"After throwing Demephon on the ground, Demeter reveals her true form, cursing humans and demanding sacrifice from them. She calls humans "short-sighted, stupid, ignorant of the share of good or evil which is coming to them" (Hymn, 342). It is easy to see the parallel being made here to the distinction between the initiated and uninitiated; Demephon is punished with mortality because he was not fully initiated. The second stage was called epopteia or "those who see" meaning those who have been initiated and is aware of the mysteries (Foley 66). Because Demeter is in the process of making Demephon immortal when she calls humans short-sighted then gives the rites, it is assumed that by becoming an initiate into the Mysteries at Eleusis, people thought they were getting closer to immortality or at least some knowledge or reassurance about the afterlife. Foley says the rites "brought happiness and solace to initiates" but it is not known exactly how this was done because the mysteries were such well kept secrets (p. 65). Sophocles hints that it was thought that muesis into the rites ensured a place in Hades, offering a kind of immortality: "Thrice blessed are those mortals who have seen these rites and enter into Hades: for them alone there is life, for all others is misery" (Foley, 70; [frag. 837])."   Seasons of Death: The Eleusinian Rites of Demeter

" The owl is a bird credited with more malevolence than any other, even though its reputation for wisdom goes back to our earliest myths. In Greece, the owl (sacred to both Athena and Demeter) was revered as a prescient creature -- yet also feared, for its call or sudden appearance could foretell a death. Lilith, Adam's wife before Eve (banished for her lack of submissiveness) was associated with owls and depicted with wings or taloned feet. In the Middle East, evil spirits took the shape of owls to steal children away -- while in Siberia, tamed owls were kept in the house as protectors of children. In Africa, sorcerers in the shape of owls caused mischief in the night. To the Ainu of Japan, the owl was an unlucky creature -- except for the Eagle Owl, revered as a mediator between humans and the gods. In North America, the symbolism of the owl varied among indigenous tribes. The Pueblo peoples considered them baleful; the Navajo believed them to be the restless, dangerous ghosts of the dead. The Pawnee and Menominee, on the other hand, related to them as protective spirits, and Tohono O'Odham medicine singers used their feathers in healing ceremonies. When we turn to Celtic traditions we find that the owl, though sacred, is an ill omen, prophesying death, illness or the loss of a woman's honor. In the Fourth Branch of The Mabinogion, the magician Gwydion takes revenge upon Blodeuwedd (the girl he made out of flowers, who married and then betrayed his son) by turning her into an owl and setting her loose into the world."
exerpt from the article "one is for sorrow, two is for joy" by Terri Windling
it is taken from an excellent reading room: