Owl Symbolism: The Hidden Spiritual Meaning & Significance


Owls are mysterious and elusive creatures of the night giving them a dark veil of curiosity and intrigue. They are spoken about with wonder or fear, spun in stories of witchcraft, magic, darkness, and supernatural encounters. So, what does it mean if you see an owl? What is the spiritual significance and symbolism? 

Owls represent wisdom, knowledge, change, transformation, intuitive development, and trusting the mystery. They are tied to the spiritual symbolism of “death” which brings about new beginnings with a higher understanding and evolved perspective. Owls can show up when you are being asked to listen to your intuition. 

It is common to feel spiritually activated when you see or hear an owl. They are messengers from the spirit realm, bringing wisdom, truth, and understanding of the mysteries of life. Owls can show up to help you solve a problem or gain a higher perspective of a situation.

This article will discuss the various contexts of owl symbolism and what it may mean for you.


Owl Symbolism and Spiritual Significance in Different Cultures and Religions

In nearly all parts of the world and for thousands of years owls have been recognized as creatures that are tied to the spirit world. While many traditions and cultures feared them for their supernatural powers, they were also praised and celebrated for their spiritual sight. 

Seeing how the owl was interpreted and used in various cultures opens a deeper understanding of their complexity and mysterious nature. 

Native American Owl Symbolism

Owls played an important role in American Indian culture, foretelling spiritual events, whether positive or feared. The meaning and stories behind the owl varied between tribes. Most commonly, owl legends told a story that often involved death, transformation, and rebirth. 

Owls were often associated with supernatural signs, spiritual messages, shapeshifters, and represented the mystery of the spiritual realm hidden behind the veil of darkness.  

They played a significant role in Native American tradition as teachers, specifically to the young. Stories of owls hunting humans at night and stealing souls was a way to teach children the dangers of wandering out after dark. 

In Native American traditions, spinning stories to scare children was a way to teach them the important lessons in life without discipline or lectures. Because of this, owls were seen as great teachers of the night. 

Owl Symbolism in Christianity

In Christianity, the owl was a symbol that represented what was hidden behind the darkness. This is usually in reference to the mystery behind prophetic visions and the unknown future. 

It was believed by many that seeing an owl was a dark omen, foretelling of darkness and evil that will come to pass. However, more mystical Christians associated owls with the deep wisdom that darkness can teach us. 

When we have periods of darkness and challenges that test our moral strength and conviction, there is great spiritual evolution that happens by standing up for your own values. 

As a Christian, if you dream or have visions of an owl, you may be asked to examine how your challenges are helping you strengthen your faith and spiritual relationship. 

Chinese Symbolism of an Owl in Feng Shui

In Chinese philosophy, owls are a powerful symbol of yang, protective, wise, and intuitive energy. This yang expansive energy is a positive omen for good luck and increased abundance, as well as to repel negative energy from the home. 

In feng shui, you can use the symbol of the owl to increase your knowledge and intuitive insight; however, the power of this can be overwhelming if placed in a relaxing area such as meditation or yoga places. It is best in places to increase mental activity, such as an office or work area. 

You can place it near entrances or windows to deflect any negative energy entering the home, as well as near child playing areas as the protective energy makes them feel safe and secure. 

Owls are particularly helpful if your living area has a large amount of traffic or noise, as this will deflect any harmful energy entering your home that can lead to long term diminishment of chi energy. 

Ancient Egyptian Symbolism of an Owl

One of the most highly recognized symbols of the owl throughout history is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph of the owl, which is recognized by historians as the letter M, among other meanings.  

While owls in Egypt were associated with death and darkness, they were also celebrated for these “dark” qualities. Animals that had supernatural ties to the unknown mystery of the afterlife were both feared and worshiped, in hopes of getting a glimpse into a hidden world. 

They were seen as guardians of the Truth and supernatural wisdom that was protected from those who were not worthy of understanding this knowledge. 


What Does it Mean To See An Owl?

Owls are rare birds to see because they are nocturnal animals that blend into their surroundings. If you see an owl, consider yourself lucky as this does not happen often. 

Owl encounters or being visited by an owl usually brings up information about your inner knowledge and connection to your intuition. They are connected to the energy of the moon and the feminine nature of tapping into intuitive knowledge. They represent deep wisdom that you can experience right now. 

If you see an owl, it is best to ask your higher self, guides, or angels what message is being sent to you. You can sit in meditation and ask that the answer be sent to you. Owls represent a new revelation about yourself and exposing something in your subconscious that was hidden. 

This may be a period of deep shadow work, healing from past trauma, and learning the truth of who you are and your purpose in this lifetime. 

What Does It Mean To See An Owl All The Time? 

If you have frequent owl sightings or find owls appearing in your life all the time, this is a sign that the owl is guiding in you in some way as an animal spirit guide. It is also a sign that the owl is your spirit animal or power animal. 

Owls might show up as images, videos, stories in the news, or conversation that people have around you. These are all ways that owls are woven into your spiritual life through signs and synchronicities. 


What Does It Mean To Keep Hearing An Owl Hooting? 

In most ancient cultures and traditions, hearing the hooting of an owl was a bad omen and was believed to be a sign of evil or darkness nearby. 

However, should you be fearful of hearing an owl hooting at night? What is the spiritual meaning? 

Owls hoot for a few reasons, and most often it has to do with giving warnings or setting boundaries. Owls are very territorial and will hoot to claim their territory and ward off intruders. They also hoot to warn off predators nearby. 

Spiritually, hearing an owl hoot is a sign of needing to set energetic boundaries. Owls carry with them very protective energy and could be warning you of harmful people in your life. Leaving harmful relationships or getting away from toxic people in your life might be healing. This is especially true if you feel you have been energetically depleted, or are unhappy in your relationships. 

If you hear an owl hooting on different occasions, or in odd places such as outside your bedroom window, this is likely a call to get your attention. It may be time to tune into your own hidden energies and look deep into your own mystery. Your intuition might be activated now, and psychic energies may begin to awaken, especially at night while you sleep. 


Is Seeing An Owl Good Or Bad Luck? 

Owls have gotten a bad rap thought history as being bad luck and foretelling of death and darkness. However, is this just a superstition, or do owls really represent bad luck? 

Seeing an owl is often seen as bad luck because of their nocturnal nature and being tied with darkness and hidden mysteries. However, this should not be seen as “bad,” simply something not fully understood.  

We often see parts of life that we can’t understand as something to be feared. But, just like when we were children trying to sleep in a dark room, turning on the light reveals what was hidden in the shadows. 

Owls can bring about change, which might be perceived as “bad luck” from those who do not like change. However, that change is often necessary to experience growth, transformation, and spiritual evolution. Once you turn the light on, you see that each challenge brings a period of new beginnings and new discoveries. 

Owls uncover the truth which is often something we have chosen to ignore. The truth can be hard and challenging, yet, it opens us up to a higher reality and deeper wisdom of our true nature.  


Do Owls Mean Death? 

Owls are often associated with death because of their nocturnal nature and their frequent sightings at graveyards. As a child, I remember finding owl pellets and opening them up to find the skeletons of their prey such as mice bones. Because of this, I always thought owls were vicious killers. 

There are many folklores and tales of owls that represent death, hunting at night, and bringing death and destruction in their path. But, do owls really represent death? 

While owls do often represent death, spiritual death does not mean loss of life; rather, death represents the ending of something and the beginning of something else. It represents change, transformation, rebirth, and renewal

Because owls are also associated with wisdom, inner knowledge, and intuition, this is often related to the death of a part of your ego so you can awaken to a higher version of yourself. 

In spiritual symbolism, death can appear as the ending of a relationship, the ending of a job, or the ending of a bad habit. In its place, there is room for healthier relationships, jobs, and healthier habits. 

So does seeing an owl mean that death is near? Likely not. But it might be a sign that there is something significant that is about to change that will lead you on the path towards truth. 

Finding a dead owl can carry this same spiritual symbolism: there may be a big change headed your way. 


The Symbolism of An Owl Flying Overhead Or Crossing Your Path

Seeing an owl is not common, however, having an owl fly above you or in front of you is a very rare occurrence and one to pay attention to. 

Having an owl cross your path is a sign that you are experiencing a change in direction in your life and are awakening to your intuitive awareness. It is a way to get your attention and to ask you to stop, look, and listen to what is happening under the surface of your reality. 

This is a time to pay attention to your “gut feelings” and trust that “knowingness” about a decision. Your logic and intuition might be fighting right now, and this is a sign that you should trust how you are feeling about a choice you have to make. 

Having an owl fly above you is a way to get you to see a new perspective of a situation with higher sight and more wisdom. Perhaps you are too close to a situation and need to get a “bird’s eye view” on the matter. This is a symbol of wisdom, intuition, and psychic insight. 

Owls fly when they are ready to hunt and looking for their prey. They are silent, still, and methodical, but once they are ready to catch their prey they take swift and decisive action. 

Seeing a flying owl is a sign of developing inner wisdom and self-awareness through the process of meditation and self-reflection. Once you feel confident in what you want and can trust the signs of your intuition, you can take definitive action on any goal. 


Owl Power Animal, Spirit Animal, & Animal Spirit Guide

In shamanic symbolism, the owl animal spirit guide represents intuition, change, revelation, wisdom, and death. In shamanism, death is the highest spiritual state that can be attained, as it represents death of the ego which leads to spiritual ascension. 

If an owl is your power animal, you are likely called into a role that brings about change and transformation in the lives of others. People are likely drawn to you to ask for help, advice, or experience a higher state of being when they spend time with you. 

You may have to set boundaries and develop “thick skin” in order to deal with the negativity of others. Because owl energy brings up deep subconscious transformation, many people may feel unease around your energy or may deflect their issues onto you. 

If you feel spiritually activated by the energy of an owl or see owls frequently in your life, this is a sign that the owl has been sent to you as your spirit animal or animal spirit guide. An owl can be sent to you during periods of your life when you are tuning into your intuition, internal wisdom, or developing your psychic gifts. 

You may also be called to look beyond the veil of illusion to see the truth. There may be someone or a group of people in your life claiming to be something that they are not. This is especially true of religious groups, spiritual communities, or places of work.  


Dream Symbolism of An Owl

Dreaming of an owl is often related to your intuition, shadow work, and developing your psychic awareness. It invites you to explore the depths of your soul, and face your darker parts to uncover your truth. 

Owls are wrapped in magic, mystery, and esoteric knowledge. Dreaming of them is a sign that you are called to awaken to your true nature and strengthen your intuition. 

They also carry deep wisdom and revelation that is beyond the black and white dualistic nature of our reality. They see things in the larger picture and can uncover the hidden mysteries of your life path. 

There are many different meanings to owl dreams, and depending on the context and your life circumstance, the owl symbolism in your dream could be something else. The best way to uncover the message of an owl in your dream is to journal the dream right when you wake up and meditate on the information coming in on that dream vision. 


What Does It Mean To Find an Owl Feather?

Finding feathers is often a sign of your angels are nearby, however, do owl feathers carry the same meaning as other feathers? 

If you found an owl feather and felt as if it was a spiritual sign, it is likely a message from the animal spirit guide of the owl. Owls are very tuned into the spiritual dimension, and they can send you messages when you are ready to receive them. 

Owl feathers represent knowledge, wisdom, and mental pursuits. The message is to pay attention to your thoughts and the intention behind them. If you have an idea, this is a great time to take action on it, as your mental energy is high. 


Different Color & Types of Owl Meanings

White Owl MeaningSeeing a white owl represents that something in your life is about to change. White owls remind us that change is a law of nature. If you are going through a hard time, the message is that this is temporary and will soon change. 
Black Owl MeaningSeeing a black owl indicates shadow work that you are processing. This may be deep subconscious false beliefs or negative thinking that are coming to the surface so that you can finally move past it. They can also represent energetic protection. Black owls usually show up in dreams or visions. 
Brown Owl MeaningSeeing a brown owl carries a deep nurturing energy, especially regarding your intuition and self-worth. This may be a good time to set time aside for spiritual development and mindfulness practices. 
Grey Owl MeaningSeeing a grey owl represents the mystery, and trusting that everything will work out even if you don’t fully understand it. The universe is working on you under the surface, and this is a time to trust in the bigger picture. 
Barn Owl MeaningSeeing a barn owl relates to your skills, intellect, and ability to complete a task with everything you have right now. The barn owl in innovative, creative, and thinks outside the box. If you are trying to solve a problem, the barn owl asks you to look at the issue from a different perspective. You have what it takes to complete your goal. 
Barred Owl MeaningSeeing a barred owl is about peacemaking and restoring broken relationships. You might be asked to forgive someone, particularly someone in your family or close community. You might be called into work that helps people resolve conflicts with others or themselves, such as conflict resolution, or therapy.  
Snowy Owl MeaningSeeing a snowy owl represents spiritual growth. Similar to seeing a white owl, a snowy owl represents deep change resulting in the releasing of a lower state of being and embracing your higher purpose. You may be asked to give up negative relationships, harmful habits, toxic environments, and embrace a more grounded and spiritually uplifting lifestyle. 
Great Horned Owl MeaningSeeing a great horned owl is about taking swift action on a goal with confidence, determination, and ease. If you have been procrastinating on a project or idea, now is the time to take the first steps. This owl is connected to the third/solar plexus chakra, so cleansing and strengthening this area may help you become more confident and self-assured. 

Related Articles

What Is The Spiritual Significance Of Seeing A White Owl?


Summary

Owls are truly magical creatures that are wrapped in mystery and intrigue. If you keep seeing an owl or had a synchronistic owl encounter, pay attention to the signs and spiritual messages that are being sent to you by these mystical creatures. 

Seeing an owl represents knowledge, intuition, change, transformation, shadow work, and discovering the truth about who you are. This is not always pleasant work, as you have to walk in the darkness to finally get to the light. But the owl is there to light the path, and to help guide you along the way. 

Like everything on this site and on the internet, use your own intuition when deciding what spiritual symbolism and information work best for you. This is just one interpretation of the meaning of an owl, but sit still and listen to what an owl means for you. You are the best source to determine what spiritual messages are being sent to you. 

Rose Putnam

Rose is the owner and founder of Crystal Clear Intuition and the author of the blog. She is a trained Intuitive Coach and does intuitive readings, coaching and healings. She is passionate about meditation and is a meditation teacher and mentor.

Recent Content