The emergence of values from remembering repeats in our old age the ancient myth of Memory, the mother of the nine. Muses. Each of the Muses—the patronesses of astronomy, comedy, dance, eloquence, epic, history, music, amatory poetry, and tragedy—artfully forms values by musing upon the goddess Memory who is her mother. We do not need to form our remembrances into art, as the painter Grandma Moses did in her old age, or into a novel, as Giuseppe di Lampedusa did in his. We need only to follow Memory’s daughters, musing over our memories and noticing how they take on significant shapes.
~ Hillman, James. The Force of Character: And the Lasting Life (Kindle Locations 1663-1666). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
These illustrations are a way to in tune with “the female power again.” Intuition, illumination and humor are a way to hold us on an alternative foundation or path. A given for us females and a needed endeavor that must be taken by our male comrades. If we dare to have a chance in these dark times.
An offbeat flopside comic adventure…
Art/ watercolors by Hudley Flipside aka Holly Cornell
Nine Muses as the source of “in-aspiration,” literally breathing in “I-deas” of Goddess-spirits within. The Muses were originally a triad-the primordial Triple Goddess. First of them was Mnemosyne, “Memory,” who made poets able to remember sacred sagas.
“The whole classical iconographic story of the transformation of the soul and the stages of illumination.”
Apollo is seated at the top and the three Graces are dancing beside him. In his hand is the lyre that plays the song of the universe, and besides that is the vessel of abundance. The inscription over Apollo’s head says, “The energy of the Apollonian mind moves everywhere through the muses.”
The muses are the inspirers of spiritual knowledge, and the source of their energy is the Graces. The Graces are naked because nakedness represents disengagement form the limitations of the clothing of time and space, but the Muses who represent the message of this naked truth to the world. The Graces are three aspects of Aphrodite. Her inflection as the moving powers of the energy of the world.3
Euphrosyne: Joy and the radiance that flows to the world through the qualities
of the nine Muses.
Aglaea: Splendor, the energy returning to the deity.
Thalia: Abundance: that unites the two. When you have put your head in the mouth of the lion you hear the song of nature. Muse of bucolic poetry, the poetry of the nature around you, the sheep and the lion and the trees and the mountains.
(3,4,5 The process of the rendering into the world the radiance of the Apollonian consciousness.)
The central figure is the great serpent whose tail is Cerberus. The three-headed dog who guards the underworld. Thalia is also the name of the ninth Muse. She is both below Cerberus’s head and she is also the central Grace above. Silent Thalia when she is under the threshold of the earth. “You can’t accept the bite of death and so you’re not hearing the song of the universe, and that why Thalia is silent.” We are afraid of the three heads of the dog. Fire of the sun, the present, yielding ourselves to the present. The wolf, the fear of the passage of time. The Dog which represents desire and hope for the future.
“What binds us is the present, past and future and so we’re bound to the ego. This is the image of the snake biting Peleus’s Achilles tendon; “Let the serpent of death bite your heel, do hear the song of the universe and then the Muses sing…when you have died to your ego and rational consciousness there open the intuition, that is to say, you hear the song of the muses and this is the female power again.”
The first triad of the earth, the moon and mercury.
Selene the celestial body of the moon. The arrow held by Selene in the sphere of the moon is held down., pointing us to the earth and its history, while the caduceus of Hermes points upward, directing us to spiritual heights.
Clio the muse of history and historical writing.
Calliope the Muse the radiance of the eternal principle of epic poetry. (Mercury /Hermes)
The second triad is the transition through the sun door into the high sphere of purely spiritual experience.
Terpsichore the muse of dance. Venus
Melpomene the muse of tragedy and tragic poetry. The Sun
Erato the Muse of the art of erotic poetry. Mars
The highest triad where we are released from bondage to matter and death.
Euterpe the Muse of Flute song. Jupiter (Zeus)
Polyhymnia the Muse of choral sacred song. (Kronos)
Urania the Muse of astronomy, The heaven of the fixed stars.
Practica Musicae, Franchinus Gaffurius, Interpreted by Joseph Campbell from his book Goddesses, Mysteries of the Feminine Divine.
The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker