HOW TO CONNECT TO YOUR MUSES: EXERCISES

The Caress  Fernand Knopff
The Caress Fernand Knopff

First off, thanks to all the people who managed to read In Search of the Male Muse all the way through who have sent questions about the exercise – How to Connect to Your Muses. I had a mostly positive  response with record numbers of blog views from Bulgaria, to Japan to Brazil, with only a few objecting to the length, but I’ll say no more about short attention spans in this day and age. Just nice to know the muses pop up in all geographical locations. Yes, these connection exercises can be considered as a continuous practice, but there are a few ideas to consider first. All this talk of muses may have put some people off. They may imagine that focussing on Greek mythological creatures that may or may not exist in some stuffy antiquated mythic realm outside of ourselves is keeping us stuck two thousand years in the past. Using unpronounceable Greek names like Melpomene, and Euterpe may throw people into a tongue spin. This approach needs some nuancing. The update button needs pressing. If you think of the muses as literal, and ethereal beings, external to you, trapped in statues that belong in dusty old museums then that view might encourage you to avoid responsibility for the subtle layers your own thought processes and actions, conscious or unconscious, as those relate to your creative spirit.  The approach here is ‘As Above, So Below’ which reverses the usual mode of thinking to: everything starts from your own mind.

Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley

That said, this means that mythology is just a platform for a method to integrate various mental processes in your awareness. Gray Crawford says Instead of searching far and wide for an imagined ideal Muse, sometimes we need to remember that we already have Muses surrounding us and we simply need to invite them to lay down with us in our field of awareness.” As long as we keep firmly in mind that any use of the word ‘muse’ is a cypher or portal for inspiration the word can be appropriated and assimilated more easily into to a cutting edge consciousness. Then we can make the connections to identify the current muses in our life. Muses are psychic Jungian archetypes of all types of artist within.  So they are best seen in this light. Yet, we may be afraid to realise this artist within. A modern muse might not be fully functioning yet. Julia Cameron says the Shadow Artist is a person who has suppressed and side-lined their creative dreams and desires so live vicariously through other people’s creative energy while failing to activate their own. They are found usually hovering around active artists and feeding off their energy. They may engineer to be the lover, wife or husband of that artist and could be unconsciously wanting to act as muse. We may even be doing this ourselves without realising because society tells us it is not wise to attempt to be successful as an artist because it doesn’t make money – and you’ll end up ‘starving!’ This way we can begin to acknowledge where muses are within us and around us all the time. Ideally, this propels us to eventually understand that we are our own muses, and, all nine or more of them live happily as a community within our psyches.  

CONNECT TO YOUR MUSES: EXERCISES Preparation: In order to make the most out of this exercise, find some quiet time where you will not be disturbed. Compose yourself to receive inner impressions by doing a brief meditation. It should go without saying that in all these exercises, if you wish to substitute a female muse for male muse then do so, as needed and appropriate. Start with coming to your breath, slow down by sitting in a comfortable chair. Become aware of your surroundings for a few moments. Then alternate this awareness with becoming aware of your inner energy, your chi, and watch the thoughts flow. This is your inner life. Tableof MusesIt might help to jot your thoughts down in five-ten year chunks. If you prefer not to, then do it later. Draw your life as a table as in the example, so each name can be entered in the time period in which they emerged. Make it large enough to keep adding more names if some of them do not come immediately.

Identify your Outer Male Muses: These are usually male lovers with whom you had relationships, but they could also be friends, or strangers you exchanged glances with.

  1. Sit with your pen and notebook or the table above.
  2. Think back over your life and jot down the first thing that comes to your mind.
  3. Which men have you been attracted to?
  4. Name your lovers on this list but order them according to their effect on  your creativity.
  5. What was their muse power?
  6. Reflect for a few moments on each one and note down anything that comes up.
  7. Connect back with what it was that inspired you about that person: Was it their looks or their energy?
  8. Notice any patterns of behaviour that emerge from your relationship with these ‘muses’.

Identify your Earth Angels: These are the people who appeared in your life to help you, guide you acting as teachers, or mentors.

  1. Think back over your life in 5-20 year spans.
  2. Which men or women have helped you in a practical sense.
  3. Reflect on how they helped you.
  4. Acknowledge their guidance and be grateful.
  5. Identify the current ones in your life.

Identify your Orphic Muses:  These are Musicians, Painters, Poets, Writers, Film Directors, dead or alive who have fired you up with song, sounds, words, fashion, visuals, in whatever way big or small.

  1. Note down all the artists, dead or alive, in these fields who have inspired you at various times during your life.
  2. Reflect how much inspiration you have gained from appreciation of these sources.
  3. Acknowledge all that they have given you.
  4. Connect back to their energy by replaying, reviewing their input to help you kick start your own projects.
  5. Jot down some new ideas.

Contact your Inner Muses: Be Your Own Muse

Be Your Own Muse
Be Your Own Muse
  1. After reviewing all the above muses, then tune in to your  own life.
  2. What events in your own life have danced around muse-like people?
  3. Was type of experience was that for you?
  4. What did you learn from it?
  5. What life patterns does it suggest?
  6. What ideas best describe where you are now in relationship to these muses?
  7. How much do you trust your own muse?
  8. When has your own muse appeared? Note down the times.
  9. Is there a pattern as to when your own muse appears?
  10. What new projects could be inspired by your own muse?

Identify your Astrological Muses One of the most exciting and fascinating discoveries to this self investigation of muses, is not just the discovery that they can also be male, but in rediscovering your particular  fated or karmic connection to the gods of the arts. It is worth asking: so is there any astrological configuration that generated your impulses to be a designer, a poet, or a dancer, or a comedian, or a researcher? The answer is yes; through carefully tracking where the asteroid muses are positioned in your natal chart. This can be done easily at serrenu.com or on astrodienst. The connections are there and may surprise you, triggering responses such as: “oh, so that’s why I’m so passionate about x, y, or z!” To click refresh and update on the kinds of roles the muses now play in modern life, reference tribes.net and see that Calliope would refer to  journalists, writers, researchers, astrologers, and painters: Clio would definitely be historians, or historical novelists; Euterpe links to all musicians even Punk rockers,  DJs and classical composers, whereas Melpomene references actors, singers, psychotherapists, social workers and thriller writers; Polyhymnia would refer to actors, therapists, poets, gardeners, alternative therapists, and mystics. Terpsichore, alongside championing dancers would also include massage therapists, physiotherapists and healers; Thalia incorporates TV stars, and personalities as well as the usual comedians, stand up, and comedy writers and finally Urania includes astrologers, psychics, mystics, priests, shamans, painters and photographers.If one of these has not yet covered your sphere of interest I’d be very surprised.

Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan

Can it be an accident that Lucile Ball, Joan Rivers, Groucho Marx and Jim Carrey all have significant aspects to Thalia, the muse of Comedy?  Or, that Isadora Duncan, Nijinksky and Martha Graham all have significant aspects  to Terpsichore, the muse of Dance?  It is worth finding out, surely? So with these exercises above, once you are in tune with your particular muse, it would be ideal to time the sessions to when that asteroid muse is best aligned to the qualities in your chart so there is a mutual interaction, increased communication to those badly needed flashes of inspiration.

© Kieron Devlin, 2015 all rights reserved

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6 thoughts on “HOW TO CONNECT TO YOUR MUSES: EXERCISES

  1. Thank you for referencing my writing and work here. I am planning to utilize these exercises as I think this will be a good tool for self-reflection, especially considering that I am about to turn 40 and enter another decade of life. The muse asteroid link is also very helpful and appreciate you sharing that here. I wrote about the Muses in connection to the work of Lou Reed when Lou passed away. I will share it here in case you would like to read it- at the end I go through a number of the Muses I feel connect with Lou Reed and shared some of his songs that I felt represented the specific Muses:
    http://graycrawford.net/2013/11/17/lou-reed-the-primordial-poet/
    all my best,
    Gray

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    1. I hoped you didn’t mind my referencing you, as your words summed up just what I was thinking. Thanks so much too for sending that link. I had not read your article outlining Reed’s muses. Fascinating, no? I’ve just taken a look at the positions of his Muses and note that Urania is conjunct his natal Sun in Pisces; Calliope is close to his Uranus I think but I don’t have the software to double check these details. It always struck me that along with Lou Reed’s intensity in ‘Heroin’ there was the absolute opposite fragility, tenderness and grace in songs like ‘I’m Set Free’ and ‘Jesus’ which are utterly elegiac and even plangent in tone. So I wonder where those opposites resided within him. And which muses could render that level of softness. Definitely complex, and I feel linked to him also for other reasons. I’m very happy for you to use the exercises. Let me know if you discover more as you probably will. All the best Gray.

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      1. Yes, it was great to see myself quoted here in your blog as it was validating for me at a time in which I was questioning the degree of success I’ve achieved with my astrology blog. I am glad you liked the Lou Reed piece I wrote, that was one of my favorites I have written. I have another one I referenced him in about the Dionysus asteroid, though it is more of a brief reference- but I feel Dionysus also encompasses some of these complexities you are bringing up about him. I feel he was always direct, whether that be through abrasiveness or tenderness. Thanks for alerting me to the presence of the Urania and Calliope asteroids in his chart, as I actually did not look those up- I was just thinking about the meaning of different muses and how they fit into his work.
        cheers,
        Gray

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      2. I think your research is way more thorough than mine. I’m touching on Lou Reed and others from an art and visual analysis, cultural point of view, but I love that I can also via the blog join the dots to esoteric knowledge too and bring in astrological viewpoints, which usually get left out. Most people have enough to read so it’s only for the few who are really interested to read in depth about astrology the way you write about it. I’m on board but I wonder if many others are. I love your choice of Odilon Redon images for the recent post- very tasteful. I have written about the Symbolists elsewhere. Have you noted an increase in readers in recent times. My guess is there is a rising interest in Astrology.

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