Saturday, April 9, 2011


Often writers talk about waiting for, looking for or finally finding the Muse. The word Muse is bounced about like a beach ball going back and forth until it eventually floats away in the water. So close yet your fingertips barely graze it - your frantic efforts to reach it disturbing the water, causing it to slip further away. Like others, I have succumbed to the dreaded writer’s block - all the time hoping that the Muse would finally grace me with her Magick.

But what exactly is the Muse? Is it a benevolent doppelganger that holds the creative part of ourselves, ready to infuse us with bits of creative energy as we need it? Should we uphold the standard belief of the Muse as a Deity, like in Greek Mythology? What about those of us who aren’t as conventional? Would they have a Muse that takes animal form like a Totem? Some writers know exactly what their Muses look like.

Stephen King has a male, cigar smoking, beer drinking, hanging in the basement Muse. I’m not entirely sure what my Muse looks like yet because I never focused my energies on giving it form, but I know it isn’t male. So, I started looking into Muses or Deities that personify some or all of the attributes of a Muse (e.g.: art, music, poetry, dance, writing, etc.) in the hopes of offering one of them the job.

I started with Greek Mythology and I learned that they have many Muses.


Calliope: The Muse of eloquence and epic or heroic poetry

Erato: The Muse of lyric poetry

Polyhymnia: The Muse of the sacred hymn, eloquence and dance

As I Googled, I discovered that Greek Mythology wasn’t alone in this respect and that others had their own Deities/Muses.


Apollo: Roman God of sun, music, poetry, prophecy, and healing

Minerva- Roman Goddess of wisdom, arts, and trade

The Roman Gods multitasked in their duties. In addition to their standard abilities, Apollo and Minerva also ruled over music and the arts. No days off for these Gods.


Bragi: Norse God of poetry

This Norse God was renowned for wisdom, fluency of speech and skill with words. I might consider this God when I’m suddenly called to an impromptu meeting at the office.


Fu-Xi: is very strong on home improvements, and also spiritual improvements. He's often seen with a carpenter's square — which symbolizes both as he created the Eight Trigrams for Divination*.

It seems this Deity loves to create and improve on things. This is a Deity to keep in mind for a possible Muse perhaps when you want to rewrite your first draft.


Saraswati: The Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music and all the creative arts. Saraswati is called the mother of the Vedas and the repository of Brahman’s creative intelligence and is also called Vak Devi, Goddess of Speech.

This is a multifaceted and diverse Deity - a great source of inspiration for those who seek her as their Muse.

In all my research, I haven’t felt the pull for any of them. Do we choose our Muse or do we have no control over which Muse guides us? Should we aim our pleas to the Muses in general hoping that one of them will heed our supplicant cries for inspiration? Wouldn’t that leave it all to chance while we wait in anguish? No, I don’t think I want to do that. I need to be a little bit more proactive in my life so perhaps I’ll create my own Muse just like I create a character. I read somewhere that we make our own reality so why not create a personal Muse and put it to work?

The decision is still pending and I will definitely give it more thought. As I write this I couldn’t help but wonder, what inspired me to write about this in the first place? Is my ever elusive and ethereal Muse trying to get some recognition? I wonder…

* The Eight Trigrams, the principles of the I Ching system of divination, were created by observing a tortoise shell and symbolize the eight main forces of the Universe. Combined in 64 hexagrams, they represent the consequences of the interaction of these forces with one another.

† The Vedas (Sanskrit Veda, "knowledge") are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.


‡ In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe


  1. Very interesting post! I think a muse comes to us in many forms. I'm often surprised at how inspiration pops up from the oddest of places :)

  2. It's also interesting to note how often that happens. I lost my balance going up the escalator the other day, because an idea assaulted me. The lady next to me looked at me funny but I was so excited, I couldn't wait to get home.