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Gargoyle Symbolism & Meaning

Want to protect yourself and what you value? Are you in need of some clarity in a situation? Gargoyle, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Gargoyle teaches you how to ward off negativity while getting an elevated point of view! Delve deeply in Gargoyle symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can enlighten, empower, and inspire you.

Gargoyle Table of Contents

Gargoyle Symbolism & Meaning

Unlike other strange creatures emerging from mythology, Gargoyles are chimeric monstrosities first appearing in architectural designs. According to lore, Gargoyles protect a location and the people therein from negativity and unwanted spirits. People identified Gargoyles as “Babewyns” during the Middle Ages, meaning “Baboon.” The etymology of Babewyns stems from the Old French “Babuin,” meaning “grimace.” “Babewyns” also stems from “Babuwynrie,” which is a Middle English term meaning “something monstrous.”

Gargoyles often have scary faces that seem to sneer at onlookers, and their elongated bodies make their physical appearance uncanny. Baboons are large, strong, protective, and aggressive, all of which are traits the creature shares with Gargoyle. Reviewing Baboon symbolism may provide additional insight.

The etymology of the word “Gargoyle” reveals more of the creature’s subtle meanings. “Gargoyle” stems from “Gargouille,” relating to “gurgulio or arugula,” which is Latin for “throat” or “gullet.” Here, Gargoyle symbolism relates to, not only the voice but the Throat Chakra or “Vishuddha,” meaning “purification.” Gargoyles appear in groups on structures to ensure every corner of the building remains pure and untainted by erosive conditions. The Throat Chakra also relates to one’s ability to express themselves and to hear and listen to others.

Gargoyle appears on a building’s exterior as a carving, boss, or grotesque. A “boss” is a wood or stone craving-the Gargoyle might appear as a protrusion on the stone or wood material, giving the creature a three-dimensional appearance. A “grotesque” is a creature in myth or an imagined being. Sometimes people refer to the grotesque as a “Chimera.” When referring to Gargoyle, the term “Chimera” reflects how the creature is a mix of disparate parts joined in a single being. Reviewing the symbolism and meaning of the mythic Chimera may provide you with more insight.

Building designers often place Gargoyles at terminations so they can serve to direct water off and away from the structure. Serving as a rainfall spout, Gargoyle protects the structure by preventing the building’s walls, brick and mortar, and its foundation from eroding. A trough runs through the creature’s back and out the mouth to allow water to pour out. The purpose of Gargoyles links them to symbolism relating to protection, defense, prevention, and conditions requiring long-term maintenance. Serving as rainfall spouts, Gargoyle also has ties to the Water Element. Finally, the water spouting from the Gargoyle’s mouth symbolizes the expression of emotions and dreams.

Gargoyle is not only functional, but it’s also ornamental. The creature’s body is a mix of real-world and imagined animals, but the beast can also have human features. The dissimilar parts creating Gargoyle’s physical appearance call for consideration since the individual parts may link it to other elements or provide more insight in the way of meaning and symbolism. For example, a winged Gargoyle has ties to the Air Element while also making the creature represent the intellect and the flight of ideas.

Visually stunning, Gargoyle serves to attract viewers and to inspire awe or wonder. These visually enticing beasts protrude from near a building’s rooftop. Gargoyle’s lofty position from on high makes the creature a symbol of the all-seeing, observation, broad perspectives, and the Higher Mind.

Gargoyle Spirit Animal

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If Gargoyle arrives as your Spirit Animal, it’s come to show you how to communicate better. Gargoyle’s Wisdom includes how to listen to what others are saying when they speak but also how to decode the non-verbal cues they offer. Gargoyle helps you say what you mean with all the intensity in which you want to express yourself.

Gargoyle enters your life when you feel you’re facing monstrous conditions. If you’re going through a traumatic ordeal, your Animal Spirit Guide comes to your defense. Gargoyle supports you until you are strong enough to protect yourself from an onslaught of negativity.

Gargoyle Totem Animal

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If you have Gargoyle as a Birth Totem, you are eloquent and have no problem expressing how you feel. You love the water, so time at the beach, swimming, scuba diving, boating, and water skiing are likely among your list of favorite things to do. Gargoyle Totem people are caring and love deeply; they are also fierce in protecting those they love, what they value, and their convictions.

People with a Gargoyle Totem are dreamy, imaginative, emotive, and intuitive. Many folks with the Gargoyle Totem Animal love the creative arts, particularly music, as they enjoy the ebb and flow of musical notes working together in exquisite harmony.

Gargoyle Power Animal

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Invoke Gargoyle as a Power Animal if you need support in seeing a situation from a different angle. When you have an emotional investment in a relationship, your feelings can blind you from seeing what you need to see. Gargoyle arrives as an Animal Ally to help you consider your situation from a different perspective. The creature will support you in achieving an objective point of view so you can take in the bigger picture.

Call on Gargoyle when you want to ensure the safety of your financial investments or to keep what you’ve built safe from peril. Gargoyle supports you in protecting what’s yours. The same Power Animal helps you block negative energies or people from entering your life and sacred space.

African & European Gargoyle Symbolic Meanings

Ancient Egyptians also had Gargoyles on some of their structures, but often they are composed of different animal parts. The spouts were lion heads because of the beast’s ferocity. The same Gargoyles were on temples in Ancient Greece, most notably the Temple of Zeus, which featured 39 lion-headed waterspouts. In both instances, the Gargoyles are protectors of the physical structures but are also powerful creatures keeping all negativity at bay.

All over ancient Europe, most notably in places like France, Spain, Britain, and Great Ireland, there are grotesques on buildings identified as Sheela na gigs: An image of a female with an open vulva. The image was in use as a form of apotropaic magic for warding off negative influences.

French Gargoyle Symbolic Meanings

Stories surrounding Saint Romanus emerge from France circa 631 to 641 B.C.E. The Saint saves the people of Rouen from a Dragon-like creature called the “Goji” or “Gargouille.” It was a fire-breathing creature with a long neck, scales, and bat-like wings. The Saint destroys the monster by burning it, but the head and neck remain. Then he mounts the creature’s remains to the exterior of a new church to frighten off evil spirits. The tale tells of how the Gargoyle becomes a symbol of protection protruding from buildings while also linking Gargoyle to Dragon symbolism.

Gargoyle Dreams

Gargoyles in dreams often symbolize purity or the need to purify something. If you see water spouting from the mouth of a Gargoyle, consider the words you use and how you are expressing yourself through body language or subtle cues. If you see Gargoyle with no water spouting from it, it may signify a loss for words or an event where you have trouble voicing your opinion.

Gargoyles way above you symbolizes that things with soon be improving or looking up. If you are on the roof looking down upon a Gargoyle, the dream may point to a period where you will need to take in the bigger picture or change your perspective. If it is raining when you see Gargoyles in dreams, it suggests you may experience a catharsis soon.

Far Eastern Gargoyle Symbolic Meanings

In Japanese architecture, an Onigawara or “ogre tile” is a decorative and protective element that builders add to a structure’s roof. The figure is a statue or a roof tile featuring the image of an “Oni,” meaning “Ogre” or an alternative ferocious creature. Sometimes Onigawara appears on Buddhist temples. Shachihoko or Shachi also originates from Japanese folklore, which is a mythic creature featuring a Carp’s body and a Tiger’s head. Onigawara brings rain, so the roof ornamentations in the beast’s shape were to prevent fire from destroying the building.

Gargoyle Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Chimera
  • Grotesque
  • Guardianship
  • Paradox
  • Practicality
  • Protection
  • Sacred Voice
  • Storytelling
  • Throat Chakra
  • Water Element