INVOCATION OF A MUSE
Historically, those involved in creative pursuits have often turned to their "muse" for inspiration and support. Although the concept of a muse developed from ancient Greek literature, the muse has come to be more of an abstract concept, which is just as well since the traditional Greek muses leave a lot to be desired. They are for reference:
Calliope: Muse of epic poetry
Clio: Muse of history
Euterpe: Muse of lyric poetry and music
Terpsichore: Muse of choral dance and song
Erato: Muse of erotic poetry and the mime
Melpomene: Muse of tragedy
Thalia: Muse of comedy
Polyhymnia: Muse of the sacred hymn
Urania: Muse of astronomy
Creative pursuits in the modern day encompass so many more things. Why not a Muse of Programming? Or a Muse of Industrial Music? The traditional muses were useful in ancient Greece, but obviously, there has been some Evolution of the Arts since ancient Greek days. (If you have your doubts just look at dear sweet Erato's purview of musehood - who would think today of grouping together erotic poetry and mimes?!?)
If the traditional muses just don't inspire you to fly to the pinnacle of your creative endeavors, why not invoke and create your own muse? The following rite is written for a group working, but it could easily be adapted for a solo working.
The rite consists of the following elements:
0. Pre-Ritual Preparation
I. Statement of Intent
II. Birth of the Muse: Thunder and Scrying
III. Naming of the Muse
IV. Recording the names, forms, and functions of the new muses
V. A follow-up a few weeks after the Muse's "birth"
0. Pre-Ritual Preparation
- A Scrying Instrument for each participant
- Three sets of the Consonants of the Alphabet cut into pieces and put in a box or bag
- A twelve or twenty-sided dice
- Items to produce thunder noises (such as drums and especially cymbal crashing.
- If instruments are not available, stomping feet and pounding hands against ground will do).
Before the ritual, the group discusses and agrees on which muses they will invoke. Each participant picks a topic they would like some creative inspiration on. Because it is possible two participants may desire inspiration in the same realm, discussion is necessary to prevent two muses being created for the same topics. Topics should be fairly specific, as it would be ideal to end up with, after many workings, an entire stable of muses in the true ancient Greek tradition of overkill. After the initial "birthing/nurturing" period, muses may be called upon by anyone who is aware of their existence.
The room for the ritual is prepared in advance. Candles and incense should be lit, and all items to be used during the ritual brought into the room. Paper and pens will be necessary as well as the other materials mentioned.
An opening rite, preferably the Vortex, is performed.
1. Statement of Intent: After the opening rite, the MO states the opening statement of intent:
"It is our will to invoke these # (however many you're invoking) muses who will inspire and support us in all of our creative endeavors."
The other repeat this after the MO.
Starting with the MO, each participant makes a statement of intent about the particular muse they are invoking. The MO starts and then the participant to the MO's left makes the statement of intent and so on towards the left.
"It is our will to invoke a Muse of (topic)"
2. Birth of the Muse: Thunder and Scrying
The traditional muses were the daughters of Mnemosyne (the personification of Memory) and Zeus (the personification of Testosterone). To bring new muses into the world, thunder and scrying will be used to recreate that union.
After the statement of intent has been made, participants begin simulating Zeus's thunder by such things as banging on drums, pounding and/or stomping on the floor, yelling (either non-sensical yelling and/or yelling Macho Deity things impersonating Zeus). Keep up the thunder for a few minutes until you feel you're done with Zeus then drop to a comfortable position on the floor as the receptive Mnemosyne and begin scrying.
While making the transition from thunder to scrying, chant the name "Mnemosyne" softly as you scry until you feel the scrying beginning to start in earnest. Let the images flow through you. You are looking for your muse's form. It can be anything: animal, vegetable or mineral, but it must be something you can concretely describe to others. Once you've found your muse's form and are satisfied with the amount of detail your scrying has revealed to you, stop, and go onto the next step. You may do this (but quietly) even if the others are still scrying.
3. Naming of the Muse
You have the form and responsibilities of your Muse. Now you need a name. Roll the dice (twelve-sided is recommended). The number that comes up are the amount of letters you will pull out of the box containing the letters. Write down the letters as you pull them from the box. Put letters back in box for next participant. Add vowels at whim.
After everyone has finished forming and naming their muse, close the Vortex. Then record the new muses on paper and keep for a month.
Each participant should actively pay homage to the muse they invoked after the ritual and report feedback to the group approximately a month after the ritual. At this time, any pertinent information regarding the muse should be added to the Temple's record of muses. For instance, if one found out the muse responded particularly well to orange candles or the sacrifice of a cup of coffee, this should be recorded. Perhaps the Muse only "speaks" to its applicant in dreams or in the shower. Whatever idiosyncrasy or method of invocation is discovered for that particular muse, record it. The Temple will now have a record of its own muses, available for any and all to call upon whenever inspiration may flag.
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