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Owl of Wisdom- Illuminati, Bohemian Club, Schlaraffia James Gordon Bennett Jr.

Owl of Wisdom- Illuminati, Bohemian Club, Schlaraffia James Gordon Bennett Jr.

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Published by: halojumper63 on Jul 16, 2011
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Owl of Wisdom: Illuminati, Bohemian Club, Schlaraffia, James GordonBennett Jr.
- by  Terry Melanson, March 8th, 2009
allas Athene (or Minerva to the Romans), the goddess of wisdom, honored the owl as her sacred bird. The owl was recognized as an emblem of penetrating sight and intelligence. It was considered to be afavorable omen if an owl was spotted on the battle field or at times of crisis. The Athenian silvertetradrachm bore the owl (
 Athene noctua
); and owls were protected and thrived in great numbers at theAcropolis of Athens (a temple dedicated to Athena).
The Bavarian Order of the Illuminati
Minerval Seals of the Illuminati: two of three known to still exist.
stands for
Per Me Caeci Vident 
(Through me the blindbecome sighted). An owl holding an opened book (signifying learning), surrounded by a Laurel wreath (a symbol of learning orgraduation);
Per Me Caeci Vident 
was a reminder to the Superiors of the class, whose responsibility it was to properly instructthe Minervals. These medallions were worn around the necks of Minerval initiates.
For a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati - emulating the ancientschoolsof wisdom, andhaving a "Minerval Academy" as a foundation - would there have been a more fitting symbol than the Owlof Minerva? The class of Minerval was a relatively low rank in the scheme of things. However, it was the soul of theOrder, and functioned as a sort of assembly line for recruits.
Candidates advanced from Novice to the Minervaldegree, where they were properly vetted, scrutinized,and indoctrinated. The Quibus Licet notebooks were introduced, maintained and thoroughly kept (whicheventually turned into a detailed history of yourself and those around you). You were admonished to gainwisdom from figures in ancient Greece and Rome; essays were required to pass the test; and the art of Scrutator (or Physiognomy) was elevated to a sacred science. The Minerval Superior - a Minor or MajorIlluminatus - was given the code:
Nosce te ipsum; Nosce alios
[Know thyself; Know others].
A Minerval Academy was also known as a Church; its meetingsmarked on the Illuminati's calendar as sacred. To the right is the seal of the Freising Minerval Church.Instead of the letters
, they are replaced with
Sigil Ecclesiastic Minerva Thebes
; or, "Seal of the Freising Minerval Church" (i.e. Freising's alias within the Order was
).Another layer of the owl symbolism, was to assure its initiates that the Illuminati does its bidding at night:nocturnal toil (see
(Trine Day: 2009), pp. 220-2).It harkens back to the tradition of night being the "mother of counsels." Desiderius Erasmus, for instance, recorded the Latin adage:
In nocte consilium
[Night is the mother of counsel]. Apparently, the lesson is to becautious or prudent, not to undertake a thing impulsively ("sleep on it"). Indeed, for one of the maxims theIlluminati had given to the Minervals, was:
Quidquid agis, age prudente et respice finem
[Whatever you do, docautiously, and be mindful of the end] (
, op. cit., p. 227 n. 33).During each Minerval ceremony, the initiates recited, and received a lecture upon, a translated and slightlyaltered version of the
Ode to Wisdom
 byElizabeth Carter (1717-1806):
,By a Lady.I. The solitary Bird of Night Thro' the thick Shades now wings his Flight,And quits his Time-shook Tow'r;Where, shelter'd from the Blaze of Day,
In Philosophic Gloom he lay,Beneath his Ivy Bow'r.II.With Joy I hear the solemn Sound,Which midnight Echoes waft around,And sighing Gales repeat.Fav'rite of Pallas! I attend,And, faithful to thy Summons, bendAt Wisdom's awful Seat.III.She loves the cool, the silent Eve,Where no false Shews of Life deceive,Beneath the Lunar Ray.Here Folly drops each vain Disguise,Nor sport her gaily-colour'd Dyes,As in the Beam of Day.IV.O Pallas! Queen of ev'ry Art, That glads the Sense, and mends the Heart,Blest Source of purer Joys!In ev'ry Form of Beauty bright, That captivates the mental SightWith Pleasure and Surprize;V. To thy unspotted Shrine I bow:Attend thy modest Suppliant's Vow,That breathes no wild Desires;But taught by thy unerring Rules, To shun the fruitless Wish of Fools,To nobler Views aspires.VI.Not Fortune's Gem, Ambition's Plume,Nor Cytherea's fading Bloom,Be Objects of my Pray'r:Let Av'rice, Vanity, and Pride, Those envy'd glitt'ring Toys divide,The dull Rewards of Care.VII. To me thy better Gifts impart,Each moral Beauty of the Heart,By studious Thought refin'd;For Wealth, the Smiles of glad Content,For Pow'r, its amplest, best Extent,An Empire o'er my Mind.VIII.

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