Guardian, Truth & Knowledge, Alchemist, Perceptions, Movement, Swiftness, Pacing, Wealth, Ruler of the skies and the earth (Eagle & Lion), Self-determination
Alice is escorted by The Queen of Hearts to seek out The Gryphon with a request that he take her to see The Mock Turtle to hear his history. As the queen leaves the two of them to see to her copious executions, The Gryphon informs Alice “It’s all her fancy, that; they never executes nobody, you know!” And off they go to see the sobbing, sorrowful Mock Turtle. Upon their approach, Alice asks what the terrapin’s troubles could possibly be, and The Gryphon informs her: “It’s all his fancy, that; he hasn’t got no sorrow, you know!”
In this sense, The Gryphon has appeared to you to remind you that much of life is what we make of it. How we see the world, and how we move along the chessboard of life determines the consequences that befall us. The Queen of Hearts appears ferocious and intimidating, and The Mock Turtle appears full of overflowing sorrow, but The Gryphon lets us in on the ruse. Maybe it is the fact that he is a mythical creature himself, only coming to life inside of our powerful and limitless imaginations, that allows him to understand what is real and what is make-believe. Regardless of the reasons, The Gryphon is wise and sees the deeper truth.
The Gryphon is frequently held as a guardian of great treasure: the golden egg of truth and knowledge. In your reading, the treasure to be found is in determining the truth of your own destiny. This is further echoed in the transformation that The Gryphon took in Christianity. Initially, this creature represented Satan and evil, and later came to be a symbol of Christ, further emphasizing that life and how we view it is truly up to us to determine. If we can learn to tweak our perceptions in just the right way, we can turn lead into gold, monsters into angels, and that is the best treasure one could hope for. “It’s all our fancy, that; we ain’t got no troubles, you know!” That is the magic of the alchemists.
The Gryphon is summoning you to sit down with your query and make up your mind about what perception best serves your circumstances.
Meditation #1: With eyes closed, start noticing the breath until all distractions are quiet, and then turn your focus to your query. Notice how much of the apparent troubles or turmoil may just be a determination that’s been made and agreed upon, but not necessarily set in stone. What if The Gryphon were here. What bluff would he call on this scene? Imagine peeling off the layers of emotion, one by one. Allow yourself to recognize each feeling involved, and then let it fall away until you get to the core. What is true that remains? This is the treasure that The Gryphon is guarding; the golden truth that lies at the heart of the matter. Allow yourself to explore and appreciate it; it is here that the best answers await.
The Gryphon also keeps the conversation with The Mock Turtle (he’s so exhaustingly slow) moving along at a reasonable pace and keeps Alice moving along through Wonderland swiftly from croquet game to Mock Turtle, then from the arduously slow Mock Turtle to the trial.
In this sense, he has shown up in your life to tell you to “Come on!” It’s time to make a move. No more dilly-dallying about. Timing is everything and now is no time for delays. The Gryphon will have none of that. Take a deep breath and shake out those cobwebs tying you down. Swiftness and steady pacing are key to your query.
Meditation #2: In this meditation, allow yourself to really connect with the rhythm of your breath. Don’t try to control it; just notice the rise and fall of the breath. How long of a pause is there between the inhale and the exhale? Once you’ve connected with this rhythm, find your heart rate (at your wrist or your throat are good places to check). See if you can connect with both your breath and your heart rate at the same time. These are the rhythms of your body. The two main rhythms that keep your physical self in touch with the earth. Now, imagine that this rhythm is creating a harmony with the natural cycles of nature, the turning of the earth, the waves of the ocean, and continue to connect with this until you have a sense of being in harmony with the rhythms that you operate within.
Illustration by Tia McClenahan - high school artist