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owls & death


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#1 neverscared

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 08:24 PM

when i was a kid, the old folks used to always say that if an owl sits on your doorstep or is in your yard, someone in your household is going to die. well, our next door neighbor had an owl on her stoop one morning, a few weeks later she died, then about a month or two later her husband died. :fight1: that is freaky. i don't believe they died because of the owl, it's just a strange coincidence.

#2 SouthernCelt

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 07:08 AM

Owls have long been associated with death and mysticism. Owls were once thought to be one type of animal that witches kept as "familiars" and which would help the usually reclusive witches keep abreast of goings on in the towns and villages, especially if the locals were contemplating removing the witch from their midst. So the owl became sort of an "early warning system."

In American folklore, especially among the Celtic descendents of Appalachia, the appearance of an owl during the daytime is an omen of impending death or disaster, though not necessarily for the person who sees the owl. This is incorporated into the lyrics of a song used in the movie soundtrack for "Cold Mountain" entitled "I Wish My Baby Was Born." The last verse of this song says:
The owl, the owl is a lonely bird
It chills my heart with dread and terror
That’s someone’s blood there on its wing
That’s someone’s blood there on its feathers
"They drew a circle and shut us out.In vain, they thought they’d won by rout.But men of God, with wit to win.Drew a larger circle and shut them in."-- Epitaph, author unknown

#3 Tigger

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 07:41 AM

Owls also heavily play a lot in Native American mythology.

I know the Cherokee Indians belive that "witches" can change into owls to bother people or "witch around" the victim. I've been witness to this and experienced it and never want too again.

But I think it varies in belief from tribe to tribe.

#4 Willow

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 12:50 PM

Many cultures have focused on the dark side of the Owl's symbolism. People have always been suspicious of the Owl because of man's fear of the dark, or night, and those things that might dwell there. In general, the hooting of an Owl is considered a portent of death or bad luck, and it may even prophesize death, as the death of Dido was foretold. It is a medical fact that most people die at night, and for that reason also the Owl has been seen as the messenger of death.

In the Middle East, China, and Japan, the Owl is considered as both a bad omen and an evil spirit. For Christians the Owl traditionally signifies the Devil, powers of evil, bad news, and destruction. Similarly, in the Old Testament the Owl is an unclean creature that stands alone as a figure of desolation. In an Australian Aboriginal myth the Owl is the messenger of bad news. Yama, the Verdic God of death, sometimes sent out the Owl as his emissary.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas consider the Owl to be the Night Eagle because it is silent and deadly in flight, and is a solitary bird with all-seeing eyes. The Owl is generally regarded as a bird of sorcerers because of its association with--and abilities in--the dark. It symbolizes deception and silent observation because it flies noiselessly. The Owl is feared by peoples who believe that the death warning is in its hoot.

In the Navajo belief system, the Owl is the envoy of the supernatural world and earth-bound spirits. The Pawnee understand the Owl as the Chief of the Night and believe that it affords protection. The Cherokee honor the bird as sacred because of its night-time vision, and wish to draw that power to themselves to see in the dark.



Interesting article concerning the Owl, the myth and symbolism surrounding it Owls - Symbology and Mythology. Great topic neverscared :D
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#5 Axman

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 02:22 AM

You'd really be surprised at how different breeds of birds are revered. Sparrows are thought to be the carriers of the spirits enroute to the afterlife. White doves are thought of as spirit carriers also, as well as symbols of peace.
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#6 nohara_megami

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:47 AM

I grew up in the Shaman religion, and I am not sure what tribe this is from (since legends and myths vary tribe to tribe) but I was taught that Owls are much like the Death Card in Tarot (just my personal association). I was taught that Owls mean a major change, it has the possiblity of being a negative change and just as much being a postive change, but it does not matter the type of owl it means a big change. The reason I said it is like the Death Card in Tarot is because it does not mean death, but a major change, and is commonly misconcieved as literal death.

I do admit that I do not nessarly welcome Owls when they move into my yard, which did happen about 2 months after I moved into this apartment, but they are kinda nice to have around^_^ They are nice to listen to at nite.......
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