“The owl is the wisest of the birds because the more it sees, the less it talks.” – Maya Angelou
Ready for our Owl symbolism piece? We tried to cover everything there is to know about owl symbolism. However, if there’s a question, please let us know and we will do our best to answer.
In one of the interviews with Harry Potter’s creator and famous author J.K. Rowling, she mentioned her fascination and love for the owls when her mother made her a cuddly owl toy when she was 6 years old. That’s why when she wrote a book that became a best-seller and made her a household name across the globe, owls played an important part in the story. In the movie, Harry Potter owned a snowy owl which he named Hedwig. And when she died, not a few fans
In the real world, owls are creatures that have been either revered, feared, and despised for thousands of years. As they are mostly nocturnal birds, it adds to their mystique and many cultures view owls as symbols of wisdom and wizardry.
But one thing which cannot be argued is that owls are highly intelligent birds that are full of great qualities. They have for many centuries been subject to different symbolisms, and are part of ancient mythologies and cultural folklore.
And it’s worth exploring why the great Owl has been one of the most important Spirit Animals that roamed the earth.
Owl as a Spirit Animal
Looking at an owl the first thing you would notice is its eyes. Those large eyes make them an efficient predator that can zoom in on their prey with great precision. Some bob their heads up and down to increase their depth perception. And for a prey, they wouldn’t want to be within the range of the owl’s vision.
Ancient people are mystified with the owl’s ability to turn its head in extreme position adding to its reputation as a mysterious animal. It’s ability to stay still and quietly observe its surroundings, highlights its discipline and its power of observation.
As a spirit animal, the owl gives you the ability to see the bigger picture. You can develop or enhance your keen observation and listening ability that owls are known for. It has been said that listening is an art, and that wisdom is knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet.
Owl Symbolism and Meaning
Owls are undoubtedly one of the most mythical and legendary birds. There are cave paintings of owls that dates back to prehistoric times. It only shows that they’ve been a part of man’s history from the very beginning. They have been a source of wisdom, spiritual, and intellectual journey of man.
While owls exist for their own purpose as part of the world’s ecosystem which we are also a part of, it is impossible not to have an interaction and even a strong connection with these creatures. And as both man and owl co-exist in this vast universe, it is worth exploring the owl’s symbolism and its meaning as it applies to man.
Here are a few examples of owl symbolism that dates back to the ancient world, and have been accepted and embraced up to modern times.
- Great and keen insight
- Supernatural powers
- Power of silence
All these symbolisms are a great representation of the owl’s characteristics. It is believed that the expression “wise old owl” was because of Athena’s affinity and great affection for the owl. This association with Athena made them protected and they flourished in the Acropolis, Athena’s temple.
In ancient Greece, the image of the little owl brings good luck. And nothing is more welcome for the Greeks than the sight of an owl flying over their advancing army towards the enemy. For them, it means a sure and swift victory. The little owl is so cherished and revered in Ancient Greece, that coins with the image of Athena and an owl can be seen on each side.
Top Owl Totem Quotes
The owl spirit animal is a sign of wisdom and intuitive understanding. If you have the owl as totem or spirit animal, you will have the uncanny ability to see what’s not obvious to most. When you are guided by this power animal, the true reality is easy for you to see, free from any illusion and deceit.
The owl as your totem animal means you are highly conscious of the desire to explore the unknown. For you, the mysteries of life are a fascinating facet of the universe and understanding it means acquiring a higher level of wisdom.
The owl spirit animal offers those who cling to it as their personal totem the constant inspiration to explore the unknown, and the guidance to discover the magic of life. Here are some of the top owl totem quotes inspired by the owl itself:
1. “Owl as a Totem Animal belongs to those who find wisdom in silence.”
2. “Invoke owl as your Power Animal when you need to see the truth.”
3. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
4. “Owl people are seekers of truth and messengers of the great spirit.”
In Celtic mythology, owls were revered as a messenger between the divine and mortals. It’s a powerful spirit guide when one needs to dig deep within one’s inner thoughts and feelings. The owl as a totem animal is a powerful spirit to guide you when you embark on a meaningful meditation to discover the truth.
The Power to See in Dark and The Owl as a Spirit animal
Owls have the best night vision among all animals, and as a nocturnal animal that hunts at night, they are one of the most feared bird predators. As a spirit animal, the owl represents wisdom and awareness. In Greek mythology, the goddess of war and wisdom, the Goddess Athena was represented by an owl.
According to myth, an owl accompanied Athena and positioned itself on her blind side for her to see the whole truth. It was a symbol of a higher wisdom in Ancient Greece and a guardian of the great Acropolis. Thus owl as a spirit animal symbolizes wisdom and discernment.
Dream Interpretation of the Owl
There are many interpretations since ancient times when it came to dreams about owls. People believed that dreaming of an owl carries it with a message that should not be ignored. A dream of two or more owls means that you will receive important advice from other people very soon. It would be wise to consider it.
When dreaming of an owl flying, it could mean that trouble will come within your family and you may encounter a conflict with some of your family members. A hooting or crying owl in your dream is not a good sign. It forebodes of an impending tragedy either to your loved one or yourself. A serious health problem that will soon result in death is another meaning of this dream.
Dreaming of a barn owl could mean a better financial future for the dreamer, while a snowy owl (same as Harry Potter’s Hedwig) is a symbol of peace and happiness soon.
Other Traditional Spirit
Throughout history, many cultures have held differing beliefs about the owl. In Japan, owls are called fukurou, which means protection from suffering;. They are thus seen as good luck. With some European cultures and also with Native American beliefs, the owl is a bird that is associated with witchcraft.
The Romans saw owls as bad omens. A hooting owl indicates imminent death and seeing one can only mean bad things are soon to happen. It’s believed that the deaths of famous Emperors such as Julius Caesar, Augustus and others were predicted by the hoot of an owl. While the Greeks welcome the sight of owls, the Romans fear of seeing one when they are on their way to a battle as it signals defeat.
In some Native American tribes, the saying “crossing the owl’s bridge” means the end of one’s journey, or death. Other cultures saw owls as messengers of healing and enlightenment. And so to keep illness out of their houses, an owl feather is hung in their front door.
Is the Owl your Spirit Animal?
According to some Native American beliefs, a person does not choose his or her spirit animals. The spirit animal chooses a person. And so if an owl makes its presence to you through a dream, in person, maybe through art or other means, it’s important to take heed. Remember that there are no coincidences when it comes to Spirit animals.
Just by observing the owl, it can already teach you so many things regarding your own life, perceptions, and beliefs. Owls are not in this world to cater to humans. They exist
on their own accord, but just like in any relationships, owls have a lot to teach us.
When you seek out an owl to be your spirit animal in a conscious effort to discover your true self, it will bring you to an unfamiliar place. But it will open up doorways
that without the owl may remain forever hidden. It’s not possible to deceive the owl, and with this knowledge, we are assured that secrets and illusions are no longer
acceptable. So if we want to be free from all the lies and deceits, the owl is the best spirit animal to keep us true to ourselves. This concludes our owl symbolism piece.