The New Moon is here! And the night bird owl, taking up its observation post, is perched on the moon crescent – the doorstep of its house in the hollow of a tree.
An owl can see in the dark and its quiet night flight accompanied by the shrill hooting sounds creates an image of a sage endowed with the gift of prophecy and possessing some mystic knowledge unavailable to lesser mortals.
In the ancient classical tradition owl represented wisdom and appeared with the Greek goddess Athena (Roman Minerva). It is also found in the Roman scrolls as an attribute of allegorical figures of Night and Sleep.
In literature owl often stood for shrewdness and book-learning (remember ‘a wise old owl’).
Let us now compare some artefacts in this painting and in an earlier work of the artist Moonlight Mystery ( 2007)
boundless woodland and the World Ocean
the night bird (owl) as the ‘Guardian of the Forest’ and the fish as the ‘Eye of the World’ that remembers life on earth starting in that World Ocean
the trunk of the World Tree with the Moon reflecting in its lines and the water mass of the World Ocean with the moonlight playing on its rippled surface
if you give Moonlight Mystery a 90 degree turn you will discover that reflections on the tree trunk are almost identical to those on the surface of the ocean!