As mysterious creatures of the night, there has always been something fascinating about the owls. They’re said to be the symbols of mystery, as well as the key symbol of wisdom. However, there are many hidden meanings that you may not know about. Seeing an owl during the day is a rare occurrence, so if you’ve seen one, you probably thought that seeing it will have an important message for you and your future.
Seeing owls during the night is much more frequent because they are nocturnal animals that exit their hideouts and feed during the night. Their hum can be heard across different locations, especially if there are multiple species of owls hanging out in the same place.
Because an owl is a night animal, hearing her hum can often make people think that something bad is going to happen. Some cultures believe that if an owl hoots 3 times, it means that something bad is going to happen. The belief goes as hard to say that the three hoots may represent a death omen.
If you encountered an owl recently or had a dream about one, this encounter carries a powerful message. It’s not necessarily a bad one, but something you want to read about and learn more about.
Continue reading this article to learn how the ancient cultures and religions read about the presence of an owl in their dreams and encounters, and understand what you seeing an owl means for you, your future, your present, and the people who are around you.
After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what the owl tried to tell you, but you’ll also be able to learn more about yourself, your traits, and your character overall.
Owls belong to the types of birds known as raptors. That means that they are the type of bird that looks for prey, just like other types of this species such as eagles and hawks. They are equipped with strong talons that enable them to hunt kill and eat the animals they capture.
Still, thanks to their big, round heads and stocky bodies they look significantly different compared to hawks and eagles. While some owls are active during the daylight, most of the owls are nocturnal animals and use the darkness of the night to hunt. Right now, there are 250 different species of owls.
When they are active, mostly at night as mentioned before, owls will eat meat. In other words, they’re carnivores, and seldom will they go look for a plant-based diet. Nevertheless, mammals are the top items on their menu. That being said, they’ll eat mice as well as voles, but will see to eating other animals they come across.
Even though they may look innocent to some people, owls are powerful and agile predators. Their intimidating look that can face backward just as humans do may scare many. Nevertheless, let’s look at what made different cultures so enchanted with these majestic predators.
Origin of Owl Symbolism (Different Cultures)
Let’s explore what caused different cultures to pay tribute to owls and glorify them as divine animals. Some cultures have good meanings about them, while some other cultures are scared of them and their power. On the other hand, some cultures have immense awe and respect. Let’s learn more below!
Ancient Egyptians believed in the power of the owls and their divine being. Historians and archeologists recognized a lot of hieroglyphs of the owls, which reads as the letter M, while also having different meanings.
In Ancient Egypt, owls have a bad meaning. Oftentimes, the symbol of owls was attributed to eternal darkness, as well as death. Nevertheless, Egyptians seem to have found a deeper meaning in these dark symbols, so they also celebrated them.
They believed that the owls knew the secrets of the afterlife and that they carried it. Humans weren’t allowed to know the secrets of what comes after, so they celebrated the owls for carrying this secret on their shoulders.
The negative meaning of the owls in Egyptian paganism descended upon Christians, who also believed that this symbol marked darkness. It used to be attributed to the mystery which hid the future visions.
Christians believed that if they’d encounter any species of the owl, they’d be cursed and that there was a bad omen coming after them. It was also used to describe an impending doom and evilness headed after the people who encountered it.
Still, Christians also found good in the hidden meaning of the owls. They believed that there was hope and wisdom to be learned from dark times. That being said, even though the owl was the omen of hard times, people also praised them for the lesson they learned from those times.
The owl symbolism also appears in Ancient China philosophy, as well as Feng Shui, where it has positive symbolism. One of the key meanings is the wisdom, and intuition granted to those who encounter owls. The owls are the symbol of positive energy which protects those who manifest it.
They are the symbol of yang, which is a positive omen. Everyone who encounters the owl will have good luck and an abundance of positive energy. Those who encounter owls will feel extra smart and be encouraged to maintain good grades and learn more things, as the craving for knowledge grows.
It’s also encouraging for mental activity, which means that people who encounter owls and work sedentary types of office jobs will remain more attentive and focused on their surroundings.
Children who encounter owls will be embraced by protective energy that will guide them and keep them safe from evil eyes.
The Norse mythology describes the owls as the Katyogel, which is the Norse god name for the owl. She’s the goddess of wisdom and it grants that and clarity to everyone who encounters and worships her. Owls are the symbol of great wisdom and knowledge, just like in Feng Shui.
Interestingly, the old Norse books talk about Odin who had a pet owl with him guiding him at all times. It is said that the owl respected and worshipped him. Even though Odin was often represented as the raven, some of the old Norse drawings and runes show Odin with an owl.
Owls are also known as the guides of the underworld. However, the underworld in this sense doesn’t represent death, but the underworld inside of us, our inner self that we have to feed with positive thoughts and energy. In this case, the owl could represent a spiritual awakening.
It also encourages us to embrace the darkness and learn from it to become better people, as well as wiser.
Native Americans also respected owls as the spirit guides, although the meanings may be a bit more different compared to the stories told on the old continents. In the Native American culture, owls were the foretellers of different events that were taking place. These events could be either good or bad, so they weren’t bound to the positive or negative omens of Christians.
There were many Native American tribes, and everyone had their version of the owl symbolism, although it varied, it was still somewhat similar. Some owl encounters were associated with death, but also with birth and rebirth after a severe injury.
Some owls were thought to bring the information and insights from the above, and they were supernatural beings.
They were also the symbol of wisdom and the “teachers of nature.” Oftentimes mothers disciplined children about the owls that lurk in the darkness to scare them, which also played part in the representation of owl symbolism.
What Does It Mean When You See an Owl?
We discussed different owl symbolism across cultures and religions. Let’s look at the broader symbolism of the owl representation.
Owl symbolism often leads us to think about a change. It can be both positive and negative change. Perhaps, you’ve been going through a difficult period in your life, and coming across an owl means that good change is to come. The owl may also warn you about challenging times that are about to end at some point, but first, you have to go through them.
Still, people who’ve been going through good episodes in their life and generally enjoying their life should take an encounter with an owl as a warning that there may be some challenges to overcome before the relaxing times come. It can also be interpreted as a balance because there should be an equal number of stressful situations and challenges, as well as positive changes and good.
An owl has perhaps had an encounter with you to share a piece of wisdom. In the future, you may be able to act out on your wisdom or give useful advice that will help someone solve a problem that they had in the past.
People will be happy with the advice you will give, and you will also be thankful for the wisdom you were able to use to help. Not all people know that they can say or do something wise that will have a positive consequence as a result.
Nevertheless, the owl was there to give you that advice and help you understand yourself better.
If you have an encounter with a white owl, that could be a symbol of purity. In symbolism, white color is the purest form of symbolism.
If you come across this owl, it’s trying to tell you to continue your path because your intentions are good, and you’re a good person, filled with clean and positive energy. It also means that you’re a sincere and fair person that shouldn’t be afraid of anything.
Your conscience is clean and you don’t have anything to worry about. As long as you continue your path and practice good habits and work hard, your soul is going to remain pure and clear.
Some birds are associated with the departed souls of our loved ones and owls are no exception. If you make an encounter with a white owl, that means that you may have stumbled upon your guardian angel, or a departed soul that looks after you, someone that you loved and deeply cared about.
Besides wisdom, owls are associated with knowledge and gaining new skills that will make your everyday life easier. Sometimes, people encounter some challenging times that allow them to learn from them. Challenges may be different, but the lesson never changes until you learn it fully.
Owls may not allow you to learn always, but once they do, you should use this opportunity and not leave behind it. After you learn the important life lesson, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions in the future.
Owl symbolism may raise a lot of questions. If you’re one of the people asking questions, here’s a list of the most commonly asked questions about the owl symbolism.
Do Owls Always Mean Death?
Owls don’t always mean death, but their meaning could be connected to the departed soul of someone you loved and cared about. They won’t predict your death but will remind you about someone you loved, and inform you that they are watching over you.
Why Do I Constantly See Owls?
If you frequently see owls, you may just be living in an area that is populated by owls, which is common in rustic areas. If you frequently see owls in the area that isn’t so overpopulated with owls, it’s possible that the owl is your spirit animal and it follows you to protect you.
What If I Dreamed an Owl?
People who are having dreams about owls are possibly going through a difficult period in life. When you see an owl inside of a dream, it’s trying to tell you that you will manage to solve the problems you have in your everyday life. It can also mean that your conscience is awakening and that you will make a wise decision in the future.