Menu Close

Magistri Mama, the Brand, & Logo

Nikki L. Rogers, Ph.D., CPH is owner and spokesperson for Magistri Consultants, LLC. 1 She earned her undergraduate degree in anthropology at Florida State University, followed by her master’s degree and doctorate in biological anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Rogers worked at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine as an academic researcher, mentor, and educator for 18 years. In 2015 she earned her Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential. 2

Nikki’s faculty position in the Wright State University Master of Public Health program was eliminated in 2018 as part of the University’s $53 million cost cutting response to a fiscal crisis that threatened to put the university in state conservatorship.3 This job loss coincided with the recent adoption of her family’s son because the universe sometimes gives us what we need even when we don’t realize we need it.

Nikki started Magistri Consultants, LLC in 2019 as a way to give her brain something to focus on other than kiddie songs, reading up on potty training, and phrases repeated over and over by electronic toys. She squeezes research and new skill development in between diaper changes, figuring out what’s healthy for dinner, and making sure her son is getting everything he needs to thrive.

When I needed to create a brand, I of course decided to use Latin because I am a recovering academic. Any word sounds more interesting when it is translated into another language, and the fact that Latin has no native speakers 4 and is the basis of most of Western languages means that its use is not cultural appropriation. My continuing interest in teaching led me to build on the word magister, the Latin word for teacher or guide. I was creating a business that I expected would employ me, my colleagues ,and former students. It therefore made sense to use the plural form (magistri). I also liked the sound of magistri more than magister.

My first attempts at a creating logo were uninspiring at best.

Amateur attempt at a business logo to show my first attempt.
Magistri Mama Logo June 2019
This image shows a second amateurish attempt at a logo--it simply shows italicized words.
MagistriMama logo attempt August 2019

 

It is probably not surprising that I found inspiration for my brand and logo by learning about the lives of strong women from history. A surprise is that the inspirational women  never actually lived. Planning to base the logo on symbols representing concepts from Latin and Greek life, I began reading about Latin and Greek goddesses. I chose three mythological goddesses as symbolic magistri for the Magistri Mama brand based on their characteristics, achievements, and accomplishments as described in Latin and Greek mythology. Each woman has an astrological symbol now used by modern astronomers. I merged two of these astronomical symbols and a created a stylized symbol for another (see below) and assembled them into a single figure for the Magistri Mama logo.
Magistri Mama logo by NLR 8/2019

Symbolic Magistri for Magistri Mama

Metis: The embodiment of “prudence”, “wisdom” or “wise counsel” 5

Metis was a child of the Titan deities Oceanus and Tethys, first wife of Zeus, and mother of Athena. While I had never heard of her before, the first time I read about her I immediately selected her as the lead symbolic magister. The name Metis is literally the Greek word describing wisdom combined with shrewdness. Ancient Athenians prized this combination and most of us still appreciate it!

Plato’s writing depicted Metis as the mother of Poros, a minor male deity described as “creative ingenuity” 6 and “the personification of resourcefulness or expediency” 7. However, because a prophecy said Metis would give birth to a son powerful enough to dethrone his father Zeus 8, any male child of Metis that was widely known would not be a minor mythological character. Zeus feared this prophecy and swallowed Metis—he figured that removing his wife from the world would be an effective way to avoid children. This backfired on him. Metis gave birth to warrior goddess Athena while inside Zeus, and Athena burst out of Zeus’s head to take her place in the world.  Athena largely replaced her mother as the goddess of wisdom, albeit with less of the early trickster elements and more of Zeus’s war-like abilities.

There are few ancient images of Metis available on the internet: even the image on the Metis Wikipedia page states that the image is ‘possibly Metis’. 10 is Metis 11: this is the only image I located that is clearly not likely to be Athena.
Louvre Museum [Public domain] From Wikimedia Commons

Metis’s astronomical symbol is an eye with a star atop 12Metis symbol by NLR 8/2019

Athena: Daughter of Titans Zeus and Metis, Goddess of Wisdom

Athena is the symbol of warfare and knowledge/wisdom as well as a primary support to heroes in Greek mythology 13. This role, in addition to her relationship with Metis, was why I chose her as a symbolic magister. Even heroes need help once in a while.

I am an adoptive parent. I therefore immediately loved that Athena was also an adoptive parent to Athenian ruler of legend Erichthonius of Athens. Further reading changed my mind because parenting was not one of her strengths 14. The spear is not an appropriate symbol for the mission or brand of Magistri Mama.

I instead chose the owl to symbolize Athena because artists showed it as her constant companion. This symbol of knowledge ties her to her mother Metis.15Athena’s owl by NLR 8/2019

Vesta/Hestia: Goddess of home and family life

The addition of a third magister was necessary when I read that the mythological Roman goddess Vesta/Greek goddess Hestia was the character described as ruling over all things associated with the home and family life 16. Her name is the word for fireplace or hearth, which was the center for all daily domestic events. She is included here as the symbol of the repetitive tasks necessary to provide food and a clean environment in which to raise children, but also because she was a symbol of a peaceful home 17. It is quite fun that as sister of Zeus, she is also Athena’s aunt and Metis’s (ex?) sister-in-law.

Even in her heyday, artists depicted Hestia/Vesta as a hearth instead of a human figure. It is fitting that her astronomical symbol is the hearth and fire. 18Vesta/Hestia symbol by NLR 8/2019

Citations

  1. Note: This first section is written in the third person following academic standards; they are usually read aloud by someone other than the person described.
  2. https://www.nbphe.org
  3. https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/wright-state-won-recover-from-budget-crisis-for-more-than-years-report-says/zBRLq72Oj2sWYzma7qtQxN/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinct_language
  5. Wikipedia, second paragraph, third line. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metis_(mythology)
  6. Last 2 lines, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metis_(mythology)
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porus_(mythology) , 2nd line
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metis_(mythology)#Mythology
  9. . Mythologist Sheena McGrath states that the small figure sitting under Zeus’s throne in the vase art below9https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athena#/media/File:Exaleiptron_birth_Athena_Louvre_CA616_n2.jpg
  10. https://earthandstarryheaven.com/2018/04/18/metis/
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_symbols#Symbols_for_minor_planets, Table entry #9
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athena, third paragraph and Patron of Heroes
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erichthonius_of_Athens#Birth[/efm_note]. Spoiler: she put him in a box, gave him away, and bad things happened to folks who opened the box.

    Athena’s astronomical symbol is a spear. [efn_note}https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_symbols#Symbols_for_minor_planets, Table, entry #2

  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owl_of_Athena
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hestia
  16. https://www.ancient.eu/Vesta/
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_symbols#Symbols_for_minor_planets, Table entry #4.