Saturday, February 21, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
The Origins of the Lupercalia
The Lupercalia was started to honor a forgotten fertility god, but the during the Augustan period, the god Lupercus had been invented to explain the festival, according to the Dictionary of Roman Religion. Adkins and Adkins, authors of the book, state that Faunus might have been the god of Lupercalia.
The Lupercalia Festival Itself
The festival was held on February 15th, the day after the modern Valentine's Day Celebration. The month of February occurred later in the Roman calendar. Celebrants would gather at the Lupercal cave on the Palatine Hill in Rome, where Romulus and Remus were suckled by their adoptive wolf mother, according to Roman legend.
The Latin for she-wolf was slang for prostitute. The legends say that Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf in the Lupercal. Servius, a 4th century pagan commentator on Vergil, says that it was in the Lupercal that Mars ravished and impregnated the twins' mother. (Servius ad. Aen. 1.273)
Luperci Priests made sacrifices of goats and dogs as part of the festival, and two young people were smeared by the blood of the sacrifice and then wiped away by wool dipped in milk. As part of the Lupercalia celebration, young men would go through the streets whipping people with goat skins to encourage fertility.
The occasion was happy and festive. As they ran about the city, the young men lightly struck women along the way with strips of the goat hide. It is from these implements of purification, or februa, that the month of February gets its name. This act supposedly provided purification from curses, bad luck, and infertility. Not to mention some kinky fun.
During Lupercalia the names of available maidens were placed in a box and drawn out by the young men. Each man accepted the girl whose name he drew as his love - for the duration of the festival, or sometimes longer.
In the making of my Wolf Maiden Saga, I incorporated Lupercalia as part of my lycan society's mating rituals. The name of my lycan governing body is aptly named the Lupercal. Curious? Check out Book 1, Lycan Gladiator.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Interview with Raven that Created the Wolf
Welcome back to the Werewolf Café for my Full Moon interviews with werewolves, wolves and like and magical creatures. Today our guest is Raven. Not just any raven but Raven from the Pacific Northwest Athabascan legend.
For those of you who are not aware of the ubiquitous black bird of not only Native American but European lore let me say a few words. The raven is the largest member of the corvid family, which includes crows, jays, magpies, jackdaws, treepies and rooks. The scientific name is Corvus corax. The can be differentiated from the common crow by being larger, have a deep purple-blue cast to its black feathers, the beak is thicker and its tail is wedge shaped.
Ravens are extremely intelligent and communicate with sophisticated vocalizations. They are often referred to as wolfbirds and are often in the company of the wolf pack. They scavenge huge amounts of wolf kill and some studies believe they lead the wolf to the prey. To me the raven is my spirit guide. When I do drumming I journey as a raven. It was my raven that led me to the wolf.
The Native Americans revered ravens, considering them to possess magic and big medicine.
Interview with Raven creator of the Wolf (Pacific Northwest Atabascan Myth)
Eva: I open the window and a big black raven swooshed in and sat on the table. “Welcome Raven.”
Raven: “Caw! Thank you for inviting me to discuss my greatest creation.” It fluffed its blue black feathers and drank from the wine cup I offered.
Eva: “You are creator of all. Before we talk about the wolf, what other things have you created?”
Raven: “I made the mountains and sea. I then painted them with great colors and then left the snow white. I created the deer, caribou, bears, birds, and all the trees. I made plants for food and medicine and taught all my creatures to communicate with them. Humans loved the life I created, but something was missing. I decided to make a creature to be a teacher for human beings.”
Eva: “What qualities did this creature have?”
Raven: “The creature had to have intelligence, courage, strength, humor and compassion.”
Eva: “Sounds like the wolf. Did this first creature look like a modern day wolf?”
Raven: Creator raven bobbed up and down, perhaps in mirth before continuing. “I gave wolf a long snout, sharp teeth, strong swift legs, and sharp pointed ears. The wolf was white like fresh snow. I added feathers to its front legs so that it would accompany me in flight.”
Eva: “Really, the first wolf could fly?”
Raven: “Caaww. The feathers did not support him. Poor Wolf flapped his front legs hard but instead of flying, it plunged to the ground.”
Eva: “Did he die?”
Raven: “No, but , Wolf fell so hard his fur turned from white to grey with the tips black from the burning. Though I would miss flying with my creation, I decided it was best for Wolf to stay on the ground and walk on four feet. I created a family of wolves to accompany my wolf creation. They would come in all colors and with eye colors from amber, brown and shades of grey.”
Eva: “Did you visit them?”
Raven: “I flew down and taught them how to hunt. I taught them to pray for good hunting and how to call in game. I instructed them to watch for ravens and crows, for my kind would guide them to food.
Eva: “That explains why ravens and wolves are seen together.”
Raven: “The ravens taught them how to play and tease and how to protect their food from others.”
Eva: “Did they know they were a model for humans on how to behave?”
Raven: Yes, I taught them especially how to be respectful and all the traits humans must learn from them I mentioned earlier; courage, humor and compassion. I spend a long time on how they are to be the teachers of all creatures.”
Raven: “The dog has enough wolf in it to be the best of teachers.”
Eva: I listened as joyful howls drifted into the café from the nearby mountain. Tonight’s full moon was almost as bright as the sun itself.
Raven: “The wolves are thanking both the moon and sun for sharing light and beauty.”
Eva: Raven looked anxious to join his children. “Thank you for coming and sharing the story on you created the wolf.”
Raven: “Caaaww. The pleasure was mine.”
Eva: It spread its mighty ebony wings and flew out the window. I watched Raven fly until it landed on a huge branch.
It joined its wolf children by howling with them at the moon. I watched and listened until it flew away into the realm of spirit. I uttered a prayer of thanks for sharing my world with both raven and wolf.
The connections between raven and wolf have always inspired me. I do my best to include raven shifters in all my paranormal novels.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
A new writing adventure: How to re-release a novel when you have your rights back. The Stone of the Tenth Realm was my first published novel. The novel is an epic fantasy with strong romantic elements. Below is my original cover. My hired artist will be working on a fresh new cover soon. Cover reveal coming in December 2014. I reduced the word count and hired an editor to revise it for my second version. Next I copyrighted and then sent off to my trusty beta readers. I plan to re-release the revised and updated new edition Winter 2015.
Here is the blurb:
Sophie Katz, a Jewish chemistry student, escapes a Nazi concentration camp. By way of Prague and with the help of a golem and a magic stone she is transported into the Tenth Realm a magical dimension that parallels the world she left behind.
Logan MacLeod, hunted for a crime he did not mean to commit, runs to the Bestiary, a forest so dangerous no man dares enter. Drawn by his bagpipes, Sophie and Logan meet.
Even as love ensues, the dark evil of the Third Reich parallels the Tenth Realm, led by Gustaf Hissler, Adolph Hitler’s doppelganger.
Together they must join the forces against Hissler from the Tenth Realm and stop Hitler from her realm. Will they survive?
Sunday, October 26, 2014
(Oct. 27 - Oct. 31, 2014)
The last week in October, authors will be offering interesting Halloween and Fall posts, along with tons of prizes for enterprising trick-or-treators as they follow the hop!
Leave a comment below my blog, Hooty Owl-o-Ween for a chance to win an e-book Copy of Alpha Wolf's Pet, Hidden, Book 1. Please enter the Raffletoper at the bottom of the post for a chance to win the hop-wide grand prize, including Amazon Gift Cards!
By Eva Gordon
On Halloween, as you walk down the streets and to the storefronts, you will see a decorative owl or two. Throughout our history and across many cultures, people have had a great fascination with owls. You can spend days, reading about global owl myths and lore. The owl can evoke a series of emotions, from fear to admiration. Owls are associated with witchcraft and therefore a favorite Halloween decoration. In Romania, vampires were known as Strigoli, from the Roman word, strix, which referred to the screech owl. Strega, which is Italian for witch is also derived from the word, strix. They are also associated with medicine, birth, death, the weather, and wisdom.
|Eva the Witch and Screech owl (during molt, hence bald head)|
According to Paul Johnsgard (North American Owls: Biology and Natural History, Smithsonian Institution Press), Mesopotamian tablets from 2,300 B.C. depict the goddess Lilith as "winged, bird-footed, and typically accompanied by owls," a significant association because Lilith was Sumeria's goddess of death. Pallas Athene--Greek goddess of fertility and power--was also affiliated with the owl, possibly "because of the nocturnal (and especially the lunar) . . . associations between female fertility goddesses and the cycles of the moon."
To the ancient Romans, to hear the hoot of an Owl presaged imminent death. The deaths of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Commodus Aurelius, and Agrippa were apparently all predicted by an Owl.
"...yesterday, the bird of night did sit Even at noonday, upon the market place, Hooting and shrieking" (from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar")
Fortunately, for me and other owl enthusiasts, owl hooting has not presaged our deaths. Though stumbling over a log in the dark, while listening to hooting can cause injury.
So why has the owl earned a special place in our lore? Allow me to muse.
For one thing, owls are crepuscular, which means they come out at the most mysterious time of the day, twilight. The sun is setting, darkness rises and these nocturnal creatures become vocal and active. Man’s fear of the dark, or night has added to the fear of the owl as a harbinger of death.Owls look so darn human. This is due to the position of their huge eyes. Unlike most birds whose eyes are on the sides of their heads, the owl’s eyes look ahead as our do, and they have to rotate their heads to see all round them, again, as man does, but owls are a bit better at it, their heads can swivel nearly 180 degrees to each side, adding up to nearly 360 degrees. A pretty freaky thing to see.
Figure 1 Willie our education barn owl from Blackprairie Raptor CenterHere are reasons why Owls appear supernatural:
Owls have amazing night vision and can see in almost complete darkness.
Their hearing is also superior and they can pinpoint a mouse’s footsteps despite other ambient sounds. At a raptor center, there was one barn owl that was nervous around a handler. It detected that she had a heart murmur.
They have a ravenous (sorry ravens) appetite. Researchers found that one barn owl family can consume 3,000 voles/year. Owls are our best ally in eating rodent pests. The owl regurgitates undigested bones and fur called owl pellets or castings. Finding such pellets might have inspired ancient people to associate owls with death.
Other reasons why owls contributed to eerie legends:
Often owl vocalizations and screeching cans sound very human and even evil.
Seeing a white owl at night might have been one of the reasons the lore of white ghosts evolved. Even recently, mystery lights can possibly be blamed on owls. Or what about those aliens we call the greys with their owlish faces and huge black barn owl like eyes?
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