Monday, May 17, 2010

The Nine Muses

According to Greek mythology, the Nine Muses were deities who imbued the necessary  inspiration into artists, philosophers and individuals.  Hesiod, a poet of ancient Greece,  reveals that they were called 'Muses' as the Greek word 'mosis' refers to desire or wish.

Artists from all disciplines of the ancient world made an appeal to the Muses  before beginning their work. For example, Homer, the author of both the Illiad and the Odyssey, implores the Muses to help him tell these stories in a memorable way for all generations.

The Nine Muses were sisters. They were the daughters of  Zeus, the lord of all the Greek gods, and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. There were nine children as Zeus allegedly spent nine consecutive nights with Mnemosyne.

 Mnemosyne gave her baby girls to Apollo, the god of healing, music and the Sun and he in turn taught the nine sisters about Art.  Consequently, they forfeited all interest in the material world and pledged to dedicate their lives to the Arts and the artistic imagination.

The Nine Muses are:

1.  Clio: the muse of History. She is often depicted with a clarion (an early trumpet) in her right hand and a book in her left.

2.  Euterpe:  the muse of Music.  She invented several musical instruments and is often seen holding a flute.

3.  Thalia:  the muse of Comedy.  She not only discovered comedy but  geometry and the science of architecture as well. She is always depicted holding the iconic comedic theatrical mask.

4.  Melpomene:  the muse of Tragedy. In addition to developing tragedy, she cultivated rhetoric speech.

5.  Terpsichore:  the muse of Dance.  In addition, she was the protector of the harp and education. She is often depicted laughing and enjoying herself as 'Terpo' in Greek means to be amused.

6.  Erato:  the muse of Love and the poetry of Love. Also, the protector of weddings. Her name comes from the Greek word 'eros' which refers to the act of falling in love. Our word 'erotic' also derives from 'eros'.She is often associated with Eros, or Cupid's, bows and arrows.

7.  Polymia:  the muse of sacred poetry and hymns. She also formulated the study of grammar.  She often carries a lyre.

8.  Ourania:  the muse of  all heavenly bodies and things celestial. She invented astronomy.

9.  Calliope:  the muse of epic poetry. She was often considered the most superior of all the Muses. She was the protector of all heroic poems.  In fact, Homer calls upon Calliope to inspire him while composing the Illiad and the Odyssey.

The number '9' runs like a lief motif in our culture and language. Not only do we have the Nine Muses, but we talk about the 'cat with nine lives', we can 'dress to the nines', there are nine men on a baseball team, human beings gestate for nine months, nine is the Trinity squared and there are nine planets.

The number nine vibrates to a very powerful frequency and should always be taken seriously and with consideration. If it should appear in your life, it symbolizes an important message coming through to you.

Source material is a compilation collected from greekmyths and infoplease

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