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Olympian Goddesses the Muses on How it Is

Patron deities of civilisation, the Muses collective is cited by Hesiod as his source of the world's first best-selling story: How Everything Happened.
Title text The Muses

Summary of Contents: Muses in Mythology | Poetry in Motion | Muses on Record | Information and Processing | Arrival and Appearance | Shower of Power | Goddess Euterpe | Life Stream | Festival of Arts | Power of Poetry | Goddess of the Dance | What the Muses Said

Festival Day 9th January

Muses in Mythology

The Muses are listed as a collective of nine daughters of the God Apollo and goddess Mnemosyne.

Each is attributed as a patron goddess in the arts and sciences. Their profiles are identified by poet Hesiod as Calliope, designated muse of epic poetry; Clio of history; Erato, love poetry. Terpsichore, dance.

Euterpe, patron goddess of lyric poetry. Melpomene, patron goddess of tragedy; Polyhymnia of sacred poetry and rhetoric. Thalia of Comedy and Urania the patron goddess of Astronomy.

Poetry in Motion. Herodotus the Lucky

In Theogony, the origin story of the Gods Hesiod told how the Muses spoke to him while he shepherded sheep on Mount Helicon. During the encounter they informed him how the universe happened.

Hesiod told of how they gave him a stick of sturdy laurel.

'And they bade me sing of the reverend race of the gods from the beginning, those whom Earth and wide Heaven begot, and the gods sprung of these, givers of good things.'

Source The Theogony of Hesiod. Translation Hugh G. Evelyn-White.

Muses in Mythology references

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness? Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community. Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal; creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment. If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond, be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures; impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Anywhere can be a temple.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"Hesiod got an interview with the Muses, what luck?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Muses on Record

"Generous as the goddesses and gods were, time-wise with me, there is no way I could have achieved what Hesiod did for Theogony. Remember a definitive list of who is related to whom, and what they did to each other.

They didn't offer me a magic stick to help.

It would have required time and patience by the Muses, even if I had an ever-sharp pencil to hand for dictation.

To make notes and record all the information without interrupting to make sure I had it all correctly.

His detailed list would have taken me more than one session in a sheep field.

Certainly many, with opportunity to question and confirm for cross-reference. In short, I couldn’t accomplish what Hesiod did. There never was any opportunity because they weren’t communicative about relationships.

Information and Processing

Most often their information was symbolic, and experience-based.

They weren’t inclined to provide explanation about anything much concerning themselves, and expressly cared not if I understood or didn’t.

Over the course of many years the information was offered as silted gold, which I include in these posts.

Hesiod listed the Muses as the nine daughters of Zeus and Titan goddess Mnemosyne. Named them as Cleio and Euterpe; Thaleia, Melpomene and Terpsichore; Erato and Polyhymnia.

Urania and Calliope completed the museum collective, “Who is the chiefest of them all,” he added by way of distinction.

Muses Arrival and Appearance

The Muses responded to invitation like a carnival just arrived. Ribbons of light wisped through the air, swirling around. Gold and blue, silver and orange.

Just as zippy, green, red and yellow. And female conversation.

I couldn’t understand much of what was said.

"Divine?" a female asked.

"No, only mortal," said another. Perfume filled the air, not sweet or unpleasant but powerful, overwhelming.

"We show you our colours," said a blue light-ribbon that wisped close by my ear.

"Colour is important," said another soon after.

"The mortal has a gift, she can see and hear. This is most useful."

"How pleasant to be honoured," said another from a green ribbon-light. "Many great ones have been here, the greatest. We are happy to be here," she added sweetly.

I still couldn’t see faces or figures.

"It does not matter the size or the beauty of a temple," said another. "What matters is the sincerity and the love."

Shower of Power

"Who are you?" I asked, feeling frustrated.

"We think of ourselves as gentle and loving," came the answer.

"You are very fortunate to hear us so clearly," said the green ribbon light. "Never get upset over tests. They give you strength and courage."

"And energy," added another, a blue light. "Continue the way you are and all will be well."

Suddenly all aerial activity stopped.

The ribbon-lights drew back, a wide column of swirling pink mauve light plunged down through the air and flooded over me.

A warming power-shower of sweet-smelling light.

"Absorb energy. I will explain," said a golden yellow ribbon. "This is the energy source in the realms of the Gods. Absorb it. I give you this power. This is my gift to you. And now, you can see me, Euterpe."

Goddess Euterpe on Life and Art

The sweet-fragranced column of light deposited me in a grassy meadow where a dark eyed female stood waiting beside an enormous framed painting.

No sign of anyone else, nothing to indicate an outdoor art exhibition.

The painting seemed to have dropped from the sky and landed right way up for display. She gestured for me to approach. Toned skin, sharp features; brown hair coiled at the back of her head.

I couldn’t gauge her age. Twenty something. Or forty-five. She wore a long yellow draped robe.

The painting propped beside her stood twenty feet or so high and nearly twice as wide. It depicted a moorland country scene of wind-sculpted trees.

Distant mountains and a stream winding through the landscape.

An exceptional picture, extraordinarily natural in colour. I thought the artist the most gifted painter of all time.

"What you see is the stream of life," Euterpe gestured. "It flows forward, never backward."

I stepped closer to look. So very lifelike I had to touch to make sure it wasn’t real.

My fingertip passed through the canvas. Momentum carried me, and I literally stumbled into the painting, like Alice in the glass.

Life Stream

I stood on the moorland, the stream now flowing water. Heard sounds, felt the warmth of its sunlight and gentle breeze. Strangest of all was how surprisingly natural it felt to be there, to have entered the picture.

Sat on the grassed bank of the stream, its water looked pure and clear. A thought came into my mind: ‘The world is a wonderful place. I should enjoy it.’

Euterpe sat beside me. A dragonfly skimmed low over the water, followed by another; they circled.

Three more arrived and synchronised as if displaying in a dance. A cluster of midges hovered and buzzed in and out and over each other. A blackbird sang sweetly, answered by another; they sang a duet.

"Nature is a work of art," said Euterpe. "The most beautiful music you ever will hear is the music of nature. The most graceful of dances is the dance of nature. The most colourful painting is nature. This is art."

She gestured. "Look and listen to the song. To the poetry of the breeze in the leaves, and to the dance. It is all here, it is all here for those who have eyes to see beauty."

It was beautiful. Then suddenly wasn’t.


The sky turned dark and the air cooled, sunlight’s warmth switched off. I looked up to see a dark cloud pass in front of the sun.

"Life," said Euterpe. She gestured for me to rise and follow.

A second enormous framed picture stood displayed. Its subject not the place I was before, as expected. It depicted a group of musicians.

Three men and three women playing instruments performing on a platform for a group of young dancing girls. Again drawn by its astonishing realism, the same thing happened.

The Festival of Arts

This time I stepped without hesitation into the frame.

Instantly the band came alive. Music played, its rhythm strange and infectious.

My arrival briefly interrupted the girls’ dancing, but elegantly they adjusted and flowed around me. Each dressed alike in simple off-one shoulder knee-length dresses of different colours.

The performance occupied one stage among many in a big field, like a festival event. Stages and rostrums stationed here and there featuring entertainments.

Euterpe stopped in conversation with a female. It seemed private, so I wandered on among the performances, thinking how clever it all was.

A young woman sang a cappella to a small crowd. From a rostrum a man read from a book. On another stage, a man danced.

I stopped beside a grey-haired female painting at an easel. Her picture depicted a small landscape of the field festival scene, as life-like as the huge canvasses.

"I wish I could paint, even a tiny bit as well as that," I said conversationally.

"You like my painting?" she asked.

"It is beautiful," I replied.

"Art is something I like mortals to appreciate." She returned to her work.

The Power of Poetry

I explored more of the festival. People wandered the field, watching and listening to performances, though I didn’t know who or what they were.

Euterpe joined a group of females sat together on the ground beneath a shady tree, some in reclining positions. Two females were reading from a scroll, one sat playing a stringed instrument.

A soft and haunting accompaniment.

The females didn’t look up as I approached. I didn’t want to disturb them. Kept my distance, felt a barrier; a veil of “Do Not Disturb” but listened to their sweet voices.

It felt good to listen to the rhythmic sounds of their recital even though I didn’t understand the language.

"Be healed by the poetry," whispered a raven-haired female who came to stand beside me.

"Written words are eternal. They are far more important than beauty, which fades. Words spoken also are important as they become part of the auric sphere." She smiled like I understood what that meant.

Soft friendly green eyes; she wore a knee-length silver garment. Hair plaited up on top of head.

A second female joined us, grey-hair worn drawn back to the nape of neck; slightly plump face. She wore a long greyish gown that matched her grey eyes.

I wanted to know the subject of their poetry recital but didn’t dare interrupt.

Goddess of the Dance

The raven-haired goddess led me from the recital. "We know you love music. If you look for it, you will find everything in nature dances. From the slowest, most graceful to the most fast and frantic." Her movement flowed

"When next you dance think of me," she said.

We came to a rostrum on which a solo musician played a stringed instrument, a maestro performance.

And so I wandered from stage to stage, stopping to listen and watch. Sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by two more females. A young red-ginger haired, green eyed. The other darker in skin tone, her grey hair coiled and plaited up on top.

Both wore robes, the elder’s neckline higher.

I wondered if robes denoted goddess status, but no one confirmed to me that conclusion.

"Come," said Euterpe signalling my time at the festival at an end.

In company then and thereafter, the Muses sometimes were talkative, always passionate in the subject of their conversation but I cannot confirm which of them does what, precisely.

No one wore name tags.

What the Muses Said to Me

During all my time with the Muses collective, over many years, they did share information. But nothing so detailed as Hesiod received.

Maybe they didn’t need to tell me, since he had it all. But my guess is he didn’t have it all, though to be fair they didn’t confirm that is or isn’t so.

Their message to me was simple - our world is beautiful, it is in itself a work of art. Enjoy it. Of themselves and their relatedness, they told me only this:

"We are gentle and we appreciate all forms of gentleness," and offered advice: "There is much evil in your world but there is beauty too, and that is worth saving."

Grey-haired goddess Polyhymnia added this, on living life in the community: "All pleasure for mortals is not good. Some work has to be done. Yet there should be pleasure," she added.

That was all the Muses ever told me about themselves and nature of things. And that long ago, when their temples were busy, mothers and fathers brought babes to their statues and sought favourable gifts for their lifetime to come.

They liked that, so the Muses told me.

Thank you for your company on this short introduction to goddess collective the Muses. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive the hereafter, read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Community
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Community available now from Amazon.co.uk