Friday, October 19, 2012

make friends with an owl

Owls have been making a big rerun, much as they were back in the 1970's. Everything that could have an owl design, or owl shape is available (if you don't believe me, check out your local Winners or HomeSense, or any kitchen/home decor store).

I think they are cute and have started a modest collection of vintage and retro owls of my own.

The owl came into our Hallowe'en traditions much like the bat. As a hunter of bats, owls would often be seen near the Hallowe'en bonfires searching for food as were the bats. As they flew silently through the night sky and often lived in the hollows of trees where they could not be easily seen, they had a disconcerting habit of scaring travellers. When they screeched, it filled people with apprehension and made them think something evil was about to happen. Some believed that witches could change themselves into owls where they might then drink the blood of babies. In time the screeching reminded people of the cackling of a witch.

The owl was the favorite creature of Athene, the Goddess of Wisdom. The Greeks believed the owl to be a protector, with its magical ability to see at night. To have an owl fly over an army before battle was sign of impending victory.

The Romans, however, believed the owl was a creature from the underworld and a portend of impending doom. To hear the hoot of an owl meant that there would soon be a death. 

The English adopted much of their owl folklore from their Roman conquerors. For them, the owl was a sinister creature. It hunted in the night, a time closely associated with death and evil. 
It's interesting that in the northernmost parts of England and in Scotland where the Roman armies did not conquer, the local inhabitants considered it good luck to see an owl.

This postcard for Postcard Friendship Friday was sent from Vivienne in Hungary


  1. I love owls. Really enjoyed your post and the information you provided. Happy PFF!

  2. Not to long ago we had a great big owl perched on a "Watch for Wildlife" sign in our neighborhood. We parked the car and 'watched the wildlife' until it flew away :D

  3. I had a really unforgettable and fun experience having a big owl sit on my left arm. It was very heavy though!

    I wish I have my own white owl to carry my postcards and mails around like the ones they have in the Harry Potter movies. Happy PFF!

  4. I wonder what the old Germanic believes were about the owl. What did the Anglos and the Saxons think about them? It would be interesting to find out. Wouldn't that make an interesting post for you to write? xox

  5. I love owls. Such interesting birds.

  6. I love owls too...I was fascinated with them as a child...maybe because I was a kid in the 1970s! Happy PFF!

  7. I was very taken by the idea of Owl post, a la Harry Potter also. My son (fyi an adult) got me a beautiful Folkmanis puppet of a Snowy Owl. I love it. It's head turns all the way around. We have a small wild life center nearby and I get to see a couple small owls in captivity but that makes me sad. I, too, am fond of owls though I don't have, nor do I want, a collection of them. okay okay I do own a silver owl pin, I'll admit that. Thanks for reminding me how much I like owls.

    1. my collection is very modest. I have three, plus an old 70s era tea towel.

  8. I'm a fan of owls. (All raptors, in fact.) I love hearing owls in the woods at night.


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