Mahakala Owl 23" x 16" ( 59cm x 39cm ) originally posted on the 5th April 2015
For a while, owl images seemed to be requesting my attention. At this point I still do not know if there is any particular reason, but it's been enough to warrant a painting. After a period of allowing, the owl that manifested in the sketches was of the Eurasian eagle-owl, as it turns out, one of the most feared. But us humans often fear the most profound and it seems that this owl is the most magical, maybe one of the most archetypal owls to accompany wizards, witches and magicians in general.
I love the symbolism of the owl. Loved or feared, nearly every tribe in history on this earth, has held the owl in a special place.
This particular bird is very much associated with intuition and seeing what is not ordinarily perceived. The 'all seeing eye' of wisdom and the removal of karmic obstacles. Intuition being found in the pineal / third eye chakra - Ajna - and the chakra mandala image is embedded within the owl's face, the seed syllable OM (or AUM) subtly on the beak and the feathers have morphed into the flames of pristine awareness.
In addition, the owl associates with death and rebirth, Plutonic and scorpionic energy. Combined with the abilities to see through the veil, this can all be very scary stuff for both the person for whom the owl keeps company and for those on the 'receiving' side of the 'owl keeper's' insight. No wonder the owl was feared. Not the harbinger of mortal death, (as some cultures label it) but in reality, the death of a chapter, the death of ego. The transmutation of one paradigm to another and the naked vulnerability of being truly seen.
The owl is also lunar. Again highly intuitive, with an emotional bias. Love.
Here, the owl has the Goddess protective energy. 'She' has been associated with the Greek goddess Athena, the Goddess of wisdom and protector of her city.
So the owl will protect through profound changes. Nothing to be feared. If the owl is a messenger, it is the messenger of ultimate truth.
In Sanskrit, wisdom can be translated as PrajJa. This means supreme insight, discriminating knowledge and intuitive apprehension.
In Sanskrit, Protector translated as Tara* is Mahākāla, and Mahākāla is primordial in that 'He' is beyond time and death.
which takes me to “chöd” and to -
Trekchö . A practice of primordial purity. Sogyal Rinpoche explained that
"Trekchö means cutting through delusion with fierce, direct thoroughness. Essentially delusion is cut through with the irresistible force of the view of rigpa, like a knife cleaving through butter or a karate expert demolishing a pile of bricks. The whole fantastical edifice of delusion collapses, as if you were blasting its keystone away. Delusion is cut through, and the primordial purity and natural simplicity of the nature of mind is laid bare"
I find this connection curious, as I had already painted this owl in the form of a Mahakala mask. The 'mask' is adorned with the 5 wisdom skulls which represents the transmutation of the five negative afflictions of human nature into positive virtues.
I have set the 'mask' in the blackness of space. (Traditional Mahakala masks are black typically representing the void and ultimate reality) with subtle echos of Metatron's cube whispering the secrets of reality beyond the matrix. The key to divine purpose through the veils of illusion.
This Blackness lightens into magical hues of spacial nebular purples. There is a moon in the top right (when looking at the picture) enveloped by a protective owl and in the lower right, in the nether regions of space, is Pluto with a scorpion, reminding us that some of the most important happenings occur in the unseen.
Connecting them are two words in stacked Sanskrit. The word for WISDOM and PROTECTOR.
So, to wit ( - towoo ;) ) this owl is loving protection through profound metamorphosis revealing awareness of the truth. Wisdom protects us.
The change is personal, but quite possibly involve others, as we are all relational in the mundane.
The 'bullshit radar' is up and running on high efficiency and this can rattle nerves of either oneself or others. People's biggest fear ? suffering. We suffer when we grip too hard to our illusions and stories we tell ourselves, our justifications for behavior that keep us bound in our comfort zones.
I'm not sure if it's my comfort zone in question as I paint this (I know it is a factor, regardless) or that it's my eyes finally seeing through the mists of the illusional stories I've been told, in any case, hitching a ride on the back of this giant bird and swooping silently down the mountain and over the forests in the blackness of Bardo night, knowing, without question that there is ultimate protection as the death of one day will birth a new one.