The Nine Muses of Greek myth were goddesses of music and dance, arts and sciences, mental acuity and divine inspiration. Throughout the ages, artists, poets, makers and thinkers would call upon the Muses before starting a new project or when experiencing a creative block.
Born of Zeus and, fittingly, Mnemosyne, the Titan goddess of memory, each of the nine Muses specializes in some forms of arts, sciences, or a marriage of the two. While they all have a penchant for beauty and finely honed skill, some revel in their craft, while others prefer the logic and clarity of science.
All of the Muses can be called down for creative inspiration, a change in attitude, relief from forgetfulness and anxiety, and to help draw out brilliance in your creative space, but each person may find an affinity for one particular Muse.
Erato, for instance, is the Muse of love poetry and weddings, so for a wedding planner or a filmmaker directing a romance, Erato should be invoked to inspire the high art and beauty inspired by the mystery and glamour of love.
Invoke for: wedding planners, matchmakers, love songs, romantic poets, falling in love, those who are whimsical and romantic
Musings: love stories, romance, erotic poetry, art inspired by love, weddings, joyous song
How to spot: Erato holds a lyre to strum while singing.
Sunny Thalia does not seem to take anything so seriously, being a comedian’s Muse, but while she takes pleasure in mirth and lightheartedness, she is dedicated to geometry, architectural science and agriculture.
Invoke for: comedians, sketch comics, mathematicians, architects, farmers, prairie dwellers, natural scientists, all who are cheerful and lighthearted
Musings: comedy, symposiums/conferences, festivity, maths, architecture, agriculture, countryside, springtime, good crops
How to spot: Thalia holds a theatrical comedy mask and a shepherd’s staff
Melpomene, the resident goth, finds beauty and reflection of human nature in even the darkest of places. She is held in reverence particularly by tragic poets.
Invoke for: dramatic writers, jaded philosophers, melancholic songwriters, public speakers, crafters, blacksmiths, jewelers, stonemasons, exasperated doomscrollers
Musings: writing or performing tragedy, rhetoric speech, crafting, turning the mundane and bleak into something beautiful
How to spot: Melpomene holds a theatrical tragedy mask, as well as a bat, sword, or knife, which we can all learn a thing or two from.
Terpsichore is bold and excitable, and above all else, self-possessed. Being the Muse of dance, she must cast aside doubts and plunge fully into her art.
Invoke for: all kinds of dancers, choreographers, actors, performers, those who wear confidence like a shield
Musings: dances, harp music, general education, communication without words, acting with aplomb
How to spot: Terpsichore is seen dancing, with laurels about her head and an accompanying instrument in hand.
Polyhymnia is pensive and solemn, often seen looking up to the sky, but her head is not in the clouds. She is meditative, with an eye for detail and is true to herself, her spirituality, and giving glory to the gods.
Invoke for: religious artists and musicians, planners, editors, those who are spiritual or pious
Musings: sacred poetry, divine hymns, art that gives glory to the gods, personal spirituality and practice, sensitivity, worldly awareness, meditation, grammar
How to spot: Polyhymnia is often depicted looking up to the sky.