We had a blast at the Milwaukee Mighty Con last month and we are looking forward to our upcoming summer events!
The Warning Sign’s was in AllAuthors June cover of the month contest!.. It was a lot of fun to participate! If you are interested in checking out this months cover contest you can do that here:allauthor.com
I have added a review page for The Warning Signs. You can view it here: Reviews – The Warning Signs
At this time, it is hard to find some of the supplies that I use to create BookCharms, but I have managed to make a limited number for my newest release, “The Warning Sign’s”.
readersfavorite.com will have all three of my published “Blood Inheritance Novels” listed as prizes in the monthly book giveaway. If you are interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: book giveaway /Rise or/and here: book-giveaway/lost and here: book-giveaway/endow
Upcoming Event Reminders:
Concealed Realms will be at Toy Con on July 10th at the Bridgeview Community Center in Bridgeview, IL. To learn more about Toy Con events vist: Toy Con
Concealed Realms is scheduled to participate in Quad con on July 31st and August 1st in Davenport , IL. This event will take place in at the Northpark Mall.
Concealed Realms is now schedule to participate in Quad Con on August 7 in Springfield, IL The event will take place at the Crowne Plaza Convention Center. To learn more visit: quadcity.com
We are scheduled to participate at Raptor Con! The new dates for the event are August 21st and 22nd. This event takes place in Evansville Indiana. To learn more visit: www.RaptorCon.com
*For 10% off your RaptorCon ticket purchase use code CONREAL at checkout*
The Madison Comic Con will take place Sunday, September 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Exhibit Hall, 1 John Nolan Drive, Madison WI 53703
Concealed Realms is planning to participate in the Peoria Quad Con on September 25th and 26th. This event takes place at Northwoods Mall.
Concealed Realms will be returning to Sci-Fi Family Day at Discovery World! This event takes place on Saturday, Oct 2nd at 500 N Harbor Dr. Milwaukee, WI.
“wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t we be like that wise old bird?”
– Edward Hersey Richards
“The owl is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?”
– M.J. Rose
“A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Words should wander and meander. They should fly like owls and flicker like bats and slip like cats. They should murmur and scream and dance and sing.” – David Almond
“People say the darkness is where secrets are best hidden. Night time brings clarity and focus to owls, even if the aperture of this vision comes with a stigma.” – Kimberly Morgan
“Owls are wise. They are careful and patient. Wisdom precludes boldness. That is why owls make poor heroes.” – Patrick Rothfuss
“Interdimensional travel is full of dangers that can be difficult to predict, but there are signs to watch out for. Owls are especially helpful for savvy explorers. In our own universe, they ask, “Who?” You can tell a parallel world is perilous when you hear an owl ask, “Why?”
– T.R. Darling
“It was great to see the owls,” I said.
“Yes. They’re wild things, of course. Killers, savages. They’re wonderful.”
– David Almond, Skellig
“You don’t need anything but hope. The kind of hope that flies on silent wings under a shining owl moon.” – Jane Yolen
“The owl by day,
If he arise, is mocked and wondered at.”
– William Shakespeare
Definition of Owl:
Noun “any of numerous, chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, of the order Strigiformes, having a broad head with large, forward-directed eyes that are usually surrounded by disks of modified feathers: many populations are diminishing owing to loss of habitat.”
Adjective “operating late at night or all night…””- www.dictionary.com
Noun “any of an order (Strigiformes) of chiefly nocturnal birds of prey with a large head and eyes, short hooked bill, strong talons, and soft fluffy often brown-mottled plumage“ –merriamwebster.com
Owls in Myth, Lore, and Superstition
Owl fossils have been uncovered and identified from nearly 60 million years ago, which according to Wikipedia could indicate the possibility that they were around much earlier than that, perhaps even at the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. These primarily nocturnal birds of prey can be found on most oceanic islands and on all continents with the exception of Antarctica.
With such a wide reach and vast history, it is not surprising to find that these birds are featured prominently in many myths and stories from a variety of cultures. There are so many in fact, that we couldn’t hope to mention them all. Instead, in this post we will take a look at some of the amazing attributes of these creatures of the night before peeking into a small selection of the beliefs, lore, and superstitions that sprouted up in different places around the globe, some of which, even when similar to one another, hold striking differences.
General Owl Characteristics and Earliest Representations
Although all owls have the same easily identifiable appearance, which is generally characterized by a flat face with a small hooked beak and large forward-facing eyes, their size, the shape of the plumage around the face and the appearance or absence of ear tufts differ depending on the type of owl. Regardless of size and plumage, these nighttime predators are known to swoop in and grab their prey with sharp taloned feet, their stealthy approach aided by their rounded wings and short tail.
It seems that their features, along with and their cunning ability to hunt in the dark, has been catching the attention of and making an impression on humans since ancient times. Representations of owls have been found in different art forms throughout the ages. You can view an astonishing rock engraving from the Chauvet cave, which most likely depicts a long-eared owl, here: bradshawfoundation.com, as well as a great assortment of some of the earliest found representations from the past here: www.lithiccastinglab.com. Not quite as old but perhaps one of the most well known examples is a terracotta plaque (The Burney Relief) which has been dated from between 1800 and 1750 BCE. It originates from southern Mesopotamia and depicts a winged, goddess-like figure with bird’s talons, flanked by owls, and perched upon two lions.
Legends, folklore, and superstitions are not only abundant when it comes to these memorable birds, but quite varied. Few other creatures have so many differing and contradictory beliefs about them. Often associated with medicine, witchcraft, the weather, life, and death, they are said to be foolish and feared or despised by some, while considered wise, admired, and exalted by others. If you have ever watched an owl move about and react to its surroundings, it is not hard to see how they could inspire such a mix of awe, terror, disbelief, and reverence among cultures of the past. Their behavior does in fact appear quite magical, although we now know that an owl’s ability to fly silently and hunt at night with precision, or the fact that owls can swivel their heads up to 270 degrees, is not due to supernatural abilities, but because of multiple specialized adaptations, such as flight feathers that are shaped to dissipate the air and reduce turbulence, and a layer of tissue behind the retina that reflects visible light to give it superior night vision. To top it off, their whole head seemed to be designed for listening. Would you be surprised to find that at certain frequencies, an owl’s hearing can be 10 times better than ours?
An owl’s circular face has stiff feathers on the edge of the ruff to funnel sound directly to its ear holes. They also have special muscles to alter the shape of their face disc to channel sounds. Their ear holes are hidden by feathers and are asymmetrical. This allows the bird to pinpoint the source of a sound. Furthermore, studies have found that in owls, the part of the brain associated with hearing, (the medulla) is much more complex than in other birds. A Barn Owl’s medulla is estimated to have at least 95,000 neurons (roughly three times more than a crow), which helps it to calculate their prey’s location and make corrections, even while it’s on the move.
Myth, Lore, and Superstitions
In the mythology of ancient Greece, the image of the small owls which had a natural presence in Athens, is strongly associated with Athena, the goddess of wisdom, war, and heroism. The goddess is often portrayed with an owl companion on her shoulder and as such, if an owl flew over an ancient Greek army during battle, it was believed that the army would be victorious. Depicting these birds on pottery and in other art forms was a common practice in the region and the Little Owl even kept a watchful eye on trade from the reverse side of their coins.
Although many ancient Greek and Roman mythologies hold parallels, for ancient Romans, apart from owls being depicted alongside Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and prophecy, owls were mainly seen as bad omens. They believed owls had predictive powers and that for the most part, their presence foretold impending doom. For instance the Romans thought that witches transformed themselves into owls in order to suck the blood of babies, that to dream of an owl meant especially bad luck for travelers, and unlike the Athenians who protected their little owls, Romans would nail dead owls to the front of their homes, with the hope of countering the birds evil. Owl feathers and internal organs were also found in potions and pharmaceutical remedies. For example, the ashes of an owl’s feet were thought to be an antidote to snakebite.
In the mythology of India, the barn owl is associated with the Hindu goddess of wisdom, Lakshmi. As such the owl is held as a symbol of wisdom and learning, however they were not always revered. In southern India, for instance the hoots of an owl could spell either good or bad fortune depending on the number of times the bird cried, for example: One hoot was an omen of impending death, while two meant success in anything that would be started soon after, three represented a woman being married into the family… and so on.
Remedies associated with owls once included treating seizures in children with a broth made from owl eyes, and applying a gel made from owl meat to combat Rheumatism pain. Owl meat could also be eaten as a natural aphrodisiac and in northern India, it was believed that if one ate the eyes of an owl, they would be able to see in the dark.
In Norse myth, the Katyogle (or owl) is said to be consecrated to the goddess of wisdom and according to one article from history.co.uk the Queen of the Æsir gods, Frigg was associated with wisdom, marriage, family and fertility.
In Celtic legend the owl is considered to be sacred and to have magical powers. A creature of keen sight in darkness, as well as a silent and swift hunter, in some instances it is even rumored to be the guide to the underworld. According to folklore the wise owl can give you wisdom by helping unmask those who would deceive you or take advantage of you.
Aboriginal Australian lore says bats represent the souls of men and owls the souls of women. Owls are therefore sacred.
The traditional Ainu people of Japan revered the owl and believed it meditated between the gods and men. Talons of the Northern Eagle Owl were believed to ward off diseases and cure infertility in women.
In general, within Cherokee lore, owls were associated with warefare. When on the war trail the ancient Cherokees, divined the future outcome of a conflict according to screech owl calls. If heard on the right or left, the call signified that the Cherokees would be victorious. If heard ahead or behind, the call signified defeat, in which instance they would cancel the expedition. It is also thought that Cherokees would bath the eyes of children in water containing owl feathers to help them remain awake all night for ceremony.
The Hopi identify the Burrowing owl with Masau’u, their god of the dead and the night. The same deity is also the guardian of fires and attends to all underground things. As such, he is responsible for the germination of seeds.
The Cree, a North American indigenous people, believed Boreal owl whistles were summons from the spirits. If a person answered with a similar whistle and did not hear a response, then he would soon die.
The Kwakiutl held the belief that Owls were the souls of people and should therefore not be harmed, for when an Owl was killed the person to whom the soul belonged would also die.
In pre-20th century England, an owl calling outside a sick person’s window signaled imminent death. An owl’s hoot or sight was also considered the forerunner of cold weather or a storm.
Among early English folk cures it is written that alcoholism was treated with raw owl eggs. It was also thought that if a child was given this same treatment, they could gain lifetime protection against drunkenness. Some other “cures” include, owls’ eggs which had been cooked until they turned into ashes before being used as a potion to improve eyesight and owl broth being given to children suffering from Whooping-cough.
Interested in reading more? Visit these sites:
native-languages.org, List of Norse Goddesses, vsnrweb-publications.org.uk/Birds%20of%20Omen.pd
After having learned more about the major characteristics of owls and reading through much of the lore regarding them from the past, it is clear that owls and their fantastical behaviors have inspired humans, wherever they are found on earth,with their abilities to see through the shadows of the night and hear sounds that are inaudible to us. These specialized adaptations that make them skilled nocturnal hunters, make them seems wise, divine, sneaky, and distrustful all at once, so its no wonder that they have been viewed in such varying ways in cultures around the world.
I hope that you enjoyed this look at owl’s in mythology, lore ,superstition. Stay safe and keep being awesome.