Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Ancient Greek Power Animals For Daily Life

The concept of requesting the aid of Power Animals is something that has fascinated me since I started studying Paganism. However, it's not normally found in modern ancient Greek religion other than protection for a place or object, like a Sphinx guarding a temple or a lion protecting a tomb. They're not normally invoked for personal human companionship. I want to start changing that a bit, as I see nothing in it that is contradictory to Hellenism, no more than it would be contradictory to request the assistance of any other conscious and free willed being in the proper respects.

Of course, one of the great things about Power Animals is that they don't have to be tied to one culture or another. For example, one of my most prominent is the turtle. A great Animal for protection, and also one well beyond their time because they don't have to fight. They just close up into their armor and you cannot penetrate them. But my temper and willingness to throw down is also reflected in my most culturally significant and deadly Animal, the Gryphon. However, my personal life is neither really here nor there. In this post, I want to use my knowledge and study to show people how to summon ancient Greek Power Animals.

It's worth starting out by saying that most extraordinary animals in Greek culture aren't friendly, which is probably why there's never been any real attempt at forging those kinds of relationships. The Minotaur, Chimera, Hydra, and even simple guardians like Cerberus are not beings that show up for tea parties or that have much time, if any, for human affairs. Most animalistic or hybrid creatures in Greek religion wreaked havoc on humanity and were killed by Heroes. However, there were also some that were either helpful, or had the possibility of existing in their own unique, individual characters because they came from an entire race of beings. For example, the Sphinx that Oedipus encountered wasn't human friendly, but other Sphinxes also guard Greek temples and sacred areas that are valued by humans. In fact, two Greek Sphinxes guard my own personal altar at home.

Since were on the topic, let's begin with one my favorites, the Greek Sphinx. Not to be confused with the Egyptian Sphinx, this beautiful and unique being is composed of the wings of an eagle, the body of a lion (usually a female), a serpent-tail, and the head of a human. Its wings and body represent the fact that it comes from heaven and earth, and the human head makes it possible for the wisdom and Divinity of those realms to communicate with humans through the Sphinxes themselves. This is why they are so wise, and sometimes so hard for humans to comprehend. They can communicate with us, but humans are far from being masters of knowledge concerning heaven and earth, so what the Sphinx has to say could very well be, at the present time, incomprehensible to us. Remember, only someone exceptional like Oedipus was able to stump the legendary riddle. 

When on the side of a human being, or in their favor, a Greek Sphinx is a powerful and deadly ally. The protection and aggression alone that it can provide against enemies or intruders is astounding. Its razor claws and venomous tail will bring instant death or severe injury. I highly doubt that any lowly spiritual being or energy is going to want to screw with a Sphinx. Successfully invoke one, and whatever is against you is going to play hell getting by. The thing to remember with the Sphinx, or really any being of higher power, is respect and humility. If you try to gain their favor through control or coercion on your own behalf, they'll ignore you at best. At worst, they might smack you one good time, and you don't want that considering the kind of paws they have. Kindly give an offering to the Gods and ask them to send you one for protection, or to point you in the right direction. Then go into meditation to meet and create a relationship. But be prepared; the Sphinx may test you.

Next let's discuss the Gryphon, one of my own Power Animals and also who my son is named after. The Gryphon (as it is spelled in Greek), is composed of the lower body of a lion and the head, wings and talons of an eagle. A little less ferocious than the Sphinx, but still extremely dangerous to enemies. The depiction of the Greek Gryphon goes all the way back to Minoan Crete in the palace at Knossos. The being has transcended all cultures, though. Even Christians adopted it for the purposes of representing divinity but mainly they are guardians and protectors of precious things. 

When I call on the Gryphon, I will normally feel its giant, majestic wings wrap around me and its magical power and strength fill the atmosphere. Then there is no fear or danger, only power and confidence. But I also find myself in an easy spot because this particular being chose me, I didn't chose it. In fact, the Gryphon came to me in the very beginning of my studies on Paganism and Magick, long before I accepted Hellenism as my religion. So they have always been there, and all I have to do is make a mental or verbal request such as, "I call upon the power of the Gryphon," for one to show up. For other people, it may not be as simple, but it is nevertheless possible.

As I said in the description, Gryphons guard precious things, and would therefore be lovers of items which are beautiful and valuable, which makes contacting them even better because the Greek spiritual relationships are largely reciprocal, so what precious things do you have in your home or possession? Gold? Silver? Bronze? Diamonds? Crystals? Valuable antiques such as books, jewelry, or precious metals? Do you even have a nice set of dishes or cups that are worth money? I am sure you get my line of reasoning here without me having to list further examples. Set aside a special place for these valuables, like an altar, shrine or small temple, a structure which is dedicated to the Gryphon who decides to come and take them, and place the valuables there for them as a gift, with the request that the being also aid you in the future if necessary. It doesn't have to be a one time gift, and probably shouldn't be either. You can build upon it by adding more valuables as you get them. This could very well strengthen your relationship with the Gryphon even more. The more you reinforce something, the stronger it becomes.

Finally, I'd say that one of my top favorite creatures to invoke in Greek religion in terms of Power Animals is the majestic horse Pegasos, which you can read my past blog post on here. I would say that Pegasos is a sort of universal Power Animal for Greeks, a "catch all" if you will, for the assistance of animal powers. He would be a universal weapon and power to the Greeks like excalibur would be to Arthur, only way cooler and far stronger. If none of these examples have caught your interest, open a book on Greek religion and myth. You are bound to find more. However, as I said in the beginning of this post, you would want to make sure the creatures you summon are friendly or possess such potential, and certainly not any which are enemies of Gods or Heroes. Whichever animals or beasts you choose, treat them as valued partners and respect them as independent beings, not as property or tools. Relationships work best when both parties are consensual, willfully committed, and feel loved and respected.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.