June 22, 2010

What do Owls Symbolize?

So, Jasper and I are minding our own business reading a lovely little young adult fluff novel in my room, in my childhood bed, being very teen dream if you ask me, and we hear a tiny scratching at my window.  When I was little, my mother always told me because we had the street lamp outside of our house, no threats, or villians would ever want to try anything on our house.  Of course, I believed her and then a cop moved in down the street (who’s married to my highschool paidea teacher, who was loveable, but very high strung) and I feel even safer.
Still, earlier tonight while skyping the boy I really thought I heard someone climb on the trash can and fall and scream.  My dad said this is impossible, since tomorrow is trash day and he has moved the can to the end of the street. I’m completely imagining things.
BUT THEN, (and this is the good part), I heard an owl hooting in the big acorn tree right outside my window.  My dad hardly cuts the thing or “trims it down” and so it grows to my window and sometimes when it’s windy, scratches on the glass with it’s branches (obviously, in it’s friendliest tree hello) and I feel fine about that.  However, on hearing the owl my first thought was … wait, what do owls symbolize? Strange, I know, i’m a strange human being. But then, I thought about all the wonderful owls in Harry Potter and began to feel like I was about to be whisked of to Hogwarts. (Yes, these are real thoughts).
But on later googling, I found that owls are not exactly good signs. I googled and googled to find good results (other then wisdom) but all I found was the following:

The Celts told the story of a beautiful woman named Blodeuwedd who was fashioned out of flowers. She was created to marry a lonely man cursed to have no human wife. But Blodeuwedd fell in love with another man and she killed her husband. The victim was then brought back to life and, as vengeance, the faithless Blodeuwedd was turned into an owl.
Owls were magic. In “Macbeth”, William Shakespeare;s three witches use an owlet wing as a charm. Witches inancient Rome used a screech owl feather as part of a potion. And in Greece it was believed that if a child was given an owls egg, it would never become a drunkard.
The ancient Romans detested them because they were thought to be harbingers of death. The Greeks, on the other hand, considered them a good omen. An owl flying over a Greek army at the dawn of battle insured victory. In England, though, it was believed that if a person looked into an owl’s nest, he would suffer depression for the rest of his life.
Other than having magic properties, a owl was also thought to be the wisest of birds. The slave Aesop told the story of an owl who knew more than he was given credit.

Not only are these, not so pleasant findings…a bit terrifying, but then there’s superstitions from a bunch of random people collected thanks to yahoo.  Let me share a few:

— If an owl lands on the roof of your house, it is an omen of death. Constant hooting near your house also foretells death.
— If an owl hoots at the moment of childbirth, the child will have an unhappy life.
— The Irish believe that if an owl flies into a house it must be killed immediately. If it escapes, it will take the luck of the house with it.
— If an owl nests in an abandoned house, then the dwelling must be haunted. An owl is the only creature who can abide a ghost.
— By eating salted owl, a person can be cured of gout.
— If an owl hoots during a burial service, the deceased is bound to rise from the grave and haunt the living.
— An owl living in the attic of a house will cause a pregnant woman to miscarry.
— If a pregnant woman hears the shriek of an owl, her child will be a girl.

Needless to say, I’m quite unhappy with these results and hope no one around me dies, or comes to a misfortune.  I believe in the owl in the sing-along-song videos and the owl who bites the lollipop instead of finding out how many licks it may take.  Now one of these owls, is welcome anytime, into my bedroom’s nearest tree.
goodnight. 🙂

What do Owls Symbolize?

So, Jasper and I are minding our own business reading a lovely little young adult fluff novel in my room, in my childhood bed, being very teen dream if you ask me, and we hear a tiny scratching at my window.  When I was little, my mother always told me because we had the street lamp outside of our house, no threats, or villians would ever want to try anything on our house.  Of course, I believed her and then a cop moved in down the street (who’s married to my highschool paidea teacher, who was loveable, but very high strung) and I feel even safer.
Still, earlier tonight while skyping the boy I really thought I heard someone climb on the trash can and fall and scream.  My dad said this is impossible, since tomorrow is trash day and he has moved the can to the end of the street. I’m completely imagining things.
BUT THEN, (and this is the good part), I heard an owl hooting in the big acorn tree right outside my window.  My dad hardly cuts the thing or “trims it down” and so it grows to my window and sometimes when it’s windy, scratches on the glass with it’s branches (obviously, in it’s friendliest tree hello) and I feel fine about that.  However, on hearing the owl my first thought was … wait, what do owls symbolize? Strange, I know, i’m a strange human being. But then, I thought about all the wonderful owls in Harry Potter and began to feel like I was about to be whisked of to Hogwarts. (Yes, these are real thoughts).
But on later googling, I found that owls are not exactly good signs. I googled and googled to find good results (other then wisdom) but all I found was the following:

The Celts told the story of a beautiful woman named Blodeuwedd who was fashioned out of flowers. She was created to marry a lonely man cursed to have no human wife. But Blodeuwedd fell in love with another man and she killed her husband. The victim was then brought back to life and, as vengeance, the faithless Blodeuwedd was turned into an owl.
Owls were magic. In “Macbeth”, William Shakespeare;s three witches use an owlet wing as a charm. Witches inancient Rome used a screech owl feather as part of a potion. And in Greece it was believed that if a child was given an owls egg, it would never become a drunkard.
The ancient Romans detested them because they were thought to be harbingers of death. The Greeks, on the other hand, considered them a good omen. An owl flying over a Greek army at the dawn of battle insured victory. In England, though, it was believed that if a person looked into an owl’s nest, he would suffer depression for the rest of his life.
Other than having magic properties, a owl was also thought to be the wisest of birds. The slave Aesop told the story of an owl who knew more than he was given credit.

Not only are these, not so pleasant findings…a bit terrifying, but then there’s superstitions from a bunch of random people collected thanks to yahoo.  Let me share a few:

— If an owl lands on the roof of your house, it is an omen of death. Constant hooting near your house also foretells death.
— If an owl hoots at the moment of childbirth, the child will have an unhappy life.
— The Irish believe that if an owl flies into a house it must be killed immediately. If it escapes, it will take the luck of the house with it.
— If an owl nests in an abandoned house, then the dwelling must be haunted. An owl is the only creature who can abide a ghost.
— By eating salted owl, a person can be cured of gout.
— If an owl hoots during a burial service, the deceased is bound to rise from the grave and haunt the living.
— An owl living in the attic of a house will cause a pregnant woman to miscarry.
— If a pregnant woman hears the shriek of an owl, her child will be a girl.

Needless to say, I’m quite unhappy with these results and hope no one around me dies, or comes to a misfortune.  I believe in the owl in the sing-along-song videos and the owl who bites the lollipop instead of finding out how many licks it may take.  Now one of these owls, is welcome anytime, into my bedroom’s nearest tree.
goodnight. 🙂

2 comments so far.

2 responses to “What do Owls Symbolize?”

  1. Sarah Dion says:

    Why is it that I love everything you write even when the majority of it is depressing? I love you, keep writing.

  2. Bea M. says:

    I suddenly have a new fear of Owls! No, not really. I truly believe that nature is a wonderful thing, and I just love to hear birds of all kinds outside of my window, even Owls. There is nothing cuter than a baby owl’s face.
    I loved the writing, it kept my attention. I also want to remind you that your “lucky” bird still sits in the tree outside your room and calls out every morning. He always was a great alarm clock.

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Hi, I’m Cass

I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.

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