Monday, October 7, 2013

Owls for Autumn: The Myths

Sunday October 6th and Monday October 7th

Seems that I fell asleep last night without posting my blog for Sunday.
So here it is today.
I had written about owls on Saturday 
with a promise to describe a little of their place in folklore,
followed by a few ideas for decorating with owl motifs in the autumn.
So as intended for Sunday but  now today: the folklore.
I found a website called the Owl Pages
written by Deane Lewis several years ago.
It doesn't have any source information, but its details are interesting.

For example, the ancient Greeks, who worshipped Athene, the goddess of wisdom,
 believed that owls possessed an inner light that enabled them to see in the dark.
Owls were also viewed as messengers of death by the ancient Romans.
Lewis says from the Roman era into the Middle Ages,
it was customary to nail a dead owl outside one's door 
in order to prevent bad luck, evil, and lightening strikes.

I can imagine the reasons for the owl's reputation are more literal:
a dark night, a haunting call, a powerful flapping of wings,
and a shadowy bird with big yellow eyes 
and  talons sharp enough to clutch and carry away its prey.
Scary when you live in a world inhabited by ghosts, ghouls, and witches.

Photo source: Rob McKay, 2010 via

Tomorrow, the lighter side of owls when we look at owl decorations.

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