Discover the Power of Owls: Meaning and Symbolism – Ultimate Guide 2023

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Owl Meaning

The Owl has been a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and contemplation for centuries. It is an animal that represents the spirit world and carries messages from it to ours. The owl is also related to death – this is often depicted in its association with witches and warlocks.

People have a long fascination with owls. They are afraid of them, admire them, attribute power to them, and also use them for fashion purposes.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Owl including its meaning, symbolism, and history as well as what characteristics make it such a powerful animal totem!

A wise old owl sat in an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why can’t we be like that wise old bird?

Edward Hersey Richards

What Do Owls Symbolize?

Owl symbolism is interpreted differently throughout history and in different cultures. However, throughout the cultures, it is believed that the owl brings happiness, wealth, health, and love. In many countries, owls associate with wisdom, magic, and heightened sensuality.

Owls are commonly also associated with wisdom, knowledge, and contemplation. They have been seen as a symbol of the spirit world because they carry messages from it to ours.

In folklore owls often represent death – this can be attributed to their association with witches and warlocks. Owls also represent protection against evil forces or bad luck because in some cultures they were believed to possess magical powers such as being able to see into both worlds (the living and dead) at once!

The Owl’s Female Energy

The owl is typically linked with female energies due to its long slender neck which resembles fertility goddesses like Isis or Ishtar who symbolize motherhood but the owl has not always only been associated with women either!

Female energy is the power of moon magic. The owl’s female side symbolizes intuition and seeing with insight into all things lost to us in darkness or change. It is our ability to see what others cannot in order for them to find their way. This also includes understanding that which we have not yet learned from life experience, but can still intuit nonetheless- a kind of wisdom without knowledge that can be tapped into through the lens of an Owl totem animal guide.

The Female side gives rise to everything about who we are as women: our softness; empathy; creativity; receptivity; curiosity and desire for adventure – even when it may lead us astray (indulge me here).

Leadership And Power

An owl is a symbol of wisdom, strength, and leadership. The white owl represents wisdom because it can see well in the dark; black owls represent power with their keen eyesight that they use to hunt at night.

An owl’s nocturnal habits also make them symbolic for people who like to live independently from society or experience life differently than most others do – much as an eagle soars high above other creatures on earth while traveling through time zones each day without any need for sleep. But unlike eagles, which are often used by humans as symbols of freedom (such as being one’s own person), owls prefer calmer pursuits such as hunting small animals using stealthy techniques rather than attacking prey outright with forcefulness typical.

Since the Middle Ages, the owl has been associated with witches and is considered a bird that inhabits dark, lonely, and unclean places. Her appearance at night, when people are helpless and have poor eyesight, connects her with the unknown, and her eerie howl fills people with an evil predisposition and fear of death.

It should note that modern man lives with owls. Some species live in your immediate vicinity, in parks, in chimneys, they are increasingly being kept as pets. Owls are useful because they feed on insects, mice, rats, and other pests. Btw, this is a beautiful Illustrated photo book about owls – they are just beautiful creatures!

The Owl in Different Cultures

The owl is a bird that has been used symbolically in many cultures for centuries. The Egyptians, Native Americans, and Norse had all historically taken the Owl as a totem animal because of its connection with the death. Archaeologists have found owl fossils as old as 58 million years. Images of owls have been found on cave walls in France, among Egyptian hieroglyphs, and also found in Mayan paintings.

Egyptian Symbolism

To the ancient Egyptians, the owl was the guardian of the underworld. This night bird was the personification of the suffering of the soul that seeks revenge. What surprises historians are that in some areas, near the banks of the Nile, owl symbolism signified rebellion, courage, and the protection of another world. It was also believed an owl would guide the souls of people into the afterlife by showing them what they need to do next. It also represented wisdom – according to legend Pharaoh Thutmose III saw an owl’s eyes light up first when he lit his father’s brazier so he claimed owls were wise enough to be advisers on matters of state affairs.

Owl Native American

Symbolism in Ancient Greek & Roman Cultures

In most Greek myths, the owl symbolizes wisdom. The Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, was so impressed by the big eyes and solemn appearance of the owl that she became her favorite bird. Owls settled in large numbers in the temple on the Acropolis and protected it. As a symbol of Athens, the owl was a protector and accompanied the Greek army in the war, but it was also an inspiration for everyday life. Greek soldiers believed it was a sign of victory if an owl flew over them before the battle.

To the Romans, the owl was a symbol of wisdom and prophecy. In ancient Rome, a dead owl was attached to a house door to avoid evil. The ancient Romans believed that the announcement of an owl indicated imminent death. Owls are also believed to have warned the Roman army of impending disasters.

Chinese Culture

The Chinese culture has long been rooted in the teachings of Feng Shui. According to this teaching, owl symbolism has several meanings:

  • wisdom,
  • attracting wealth,
  • caution,
  • study assistance,
  • protection of family life,
  • defense against dark forces.

Native American Cultures

The Native American culture has a strong connection to owls and they often use the bird as an important symbol in their rituals. The Kwakwaka’wakw tribe, for example, believes it is a messenger of spirits who can be used in ceremonies or healing sessions. In addition, the Mandan tribes thought that when one died they would become an owl and fly away to join all the other ancestors on “the land across.” For this reason, many people have carved skulls into totem poles with wings shaped like those of an owl flying up towards them from the underworld-powerful symbolism indeed!

In Native American tribes, the owl meaning is a unique combination of wisdom and death. They believed that this intelligent creature was the custodian of sacred knowledge like the pattern of time and the secrets of the afterlife. Native Americans wore owl feathers to protect themselves from evil spirits, and with them, the owl was a symbol of the power to predict the future. Read more about the owl feather meaning.

Other tribes connect the bone circles around the owl’s eyes with the claws of ghosts and lost souls. They believed seeing an owl was a sign that their ancestors on the other side were sending them messages or warnings about members who had endangered tribal taboos.

Owl spiritual meaning

Spiritual Meaning

The owl is an old soul, it is the guardian of ancient knowledge, it can see (or better to say “stare” into the past), to discover the greatest mysteries of the world. This is not the end of her power, because owls, like the best psychics, are talented at predicting, hearing, and seeing future events before they happen.

We encourage you to forget the common interpretations that equate this bird with death. The owl, by itself, can never be a symbol of death. This is indicated by Chinese, Egyptian, and Indian traditions, which see the owl as the so-called guardian of the afterlife, which gives the entire owl symbolism a new dimension.

Spiritually, the owl meaning is somewhere in between, and it would be fair to say that the owl is only a kind of guide between the physical and the spiritual, the material and the spiritual world. There is also an interesting belief (widespread above all among those who believe in reincarnation) that the owl is the last thing you see in this world.

Later, when you return to the “material”, the owl is still with you. The owl is primarily a powerful symbol of mystery or secret, and then everything else.

Respond to Your Challenges

You have seen that some owls are associated with evil, with witchcraft, some see in them a symbol of destruction. You won’t go wrong if you put intelligence, brilliance, speed, clarity of thought, resourcefulness, wisdom, great intuition, and independence on the owl attribute list. The symbolism that we so often neglect is that death does not always mean only physical death, but also the dying of some old habits, even old relationships.

In most cases, the appearance of an owl shows that it is time to get rid of something (or someone), to allow it to leave you. It is like dreams, where the owl warns you you will face some temptation or danger, and you will have to be very smart and thoughtful to respond to the challenge.

Withdrawing wise moves is required in such moments, and the change that will follow depends solely on your willingness to accept it, without being enslaved by old habits and prejudices.

Seeing an owl

Owl Totem

The owl totem is a sign of wisdom and power. The owl is an animal that sees in the dark, even better than humans can see during the day. It also has incredible hearing abilities, allowing it to locate prey from long distances away. These two natural skills are qualities that many people wish they had themselves! Owls have been used as symbols for these traits since ancient times – making them popular with many cultures and civilizations.

“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”


Some people believe that if an owl lands on your windowsill, it means you have a guardian angel looking out for you. The appearance of the owl is often associated with other symbols; most notably death and wisdom.

Significance of Seeing an Owl

Seeing an owl can be a blessing or a bad omen. Pay attention to what happens right after you see the owl. If something good happens, then seeing represents happiness. If something negative happens, then seeing predicts bad news, including illness.

This bird is not just about wisdom and intelligence. He has his share of clairvoyance and the skill of seeing the past through things. When you see an owl, it means you have that talent.

Leave Your Comfort Zone

Despite their timidity, owls are natural adventurers. They fly around and explore territories. Your encounter with the owl proves that you have a sense and desire for adventure. You should not hesitate to leave your comfort zone. You cannot gain new knowledge and valuable experience if you do not step out of your limits. The world has a lot to offer. Try to experience them for yourself.

Owls are seen and heard during the night because they are nocturnal birds. However, some owls, such as the pygmy owl, are active at dusk.

Having special encounters with this bird is a sincere blessing. Not everyone got a chance to feel a powerful connection to this bird. Try to understand the role of the owl in your life. Look at the owl not only as a spiritual animal but also as a guide that will improve your life and be more fruitful. Read here about the dead owl meaning.

Seeing an Owl in Daylight

When you see an owl during the day, there is a possibility that an enlightening experience will come to you that will come into your life. You will open a chapter in your existence where you can feel awakened, inspired, and full of hope.

Keep in mind that the owl represents the depth of all things. What you experience can affect your life to the core, and drastic changes will occur, especially in your thinking, appearance, and motivation.

Owls are considered to be mysterious creatures and their gaze can be creepy at times. There is some depth to their appearance, although it is peaceful and calm. These are profound creatures. It symbolizes many things. They are also stated to be nocturnal animals. However, you may be fortunate enough to encounter them in daylight. If so, you may want to know what it means.

The day here represents light, which again resonates with hope, justice, and goodness. If you come across one during the day, then chances are you may have an enlightening experience soon. You can feel full of hope and awakening. What you may experience is likely to impact your life immensely. You can witness drastic transformation in yourself, especially your motivations, outlook, and mindset.

The owl probably ushers in wisdom. It can also be seen as a guardian angel or perhaps a higher being. However such discoveries happen quite rarely and everything surrounding it is surreal and special.

But getting blessed with knowledge, foresight, and enlightenment does not take place merely for fulfillment and self-gratification. You will require them to achieve the greater good. There is no need to worry since you are not expected to change this world. Rather, the gift received is to be used to bring hope and delight to those surrounding you.

Citing this spirit animal during daylight also cites several other things

  • Adventure spirit: Although owls are of timid nature, they are also natural adventurers. They keep on flying into unchartered territories to discover new things and do not stick to one particular place. If you see one in the day, it means that you are ready for adventure. So do not hesitate to leave behind your comfort zone and move ahead. The biggest mistake here is being complacent and idle. The journey can help you to gather new knowledge.
  • Intuition: The truth is that not every person is gifted with intuition. Although it is a common notion that possesses this capability from birth, it is only a few to use it properly. They have very keen senses and can understand better the happenings in their surroundings. They are always alert and can make quick decisions out of gut feeling and not by using a logical approach. You can easily overcome stressful conditions. The owl symbolizes intelligence, wisdom, skill to see through things, and clairvoyance. If you see the owl during the day, then it symbolizes you having such amazing talents. With such talents, you can benefit yourself as well as others around you.

Hence, the owl is seen as a guide that can improve your life.

What about an Owl at Your House?

Owls can place in any area of ​​the house. For greater stability and positive energy in the house, a favorable place for placing the owl in the middle of the house, because that would improve the balance in each area.

Three owls placed near the house bring happiness and prosperity.

Owl dream meaning

Dreaming About Owls

Birds are a common motif in dreams and depending on their context within the dream they can represent wildly different concepts. In general, however, birds are seen in mostly positive regard. They may represent prosperity or abundant wealth especially if they are rather large in appearance.

An owl in a dream often signifies wisdom, and can also mean a new circle of friends that you will gain by joining an organization or club. The owl can also be a symbol of peace and spiritual balance. If you saw an owl in a dream, that dream can herald good business moves.

An Owl in General

If you dreamed of seeing an owl, such a dream can be a sign of verbal misunderstanding. Maybe someone from your environment will be hostile because of some unresolved situation.

A Dead Owl

To dream about dead birds, in general, is something special. Such a dream, including an owl, can mean that you are careful with your health and that you go to the doctor for the slightest signal. A dream can also mean your ability to always look on the bright side of a situation.

Dreaming of Trying to Kill an Owl

That dream may mean that you are trying to get out of a situation or problem, but you are trying to do so by means that only make your situation worse.

An Owl in the House

A bird entering your dwelling is said to be a sign of bad fortune. It is thought to herald some impending doom or bad news that you will soon receive. In fact, a bird entering your house could precede the worst news of all, such as the death of a loved one. So, this dream can mean some trouble and deprivation.

An Owl Flying

Such a dream can mean your mental alertness, especially in terms of your career. The dream may show that you are constantly monitoring the situation at work to avoid risks and threats to your career before they become problems. Think and solve things in the making. This dream can also mean your willingness to help others, especially those closest to you.

A White Owl in a Dream

Fictional stories often have white owls being depicted in them. It mostly involves mysteries, magic, wizards, and witches. The owl’s pensive and still nature is what assumes people to imagine that this creature has supernatural abilities. In case, you come across a white owl, then it signifies inner wisdom, transformation, and change. Often, it is associated with witchcraft and magic. The reason is that supernatural transformation in nature involves the birth and death cycle. This in turn causes spiritual evolution.

Owls are considered spiritual creatures and may appear in your dreams or life. This means it is trying to send across some hidden spiritual messages.

Very rarely you may come across the white owl. You may feel excited, surprised, or even afraid of its appearance. If you see one, then it is crucial to remember the lessons that you are undergoing in life at this point of time in your life.

For instance, are you faced with severe financial hardship? If so, you might seek at least a small sign or indication that will make you feel a bit secure. Are you currently struggling in maintaining your relationship or have lost your beloved one? You may wonder whether to work it out or simply terminate it.

The spirit tries to respond to this energy, which you have been working on for quite some time in your life. Hence, irrespective of the attention that you are focused on, you are likely to receive some spiritual symbols and signs. They can connect you spiritually and provide you with opportunities to overcome the issues that you presently face in life.

Every person is known to have his/her spiritual and intuitive language. This means, the hidden meaning of seeing the white owl will be meant for you only and no one else. In general, it can be a reminder of nothing lasts forever. You are likely to overcome hardship eventually.

These spirit animals also are considered markers of some end. It may result in something new being born. These are also regarded as spiritual masters and require you to focus on the lessons learned in life. Only then will you be able to evolve and grow while being on a spiritual journey.

If you repeatedly see the white owl, then it may indicate, taking appropriate steps immediately. You need to terminate something which might not be serving your purpose. This way, you open the doors to availing of new opportunities.

For more information about dream interpretation, check here.

What does it mean when you hear an owl

White Owl Symbolism

As always, when you are trying to decipher the meaning as to why you are seeing a white owl, it is important to look at what is going on in your life. Spirit will always use certain symbols in order to deliver important messages regarding situations you are currently dealing with or have questions about. In general, a white owl signifies change, transformation, and inner wisdom. Read on about the white Owl symbolism.

What Does it Mean When You Hear an Owl?

We are all familiar with the sounds of owls, and creepy calls while camping or in nature during the night. The voice of an owl reminds you of the presence of beings living in darkness.

The sense of hearing and sight in owls is well-developed. To the left and right of the eyes are ears that are not at the same distance, one is higher and the other lower than the eyes. It is this asymmetry of the ears that give them the three-dimensionality of sound. The sound coming from one side to one ear comes a split second later to the other ear, which helps locate the sound source. The owl hearing aid is the pinnacle of development in the entire animal kingdom.

According to some beliefs, an owl that lands on someone’s house and starts howling loudly during the night predicts someone’s illness or death nearby. If you hear the nightingale of an owl in a field or forest, you should expect bad weather.

Hearing an Owl Hoot at Night

It could be that your sleep has been disturbed by the hooting of the owl in the middle of the night. Perhaps, you may wonder if there is anything symbolic or spiritual about it. For some, owl hooting can be spooky, especially at night.

Different cultures share different types of bird superstitions and beliefs. According to folklore, it is related to bad omens like bad weather or imminent death. But the truth is that owls hoot during nighttime to communicate. But it can sound creepy.

Plenty of superstition and symbolism surrounds owl hooting at night. However, these days, the superstitions involving owls are mostly confined to bedtime stories that children love to listen to. Its eerie hoots and large eyes are what fascinate people. Owl hooting during nighttime is interpreted by different cultures in different ways.

Native American folklore considers owls hooting to have different beliefs. The Cherokee tribe believes that these spirit animals are related to witches or death. Bad luck will befall them if they hear these birds hoot at night. Other tribes relate this animal with that of some supernatural power or ghosts. They consider owl hooting to be some kind of warning given to those who may not have obeyed the tribe’s rules.

Children are also warned of going out in the dark if the owl hoots. On not following this rule, the superstition is the owl will take away those children. Some tribes believe that the healers have got converted themselves into an owl. Others consider that these spiritual animals can communicate with spiritual healers. But others believed it guards the tribe’s spirits.

Why Do Owls Hoot at Night?

There are several reasons cited for the owl to hoot at night. It could probably be trying to dominate over a new territory. Hooting allows this bird to know if others are there in the vicinity and to familiarize themselves. It also hoots for attracting potential mates during the mating season.

In case, it perceives any kind of threat, it is likely to come up with a low-pitched hoot. This is to scare off its predators. However, the most common type of hoots heard is their territorial call. This bird is known to use any nest that is left abandoned by other birds and claims it as its home. Through its hoot, it establishes its newly claimed territory.

Whatever be the type of hoot or time you hear it, understand that the owl is trying to defend its territory.

[Video] The Distinctive Calls of Owls

Is an Owl a Bad Omen?

It could be that you come across a hooting owl, be it in your dream or in real life. You may want to know whether seeing or dreaming of an owl is a good or bad omen. Hooting an owl may mean a bad omen. It can be, some sign of terrible news awaiting you.

Your beloved one’s health may be in grave danger or facing some severe health issues. It could also mean that the beloved one is close to his/her life and the owl provides you with this message. It can also mean deception for which you need to be better prepared. For this, you will have to recognize the people around you and be careful.

On encountering one, you should check your surroundings. It can also be a warning sign. The information provided by the sighting of the owl can prove to be useful to be prepared for future incidents.

However, there are some myths and facts surrounding owls that you need to know

Myth 1: Owls Are Messengers of Witches

Fact: Owls are generally harmless to humans. Like in the movie Harry Potter, they do not go around delivering letters.

Myth 2: Citing Owls Means it Signifies Death or Are Bad Luck

Fact: Owls can be considered to bring bad luck similar to spilled salt, broken mirrors, and black cats. They are also viewed as omens of death and bad luck in several cultures. Hence, they are killed, avoided, or feared.

Myth 3: Touching a Baby Owl Will Mean its Mother Will Leave it to Die

Fact: Owl parents are eager to have their baby back to ensure providing good care. So touch them only for emergency reasons like safety or health.

Myth 4: Owls are Wise Creatures

Fact: Their relative silence resolute posture and large eyes are what makes people assume that owls are wise creatures. The fact is that owls are experts in their tasks to survive against the odds. However, they are often stubborn and slow to learn new things if training is provided to them in captivity.

Myth 5: Owls are Angles Protecting Us at Night. They Hoot Only to Ward Off Bad and Evil Spirits

Fact: Owls hoot only to communicate with themselves and other birds.

Myth 6: If you Consume Owl’s Eyes or Eggs You can also Have Exceptional Eyesight

Fact: Many animal parts do offer useful medicinal qualities. However, consuming eggs or the eyes of the owl is not likely to provide good vision. Therefore, if you come across an owl, you need to take adequate precautions to ensure your well-being.

Owl Tattoos and their Meaning

Today, the image of an owl is used not only in the interior and as decorations, but also as a bird tattoo, forever imprinted on the human body.

The tattoo of an owl or its feathers is today considered a reliable amulet. An image can mean the wisdom of fear, joy, sadness, loneliness, mind, asociality, and caution. The meaning of a tattoo focuses on the way it is drawn, the general context, and the perception of the owl by the owner of the tattoo.

People who consider themselves wise often tattoo an owl, because it is connected with that meaning, but also with knowledge. These nocturnal birds are said to be magical and mysterious creatures because they sleep during the day and are awake during the night.

For some people, such a tattoo is a desire but also a process of educational or professional development.


If you’re looking for a totem animal or spirit guide to help in your journey, consider an owl. Owls are excellent symbols of wisdom and knowledge because they see so well at night when others cannot. They can lead the way through dark times and bring light into our lives with their presence. This is why owls have been used as wise teachers throughout history. Their ability to swoop down on prey while staying unseen makes them powerful messengers who can deliver messages from afar without being detected by those they seek out–the perfect spy! The wildness of an owl’s appearance has led many cultures around the world to believe that it is a symbol of death – but this couldn’t be further from reality.

Also, check out our latest post about owls: Do Owls Eat Cats? and we also compared the owl vs eagle.


What does it mean when you hear an owl?

An owl’s call is a sure sign that they have discovered an excellent spot to “sing” near where you live. Owls use their voices in various ways, such as marking territory or calling for mates and young owls alike. If your home has something within its vicinity on which the bird can perch while it calls out, then there may be one of these creatures nearby!

What does it mean when you see an owl?

Nocturnal by nature and masters at blending into their surroundings, owls are among the rarest birds to see in North America. And yet if these creatures visit us with a message or reminder about our intuition–a connection that’s often associated with feminine energy–then we should be grateful for any such visitation! The wisdom they’re said to represent is deep indeed: it can help guide you through your own inner knowing right now.

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Author: Richard Alois
Richard, a London-based spiritual explorer and daytime marketer, invites fellow seekers to join him on a journey of discovery through his website, With engaging articles and thought-provoking discussions, Richard's inclusive approach transcends borders, uniting people in the quest for wisdom, inner peace, and self-understanding.

6 thoughts on “Discover the Power of Owls: Meaning and Symbolism – Ultimate Guide 2023”

  1. Beautifully resonated, great article, very informative, nothing in life feels like a coincidence this is exactly what I needed to read ❤

  2. Pingback: Village: fine details. Resident Evil 8 – expanding lists of parallels | #deepseahead
  3. Are their still interpreters of dreams or interpreters to help or see And give someone wanting to know more into our pathways if may feel something’s stick out more and because of our beliefs it is very purposely and could be spirits and meaningful and you/simply know their is something in passages read somewhere that help imprint or enlighten the message that’s not being clear ( I may not have right words and could have asked in less words)


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