I guess I can start with what I've been reading recently. Mind you, I found my way to each of these places separately while looking for something else entirely. I believe that is called 'coincidence' of a kind that comes down to the Universe hitting one over the head repeatedly with a blunt object.
So, since it's the height of stupidity to attempt to ignore such a bonking (as the Universe will simply hit harder), I guess I'm in.
The blogs and books below all talk about the daimon and the daimonic. Though I am not quite sure how to define or explain that. Especially since each of the authors has a slightly different take on it, ones that are also different from my own. But they are close, and it really does I think come down to individual interpretations of the same phenomenon.
(By the way those of you in the know: feel free to sit over there and chuckle quietly to yourselves. Thanks.)
A good place to start would be with the blog Demon Muse, written by Matt Cardin. It was the opening paragraph of the latest post that got me thinking that it was, I don't know, safe outside, I guess. Here it is:
An ever-increasing segment of the population is becoming aware of and interested in the muse-based or genius-based model of creativity. More and more people are discovering the idea that creativity can rightly and fruitfully be viewed as an external or independent force that influences and works through a person in the manner of the classical muse, that divine spirit — or, for the ancient Greeks, the several divine spirits — whose function is to whisper inspiration directly into the human mind and soul.
I haven't had time yet to read all his posts there, as it is dense reading (my favorite kind), and, okay, 'muse-based model of creativity' kind of makes me giggle, as it's just so damned corporate sounding, but, still, so far, yes.
Then there is Patrick Harpur's book, The Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History Of The Imagination. I haven't read all of it either, as I don't own it (yet), but a preview at Google Books is available here. More dense reading, and I can't articulate any of my thoughts on it just yet, but, it too struck a chord, a deep and resonant one, about the nature of the realm of the soul.
There is also an article on Reality Sandwich by the same author, more specifically about daimones (I use the Greek spelling, like I do with everything else). That is a very good place to start.
And then there is Robert Moss's post on BeliefNet about creativity and the daimon. (Moss wrote the book Conscious Dreaming, which I have also read, and which I mostly liked. Only mostly, because a lot of the things he talks about as given have just not been my experience. And I refuse to sort angels into hierarchies.)
Those are all pretty good, though I have to say that the idea of the Muse as leannan sidhe, as vampire, strikes me as very much a symptom of living under a patriarchy. It has never been my experience. Then again, I'm a woman, and my Muse is not a man's Muse.
There is also of course the book I am always, always recommending: In Search of Women's Passionate Soul: Revealing the Daimon Lover Within, by Caitlín Matthews. This one is from a woman's point of view, as well as from a refreshingly Pagan point of view. Although, honestly, it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.
So. Though I've been reading all that I'm still not sure what I want to say about it just yet; I suppose I must muse (there's that word) on it all a bit. I have taken a lot of information in at one go here, after all. (My usual modus operandi, I fear.)
But it intrigues and interests me that others are looking at this and are suddenly talking about it here and now. Actually, it blows my mind. I thought I was the only one. Or one of the only ones, anyway.
And now I'm going to ask a question, though it is cowardly of me. Do any of you have direct experience with a Muse, a daimon, your Muse, your daimon? Cowardly because I am, really, testing the waters a bit before I talk about (or own up to) my experience. Like I said, it is personal and I am shy. Also holy fuck that's my real name up there. Best not to think about that.
This should be interesting.