Friday, November 30, 2007

Divine & Regal Inspiration

On Green Pepper Press Network Street Team this month's crusade (which I am participating in a very last minute way although I have had nearly all of this post written and saved for well over a week) pertains to who or what inspires you. I have thought about it in various levels of intensity since I found out about the latest challenge. Inspiration is a consuming interest to me and it has always informed more than art to me. I began to write a very silly post about my "muse" which made the question all the more complicated than it really is.

A friend of mine helped me realize the enduring essence of my inspiration. Each of us has themes which weave through our lives and make themselves known to us by their multiplicity and commonality. They are so prevalent and so pervasive they may even be overlooked. My muse must have her due though as she is a goddess: she is Athena. No matter where I am, or whatever else I think I always return to Athena and the values she represents: wisdom, justice, fairness, bravery, craft, reason, resourcefulness and cunning.

The image above is from a tarot card from the Goddess Tarot Deck by artist Kris Waldherr (her websites are wonderful--start at Art and Words) given to me by a friend who knew of how much I admired Athena.

I have three more goddesses who inspire me: Persephone, Queen of the Underworld; Psyche, goddess of the soul and Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home. Recently I would add Hecate, goddess of crossroads and Queen of the Night, a complicated and intriguing goddess to my list of Greek goddesses (I am in the process of moving beyond only my beloved Greek mythology, although I shall always prefer it to Roman).

Mythology calls to me in an indelible way which encompasses so many realms of my life. It informs my desire that all things have depth of meaning and have a dynamic historical narrative and precludes simplicity, but dictates strength, beauty, richness, complexity, symmetry, and femininity.
Another strong feminine presence that inspires me is Elizabeth Regina Tudor. I believe to me she is a flesh and blood manifestation of Athena despite her legendary temper and selfish manipulations. Not only does Queen Elizabeth, the persona and icon inspire me, but the land she ruled, the fashions she regaled around court in, the architecture, fabrics, colors, literature and facile and witty mind all call to me.

Do you have a mythical or larger-than-life muse (or muses)?

Of course I have a myriad of other influences and inspirations, but this time I am going to leave it with these glorious archetypes of women.


michelle ward said...

Shay - great post on Muses! Thanks for getting it completed and sharing it with the team. I love that you respond to the Greek Goddesses - there is even one I've never heard of so I am off to learn more (Hecate). I also adore the icon of Elizabeth. (great photo!) Everything from that era is an inspiration. Again, thanks for coming to the Muse party.

carlene federer said...

Excellent post! I was wild about Greek mythology when I was younger, but haven't read any for've inspired me to re-read some of my favorite Greek myths again!