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Owl Symbolism – Deeper Meaning of Owl

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007


Owl Symbolism - Owl Meaning

Owl Symbolism - Owl Meaning

I got an email from a young lady in a panic because she had encountered an owl.  She was apoplectic about it because she thought Owls were a bad omen or a sign of death. 

Nothing could be further from the truth as you can see from my email response on the deeper meaning of owl:

Dear Owl-Shocked,

Utter nonsense – the owl is no more a symbol of death than I am (and I assure you, I am not!).

Yes, in certain cultures (China, Egypt, India) the symbolic meaning of owl is associated with death, but you must understand that the owl is nota symbol of death per se. Rather – it was revered (honored) as being the guardian of the after-life – a highly respected emblem indeed.

Throughout many cultures, the symbolic meaning of owl deals with:

  • intelligence
  • brilliance
  • perspective
  • intuition
  • quick-wit
  • independence
  • wisdom
  • protection
  • mystery
  • power

Native American tribes (primarily plains’ Indians) viewed the owl as a protector against harm and their feathers  were ritually worn to ward of evil spirits.

Ancient Athenians made the owl an emblem of wisdomand even emblazoned the image of the owl on their coinage.  To the ancient Greeks, the owl is a symbol of Athene who is goddess of foresight & knowledge.

Taking symbolism from the owl directly, it is noteworthy that it is a creature of the night.   Nocturnal creatures are symbolic of inner-knowing, psychic ability, and intuition – so too is the owl.

If an owl has visited you, an incredible gift has been bestowed.  Also, keep in mind that animals are only called to those who share the same energy.  In other words, you hold within you some of the very same symbolic attributes the owl represents.

To illustrate, you may have abilities to know things that others do not know.  It may be likely you have very strong intuitive abilities that can be fine-tuned.  Further, you may be strong-willed person, and/or have a protective side to you.  I can already tell from your email that you are mentally sharp – so we know you have this in common with the owl already.

These owl sightings may be messages for you to develop your education further.  Or, the owl may be trying to tell you to develop your intuition further. 

Owls also show themselves as a sign of warning (no, not of death).  You simply need to pay close attentionto people around you – owls are incredibly perceptive – you are probably perceptive too – use your powers of perception around new people you may meet.  Not everyone is as nice, or “cool” as they seem to be.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to dispell a common misunderstanding about the owl being a harbinger of death.   With a little more research and contemplation upon the noble owl we see there is much more to this creature than this.  You can read more of my thoughts about the symbolic meaning of owl here.

As I do most everyone who writes in asking for symbolic meanings, I would encourage you to meditate upon the owl. I’ve found that animals are quite willing to share their knowledge with us when we are open and willing to receive them.

Soar into Higher Symbolic Skies!  Check out these relevant pages:

Owl Symbolism (in general)

Air Totem Meanings

Bird Meanings in Dreams

Nature Symbols

Bird Tattoo Symbolism

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