© Lori Lappin, the Witch of WITCHCRAFTS ARTISAN ALCHEMY®
Image Credit: thetreemaker.com
A daughter of the Clan of the Sable Gryphon (a Lion-Eagle-Dragon creature of ancestral folklore), my father's distinguished surname Taylor came to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Anglo-Norman Taylor Clan is first found in Somerset and Kent following the Battle of Hastings when granted land by King William. The Normans were the people who, in the 10th and 11th centuries, gave their name to Normandy, a region in France. They were descended from Norse ("Norman" comes from "Norseman") Vikings (Old English wicingas—"pirates") from Denmark, Iceland and Norway. The Viking Rollo was the first Norman. I am a clan descendant of Rollo the Viking, Rollo is generally identified with one Viking in particular – a man of high social status mentioned in Icelandic sagas, which refer to him by the Old Norse name Göngu-Hrólfr, meaning "Hrólfr the Walker". Members of Clan Rollo are also found in Scotland after 1114. Rollo is the great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror, or William I of England. Through William, he is one of the ancestors of the present-day British royal family, as well as an ancestor of all current European monarchs and a great many claimants to abolished European thrones.
In British heraldry, male Gryphons are shown without wings, while female Gryphons are shown with wings. Thus. the Sable (Black) Gryphon on my father's family crest is male.
The Sable (black) tincture of the Taylor Clan is associated with Diamonds, Saturn, Nightshade and Constancy. I suspect that Sable also refers to dark prehistoric times and the Old World Paleolithic inhabitants of Northwestern European Atlantic Culture (an area which once included Doggerland, now submerged under the Norther Sea). This fits with my father's known genetic I2-M223 Y-line.
My Anglo-Norman Clan totem, the Gryphon (also spelled griffin, griffon) in ancient mythology:
Several ancient mythological creatures are similar to the griffin. These include the Lamassu, an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted with a bull or lion's body, eagle's wings, and human's head.
Sumerian and Akkadian mythology feature the demon Anzu, half man and half bird, associated with the chief sky god Enlil. This was a divine storm-bird linked with the southern wind and the thunder clouds.
Jewish mythology speaks of the Ziz , which resembles Anzu, as well as the ancient Greek Phoenix. The Bible mentions the Ziz in Psalms 50:11. This is also similar to Cherub. The cherub, or sphinx, was very popular in Phoenician iconography.
Like Dragons (in Germanic lore) and Cherubim (in Near Eastern lore), Gryphons are associated with guardianship of treasure and/or gold.
In ancient Crete, griffins became very popular, and were portrayed in various media. A similar creature is the Minoan Genius.
In the Hindu religion, Garuda is a large bird-like creature which serves as a mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu. It is also the name for the constellation Aquila.
Aquila is a constellation on the celestial equator. Its name is Latin for 'eagle' and it represents the bird who carried Zeus/Jupiter's thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology.
In ancient Egypt, Aquila was seen as the falcon of Horus. The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Horus or Ra.
So, we can see that the symbolism of the Gryphon (containing iconograpy of the Eye of Odin/Ra, the thunderbolts and power of Thor, the majesty of the Great Lion Goddess, the divine guardianship of Cherubim/Dragons and the rebirth of the Phoenix) is very very old and may even extend into remote prehistoric times, during the very genesis of the (Eurasian) Caucasoid peoples. Taking all of this together, this totemic clan symbol is a very good omen for the rebirth, renewal and rising again of my People, the People of Clan Gryphon specifically, and for the Caucasoid peoples generally.
In British Folk Tradition, the Gryphon is a herald.