

I wanted to write about why goddesses and muses are so often found in groupings or multiples of three, like The Furies, The Graces, and The Sirens. But this post is long enough so I’ll save it for another time.



In this season of Thanksgiving, let us also give thanks to our muses. Where would we be without them? Let’s tempt them to help us aspire to and achieve lofty heights with our writing in the new year that is almost upon us. 

And let us also give thanks to Marianne Stephens for creating this beautiful community where authors, readers and industry experts come together in harmony and share.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



 
GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. You can buy Gemma’s books on Amazon.   



AUTUMN MASQUERADE by Gemma Juliana is a novella that pays tribute to Autumn, Thanksgiving, and the seasons of love.

Anna Spencer learned long ago to keep her psychic gifts secret to avoid rejection. Richard Bentley – her boss – is a widower, still haunted by his wife’s death two years ago just before Thanksgiving. Anna is falling in love with him, but can he move beyond the grief that has consumed him? When Anna must use her psychic gifts at a Masquerade Ball, her worlds collide. This is Richard’s first social engagement since Eva died. Anna must face her fear that Richard will fire her if he finds out. Even worse, will she lose him? Anna’s gift is communicating with the dead, and Richard’s deceased wife has a lot to say.




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11 comments:

Sandy said...

I've always liked Greek mythology, Gemma, but I'm not sure if I fit anywhere. My muse is all around me and it's called life. Smile!

Tina Donahue said...

I was addicted to Greek and Roman mythology in high school. Just loved it. That first picture is gorgeous.

Rose Anderson said...

Great post, Gemma. Calliope is my main muse. When she's smiling on me, I can crank out a novel in a week. When she's off aMusing someone else, the words are just hard to find. Hmm...maybe I need to make a sacrifice...
;)

Paris said...

Thanks for the lovely background on the muses and how they came to be. Autumn Masquerade sounds like a wonderful story!

Cara Marsi said...

Very interesting. I'll have to check out Bing's picture of the day. For my muses, I like Erato and Calliope. I love Greek and Roman, especially Roman mythology. Once did a HS paper on the Roman goddess, Minerva. Thanks for the post.

Judy Baker said...

Interesting post, Gemma. Love your book cover.

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks for stopping by, ladies. Mythology is one of those zones I can disappear into and easily lose a week or two. In a perfect world I'd spend my days researching and writing, researching and writing...

vicki batman said...

What a nice blog post, Gemma. Now how does one get the bing picture every day?

jean hart stewart said...

Loved mythology all my life. Thanks so much for the informative and interesting post.

Gemma Juliana said...

Nice to see you, Jean, and glad you enjoyed the post.

Vicki, I don't know how to get the Bing photo everyday besides just going to bing.com every morning and waiting to see what pops up. Of course, if you made it your home page (which I have not) it would load when you launch the internet...

Melissa Keir said...

Interesting post. I'd love to have a muse that gave me more time in the day to work... with the full time job, I have little time to enjoy myself with my writing or hubby!

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