Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Owl or Gryphon?

A bit of discussion on Facebook yesterday with Maggie and Vanessa. On our walk through the countryside, Maggie and I came upon this iron cross along the road. Crosses are very common in the French countryside, but the critter in the center of this one is not common on them. It looked like an owl to Maggie and me which seemed to be an odd symbol for a cross. Maggie consulted Vanessa on FB and Vanessa thought perhaps it was a gryphon, also odd to me. So this morning I did a bit of Google research...

Gryphons are, indeed, a Christian symbol from the Middle Ages. Who knew? A mythical animal, the gryphon (or griffin) is a combination of a lion and an eagle. To medieval Christians it symbolized the resurrected Christ who had both a heavenly (eagle) and earthly (lion) nature. I looked at some Google images of gryphons, though, and couldn't find any that resembled this guy.

So, I tried owl and guess what....he's a Christian symbol as well! Actually the owl has two meanings. It can represent the Jews who rejected Christ, and it can be a night owl, "one that shuns the light much as Christ shunned the glory of human praise." I'm not sure I like either one of those meanings, but our little owl definitely looks like one of the Google images ones....
What do you think....owl or gryphon?

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