Starling: Sources of Inspiration

Muses, Angels & Duende...

The Creative Energy Behind The Forms

Do you believe that there are mysterious forces and energies behind the creative process? In this episode we explore muses, angels and duende discussed by Federico Garcia-Lorca in his famous essay The Theory & Play of The Duende. Where do we connect with inspiration and what is the energy that moves us into artistic action. Whether you actually sense these personified energies or simply like the ideas and stories, considering how "they" influence human creation is an interesting exploration.

Explore the content around this topic and listen to the episode in the links below.

Federico Garcia-Lorca

In the links below discover Lorca's essay and information about his life. As well as information about his relationship with Salvador Dali.
Theory and Play of The Duende by Federico Garcia Lorca read by A Poetry Channel
Little Ashes (2008) Trailer

The Muses

Info to explore about The Muses...

Near Cousins

Info on Apsaras and Kvasir

Angels and Art

Info on angels and artists....


A little content around Duende

Romany, Carmen Amaya & Flamenco

The photo is personal family photo a cousin shared with me of our family in their tents with the Egyptian Palmistry sign. Explore more about the culture, the Spanish Gypsies, Carmen and Flamenco.
Big picture
Carmen Amaya
Flamenco, a Cultural Collective, a Gateway to Duende | Paula Sullivan | TEDxSanAntonio

Suggested Practices

  • Consider your relationship to each of the sources of inspiration discussed. Which force or energy most often guides you into practice? The muse, the angel…the elusive duende?
  • When you look at your body of work…do you see times you have worked with different forces or energies behind inspiration?
  • Obviously no everyone will sense these forces as real…only ideas. Some of you will have had encounters and connections with these forces that make you know they are very real. So what is your relationship to this idea. Are there cosmic, spiritual forces of inspiration in your worldview? Have you ever heard a muse, had a visitation from an angel or felt the duende within?
  • How have you considered these personifications of these forces before? Have you created your own relationships, stories…myths or images that give you connection to creative energies?
  • Look at the works by your favorite creators and artists…can you sense the spirit of the inspiration behind their forms?
  • Maybe explore art and allow yourself to imagine the force of creativity that inspired the artist to action.
  • Read or listen to Lorca’s essay and see how it moves you. See if it causes you to feel anything or prompt you to allow expression to inhabit you more fully.
  • I made a playlist of music that I feel may have a little duende to it that is in the show notes this week. See if you agree with my choices…maybe create your own playlist of music you feel has duende.
  • Dance a bit, create poetry…play an instrument or make a rhythm and just let go of the rules you feel have to give structure to your creation…what arrives.

Obviously I cannot give you a map or any exercises for finding duende…but you can explore your own connections and see if you can allow it access. You can welcome your muse and angel to your practice…and sense into your own relationships to inspiration.

Myths are not a fixed thing…they can shift and move with the times. Perhaps you. Have your own theories and myths…manifestos about artistic inspiration that are in you right now…waiting to be fleshed out and given form. Maybe it is time to welcome your own mythologies, manifestos and ideas. As many of the greatest creators have done…


A few songs I think have some duende...

I'm Curious

Let me know your thoughts and insights from this episode. You can email me at or find me on social media.

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