Released: Destiny 2 (Season of the Forge)
Additional / Expanded Information
The flavor text ties into the ideal that all spiritual beings have hidden wings and may ascend to the heavens once the soul has been “set free.” This often can be seen in the descriptions of ascending towards the afterlife or a benevolent being/God giving safe passage from harm upon hidden wings.
Eidolon (īˈdōlən): Ancient Greek term, usually meaning an idealized person or thing. Can also mean a double, idol, ghost, a shade/specter or phantom look-alike of the human form.
Within literature, the term has been used as a way to describe a souls passage into another state of existence or even the ascension towards an afterlife. In contrast to this presentation of a life after death, the term appears within many folkloric tales in the form of a cryptid (an animal that has been claimed to exist, but never proven) or apparitions, portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon that is usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck.
The term’s influence comes from Breton mythology, where the term ankou was a tangible “spirit double” that had the same memories and feelings as the person to whom the counterpart belonged. This is also seen within Ancient Egyptian mythology, with the concept of the ka, which was essentially the person’s life force that, at death, would become separated from the body.
Another use of the term was employed by Homer to show how even though Helen of Troy was not physically present within the city during the battle of Troy, her influence was everywhere.
The Greek Princess presents an Egyptian view of the Trojan War in which a ka of Helen misleads Paris, helping to stop the Trojan War. This is further depicted in Euripides’ version of the battle in his play, Helen. We also can see here where the symbol of the Trojan Horse has evolved to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion/place.
Walt Whitman’s poem by the same name in 1876 used a much broader understanding of the term, expanded and detailed within the poem. He used the term to include a concept of an oversoul composed of the individual souls of all life, expanding to include the Earth itself – and the hierarchy of the planets, sun, stars, and galaxy.
The usage of the term is even present within Theosophy, which describes the astral double (or kama-rupa) after death, before disintegrating, as identified with the eidolon.