Combining the two “Royal Beasts” of the animal Kingdom,
the Lion and the Eagle are merged into a fearsome creature: the Gryphon (griffon or griffin) .
The earliest images of griffins are the thirty five hundred year old frescoes
in the Throne Room of the Palace of Knossos.
It continued being a favored beast in Archaic and Classical Greek art.
The Gryphon appears about a thousand years after Bronze Age in Crete
around the fifth to fourth century BCE originating from the Persian Empire.
The Greeks adopted the Gryphon as sacred animals loyal to Apollo.
Some have suggested that the word “Gryphon” is cognate with Cherub.
As a creature identified in so many cultures,
Adrienne Mayor proposed the Gryphon was an ancient misconception
derived from the fossilized remains of the Protoceratops
found in gold mines in southeastern Kazakhstan.
With centuries of lore surrounding the Gryphon,
many attributes have been associated with the Mythic Beast.
A symbol of divine power and a guardian of the all things sacred,
they guard treasure and priceless possessions;
a protector from evil, secret slander and “witchcraft”
(a term used by many cultures referring to the kind of person who is able to “powerfully influence another’s will”;
a charismatic for example – not the modern day usage of Wicca nor the craft they harness).
A Gryphon’s claw was believed to have medicinal properties
and a feather could restore sight to the blind.
Goblets fashioned from Gryphon claws
(actually antelope horns)
and griffin eggs (usually ostrich eggs)
were highly prized in medieval European courts and possessed the qualities of the noble beast.
Many artisans are still replicating the look and feel of these Goblets to this day.
The Gryphon’s amalgamation of lion and eagle gains in courage and boldness.
In Heraldry it denotes strength,
military courage and leadership
and suggests one must combine intelligence and strength
- always a good decision.
In the creation of the Gryphon Amulet
I have softened the over all feel of the piece
to indicate it’s position between the “real world” and “that which is beyond the veil”.
The over all shape is bold,
yet the texture is softened,
nearly “out-of-focus” yet retaining the beak
(with a slight snarl) and wings of the eagle.
The claws are undistinguished between the talons of the bird and the paws of the lion,
thus illustrating the potential of both.
I have also included a portion of a Halo to represent it’s sacred position
of protector and defender of for whom is to wear it.
This is an Amulet of Protection,
Enhancement of Strength and Clarity.
This is for those who are in the field of battle whether the front line,
the front office or the fast lane.
It is to enhance nobility, perseverance and courage.
If you would like a Gryphon Amulet,
please visit my web page for more details.