Owls are a very specific species of birds – and we all know birds are geniuses! 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.
Owls or nocturnal predators are a series of mostly solitary birds with over 200 species. The prey hunts mostly at night, with the help of gray color and almost silent flight. They live on all continents except Antarctica, much of Greenland, and some islands.
What Do Owls Symbolize?
Owl symbolism is interpreted differently throughout history and different cultures.
It is believed that the owl brings happiness, wealth, health, and love. In many countries, owls associate with wisdom, magic, and heightened sensuality.
Archaeologists have found owl fossils as old as 58 million years. Images of owls have found on cave walls in France, among Egyptian hieroglyphs, and also found in Mayan paintings.
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.
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.
The Chinese culture has long rooted in the teachings of Feng Shui. According to this teaching, owl symbolism has several meanings:
- attracting wealth,
- study assistance,
- protection of family life,
- defense against dark forces.
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.
In the 18th century, a detailed study of the zoological aspects of the owl reduced the mystery surrounding these birds. With the extinction of superstition in the twentieth century, the owl is slowly returning to its old place, the place of symbols of wisdom.
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 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 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.
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 required in such moments, and the change that will follow that depends solely on your willingness to accept it, without being enslaved by old habits and prejudices.
The Symbolism to Native Americans
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.
Owls are a symbol of death. Listening to owls’ announcements is considered an unfortunate omen. They are the subject of many stories about “ghosts” that children warn to stay inside at night or not cry too much, otherwise, the owl can take them away.
Other tribes connect the bone circles around the owl’s eyes with the claws of ghosts and lost souls. They believed seeing an owl as a sign that their ancestors on the other side were sending them messages or warnings about members who had endangered tribal taboos.
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 in clairvoyance and the skill of seeing the past through things. When you see an owl, it means you have that talent.
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 more fruitful.
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, 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 among 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.
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 regards. 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 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 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 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 lasting forever. You are likely to overcome hardship eventually.
These spirit animals also are considered as 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.
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, 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 guard 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 real life. You may want to know whether seeing or dreaming an owl is a good or bad omen. Hooting 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 owl that you need to know
Myth 1: Owls Are Messengers of Witches
Fact: Owls are generally harmless for 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 make 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 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 theirs 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 focus 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.