HALLOWEEN FUN FACTS #7 Ravens & Crows

HALLOWEEN FUN FACT #7

Personally, I adore Ravens and Crows as well, however, they tend to get a bad rap, especially around Halloween.

Why?  Who knows exactly, but according to Audubon.org these gorgeous ebony feathered creatures have a long history of getting bad press, and they offer a few possible explanations: 

  • Their color – black. In our western culture that color is often associated with death and sin. —  That is a heavy mantle to place on shoulders of our fine feathered friends.
  • Ravens and Crows are carrion eaters, in other words, they eat dead things. —  Well, I do not think the steak I ate last night was alive, so I won’t be throwing stones at these dark winged beasties any time soon.
  • “Some First Nation tribes of North America believe the crow is a shape-shifter and lives in a void of time.” — Well, as reader and writer of paranormal fiction, I ADORE shape-shifters, and might like to slip into a void of time when I am running behind in meeting a writing deadline.  *WINK*
  • According to Audubon.org, in German mythology, witches rode on Ravens instead of brooms.
Source:  https://ca.audubon.org/news/meaning-birds-during-halloween

Consider this:

A flock of Crows is often referred to a Murder of Crows.  UGH, no wonder they get a bad rap!  Even harsher still, a flock of Ravens is often called an “Unkindness of Ravens”, a “Conspiracy of Ravens”, and cruelest yet – a “Treachery of Ravens”!

Sources:   https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/a-murder-of-crows-crow-facts/5965/ (this link is chock full of cool Crow Facts)
https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-flock-of-ravens

On the brighter side:

Many Native American cultures view our ebony winged friends in a much more positive light.  Crows are often viewed as intelligent animals, a sign of good fortune to come, and are thought to be “…cleansers of both land and mind.”

Source:  https://www.worldbirds.org/crow-symbolism/

There are numerous Native American Myths & Legends about crows. You can find some of them here:

http://www.native-languages.org/legends-crow.htm

On the Non-Mythological side of things, I am not alone in my admiration of Ravens.  See this Popular Science post:

https://www.popsci.com/ravens-smart-plan-ahead/

In my writing, I use the image of the Raven frequently.  Why?  They are beautiful birds, and I have always been fascinated with Norse Mythology & Odin’s Ravens, Huginn & Muninn.  That is why my fictional motorcycle club of supernatural enforcers is called the Twin Ravens MC, and why my fictional paranormal BDSM club is called Raven’s Keep.

Here’s a link to really interesting blog post about Odin’s Ravens.  I found the post fascinating for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact the author links the myth of Huginn & Muninn to the human mind.  Check out the post for yourself:  

https://gthic.com/blogs/jewelry-blogs/what-do-odins-ravens-symbolize

For the more visual among us, here is a link to a YouTube video about Odin’s Ravens:  Odin’s Mythical Ravens – Huginn and Muninn (Norse Mythology Explained)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRGLMZsb4KM

Halloween Fun Facts and Black Cats

HALLOWEEN FUN FACT #6 - black cats

In American culture, black cats, pumpkins, and cute little ghosts decorate many a home as Halloween draws nears, however, it isn’t all cutesy stuff. The poor black cat has endured a lot mixed press across the ages.

According to thingsthatgoboo.com cats were revered by the ancient Egyptians, feared by the Druids, and believed to be the familiars of witches and the bearers of bad luck throughout much of Medieval Europe.

SOURCE: http://www.thingsthatgoboo.com/halloween/hallsymbblackcat.htm

Hartz, the pet care company, reports, “Black cats have long served as objects of superstition. In Medieval France and Spain, black cats were considered bringers of bad luck and curses to any human they came near, and were associated with witchcraft.” And yet, these same adorable creatures are often highly prized in the British Islands and Japan as bringers of prosperity and good luck.

Source:  https://www.hartz.com/how-black-cats-came-to-halloween/

A black cat is considered a fine wedding gift in Great Britain’s English Midlands, while British sailors of old thought having a black cat on board their ships brought them good luck and a safe return home.  In Scotland, it is believed to be a sign of coming prosperity when a black cat shows up on your doorstep.  Furthermore, in Ireland and England, a black cat crossing one’s path is viewed as a good omen – namely, good luck is coming your way. 

Source:  https://www.thesprucepets.com/facts-about-black-cats-554102

This is opposite of many American superstitions claim that the same black cat crossing your path, or walking away from you will bring bad luck.  ARGH!  If that were true, we’d all be in a heap of trouble, because according the ASPCA, the gene responsible for black cats is dominant!  Yeppers, that means there are tons of black kitties out there! *SMILE*

Source:  https://www.thesprucepets.com/black-cat-folklore-554444

While I love to read and write about all things supernatural, I do not for a minute believe the color of a feline’s fur makes it good or bad.  It’s simply an animal.  We once had a cat named Blackie.  Yeppers, you guessed it, he was black as night.  Sadly, he also slipped out the front door one day just as he was hitting maturity, and right before his appointment with the vet to be neutered.  I think he must have done so deliberately because he was our rural neighborhood’s feline version of Casanova for many years.  *SIGH* We never could coax him back home.  I still fondly recall Blackie as the most affectionate beast I’ve ever known.  To me, that’s a good thing because everyone needs a snuggle now and then.

Halloween Fun Facts #5

Halloween fun facts for coffee addicts

I am a self-confessed Coffee Addict!  There, I said it.  *WINK* I’m always saying it because it’s true.  I love my coffee! In fact, I am not at all certain that I can even function without that first cuppa in the morning.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of talk about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and other such seasonal coffee drinks, but I have never strayed from my tried and true coffee with a bit of creamer and sugar.  I’m not a purist, because I rarely drink my coffee black, but I’m not sure that I am ready to “taint” my coffee with pumpkin flavoring and spices.  Bleck!

But, I did find this hilarious video on YouTube: 

🎃👻 Quick Halloween Espresso Drinks 🧙🏻‍♀️🎃     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22e6CxeXJR0

 

Not a fan of coffee?  Well, you might like these YouTube videos filled with cool ideas for serving Halloween drinks.

Halloween Hacks – Tipsy Bartender   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-JarUurWUw

and

4 Frightful Halloween Drinks      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ne0X3sSAhc

 

 

COVID 19 Safety Tips for Halloween

COVID HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS for Twitter

My sons are all past the age of Trick or Treating, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy Halloween.  With all the restrictions placed on our lives by the threat of COVID I got to thinking about ways to save the holiday fun for out little ones.  I found some great ideas on the web.

  • Halloween Themed Family Movie Nights
  • Virtual Halloween Costume Contests
  • Virtual Halloween Dance Off to perennial favorites like Monster Mash
  • Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contests

We are only LIMITED BY OUR OWN IMAGINATIONS! 

Check out these links for safety tips and ideas for a Safe & Spooktackular Halloween!

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Halloween-COVID-Safety-Tips.aspx

https://www.hersheyhappiness.com/en_us/stories/trick-or-treat-2020-safe-fun-and-faboolous.html

https://www.hersheys.com/celebrate/en_us/ideas-inspiration/halloween-door-hanger.html

https://www.thiscraftymom.com/virtual-halloween-party-on-zoom/

https://spookylittlehalloween.com/2020/08/19/micro-virtual-halloween-party/

Darkheart’s Valentine – A Supernaturally Sweet Romance

DHV - Halloween Themed teaser

Darkheart’s Valentine by Audra Hart  (A sweet and sultry M/F paranormal adventure – Adult Content) – http://getbook.at/Darkheart

Twin Ravens enforcer Silas Darkheart discovers his mate, Valentina Colombo Moretti, during a ceremonial dance honoring his Chickasaw shifter guardian heritage.  The moment the human female recognizes his “otherness” she flees directly into the arms of a killer.  Silas rescues his fated mate and they begin to forge their mating bond in their dreams but threats once again loom. 

Will the Catamount Shifter triumph to claim his beloved in the light of day?  http://getbook.at/Darkheart  

FREE to read with KU