beneath the stream
20. Owl ~ mythology, motif and mastery

20. Owl ~ mythology, motif and mastery

January 9, 2020

An archetype, a creature that we impose human ideas, ideals, values and characteristics upon. An unknowable, untouchable creature of the dark, whose call provokes fear and awe. A silent, surreptitious, living breathing feathered predator, whose beyond-human abilities allow it to master the night and span almost every habitat on Earth. Which of these is Owl for you?

As a family of birds, owls are all of these and more, and we explore their role in human culture from 30,000 years ago to the present day, as well as sharing tales of owl encounters around the globe. Evil messenger and harbinger of Death? Wise councillor and friend from childhood literature? Owl can be what each of us bring to it but is also master of its world.

THEME MUSIC BY DAVID ROTHENBERG. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST http://www.davidrothenberg.net 

Some of the ideas and references we make in this podcast can be found here:

Forest Eagle Owl 
Sinharaja, Sri Lanka 
Pliny the Elder
Tengmalm’s Owl
Florence Nightingale
Pablo Picasso
Winnie the Pooh
Bagpuss  
Tawny Owl  
Eric Hosking  
Ural Owl  
Sir David Attenborough  
Hawk Owl  
Saariselkä, Finland
Little Owl  
Chauvet Cave, France  
Eurasian Scops Owl  
Athena  
Harry Potter  
Western Screech Owl  
Hopi  
Sokoke Scops Owl, Kenya
Aztec god of death  
Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee  
Barn Owl  
William Wordsworth  
Tlingit  
Egyptian Book of the Dead  
Great Horned Owl
Seminole Apache  
The Secret Life of the Owl, John Lewis-Stempel  
Great Grey Owl
Barred Owl  
Minnesota, USA  
Eurasian Eagle Owl  
Eurasian Pygmy Owl  
Pel’s Fishing Owl  
Blakiston’s Fish Owl  
Snowy Owl
Twin Peaks, David Lynch  
The Messengers, Mike Clelland  
Whitley Strieber  
Owlman, Cornwall  
The Mothman Prophecies, John Keel  
Mark Twain  
Elf Owl  
Short-eared Owl
Denmark  
Öland, Sweden  
Goldcrest
“In a hole with an owl” The Fast Show  

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