Symbolizing a deep connection with wisdom and the nocturnal, the owl spirit animal represents knowledge, intuition, and the profound mysteries of life. Owls are known for razor sharp vision and keen observation, thus, if the owl is your totem or spirit animal, you’re likely to have the ability to see below the surface — that which is usually hidden to most. You can distinguish reality from fantasy and go beyond superficial appearances.
Dating back to ancient times, owls have been considered elusive, mysterious creatures and were spoken of in folklore in connection to magic, darkness and even the supernatural. The owl spirit animal reminds us to tap into our intuition. This is where true wisdom lies.
As a personal totem, the owl provides the inspiration and guidance necessary to explore the unknown, to change, transform, and experience the mystery and magic of life.
The Meaning and Symbolism of the Owl
The owl has been a subject in myths and folklore around the world for centuries. It is an important totem in the beliefs held by many cultures and has been associated with a variety of meanings and symbols.
A complex and mysterious creature, the owl has been linked to spiritual gifts and insight and even to witchcraft and dark, supernatural powers. Owls are also unique in that they possess highly evolved physical attributes.
A person may draw upon the owl’s many exceptional qualities, which can be expressed as wisdom, intuition, agility, courage, and protection as well as independence, keen observation, and transformation.
Characteristics of this Animal Guide
The owl is a truly exceptional creature. This seer of the night possesses skills and physical attributes that many other animals, including humans, do not. If you are drawn to owls, you are likely tapping into one or several of its unique characteristics.
If an owl makes itself known to you, whether in nature, through art, or in your thoughts or dreams, take note. As a messenger from the spiritual realm, there is usually important information the owl would like to convey. A wise and evolved guide, the owl can provide insight into one’s life purpose as well as help to find answers to important questions in a soul’s journey.
Consider what answers you may be seeking in life and seek a higher perspective to channel intuitive guidance.
Wisdom & Intuition of the Owl
Photo by Erik Karits
One of the owl’s most extraordinary attributes is its eyesight, which includes exceptional nocturnal vision. Owls can also turn their heads 270 degrees and see in every direction. An owl’s uncanny ability to see in the dark makes them a natural symbol for wisdom and insight.
An owl may be sent to you as a spiritual messenger at a time when you are tuning into your internal wisdom or developing your psychic gifts. When you tap into your intuition, it is possible to see beyond the surface and determine a person’s true motives or intentions.
The owl symbolizes the need to utilize discernment when making decisions and to view each situation from a variety of angles, as there can be multiple points of view. The owl’s ability to see in the dark also illustrates how we may intuitively guide ourselves and others. Call on the owl when you need to make a decision or clarify a situation.
Your Spirit Guide for Agility, Courage & Protection
Photo by David Selbert
Owls have exceptional flying skills and many have an incredible memory. They are able to take off vertically from a standstill and fly silently and slowly with very little turbulence. The owl serves as inspiration to move through life effortlessly, with wisdom and grace.
A highly evolved bird, the owl is also extremely protective and will show tremendous courage when protecting their own. It can create a mental map of its territory thanks to its “sound-location memory,” which enables it to hunt in the dark and fly safely at night.
Skilled hunters, owls will protect their nests and offspring, attacking when threatened. The owl spirit guide can serve as a messenger to protect those relationships you value — especially those most important to you.
The Owl Symbolizes Independence
Photo by Ruslan Khmelevsky
A loner, the owl spirit animal represents vision, freedom, and independence. The owl can inspire you to unlock your full potential and discover your unique talents. If the owl resonates with you, it is likely you enjoy working on your own and value your independence. You might even live alone, but of course, you still enjoy companionship and social gatherings.
If the owl has made itself known to you, it might inspire you to assess your life and/or career and determine whether you are fully tapping into your unique skills and talents. Owls survive and thrive because they utilize their innate gifts. Likewise, human beings possess a unique combination of attributes and are called upon to utilize them to express their individual soul’s purpose.
Owls Represent Keen Observation in Our Lives
In addition to powerful vision, the owl has been blessed with highly evolved hearing. In fact, at certain frequencies, owls can hear with much more acuity than humans. The owl’s head is designed and structured for listening. Many species of owls have asymmetrically placed ears that enable them to pinpoint sounds from multiple directions.
If the owl spirit has called to you, you are most certainly a keen observer and have the capacity to be a good listener. The owl hears and knows things — even if they are not visible. The owl teaches us to look past the surface, listen and observe to understand what is truly happening.
This Spirit Guide Prompts Transformation
If you have had a mysterious insight, been through a psychic experience or received inspiration regarding your purpose in life, the owl is likely your spirit animal. The owl can even unveil a challenge to assist in your personal development.
Drawing on the owl totem, you may be called into a role that brings about change and transformation in your life or the lives of others. For this reason, people are likely very drawn to you and often ask for advice or assistance. They may even experience a higher state of being in your presence.
The all-knowing owl reminds us to use wisdom and intuition when making decisions or changing direction in life. With guidance and courage, the owl can be utilized as a symbol for the transformation needed to achieve personal fulfillment.
Owls Revealed in Folklore
Throughout history, owls have been known to represent both good and bad omens. In Greek mythology, an owl above the battlefield suggested victory to the Greeks. Athena, the Greek goddess of war, handicraft, and practical reason, even honored the owl as her favorite feathered creature.
Conversely, during the Roman era, owls were actually considered a bad omen and were often a symbol of impending disaster. It was believed that witches were able to transform into owls to fly around and suck the blood of infants.
According to Artemidorus, a second Century soothsayer, dreaming of an owl signaled peril, as it meant that a traveler would end up shipwrecked or robbed.
Photo by Vincent M.A. Janssen
In 18th-century England, many believed the screech of an owl flying past the window of a sick person meant imminent death. Owls weren’t all bad in the eyes of the English though. They actually found owls to be useful in some very interesting and strange ways.
It was believed that consuming owl eggs could remedy a variety of illnesses like alcoholism. But wait, it gets weirder! Not only did they believe alcoholics could be cured with owl eggs, they also thought feeding owl eggs to children would help protect them from alcohol addiction later in life.
For Native Americans, owls can mean a number of different things as the owl’s symbology differs from tribe to tribe. Depending on which tribe you ask, the owl can symbolize many different things.
Native American Owl Symbolism
- The representation of spirits
- Carrier of souls to the underworld
Animal Facts Featuring The Great Horned Owl
Latin Name: Bubo Virginianus
Size: 18-25 inches, Wingspan 3.3-4.8 feet
Weight: 2-5.5 pounds
Ave Life Span: 5-15 years
Location: From the Arctic to South America
Special Ability: Talon strength is 300 lbs per sq. in. or equal to the bite force of a German Shepherd
Estimated Population: As few as 3.9 million in the U.S., global population unknown
Endangered Status: Least Concern
(SCALE: Least Concern→ Near Threatened→ Vulnerable→ Endangered→ Critically Endangered→ Extinct in the Wild→ Extinct)Shop our collection of winged animal designs:
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