This is a story of our great grandmothers, of the days when the women still had feathers running down their spines, before we tucked them up below our shoulders blades and slept through the moonlight.
Not many remember this today, but there was a time when the Moon and her twin sister walked among the people. The Moon showed the women the dark secret of the earth, when to plant, where to gather, how to sing the oysters up from the depths. She would gather them to her each month, showing them how to dance the wildness into their souls and how blood beget life. The Moon loved the People dearly, always returning after the day, after the sun, every night without fail.
But the Moon's sister became jealous. She was as fair skinned as the Moon, as silvery haired, she knew the ancient dances, she knew the secrets to life. But she cared little for the People, and so the People stepped cautiously around her with averted eyes. Her jealousy consumed her. While the Moon slept and the Sun distracted the People with his dazzling presence, the Moon's sister crafted a plan. She wrapped her sleeping sister in a black bear skin, tied tight with leather thongs, and threw her into the sky. When evening fell, the darkness was complete. The Moon was hidden from the People and they shivered in the blackness.
"Where is our sister? Where is our mother-Moon? " the People cried in a panic. They called out to the eagles, to the crows, to the sparrows, "Someone help! The Moon has been stolen away!" The eagles, the crows and the sparrows awoke and flapped out of their nests, but the darkness was complete and they stumbled without sight. The People called to the bison, the bobcats, and the mule deer, "Help us, help us!" But without even a glimmer of light, they were lost in the forest. Finally the People called out, "Owl, Owl, help us find the Moon."
Now Owl was known as the seer, for Owl's eyesight was keener than any other living being. She rolled her head side to side, from earth to sky, and caught the faintest twinkle high above the clouds. She spread her great wings and flew, up and up, until the air was thin. She flew until the earth pulled back below her and disappeared in the gloom of night. She flew until she reached the bear skin hanging in the sky, and with her sharp small beak, she clipped right through the leather thongs. The cloak fell away from the Moon and the earth was once again illuminated with her glow. Owl tried to carry the Moon back to the earth, but the Moon knew her time to walk among the People had passed.
She kissed Owl on the forehead, and immediately the brown feathers turned bright white, and the sign of love ringed her face. "Send my sister to me," commanded the Moon, "for though her heart is dark, she is still my kin and she shall live with me in the sky. Return to the People, show them your face and they will see me in it. Tell them to remember the truths I have shown them."
And Owl did everything just as the Moon said. Now, every month, the Moon dances with her sister across the night sky, swinging each other around through light and darkness that neither outshine the other.
And that dear children, is how we became a People of the Owl.
Ancestral Mythology: People of the Owl
(sterling silver, kyanite, larimar, and aquamarine)
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