What meanings had some animals in mythology? Please exemplify.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Animals in mythology occupy great importance. In many examples, animals were manifestations of a divine power.  This can be seen fairly powerfully in Greek mythology.  For instance, Artemis, the goddess of the night and hunt, used a deer as her symbol.  Ares, the god of War, featured dogs as his symbol.  Hera, the queen of the Gods, used a peacock.  The idea is that each particular animal fits the nature of the divine being.  In this way, one sees how animals possessed direct meaning in Greek Mythology.  Animals were seen as "other forms" of the divine and for human beings, animals could be seen as symbolic of the power of the divine in a particular setting.

erinowl | Student

In Greek mythology, owls were associated with Athena, and therefore associated with wisdom. In other cultures such as some native cultures in the Pacific Northwest of North America, owls are associated with the souls of the deseaced. Different cultures and people have different symbolism and associations for many animals.

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