About Wizard's Owl


Where did the idea for the title of my website come from? As a Unix administrator I'm often teased about being a Unix guru and/or wizard. So when I started this site, I decided to use that as a theme. Merlin, who was a master magician as well as a teacher, is quite often used as the pictorial model for the ultimate in Unix knowledge as well as being a favorite hobby.

Anyone that has read Mary Stewart's "Merlin Trilogy" (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment) knows that a great white owl lived in the roof of a chapel. Merlin stayed in this chapel and hid Excalibur nearby while waiting for Arthur to come of age in The Hollow Hills. T.H. White, in The Once and Future King, gave us the name of Merlin's owl--Archimedes. Other mythology casts the owl as the familiar of wizards, representing helpfulness, wisdom, and having powers of prophecy.

In ancient Greek mythology, Athena, goddess of wisdom, made the owl her favorite bird. It was believed that a magical inner light gave the bird night vision. As the symbol of Athena the owl was a protector, accompanied Greek armies to war and provided inspiration for their daily lives. An owl flying over Greek soldiers was a sign of victory. Because of this association, the owl has been used a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, discernment and scholarship.

Note:  Anytime you wish to return to this home page, just click on The Wizard's Owl logo at the top of every page.