For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
- Psalm 102, The King James Bible
Few animals hold as ambivalent a place in human culture as the owl. Almost universally a symbol of night and its mysteries, theyre often portrayed as portents of sorrow and death. During the Middle Ages in Europe owls were linked with sloth, sexual vice, and any who have given themselves up to the darkness of sin and those who flee from the light of righteousness (Bubo, Aberdeen Beastiary), but also with Christ, who loves the darkness of night because he does not want sinners who are represented by darkness to die but to be converted and live (Night-owl, Aberdeen Beastiary). Owls nocturnal lives also associate them with magical sight, dreams, and wisdom, and in many cultures they are powerful spirits, affording protection in this world and a tangible, living connection with the world to come.
Onyx gemstone engraved with owl, bowl, and poppy. Imperial Rome, 1st-3rd century CE.
In this Roman onyx gemstone the owl references sleep and death it sits on a bowl, probably for a sleeping draught, containing a poppy, the opium-producing flower that was also symbolic of death.
Kwakiutl cedarwood owl mask. Tom Patterson, British Columbia, 1983.
Many indigenous communities in North and Central America have revered owls. One of the Pawnee four sacred birds, the owls powers were linked with darkness and night. The Kiowa believed that the shaman became an owl after death. The Ojibwa called the bridge over which the dead pass the Owl Bridge and buried owl feathers with the dead to facilitate their journey in Mesoamerica owls were closely associated with liminal passages into the underworld abode of the dead. Owl images appear on cave walls, and owls appear on mirrors, which, like caves, act as thresholds between the natural and supernatural worlds (Werness, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in World Art, p. 306).
Masks are particularly important to First Nation communities of British Columbia, where they are connected with beliefs about the transformational nature of humans and animals. The example above was carved by Tom Patterson, a member of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribe of Vancouver Island.
Metal vessel in the shape of an owl with other human and animal figures. Bengal, India, 20th century.
Owls are often associated with feminine powers, from the wisdom of Athena to the witchcraft of early modern Europe. In Hindu mythology an owl serves as the Vāhana, or mount, of Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and prosperity.
MSNBC Guest: "You Don't Have to Have a White Person Around to Have White Supremacy Play Out" 2015-04-27 22:36
What makes the academic study of âwhite supremacyâ and âwhite privilegeâ so perfect for racialists is that it requires absolutely no parameters of study. There are no standards of proof. There is no way any claims can be vetted in peer-reviewed journals because the âevidenceâ can be explained by other factors. Anything and everything can be pointed to as being ...
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs 2015-04-27 22:23
Immigration - Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck's colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. The 1996 version of this immigration gumballs presentation has been one of the most viewed immigration policy presentations on the internet.
Presented by immigration author/journalist Roy Beck
Russian Jews face âgrave dangersâ if Putin is ousted, warns senior rabbi 2015-04-27 21:17
Russian Jews would be in serious danger if Russian President Vladimir Putin was ever ousted from power, a senior Russian rabbi has stated. He added, the current government guarantees the safety of Jewish people better than many Western powers do.
âThe Jews of Russia must realize the dangers inherent in the possible collapse of the Putin government, understand the rules of ...
White People Always Were A Minority...So What? 2015-04-27 21:44
The HuffPost is apparently cock-a-hoop about the fact that mass immigration and falling birthrates seem set to reduce Whites to a minority in the USA within a few decades. They also think it is a good laugh, coming out with a video entitled "So, You're About to Become a Minority." This is framed as a pretend public information film aimed ...
Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female 2015-04-25 4:52
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole ârape and pillageâ thing, too.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...