This is a collage I made titled Deadwood Parliament. It is from a series of animal collages called Congregations.
If you want to see more I have work posted at www.wooloo.org/valeriesalez
Last summer I had many uncanny owl encounters....mostly in broad daylight!!! This is extremely rare. One was on the side of the Klondike Highway outside of Dawson City. I was riding my bike on a sunny afternoon when I stopped dead in my tracks and was suddenly face to face with a huge Grey Owl.
A few days earlier Jesse and I saw three (!!) fluffy baby owls perched on driftwood beside the Klondike River.
Geting bitten alive by mosquitoes we watched in awe until they all flew up and over our heads.
Throughout my life in the Yukon First Nations freinds of mine told me that owls mean one thing....Death. But that was mostly related to night viewings.
Curious about day sightings I did a little research to see if there were other cultural perspectives pertaining to owls.
Here is what I wrote in my sketch book:
Owl = Messanger
Owl in Latin = Strix which also means Witch
"Owl's have so much light in them they can see in the dark, they can see into places others cannot." Blackfoot
Owls are deeply connected with shamanic magic. They are omens.
Witches as well as owls have their secret ways deep in the dark night forest.
Owl is of the East. East is the place of Enlightenment.
Owls can see the invisible and hear the impossible.
Owls look deep below the surface and like it's talons, pierce the truth.
Owl energy protects from illusion.
Athena, the one-eyed Greek Goddess of Wisdom, had an owl sit on her left shoulder, on her blind side.
The owl told her all it could see from all directions.
It allowed Athena to possess a wide girth of wisdom and attain a whole truth.
This all made sense to me. For months I had been talking about being drawn to light...looking towards light....instead of down at my feet. I was also about to move from the far West of the Yukon to the far East, Nova Scotia.
Interestingly, at the end of the summer, as I was heading out of the Yukon, I stopped in at a small First Nations community that I lived in for many years.
It was here, in Teslin, the land of the powerful Tlingit people, that I have had my most powerful spiritual experiences and encounters.
Myself and Jesse and Veronica (a dear friend from Vancouver) stayed a night to partake in a large Tlingit gathering.
Was a powerful evening of dance and song and storytelling and awaking. Everyone felt empowered.
Exhausted we sat with John (my dearest and oldest friend) at the sacred fire beside the lake. Was a stunningly dark and enveloping night.
Suddenly a large owl flew overhead and perched on tall deadwood tree near us.
We fell silent and John stood up and approached the owl. He offered it tobacco and asked that this owl not take one of his people.
The next morning we were all having breakfast and feeling excited about the celebration events that would take place all day.
No sooner did one of Johns relatives come over and announce that a youth had taken his life last night.
This is the power of Owl. Filled with both light and dark. Unexpected yet constant in it's message.