Mythical Creature - Griffin

The griffin is a mythical creature with the face, beak, talons and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. At times, it is portrayed with a long snake-like tail.

In some traditions, only the female has wings. Its nests are made of gold and its eggs resemble agates (semiprecious stones). The Gryphon myth originates somewhere in the Middle East. It is found depicted in ancient Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian paintings and sculptures. It is believed the myths found life around 3,000 B.C. to be the Pharoah's companion in Ancient Egypt, and later became sacred guardians in Minoa (Ancient Greece). India was assigned as the native country of the Gryphon, and the people of that land made Gryphon talons and claws into drinking cups. Like the Unicorn and other species of myt
h, magical traits were assigned to the talons. While the Alicorn, or horn of the Unicorn, was said to be an aphrodisiac, the talon of a Gryphon was said to detect poison in a liquid when used as a drinking cup.

In symbolism, the griffin combines the symbolic qualities of both the lion and the eagle. It is the king of birds and lord of the air united with the king of beasts and lord of the earth. For this reason the griffin later represented Jesus Christ, specially his dual nature. Because of the griffin's strength and powers of sight, it was believed to guard hidden treasures and hide them in their nests with their young. Because of its association with the Holy Grail, one of the treasures most commonly guarded by griffins were emeralds. (The Holy Grail was carved from a single emerald.)

Other popular treasures guarded by griffins were the Tree of Life, knowledge, and the roads to salvation. Greeks and Romans used griffin images to guard tombs.Griffins are a symbol of the sun, wisdom, vengeance, strength, and salvation.


light pink, powder blue, lavender, and white element

Literature Use:

Griffins are used in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series (1997-2007). Harry Potter's house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is called Gryffindor after its founder Godric Gryffindor. In the movie versions, the gargoyle guarding the headmaster's office is depicted as a half-phoenix, half-lion griffin and the door-knocker is a griffin.

John Milton, in Book II of Paradise Lost, refers to the legend of the griffin in describing Satan.


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