In Greek and Egyptian mythology there is a guardian that is half human, and half lion with the wings of a bird. These creatures are known as a Sphinx, a mystical creature use to guard ancient dwellings. Many associate these creatures with riddles yet there are other characteristics to these hybrids. There are many legends and myths surrounding the Sphinx’s creation.
In Greek myth a Sphinx was sent by either Ares or Athena to guard the entrance to the city of Thebes. This creature had the face of a woman, the body and tail of a lion, and the wings of a bird. She would ask a riddle to anyone trying to enter the city. Those who did not answer were devoured by the creature. Oedipus was able to solve her riddle leading her to either devour herself or jump from the cliff to her own death.
Keeper of Tombs The most famous Sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza located to the south of the great pyramids. This large structure has the head of the man with the body of a lion. Small statues of Sphinxes were place at the top of staircases, at the mouth of tombs, and carved into a Pharaoh’s sarcophagus to ensure safety for their journey into the next life. The Egyptian Sphinx was a guard known for using its furious strength to keep out thieves and those wishing to cause harm to those under its protection.
Asian Counterpart In South Asia, the Sphinx is called Sanskrit or Tamil meaning human beast. It is also associated with the God Shiva a form they take during the mist of battle. Like the Greek and Egyptians, they are used as guardians for temples and homes. They are also used in festivals. Lamp ceremony, and during the sixteen honors ritual.
The Sphinx intrigues me due to its wisdom and powerful nature. It’s one of the few mythical creatures that is defeated by logic and not brute force. They were unique guards and what the ancients would consider an alarm system before such a device was created. Sphinxes can be discovered all over the world from Greece and the Pyramid of Giza, to South India and South Aisa. If a temple or tomb needs protection, these cat hybrids will be found nearby.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read. Luna