The Muses in Your Life
In Greek Mythology, the nine muses are goddesses that rule over the arts and sciences, and are said to bestow inspiration on the subject of their domain. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics, and myths that were related orally for centuries in ancient cultures.
I think that the muses still have much to teach us about finding meaning and inspiration in our day-to-day lives.
The Muses in Your Life
Calliope the Muse of Epic Poetry
Calliope can help us find inspiration to create the stories we live by. Calliope is the chief of all muses and this makes sense. How we engage with our world is determined by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Calliope can help you write your story, and she’ll help you find meaning in it, too.
Question to ask yourself: If I could create the story that I want to live by, what would it be?
Clio the Muse of History
Clio’s name is derived from the Greek root κλέω – meaning “to recount,” “to make famous,” or “to celebrate.” She is known as the “proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments.” Clio can remind us to learn from the past. Yet, she can also remind us to write the past in a way that serves our present.
Question to ask yourself: How can I remember the past in a way that reveals the fullness of my present potential?
Euterpe the Muse of Music
Euterpe is also known as “the Giver of Delight.” She reminds us to recognize the music and melody of our everyday life. Through Euterpe we see that the commonplace has a beauty and an inspiration to it.
Question to ask yourself: Are your daily rhythms inspiring or are you allowing yourself to be inspired by your daily rhythms?
Erato the Muse of Lyric Poetry
In a famous Greek hymn to the muses, it is Erato that charms the sight. Erato reminds us of how important passion and love are to an inspired and meaningful life. Many of us yearn for passion, but are reticent to weave passion and love into our lives.
Question to ask yourself: Are you letting yourself fall in love each and every day? Are you nurturing your passions?
Melpomene the Muse of Tragedy
Melpomene’s name was derived from the Greek verb melpô meaning “to celebrate with dance and song.” Melpomene helps us see that our pain in life opens us to our true potential and a sense of life’s deeper significance. It’s not just the happy moments that create a sense of meaning and fulfillment. Our struggles and tragedies profoundly shape how we know ourselves and what we come to value in our lives.
Question to ask yourself: Have you embraced tragedy as a necessary part of life? Are you expanding or contracting as a result of the pains you experience?
Polyhymnia the Muse of Sacred Hymns and Agriculture
Polyhymnia helps us see the deeper meaning in nature and the natural world. The truth is that the world around you is constantly communicating with you, so it might be time to open your ears and listen.
Question to ask yourself: Have I stopped to listen to what my environment is telling me?
Terpsichore the Muse of Dance
Terpsichore reminds us to dance with life – to bring flow and grace to our life experiences so that we can enjoy more of what life has to offer.
Question to ask yourself: Are you flexible in your approach to life?
Thalia the Muse of Comedy
Thalia teaches us the humor in “it all.” All wisdom contains some humor. And, for our lives to have meaning, we benefit from seeing the humor in our experience.
Question to ask yourself: Do you remember to laugh every day at the wonder and weirdness of life?
Urania the Muse of Astronomy
Urania is often associated with Universal Love and the Holy Spirit. She imparts the insight that life is bigger than we can ever understand. Yet the quest for understanding can bring us great meaning.