Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 09/30/13

Monday, September 30, 2013

OWLS-THE MAGICAL BIRD, PART 1!!








    The owl has attracted the fascination and awe of many cults and cultures, down through the ages and many different and contradictory beliefs have survived to the present day. Many associations link the owl with witchcraft, medicine, the weather, birth and even death; thus, many superstitions and fears about the owl remain. In the past it was thought to have been wise yet foolish, feared but venerated and despised whilst being admired.
    The owl is a nocturnal, predatory bird distinguished by a large flat face, eyes surrounded by stiff, feathered disks, a short, hooked beak, feathered legs with sharp talons, and soft plumage which facilitates soundless flight. Its large eyes are encased in a capsule of bone called the "sclerotic ring" which directs the eyes forward allowing restricted movement. To enable a sideways look, the owl must turn its entire head. Its neck, being relatively long and flexible, allows the head to rotate through 270 degrees. As few owls hunt their prey in full daylight, their hearing is particularly important. Many owls have asymmetrical skulls with the ear openings at different levels, enabling them to pin-point the slightest sound made by the prey they are hunting.
    Owl nesting habits are highly variable. Some nest in holes in trees or rock croppings and their are even some that make burrows and next underground. Owls feed entirely on live prey or animals, such as insects, rodents, snakes, rabbits and even fish. Indigestible parts of their food such as bones, hair and feathers are compressed and regurgitated as compact pellets. Owls lay pure white eggs.
    In Greek Mythology, the owl was the preferred bird of the Goddess Athena, the daughter of Zeus. Her preferred species was the Little Owl, which often accompanied her perched on her shoulder. The owl had the ability to light up Athena's blind side revealing to her unseen truths and thus expanding her natural wisdom. Due to its association with Athena, the owl gained protected status in Athens. The owl became thought of as a protector, its symbol adopted by Greek armies as inspiration for their daily lives. Before a battle, if an owl flew over, it was taken as a sign that victory was immanent. It was also depicted on different Greek coins.




SOME OF THE WORLD'S OWL MYTHS

  • Abyssinia-The Hamites held the Owl sacred.

  • Afghanistan-The Owl gave Man flint and iron to make fire, and in exchange, Man gave the Owl his feathers.

  • Africa, Central-The Owl is the familiar of wizards to the Bantu.

  • Africa, East-The Swahili believe the Owl brings illness to children.

  • Africa, South-Zulus recognise the Owl as the Sorcerers' Bird.

  • Africa, West-Messenger of Wizards and Witches, the Owl's cry presages evil.

  • Algeria-Place the right eye of an Eagle Owl in the hand of a sleeping woman and she will tell all.

  • Arabia-The Owl is a bird of ill omen; the embodiment of evil spirits that carries off children at night. According to an ancient Arabic treatise, from each female Owl supposedly came two eggs, one held the power to cause hair to fall out; the other, the power to restore it.(the early men's hair club)

  • Arctic Circle-A little girl having been turned into a bird with a long beak by magick, but was so frightened she flapped about madly and flew into a wall, flattening her face and beak, thus creating the owl.

  • Australia-Aborigines believe bats represent the soul of men and Owls the souls of women. Owls are therefore sacred, because your sister is an Owl-and the Owl is your sister.

  • Aztecs-One of their evil gods wore a Screech Owl on his head.

  • Babylon-Owl amulets protected women during childbirth.

  • Belgium-Legend has it that a priest offered the Owl his church tower to live i if the bird would get rid of the rats and mice that plagued his church.

  • Bordeaux-Throw salt in the fire to avoid the Owl's curse.

  • Borneo-The Supreme Being turned his wife into a Owl as a punishment for telling secrets to mortals.

  • Burma-During a quarrel among the birds, the Owl was jumped upon and so his face was flattened.

  • Cameroon-Too evil to name, the Owl is known only as "the bird that makes you afraid".

  • Celtic-The Owl was a sign of the Underworld.

  • China-The Owl is associated with lightning because it brightens the night, and with the drum because it breaks the silence. Placing Owl effigies in each corner of the home protects it against lightning. The Owl is a symbol of Too much Yang....positive, masculine, bright, active energy.

  • Ethiopia-A condemned man was taken to a table on which an Owl was painted, and then expected to take his own life.

  • France-When a pregnant woman hears an Owl, it is an omen that her child will be a girl.

  • Germany-If an Owl hoots as a child is born, the infant will have an unhappy life.

  • Incas-The Incas venerated the Owl for its beautiful eyes and head.

  • India-Seizures in children could be treated with a broth made from Owl eyes. Rheumatism pain was treated with a gel made from Owl meat. Owl meat could also be eaten as a natural aphrodisiac. In northern India, if one ate the eyes of an Owl, they would be able to see in the dark. In southern India, the cries of an Owl were interpreted by number: One hoot was an omen of impending death; tow meant success in anything that would be started soon after; three represented a woman being married into the family; four indicated a disturbance; five denoted coming travel; six meant guests were on the way; seven was a sign of mental distress; eight foretold sudden death; and nine symbolized good fortune. In parts of the Indian sub-continent people believed that the Owl was married to the bat.

BAKED PUMPKIN DONUTS!

This recipe was found at www.culinarycory.com .   A little something to start off the fall season.



Baked Pumpkin Donuts




Baked Pumpkin Cake Donuts






I can’t help it. There are days when I’m just drawn to it. Those four big letters glistening in the yellow glow and sparkle of retail extravaganza. I don’t care if I have to wade through the text messaging hoards of 12 year olds just to find it. I see it there, hidden in the back corner of the store covered with red tags and crossed out retail pricing. Oh, glorious SALE.
While partaking in some retail therapy, I couldn’t resist exploring a kitchen store for yet another gadget to purchase. I thumbed through shelves of “miracle devices” guaranteed to perfectly cook anything in the microwave. I even glanced through the mountains of magic spices Paula Deen decided to slap her face on this week. Finally, I came across a set of mini donut pans for a cool 5 bucks in the clearance section. A crisp Lincoln was tossed at the cashier as I headed home to create these flavorful pumpkin donuts.












Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Ingredients

2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 Tbl. milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Cream together the brown sugar, canned pumpkin, eggs, milk, butter and vanilla extract until the butter is well incorporated. With your mixer on medium low speed, slowly add the dry sifted ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until just barely combined. Be careful of over mixing.
Spray the donut pan with cooking spray and fill each donut mold halfway with the pumpkin batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 – 8 minutes or until the exterior springs back when touched. Allow to cool completely and top each donut with cinnamon glaze.

Cinnamon Glaze

½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbl. milk
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Mix until smooth and creamy. The glaze should pour easily from a spoon. You may need to add additional milk or powder sugar to get the right consistency.
Authors Note:
  There is no need to fret if you do not own donut pans. This recipe can be easy converted into pumpkin muffins. You may need to adjust the baking time accordingly. When using paper liners, lightly spray the liners with cooking spray just before filling them with batter. It makes a world of difference.

CHRISTIANITY vs. HALLOWEEN, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL!








   Around Halloween every year a fair number of Christians express disgust at the idea of celebrating a "satanic holiday." To some Christians the very idea of Halloween is repulsive. Halloween and everything involved in it seems to strike a chord deep in the hearts of the most adamant Christian believers. It appears to be contrary to everything a Christian believes is good and holy with all of the evil ghosts, devils and witches floating about. But is Halloween really the evil satanic holiday that some Christians think it is?
    The best place to begin is... at the beginning. There is a lot of literature available on the history of Halloween, including web sites and books. Some of it is even accurate! Most of it boils down to a few simple facts. Halloween appears to have started with the Celtic people. I say it "appears" to have started with them because they didn't write much down. They had a strong oral tradition much like American Indians. What we learn about Celts often comes from the writings of non-Celtic people (often their enemies). While there's a bit of truth to it, the writing obviously has to be taken with fair amount of skepticism.











    What we do know with certainty is that the early Celtic people were not Christians. The Celts believed that there was a natural world and a supernatural world. They had gods, spirits, elves and fairies controlling and influencing their lives. However, since they weren't Christians, there was no concept of Satan! This means that from the very beginning Halloween was never intended to be a satanic holiday.
   The earliest form of Halloween was a harvest festival, more like Thanksgiving than anything else. The Celts thanked their gods for the harvest and they consulted them for predictions about the next year. They believed that the natural and supernatural worlds were close enough to almost touch on Halloween so they did their best to use the










opportunity to get some helpful insight for the next year. Life was tough back then and they were trying to figure out how to make it through another grueling year in Ireland. Stories of worshiping the lord of the dead around this time are just that... stories.
    Fast forward a few hundred years and we have people dressing up like pirates, Batman, witches and Elvis while they go out drinking. Meanwhile masked children are roaming the streets in search of candy. There are also a few obscure cults and Satan worshipping religions that have attached special meaning to Halloween. The question any Christian should be asking is whether any of those things matter. Is it wrong to dress like a pirate and ask for candy? I'm sure if you ask the question "what would Jesus do" that's probably not the answer you'll get, but that doesn't make it necessarily wrong. You'll have to measure whether dressing like a giant M&M and asking for candy is right or wrong based on your own values.












    The cults and dark religions are a different issue. What if a group of people started sacrificing animals to Satan on Christmas? Would that make Christmas a satanic holiday? What about 500 years from now? Sadly, that is what has happened to Halloween. It has been hijacked over the years by different groups using it for their own purposes. Its meaning has been distorted over the years (purposely by some Christians) but the original intent was never to be anything other than a harvest celebration.
    Perhaps it's time to take Halloween back. The next time you hear a Christian saying they don't believe in Halloween or they think it's evil, take a few minutes to set them straight. Tell them to take this opportunity to thank God for the harvest and ask for His wisdom for the upcoming year. After all, that's what the holiday was intended for. If you go out and get a bunch of candy, well then it would be a good thing to thank God for that harvest as well (you might want to pray for good teeth too).










   This Halloween, instead of fighting against the holiday embrace the original meaning of it and use it as an opportunity to educate others. After all, it could be that the Celts had it partially right. Maybe on this one day, we're closer to the supernatural world. Maybe just maybe, if we use the opportunity to pray for wisdom we'll be able to get some of our own divine guidance for next year!