Blessing: The Muses preside over the arts and sciences, giving inspiration to all artists, particularly poets, painters, dancers, musicians, philosophers, and astronomers.
Names and Symbols: The Delphic Muses were the daughters of Apollon. Traditionally three in number, they are named Kephiso, Apollonis and Borythenis; or, alternatively, Nete, Mese and Hypate. They represent (or were represented by) the three strings of the lyre.
The Titanic Muses are three or four in number. They are Melete (practice), Aiode (song), and Mneme (memory). The last of these is usually equated with Mnemosyne, the mother of the nine Olympian Muses.
Cicero offers an alternative name and number scheme in Thelxinoe, Aiode, Arkhe, and Melete.
The Olympian Muses traditionally number nine. They are Calliope (fair-voiced), considered the noblest of the Muses, who presides over epic song and is pictured with a wax tablet and pen. Clio (she that extols) is the Muse of history, and has a scroll. Erato (the lovely one) is the Muse of erotic poetry, and is depicted with a smaller lyre. Euterpe (she that gladdens) is the Muse of lyric song, and has a double flute. Melpomene (she that sings) is the Muse of tragedy, and she has a tragic mask, ivy wreath, and attributes of the hero she is inspiring a song about, e.g. the club for Herakles or sword for Perseus. Polymnia or Polyhymnia (rich in hymns), is the Muse of serious sacred songs, and is usually represented as veiled and pensive. Terpsichore (she that rejoices in the dance), is the Muse of dancing, and is depicted with a lyre. Thalia (she that flourishes) is the Muse of comedy and bucolic poetry, and she is shown with the comic mask, the ivy wreath, and the shepherd’s staff. Urania (the heavenly) is the Muse of astronomy, and she is shown with the celestial globe. [Note: some modern devotees she Urania as the Muse of all the sciences, not just astronomy.]
Associations and Offerings: flowers, spring water, frankincense, ink, paper, pen, quill, lyre and other stringed instruments, flute and other wind instruments, honey
Festival of the Muses (9 Artemisios)
Ways to honor: Create! Learn a new art form. Go to museums, theaters, dance recitals, and other places of culture. Support artists. Give money to street musicians or painters. Turn a child onto art.
Excerpt from Bibliotheca Historica by Diodorus Siculus
Excerpt from Geographica by Strabo
Excerpt from On Architecture by Vetruvius
Excerpt from The Theogony by Hesiod
Orphic Hymn LXXVI (To the Muses)
Hymn to Clio by Lykeia
Hymn to the Muses I by Rebecca Buchanan
Hymn to Tersichord, Muse of Sacred Song by Lykeia
I Sing the Muses Nine by Amanda Aremisia Forrester
Kastalia by Rebecca Buchanan
The Artist’s Prayer (To Apollon and the Muses) by Lykeia
The Modern Nine by Reverend Allyson Szabo
To My Muse by Amanda Aremisia Forrester
To the Muses by P Sufenas Virius Lupus
Rituals and Festivals:
Ritual for the Muses by Rebecca Buchanan
Theoi.com article on the Mousoi
Wikipedia article on the Muses