Monkeys are depicted as mischievous chicanery figures in myth, legend and lore.It’s not surprising that monkeys are esteemed for their quick and keen wit, high observance and curiosity. In the Middle Ages, Western European art depicted them as the devil.
In the Chinese zodiac, the monkey represents versatility, movement, and activity.
The Indian Hindu god Hanuman is associated with the monkey. He is worshipped as a divine protector and an embodiment of strength.Monkeys can be quite loud and have very interesting facial expressions. Their communication is complex and social in nature. Furthermore, when it comes to interactions with other animals, the monkey can be erratic, threatening, and defiant. Monkeys can represent both change and resistance to change.
In Mayan symbology, the monkey held a place of great honour. It was considered to be a silver-tongued talker – meaning, a great orator – one who can speak with grace and persuasion.
The owl represents wisdom, insight and enlightenment. Owl is a creature of a night. The owl was honoured as the keeper of spirits who had passed from one plane to another. Often myth indicates the owl accompanying a spirit to the underworld – winging its newly freed soul from the physical world into the realm of spirit.
West African and Aboriginal Australian cultures viewed the owl as a messenger of secrets, kin to sorcerers, as well as companions to seers, mystics, and medicine people.
In ancient Egyptian, Celtic, and Hindu cultures the symbolic meaning of owl revolved around guardianship of the underworlds and protection of the dead. In this light, the owl was the ruler of the night and seer of souls.
During medieval times in western and central Europe it was fabled that owls were actually priestesses (witches) and wizards in disguise.
The peacock, in history, myth, legend and lore stands for nobility, holiness, guidance, protection and watchfulness.
In Greco-Roman mythology the peacock is identified with Hera (Juno) who created the peacock from Argus whose hundred eyes symbolise the vault of heaven and the eyes of the stars.
In Hinduism the peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.
Asian Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin) is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kind-heartedness.
In Babylonia and Persia the peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon the thrones of royalty.
Traditionally, rabbits are associated with fertility, sentiment, desire, and procreation. Rabbit meanings are also closely linked to the seasons, the changes of Mother Earth, and specifically Springtime. In Renaissance art, the rabbit accompanies Venus and is meant to stand for lust. On the contrary, the rabbits feature with the Virgin Mary is emblematic of the triumph over sexual desire.
The rabbit is sacred to Ostara (or Eostre), a Germanic fertility maiden Goddess. She is the epitome of celebrating new life.
In Western culture, raven is often associated with negative qualities such as a trickster or shape shifter. Ravens can be trained to speak. This speaking ability leads into the legend of ravens being the ultimate oracle. Raven symbolism of wisdom and knowledge-keeping is connected with the Welsh hero Bran, the Blessed whose name means raven.
In Greco-Roman mythology the raven was a solar animal in this culture, and was associated with both Athena and Apollo, both deities closely affiliated with the sun, and the light of wisdom.
Some Native American tribes have seen raven as the bringer of light.
Carl Jung deemed raven symbolism to represent the shadow self, or the dark side of the psyche.
Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven
Beastie Boys: Brass Monkey
City of Prague Philharmonic: Wallace And Gromit: Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (Theme And Chase)
Felix da Housecat: Monkey Cage
Dave & Ansel Collins: Monkey Spanner
Gorillaz: Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey Head
Boards of Canada: Peacock’s Tail
Stelvio Cipriani: Diabolico Piano
Florence + the Machine: Rabbit Heart [Raise It Up]
Why Tony: Plastic Rabbit’s Blood
Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch: Owl Cave