Kelley Harmon (dreadfulpennies) wrote in little_details,
Kelley Harmon

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Sparrows as psychopomps

I'm working on a novella where the main characters are psychopomps/grim reapers/death deities. I'm still in the speedy first-draft and gave the main character sparrow wings in passing. It was a detail jotted down for my own benefit and wasn't even mentioned until a minor character begins talking at length about death and its symbolism. Like the albatross and the crow, sparrow comes to my mind when I think "death", and it was only as I started into dialogue that finally mentions her wings that I realized... I had absolutely no clue why.

I've Googled every combination of the words, "sparrow/sparrows", "symbolism/symbolic", "psychopomp", and "death". I've looked up sparrows on Wikipedia and several mythology sites. I found some links to personal sites and blogs that suggested conflicting factoids about the sparrows and their role in the afterlife. None of them cited sources or even where these myths originated - except for one that suggested the British Isles... which I also Googled to no avail - so I'm more than a little hesitant to take the info and run with it.

Did I just dream the sparrow/psychopomp connection up? Stephen King's Dark Half is dominating my search results, but I'm certain I've never read that book.

The setting is an otherworldly, between realities type of area. I doubt that matters at all, but I do try and follow the suggested posting guidelines. >.>

Thanks much!

Tags: ~animals: birds, ~folklore (misc), ~religion & mythology (misc)

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