FMP – From Mexico to Greece (Owls)

During my initial research into the mythologies of owls, I had previously planned to use a version of the owl that I once heard about from Mexico, where they were representatives of the goddess of death within their country. However, after trying to do some research into the origins and stories of these death owls, I found that there was simply not enough to pick apart due to the focus of information being placed on the goddess herself, with the owls being more of background details with little to no stories about them.

Because of this, I decided that I had no choice but to move onto another more fulfilling owl within mythology that had more for me to explore. After looking at images and wiki pages about owls in myths, I noticed a recurring image of an owl, clearly Greek in origin. After following that image back to a source, I discovered that this owl was a depiction of the “Owl of Athena”.

When researching into the origins of the owl of Athena, I found out that it is possibly one of the most influential symbols of an animal in all recorded history, with its meaning reaching even to media today.

Athena is widely known within the Greek mythology to be the goddess of crafts, war and wisdom, earning herself the title of patron of Athens. In many depictions of Athena, she was well known for possessing two things on her person: a helmet depicting her role as a war goddess, and an owl representing her great knowledge among the gods and humans. Due to the owls affiliation to Athena, it has often since been considered her symbol, and as such become one of the most recognized symbols of wisdom, knowledge and even education at times.

Another thing I have noticed about the usual depiction of the owls of Athena is the use a symbol of three Greek characters “AOE” or “AQE”, which after some research I discovered fittingly meant “Truth, Honor, Forever”. I may very likely use this symbol within the final design in order to strengthen the representation of the owl’s Greek origin.

I am very thankful that I was able to locate this new owl as I find that not only is the representation of the owl as a knowledge symbol more iconic and thus recognizable to more people, but also due to there being a bit more to pick upon compared to my previous effort of research. This will be the type of owl I will use within my final piece.


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