The Daemon of Vocation: On Answering the Call of the 9 Muses

19 May


The daemon of vocation calls, and if one listens and responds, one has held an instant's dialouge with the inner force and it is like the genii of is let out of the bottle. Poof and here comes the cloud of energy, the smoke that announces the arrival of one's own genius. From out of the mists of the myths of ancient Arabia, this is Aladdin and the Magic Lamp and this is The Thousand and One Nights. The Princess has had no choice but to tell stories and master the art to save her own life lest the king get bored (tire of her). He lets her live because she carefully crafts each story so that the king will be curious as to what the next night holds in story. He valued her art even more than 'just' sex, so she had something the previous wives he killed did not. She brought him the world of imagination and the world of wonder--she made him curious to hear the continuation of the story the next evening, and the next and the next. 

And then we have 9 such special or supernatural women in Greece. We have the 9 Muses. Born of the god Jupiter and Mnemo'syne, they ruled over the arts and sciences, and to each her own particular talent: 1) Calli'ope, the Muse of epic poetry, 2) Clio, history, 3) Melpo'mene, tragedy, 4) Euter'pe, music, 5) Er'ato, love poems, 6) Terpsich'ore, dance with song, 7) Ura'nia, astronomy, 8) Thalia, comedy, and Polyhym'nia, eloquence and hymns to the gods. These were the inspiration and the patrons of the arts.

When the artist hears these daemons, she seems to those more "normal" to be in a sense possessed, as it can take over her time, her energy, her being, her life to not just listen to the call but not refuse each inspiration that calls. The 1001 Arabian Nights has for one of its themes the idea of making use of one's gifts and that these are given in destiny to fulfill a real need. Had Scherazade been a terrible storyteller, she would most likely have laid in a body heap with the other discarded wives (much like the murdered wives of the French tale of Bluebeard). I see a lonely storyteller, however, confined within the castle of a mean King and though having an engaged listener not having one who could listen to her more personally in regards to true feelings--for she did not go to the king out of love, but went to the king with a plan to stop him from murdering the women of the kingdom, so it is implied she had some trepidation about her feelings towards him. This impersonal relationship between them can depict an audience here as an "other" who may or may not like whatever story you have to tell, personal or otherwise. The writer or storyteller, just as anyone else answering the call to their vocation/.profession, may also have some fear, uncertainty, or trepidation.

Yet the writer writes on.  So it is with the script artist of today: as mentioned in "The Four-Leaf Clover" chapter in the book Living With Jung interviewing Robert Johnson, at age 80, who knew Jung: "He was a good teacher. He told me, you stay alone and spend your time with the inner world, which will take care of you" (p. 39). Jung suggested to him a life of much solitude any writer of books or speeches or music composer or of any art might do; if you answer the call or the inspiration of the muses, you may find your true vocation and possibly your livelihood.

Since she went to the king to make the murdering of women cease , her initial call, it is inferred, was not to be a storyteller but a sort of warrioress/heroine (warrior/hero) of in the king's war against women, yet in answering one call she heard another call of the daimon, of her genii, of her own genius, to grant her innermost wishes: that of the storyteller. But due to the 'fact' that the initial call was to save women and not to tell stories, but was then guided further by her daimon to do so, this myth also shows that the genii or inner genius does not come to call only on artists, but to people of all professions and causes of an extraordinary nature--or even not so extraordinary, but even when quite ordinary, within the ordinary and simple joys of life. for we can all bring art and creativity to what we do when we hear the call of our soul, our inner daimon, like the patron saint of vocation.


"The Four-Leaf Clover" Living With Jung  (p. 39).

First Written and copyrighted June 17, 2014




























* The email will not be published on the website.