Griffins, as a symbolic mythological creature, have been a part of ancient cultures and civilizations almost as long as civilization itself has been a meaningful concept.
Although they have had many iconic designs throughout the ages, the classic griffin famously has the body of a lion, with the head and the wings of an eagle.
Often shown in ancient reliefs as part of a legendary guard, many griffins were portrayed as powerful servants and guards, often being placed to protect a great treasure hoard from those who would disturb it.
However, they have also served as spiritual ambassadors and guides in many stories from a wide range of different peoples.
In Jewish Mythology, there is a creature, the Ziz, that appears as a griffin, albeit described much more like a bird, is a gargantuan creature.
Large enough to block out the sun with its wings, and one of its eggs cracking when it hits the ground is said to flood sixty cities.
It is the ruler of birds, the Ziz was created on the fifth day, along with the rest of the animal world, and is considered a singer to the celestials.
Every morning, the creature would crow o the Lord, and be granted wisdom by him.
Needless to say, there’s plenty to unpack when it comes to these majestic creatures of folklore.
Griffin – Spirit Animal
As a spirit animal, and often, a creature of higher status and power than the animal kingdom.
The griffin is regularly a symbol of enlightenment, and a level of divinity to aspire to for humans across time.
Given that many orders of knights in the age of heraldry sported griffins on their coat of arms, they are a symbol to aspire to and embody in the material world.
They are also spirit animals to call on when you require protection. In almost any piece of the folklore of mythology, a griffin is treated as a creature of fantastical power.
Not just for their size, unique shape, and ferocity, but for other purposes too. The claw of a griffin was said to have amazing healing properties in the age of heraldry, and the feathers were said to heal the blind too.
If you have found yourself in a situation where you or someone else needs serious protection, the griffin is a powerful source of shielding from whatever ails you, as well as giving you a chance to heal.
The great Ziz may have had the wingspan and the strength to block out the sun, but it also had the great power and shield to resist all the woes of humanity.
Griffin – Totem Animal
Your totem animal manifesting as a griffin is a sign that, whether or not you realize it, you are probably a symbol for others to follow.
How exactly that manifests will vary depending on the people around you.
Maybe you are a great figure of leadership that can show others a path that they believe they can follow for the greater good.
Perhaps they look to you for wisdom in some regard, if they have issues that they feel can’t turn to anyone.
But not only are you a source of wisdom for others. You also seek it out for yourself.
You understand that there is always something new to discover, and your thirst for any knowledge that is new to you, like the great Ziz that calls to God for greater wisdom.
Likewise, you have the mind of a scholar, always asking more questions, wondering what the next step is for your line of thinking.
Sure, some people might think you’re a little nosey, asking too many things, even asking apparently ridiculous queries at times.
But a foolish question asked will also bring more clarity than a smart question that is never followed and left to be forgotten.
Griffin – Power Animal
The griffin, as a creature of great power in mythology, is a symbol you can draw on if you are in a period of transition.
More specifically, if you are in the process of, or about to, make a big decision for yourself and others.
Being a ruler of other birds and things that live in the sky, the griffin is a symbol of a royal decree, that what it decides is law, and what it chooses to do, is the path it will inevitably lead.
It is a great symbol for people to draw on for those that want to make a decision as clearly as possible, and decisively as possible.
Of course, griffins are themselves symbols of great power. There are plenty of tales from the folklore of them carrying off creatures like bulls, cows, ox, and horses.
The griffin is a mighty creature, able to contend with the most powerful creatures of the ancient world, according to ancient philosophers, such as elephants and dragons.
The bedrock of power that anyone should be looking to through a time of great strife, for yourself. None will be able to rock you from your perch with the power of the griffin by your side.
A griffin is also something you should draw inspiration from if you want to create a place of worship, either for yourself or for a larger space.
They have a history that goes back further than 3000 years and has been a part of a whole range of cultures and world religions in the past.
That heritage of wisdom and information is going to be a valuable tool when trying to create a space that is safe to worship in.
Not only that but a griffin is also said to lay on and protect great hoards of wealth and treasure. If you wish to create a space that is sacred for you or others, the griffin is an animal that you want watching over you.
Griffin – Dream
A griffin appearing in your dreams is a powerful sign, that this great beast of history and mythology has come to deliver a message of some kind.
Given that they are carriers of great wisdom, often from the gods themselves, it is likely a piece of great wisdom that the griffin is trying to communicate to you.
It could very well be that the information is something that will enlighten a great struggle in your life somehow.
Are you perhaps feeling directionless? Is there something about your circumstances that you wish to be made clearer about?
Do you feel that something is lacking in your current spiritual or psychic awareness, in someone or something else, perhaps?
Whatever the griffin carries with it, it will surely help you part the doubt from your mind, and help you set yourself on the right track.
It could even be that you feel vulnerable in your dreams. Perhaps you feel unsafe in the waking world because of something, or perhaps your spiritual ability to find and avoid bad energy is lacking.
The griffin is there to give you the protection you need in that moment of crisis, so give yourself a chance to breathe, gather your energies, and keep moving forward. The griffin’s mighty wings will be there to shield you.
Griffin – Tattoo
Griffins are a popular subject to have as part of a person’s tattoo, and there are plenty of reasons for that.
Generally, griffins that are positioned in full flight, claws or talons bared, and beak open and ready to strike, best symbolize the creature’s ferocity.
Given that they are made up of two of the greatest predators of their element, perhaps this isn’t too surprising. But this ferocity is as defensive, as it is something that is made to attack.
For those who wish to not be bullied and pushed around by others, the griffin is a creature that symbolizes a creature that won’t be taken advantage of by others, no matter how hard they try.
As mythology creatures, they are often tied up in other pieces of legendary creature imagery that might not be immediately obvious.
Being chariot mounts for ancient gods, breathing fire, have scales, much like a dragon, are quite common. Although griffins do have some ties to the god Apollo, their combination with dragons seems a little odd.
However, if you consider that all these elements are to draw inspiration from the concept of mythology itself, the power that stories represent as they change through time and place, the griffin becomes a perfect symbol for that idea.
Especially if the person being tattooed feels no strong connection to other legendary creatures such as dragons.
Griffin – Spiritual Meaning
In many contexts that it shows up in, the griffin functions as a kind of protection from intruders for those that would try to pass it.
In some mythologies, such as Greco-Roman tales, it is a protector of a great hoard, the prize of a god or other powerful being, that many heroes would have to overcome or outwit to obtain their prize.
If we look at a griffin’s meaning in this capacity, they can be interpreted as obstacles for a person’s soul and will that they must overcome with some kind of given skill.
In others, such as Achaemenid Persia, the griffin came to be a symbol of a guard even older than the Greeks and Romans.
In this case, it is a protector against evils of all kinds that would plague the people of the ancient empire.
Something that this interpretation of griffins and the age of heraldry have in common is a sign of great courage, pride, and strength they embody, ready to defend their charges with their life.
You can even see this in their Greek examples, where, even if their alignment to goodness and virtue isn’t as obvious, they are still seen as powerful guards, worthy of being placed in charge of protecting the precious items of the gods themselves.
This common through-line, a being that is loyal and courageous, is a powerful message that has truly stood the test of time.
Griffin – Astrology & Zodiac Signs
Griffins are often associated with the zodiac star sign Leo. Not too surprising, given the creature’s lion heritage.
The sign of Leo means that those born with the Zodiac of the lion and griffin mean that you are likely a person who finds strength in acts of heroism and great courage.
You are frequently the one to come to others and protection. This also means that others will look to you in a time of crisis, whether you think they should or not.
There’s even more. Not only are you a great protector of those in need, but based on the constellation Aquila, you also have ties with the Hindu god Garuda, a divine being with ties to half-eagle creatures.
Based on the god’s role as the chariot mount for Vishnu, the Great Preserver, you are likely a person who will guide and lead others in the heat of the moment.
You can take others where they need to go. Be aware of that authority you carry over others, as where you choose to set your own course could affect others, however, in ways that none of you could have anticipated.
Keep that in mind as you keep moving forward, and you’ll be set on your right path.
Griffin – Greek Mythology
Griffins have many ties with the major figures in Greek mythology, with many examples tying back to the dynasty of the head of the Olympians, Zeus.
Possibly due to his ties as a god of etiquette and hospitality, Zeus and many gods tied to him would be connected with this steadfast protector, being associated with gods such as Athena and Artemis, Apollo and Hera, Astarte, and, of course, Zeus himself.
As we have stated many times during this guide, griffins would be a protector of a great figure’s valuables, as well as in imagery on soldiers’ shields.
This ties back into a classic idea we have already discussed, of griffins being old symbols of courage and strength.
Interestingly, that idea may be more influenced by other myths from outside Ancient Greece.
The Greeks believed that the griffin as a creature did not hail from anywhere in their homeland but from further afield in Central Asia.
Given that imagery that can be tied to them has been found both amongst their predecessors in Achaemenid Persia, and as far away as in Hindu culture in the Indian subcontinent, this might not be far off the money!
Griffin – Christian Mythology
Griffins appear frequently in European theology and imagery and even became tied to Christian theories of divinity, often being associated with Jesus Christ.
The theory goes that, being creatures of both the land and the sky, griffins embody a kind of dual identity, existing both as a creature of the earth, symbolized by the lion portion of their body, as well as divine through their connection to the sky, as shown in the eagle side of their form.
In this way they have been known to represent the dual aspects of Jesus Christ, being both divine and of earthly origin, through The Father, and his human mother.
This also means that griffins came to represent many others ideas tied to Christian beliefs.
For example, it was thought that griffins in the Middle Ages partnered for life with another griffin, and would not seek another if one of them passed away.
This is tied to many Christian ideas of marriage being a single event that tied you to another individual, and so came to represent the church’s opposition to remarrying.
Not only that, but many thoughts on the healing powers of griffin’s body parts also originate from the Middle Ages, possibly tying it back to the divine properties that Jesus Christ had when he was on Earth.
Griffin – Symbolic Meanings
Of all the meanings we have covered that griffins have come to represent over thousands of years, here are some of the most important meanings tied to them:
- Protection from evil forces
- Higher/Mystical power
- Single Love
- Ancient knowledge
So, it’s clear to see the enduring power that griffins carry with them.
From the ancient Persians to the Greeks, to Europe, to now and here, they have protected their great wisdom and reputation as they always have through history.
Many people and communities have come to know, respect, and cherish the griffin. We hope that this guide has helped you understand why.
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