The Owl of Minerva
Watch in the dark

The owl shows a constant alert, is a symbol of vigilance, is always able to survive in the night and always attentive to the dangers of darkness. In the oldest coins of Greece it is very common to find the figure of this animal so prudent, perhaps showing that the ancient Greek culture was always vigilant and the front of other peoples. In Greek, owl is gláuks "bright, sparkling". One of the epithets of the goddess Athena is "the glaucos eyes," that is, the one that sees beyond what everyone sees.

The Owl and the Wisdom

The German philosopher Friedrich Hegel in his 'Philosophy of Right' illustrates very well the harmonious relationship between the owl and philosophy. He writes: "The owl of Minerva takes its flight only with the beginning of twilight." The role of philosophy is precisely to elucidate what is not clear to the common census, it is to warn about life. Twilight is the linear of the day for the owl, as we cease our deeds and retreat into our homes, the owl "takes flight" to work. It is the night that fascinates her, hence her Latin name: Noctua, "bird of the night". Beauty is not its highlight, but it is the ability to see what daytime birds can not see. Your neck rotates 360 degrees, giving you a complete view enabling you to see the whole. It is also a bird of prey, quick to choose, and that by seeing the prey and not being seen, it always succeeds in hunting, catching the unprepared and deprived who take risks in the dark night.

These are the characteristics that a philosopher must possess. To see what others can not see, to have a vision of the whole, that is, a vision that encompasses all angles of reality. He must be able to articulate thoughts against his adversaries. It is necessary to abduct the bases of the arguments of the opponents. Also, one should kidnap those who are embarking on paths of error and seeing in the night when others do not see, we can help them and lead them (by argument) to virtuous outcomes.

Socrates is a faithful representative of this owl-philosophy relationship, accused of "kidnapping" Athenian youth - for he saw the front of his time - was condemned to death. Unlike Plato, it was not his beauty that projected him, but his unequaled wisdom. Socrates was a master of argument, he led people to "give light to his ideas," he taught in the streets and squares, he was a free man to expose his arguments that he often mocked his opponent. It was indeed a "corujesca" figure, ugly as an owl in daylight, but as sagacious as in the night. May soon arise men of wisdom rising in flight, that soon the Owl of Minerva with her glacios eyes see in these days of darkness solutions to a life turned towards the good.

What does the Owl of Minerva mean?

The Owl of Minerva has great philosophical meaning. Minerva is a Roman goddess. Its Greek equivalent is Athena. If we look at Greek culture, or more precisely its mythology, we will see the goddess always accompanied by an owl. Athena or Pallas Athena is the goddess of wisdom and justice, daughter of the mighty Zeus and Métis, goddess of prudence and the first wife of Zeus. Birds are the closest beings to the heavens, therefore, closer to the gods. Common to see the sovereign eagle accompanying always the portentous Zeus, the FATHER of the Greek gods.

This figure served as an inspiration for Weishaupt to create the "owl on a book" symbology that would be adopted for the Minerval Class of the Bavarian Illuminati
The little Owl of Minerva used by the Illuminati as the Seal of the Minerval Class.
Current Replica of the Minerval Class Jewelry used by the old order of the Bavarian Illuminati.