Owl – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Owls are solitary and nocturnal birds of prey, with large and broad heads. They have excellent night vision and hearing, and their feathers are specially adapted for silent flying.

Their prey usually consists of small mammals, other birds and insects. Owls are widely spread throughout the world, except some remote islands and Antarctica.

They have large eyes and ear holes, flat face, and a curved beak. They have a circle of feathers which surrounds their face and resembles a mask.

Their eyes face forward, which enables them to hunt in low light conditions. The eyes are also fixed in the eye sockets, which forces them to turn their entire head if they want to change their view.

Owls have binocular vision and they are farsighted, so they cannot see clearly something in close vicinity to their eyes. To feel the prey they have caught, they use the hair-like feathers which they have on their beaks.

They have another extraordinary ability, which is to rotate their heads and necks up to 270°.

These birds have very flexible necks, as well as adapted circulatory systems, which enable such movements.

Owls come in different sizes. The smallest is only 13.5 cm tall, and that is the so called elf owl.

The largest existing owls are the Eurasian eagle owl and the Blakiston’s fish owl. In many owl species, females are significantly larger than males. Females are slightly larger than males in general.

These are carnivorous birds of prey and they are excellent hunters. Their hunting skills vary, depending on their habitat. Some owls adapt to hunt fish.

Owls are also known for their ability of stealthy flight. They are not as fast flyers as other birds of prey, but that is also a part of their hunting tactics. Because they hunt mostly at night, they need to be silent so their prey wouldn’t hear them and escape.

The scientists believe that the secret of their stealth flight is in their feathers, which are larger than the feathers of most birds and have some other different characteristics.

Another main characteristic of owls is their disproportionally large eyes when compared to their heads.

Owls have asymmetrical ears, which enable them to locate their prey accurately. The owl continues turning its head until the sound reaches both their ears simultaneously and at that moment the owl is facing the source of the sound.

These birds have powerful talons and beaks which have a significant role in killing their prey.

Their beaks are hooked at the top, and they use this feature to tear the prey’s tissue and kill it.

Owls usually have a greyish plumage, which helps them blend in their surroundings.

They usually lay three to four eggs. Although they usually are monogamous, not all owls are, and they do mate with other mates when the new breeding season arrives.

What does Owl Symbolize?

Being widely spread, owls and their symbolism have a strong influence in many cultures all over the world.

In many cultures, owls were considered messengers of death. It was believed that someone would soon die when someone heard an owl. They were a symbol of death, illness, and bad luck.

In ancient Egypt, owls were considered as guardians of the Underworld. They were also protectors of the dead, and were believed to guide the souls of the dead to the Underworld.

In Japan and some other far-eastern countries, owls are considered an omen of good luck.

In the African culture, the owl is considered a symbol of sorcery and black magic. Some African tribes believe that seeing an owl could bring them illness or enchantments.

In many modern societies, owls are considered a symbol of wisdom and deep knowledge. The belief dates back in the times of the Ancient Greeks where the owl was a symbol of Athens and Athena, the goddess patron of Athens.

In many Native American tribes, owls are related to the spirits of the dead and bringers of their messages. For some, they are considered a symbol of destruction and death. They are also a symbol of evil and sorcery.

Owls also symbolize hidden wisdom and intuitive insights.

It also symbolizes changes, intuition, inner guidance, wisdom, farsightedness, silence, the unknown, mystery, skillfulness, sharp observer, nocturnal, seeing the bigger picture of things, darkness, hearing, eye for details, excellent sight, mask, movement, protection, flexibility, the unseen, stealth, etc.

The Owl Meaning as a Spirit Animal

The owl totem can have many different meanings. Here are some of them:

Farsightedness and intuition. Owls are farsighted and have an excellent night vision, but see poorly from a close distance. This totem animal gives you the skill to see beyond lies and deception. This spirit animal is helping you to discover secrets hidden from the rest of the people.

You also have the ability to see through illusions and see other people’s true intentions and even sense their true feelings.

Having this animal as your totem, your intuition is most likely very heightened and you have access to hidden knowledge and wisdom most people will never have.

The unknown. Owls are symbols of mystery and the unknown. This bird as your totem instills in you the desire to discover the unknown. You are fascinated by the mysteries and magic and usually have great knowledge on the subject.

Stealth and silence. Owls have a special ability to fly through the air almost without a sound. They have adapted in such a manner so they could approach their prey as close as possible. This totem animal gives you the skill to be an invisible and silent observer which enables you to gather information not available to ordinary people.

Privacy and discretion. Owls move silently through the night. The purpose of their silent flight and nocturnal activity is to remain unseen by their potential prey. With the owl as your spirit animal, you tend to be a very secretive person who is very protective of your privacy.

Flexibility. The owls have very flexible necks and are able to rotate their heads up to 270°. This totem animal teaches you of the need to be flexible in most life situations and avoid being rigid. If you have an owl as your totem, you are probably flexible which enables to achieve the best possible results of your actions.

Mask. The owl has a mask like a feather circle around their faces. This totem animal teaches you that sometimes it is wise not to expose your true intentions and desires to others because they might misuse your trust.

Wisdom. The owl is a symbol of ancient wisdom and knowledge. The owl spirit animal is helping you gain this wisdom and apply it in your life. With this totem you probably already possess this knowledge and you reach out for answers whenever you need them.

Sharp observer and eye for details. Owls are known for their sharp observing skills in extreme low light conditions. They spot their prey with excellent accuracy. The owl totem animal gives you the gift of noticing details and using them to your advantage. 

The Owl as Your Totem Animal

People with the owl as their totem animal usually have the ability to see the unseen and have the knowledge which is unknown to most people.

This spirit animal helps these people see the truth behind illusions and lies.

This totem animal also encourages them to seek deeper knowledge about life and its mysteries.

If the owl is your totem animal, you are most likely a very spiritually evolved being. You have a relationship with the higher realms and you get intuitive messages from there. You often have clairvoyant abilities.

You are focused on your goal and you don’t waste time on futile actions. You don’t like to be overly exposed and you prefer working behind the scenes. You also don’t want other people to know your affairs and you share them only with the ones who are close to you.

If the owl is your spirit animal, you probably prefer being active at night and tend to sleep a lot during the day. Nighttime is when you are most productive and that rhythm of life suits you perfectly.

You are drawn by the dark and its mysteries. You could also be drawn to the occult and its secret knowledge. Magic and its power possibly fascinate you.

You have the gift to discover other peoples’ secrets, directly from them or intuitively. When someone’s talking to you, you have the ability to see through that person’s words and find out the true motives and feelings this person has.

No one is able to deceive you because you have the gift to see directly in their souls.

Don’t be afraid of these gifts, but embrace and try to use them for your own good as well as the good of other people.

With this totem, you probably do your best to come up with the most practical solutions to your problems, and you don’t give up until they are resolved. You are focused and determined to succeed.

You never lose sight of your goals.

People who have an owl as their totem animal, are often farsighted and don’t see well at close range.

What if the Owl Appears in Your Life?

When this totem animal appears in your life, it is a reminder to seek the deeper meaning of the circumstances you are in. You need to see beyond things and this totem animal will help you get the accurate answers.

The owl often appears in your life when you need to rely on your inner guidance to make some important life decisions.

This totem animal is asking you to begin working on developing your intuitive skills or discover your true potential. It could also be a calling to work on your creativity.

This bird often appears in our life as an announcement of changes you are about to experience soon. It could also indicate a process of transformation of your personality you are about to undergo.

An owl appearing in your life can often indicate some new beginnings and leaving the past behind. It could indicate getting rid of bad habits and embracing some new ones.

This totem animal could also appear as a reminder to let go of something you don’t need anymore. The owl encourages you to listen to your intuition when deciding on doing that. It could be a calling to clear out the space for new people and things to enter your life.

You need to release past burdens and move on with your life.

The owl brings clarity and understanding of things into your life. It enables to see things and details you weren’t able to earlier. The owl also helps us to face our hidden fears and traumas and overcome them.

Owls enjoy being still and observing the surroundings. The owl totem animal appearing in your life could indicate the need to retreat and observe some circumstances instead of actively participating in them. That is necessary for you to gain some important insight and information so you can use them to plan your future actions and decisions.

By doing that you might discover some details you have missed before. You might get insights about some people and their true motives as well, especially regarding you.

Often an owl appearing in your life represents an announcement of some event which might notably change your life for the better.

In some cases, the owl appearing in your life could indicate soon receiving some important message regarding your life.

When to call on Owl?

You should call on owl as your spirit animal when:

  • You need to access some knowledge about unknown matters;
  • You need to go through some changes and transformation;
  • You feel confused and need help to see the truth behind some lies and deceptions;
  • You need to release some people and things from the past which don’t serve your highest good;
  • Some secrets need to be revealed;
  • You need to gain access to some hidden knowledge;
  • You need help in discovering the direction you need to take in life or only in some situation in life;
  • You need support and guidance about some decisions you need to make;
  • You need to improve your judgment;

Dreams about Owl– Interpretation and Meaning

If an owl appears in your dream, it might be a possible warning about some imminent danger approaching.

This dream could be warning you to pay attention to potential threats around you. This dream could also make you pay attention to some facts you have been ignoring or underestimating.

Dreams about owls often call us to begin relying on our intuitive insights more. Maybe your intuition wants to tell you something and you have been ignoring its signs. The dream is a reminder to begin paying attention to the signs the Universe is sending you about the right path and the actions you need to take or the decisions you need to make.

These signs might not be clear to the average observer, but you have the gift of noticing and translating these subtle signs.

In some cases, an owl in your dream could be an announcement of transformation you are about to go through or symbolize the transformation of your personality you are currently undergoing.

The owl in your dream could be a sign from your subconscious that you need to release some things from the past which are blocking your progress. Maybe this dream is a sign you need to get rid of some bad habit or change your negative attitude.

If the owl was hooting in your dream, that could be a bad sign, and an announcement of difficulties, disappointments and sometimes it could be an omen of someone’s illness or death. A dead owl also symbolizes death and illness.

Sometimes the death can be symbolic, as the death of a bad habit, etc.

If the owl pecked you on the eye, that dream could indicate the need to gain some insight about some issues in life. Sometimes it symbolizes an issue you try to avoid dealing with.

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