Thursday, January 1, 2009

The role of the eagle in myth

1. Greek Orthodox Flag that has the eagle on it.
2. Popular Pan Arab Eagle this one from Syria.
3. John the Apostle in 2 illustrations one with an eagle the other the Eagle as a symbol of St. John.

I decided to revisit the first post in this blog and add more clips showing the role of the eagles in our myth regardless of culture or religion.

It seems the eagle has a similar role in many songs both old and new- Jewish, Christian, Mongolian, Native American etc...
He is the savior. The bird who is destined to save other birds from the hands of the vultures. He is the chosen one who will bring us to safety.

There are popular songs with hundreds of thousands of views, like the Christian song "On Eagle Wings" (which have many versions)and there are less known songs. What they seem to all show is a recurring theme of the role we have given this bird in our myth as our own savior. There are so many animals and birds and yet the Eagle in so many cultures around the world have given this bird mythic characters. It is neither the largest of birds nor the fastest and yet there is something in the way it conducts itself that makes us look at it with so much awe throughout the generations.

Below are four examples:

The Legends Project - I Am An Eagle

It seems this is a native American project uploaded to Youtube.
I've included the words of the song below.

A song from the Jewish Chabad camp. The song is interesting as it deals with the eagle saving a little bird from the claws of the vultures. In Judaism the eagle is a symbol of greatness. Many great scholars and Rebbes like Maimondes, Rebbe Lubavitch, Rebbe Menachem Shneerson have been referred to as "THE GREAT EAGLE"

Jesus with Eagle wings.

The hit comedy "Talladega Nights" is a clever assessment of American culture, religion, and obsessions.
Each person describes how he sees Jesus and it's interesting that the last one sees him as Jesus with Eagle wings.

This has 450,000 views and deals with Christ and redemption. There are many versions of this song on
The eagle is the symbol used to depict John the Apostle whose writing most clearly witnesses the light and divinity of Christ.

In art, John as the presumed author of the gospel is often depicted with an eagle which symbolizes the height he rose in the first of his gospels.

In the Arab world the Eagle also carries large symbolism.
The Syrian national emblem is a reproduction of the Eagle of Saladin. This mediveal Arab hero used a golden eagle as his coat of arms and had it painted on the flags his armies carried during many victorious battles. Other Arab countries have also adopted an Eagle as their emblem, including Egypt, Libya, Palestine and Iraq. This giant eagle is engraved on the wall of the Telecommunications Building in Saadallah Al-Jabiri Street. The shield in the center carries the three stars of the old Syrian flag and the inscription on the ribbon reads "Syrian Republic." This is a bit different from the current coat of arms which has two stars (since 1982) and the words "Syrian Arab Republic" on the ribbon (since 1961).

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