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 Hi all :-) I've not had much experience with totems aside from… - The Totem Pole [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Wisdom through different eyes

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[Feb. 6th, 2011|09:02 pm]
Wisdom through different eyes


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 Hi all :-)
I've not had much experience with totems aside from Spider but recently Owl has come into my life.  I have a basic idea of the associations for Owl-wisdom, stealth,etc but I'd love to know more about the gifts and lessons Owl has to bring.  Please help!  I'd be very grateful :-)
BB Liz

[User Picture]From: mahpiya_luta
2011-02-13 09:16 pm (UTC)
From very early times the owl was a creature of the Great Goddess. It was often combined with the goddess figure to make and owl-woman in the early matriarchal cultures, such as Le Tene. Stelae, figurines, and amulets belonging to the Megalithic era of France, Spain, Portugal, and Great Britain show a goddess with great staring eyes; this figure has come to be referred to as the Eye-Goddess. In Peru and Ecuador, the owl image decorated spindle whorls along with a birth-giving goddess. In Crete, during the third millennia B.C.E., jug vases shaped like a winged owl with female breasts were a ritual vessel; the breasts were perforated for pouring. Originally, such Middle Eastern goddesses as Mari, Lilith, and Anath were closely connected with owls. A Sumerian relief of the goddess Lilith shows her naked except for a horned tiara; she has owl talons for feet and is accompanied by owls. The Hebrew translation of this goddess’s name is "screech owl." As the patriarchies gained control, people began to believe the owl, and the goddess with which it was associated, was an ill omened bird whose form could be taken by an evil spirit. Babylonians said that hooting owls were the souls of dead mothers crying for their children. This gradually changed into the owl being an evil spirit which prowled the night and carried off children. In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the owl signifies death, night, and the black Sun in the Otherworlds. There are differences of opinion as to whether the Chinese and the Japanese considered this bird to symbolize evil and death. The Ainu of Japan, however, did call this bird "beloved deity." Athene/Minerva had an owl as her sacred familiar; its image was cast on coins to represent the city of Athens. Homer writes that Pallas Athene was sometimes portrayed with an owl face. The Etruscan god of night and darkness was associated with the owl and death; the Romans adopted this view of the bird, saying that it was prophetic but its hooting prophesied death and misfortune. In Latin, the owl was called strix (pl. striges), a word that later changed into the Italian word strega for witch. To the Celts, in general, this bird was a sacred magickal creature, sometimes called the Night Hag and the Corpse Bird. It symbolized Underworld deities, such as the Welsh god Gwynn ap Nudd, and the Welsh Moon goddess Blodeuwedd. The messengers of the Hindu death god Yama were usually two dogs, but occasionally he would send an owl as his messenger. The Scottish Gaelic word cailleach means "owl"; this word connects it with the goddess Cailleach, who was a deity of death. The owl is identified with many Crone or Underworld goddesses in Europe and the Mediterranean area. During the Middle Ages, the owl became known as the Night Hag. This bird was called the Night Eagle by Native Americans. Most of them believed the owl was a bird of sorcerers. However, the Cherokees held sacred both the owl and the cougar for their ability to see in the dark. They said the owl brought messages at night through dreams. This creature was the Chief of the Night to the Pawnees, who said it gave protection. Traditionally, the owl sits in the East on the Medicine Wheel, the place of illumination.

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