" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

August 12, 2016

A Powerful Owl Synchronicity at the BBWF For Me

When I was waiting in line at the Mary Ryan Bookshop tent at the Byron Bay Writer's Festival  I saw the face of a Powerful Owl staring back at me.
It was on a 2017 calendar by artist Sandi Rigby, which I ended up buying as I was yet to purchase a 2017 calendar to replace my 2016 at the end of the year (if I make that far) and I liked the pictures on the back that showed what pictures you could expect to see each month of 2017.
"The inspiration for this series arose out of her concern for the well-being of the magnificent Powerful Owl.
Sandi has had a life-long fascination with owls, which was the basis for this series of superbly detailed prints and paintings.
The works are testimony to Sandi’s development of printmaking, painting and drawing skills that have evolved and matured over her many years as an artist.

The images in the exhibition are a combination of painstaking detail with an overall sense of the power and attractiveness of the magnificent Powerful Owl."
I'm not really an owl kind of guy, I'm more into the 
corvid family of birds, WHO (pun intended) I see as much smarter and mystical birds.
On the Road with Corvids
A friend I met in Jindabyne this year
But the owl has become the "in thing" in the collective unconsciousness in the western world of popular culture at present and the Powerful Owl has remained allusive to me on my journey through Australia this year, so the calendar makes a good metaphor for my shamanic quest to know more about the allusive nature of the spirit and it's connection to the material world. 


Everyone seems to be into owls lately

Are the Powerful Owls What They Seem?
I wrote a post before going to the BBWF about animism and why I like cats and think these animals are quite spiritual creatures - 
Is the Theory of Animism Just for the Birds?
and I was stunned to see when I looked up more of Sandi's artwork that she had made a series of drawings transforming an owl's face into a cat's face.   
Chinese Whispers 1

Chinese Whispers 2
Chinese Whispers 3

Chinese Whispers 4

Chinese Whispers 5
And while I didn't have any interactions with owls at the festival I did have plenty with my corvid friends, like I wrote about in this post -

Another Orb at the Byron Bay Writer's Festival?
And I did have an encounter with a magpie just after I had bought a wonderful book about a magpie that saved a family. 
The magpie that appeared just after I bought the book

The wonderful book I had just bought before seeing the magpie appear

That magpie pictured above was one of the most stuck-up magpies I have ever encountered, because every-time  I tried to photograph the magpie, it would turn it's back on me like it didn't want to be photographed. 
For some reason I thought of this magpie as some kind of elder of the magpie spirit and I think this magpie was the same one that gate-crashed the stage in the middle of a talk about copyright that I attended on the first day of the festival.
The talk was called, 'Copyright: Fair Use, Fair for WHO?' ;-) 
The magpie walking across the stage on Friday
Which led Melissa Lucashenko to bring up the children's book, 'Magpie Island'

"Magpie was born on the Eyre Peninsula, but he is blown out to sea when, as an adventurous young bird, he cannot resist following a mighty wedge-tailed eagle. 
He comes to land on a solitary island and is alone among the seabirds there. 
However he is spotted by Benny, the ten year old son of a tuna fisherman who sails with his father whenever can. 
Many months later, on seeing that Magpie has survived his ordeal, Benny persuades his father to take a mate to the intrepid bird. 
Magpie and Mate enjoy only a brief time of happiness together before she is killed, and Magpie is alone again."
"The publishers see the theme of Magpie Island as that of solitude and endurance, and while agreeing with the idea of endurance, much more emphasis can be given to the notion of isolation rather than just solitude. In spite of his courage, Magpie is left totally alone after the death of his new-found mate, and Thiele emphasises the bleakness of his situation in the last line. The bird may provide inspiration, may become a legend, and tomorrow may be ‘a bright new day’ (p.48). ‘But it was dark outside’ (p.48)."
A corvid at the front of the boat in the artwork 'Adrift' at the BBWF

The book above is also about solitude, endurance and tragedy and centers around a magpie and a family after a tragic life-changing accident in Thailand and is probably going to be the best book that I picked up at the festival this year.
It's like a children's picture book for adults, but not in a Dr.Seuss way. 
It's a great book and in a way there is a bit of the shamanic healing spirit intertwined among the tragedy if you look hard enough through the tears.  
I highly recommend this book as a fantastic read.
You will get this after reading Penguin Bloom:-)
I thought it was rather  coincidental that the artwork I wrote about seeing before the butcher bird appeared in this post - 
was called, 'Adrift' and the boat has a corvid (magpie/butcher bird?) at the front guiding the boat on it's path.
I noticed the green orb in the photo on page 126 of the book 'Penguin Bloom'
And a green orb on the wing of Penguin in the photo on page 133, as well.
In the book 'Penguin Bloom' we read that Sam takes up kayaking as a sport to get out of the house and have an interest.

Tracey's owl painting
Interestingly enough while on the subject of copyright, the artist who painted the owl painting above had a video of her visiting an art gallery in Bali as her latest post on her blog and shows how her paintings are being ripped off by other artists cashing in on her work.
I have used Tracey's goldfish painting on my sidebar since this blog started and have written a few posts about her work before on this blog -
Are the Owls What They Seem? 
 Tracey had written about why she liked painting owls at her blog -
"Way back when I was about 12 years old, I remember waking up from a “bad dream”… You know, most of us have done this as kids, (remember?)…. it was either a gruesome animal, or the boogieman that would terrify me in my slumber.
My heart was going boomdiddeeboom, and I peered out from under the covers… wide eyed and fearful, and looked through my bedroom window at the almost full moon.
Suddenly an owl landed on the window sill.. and I was absolutely positive this magnificent creature eyeballed me.
Big, yellow eyes…. and it blinked.
From then on, I felt that this owl was looking after me. Watching over me and protecting me. And, whenever I had a bad dream, I felt the presence of this magnificent creature.

I felt safe. And loved.
This is what I feel when I paint an owl. 
Whether it be the cute owl, staring wide-eyed at the viewer, or the magnificent owl in flight, I have painted it with the intention of protection and abundance.
I hope you guys feel it too!"
Actually, me buying Ceridwen Dovey's book pictured above on the first day of the festival was a major catalyst in all these synchronicities that followed (and I haven't even read that book yet), but that will require another post to tell all the as yet untold synchronicites that went before my purchase of 'Penguin Bloom' .
Only the Animals is a collection of ten short stories about the souls of ten animals caught up in human conflicts over the last century and tells their stories of life and death.
'The Year of the Monkey', 2016?
I thought it was a bit of a coincidence also that there are two photos in the book 'Penguin Bloom' of Penguin cuddling a toy monkey and the book was first published in 'The Year of the Monkey', 2016.
But I guess with Cameron Bloom also capturing two green orbs in his photos for the book and me capturing the green orb before seeing the butcher bird appear at the festival, I might have to admit that the orbs are probably not what they seem. :-) 
Just a coincidence, trick of light on the lens, or a sign to pay attention?
Maybe it was all three of the above?

Only the Animals

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