Everyone knows owls are supposed to be wise. Whenever a cartoon character needs advice, it runs to the nearest professorial owl for a quick consultation. Did you ever wonder how the owl came by its reputation for wisdom? In fact, the association between owls and wisdom goes back at least as far as Classical Greece. There, the owl was sacred to Athena, goddess of wisdom and of the arts and sciences. Owls were also widely believed to be messengers of Hecate, the goddess of witches and sacred to Persphone, goddess of prophecy, through whom they enjoy another source for their wise reputations. In the Welsh Mabinogi, there is the tale of Blodeuwedd (another name for the May Queen), a beautiful but faithless goddess, turned into an owl for her part in the conspiracy to murder her husband, Llew Llaw Gyffes, but according to Blodeuwedd, she was an owl centuries before that scandalous story began making the rounds.
Morningstone required an agent who could travel between this world and the supernatural world unnoticed. A creature of the night seemed a natural canddidate. The owl enjoys an excellent reputation as a bird of prey, and this bird was definitely on the hunt. I chose the barn owl because of its association with Blodeuwedd, and because it is small and would not call attention to itself, and because it has the widest worldwide distribution of any owl species. The barn owl in flight is a thing of beauty, gliding soundlessly through the night and, being white, photographing well against the dark sky. Another of the barn owl's distinct visual advantages is that, with it's white face and dark, forward facing eyes, it will morph easily into Fiona, the shape-shifting goddess with platinum blonde hair, cut to frame her face, and call attention to her big, dark eyes!
Travis Edward Pike, 22 August 2021, Otherworld Cottage
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