The Owl: Symbolism and Spiritual Meanings

If you have recently seen an owl in real life or on television or even photos it can be a message from the spirits. Animals have long been considered symbols and message carriers that serve the purpose of warning you about an upcoming event, remind you of a power, or serve as a symbol. Whatever the meaning of the owl has in your life, it is time to take notice.

What Does the Owl Represent?

Owls have been associated with wisdom, intuition, and knowledge for a long time. In Greek mythology, the owl is aligned with the goddess Athena who is the goddess of wisdom. In Roman mythology the owl represents the goddess of wisdom Minerva. For Native Americans, owls can represent omens, good and bad. They believed an owl was a message of death and a hoot was an announcement of an impending death. Native Americans also thought witches used owls in spell casting or as disguises to spy on humans. At the same time, Native Americans regard the owl’s powers as bringing luck. Owls were carved into totems to symbolize the owl’s ability to see through darkness and provide guidance in the night. They associated the owl with wisdom and knowledge and carved them for guidance and assistance. By nature, owls are calm and inquisitive. They are nocturnal and observe the world around them. This is why they are associated with inner wisdom and intuition. The owl is a spirit animal thought to represent a higher state of mind.

Owls and Superstition

The owl serves as a symbol in many cultures. Since it is nocturnal, these superstitions tend to have a dark connotation. In Aztec tradition, the owl is associated with the Lord of Death. In Celtic tradition, they are messengers of death. Celts believe if an owl perches on the window of someone who is ill that they will soon die or the owl will soon collect their soul. Some also believe the owls carry souls into the underworld. For the Chinese, if an owl perched on a government building, the public official would soon pass away.


Since owls symbolize wisdom and knowledge, it is associated with deep introspection. The presence of an owl tells you to look within yourself and search for answers you need. Seeing an owl means you need to listen to your intuition and inner wisdom to make your life decisions. The owl can also symbolize change. Even in cultures where the owl is associated with death, it may not be a physical death, but the death of a job, relationship, or behavior. This can mean the beginning of something new. This means the owl could signify an upcoming life event that will bring major change or a transformation. Since the owl can see in the dark, it is also thought to symbolize vision through illusions. This means you may see what others do not including real intentions, so you can discern deceit or fraud.

Dreaming of Owls

The spiritual world often communicates through our dreams. When awake we are governed by consciousness, but as we dream the subconscious is open and allows the spiritual world access. The spirit world then uses the subconscious as a portal to send messages. Seeing an owl in our dreams can mean the spirits are telling you to listen to intuition and pay close attention. It could also be a warning of impending danger or a threat.

Owl Totem

There are many ways to know what your spirit animal is in life. If you are unsure, think about your childhood and if you often saw owls or enjoyed owl characters or were attracted to owls. This could mean it was your spirit guide. If owls often show up in your life, it could mean it is your totem animal. When you sense that something is off or a person’s energy feels wrong, it could be your spirit animal telling you to stay away and trust your intuition. Your owl spirit animal can be helpful in business when you are not totally confident with a business deal. Listen to your inner voice on the decisions. If you have a fascination with the unknown and mysterious or a strong desire to know someone, then your owl spirit animal is telling you to go for it because it is part of your nature.

Owls have always been a symbol and strong image, beginning in ancient times. Their commanding presence and representative wisdom provide them with a power unlike any other animal. With an owl spirit guide, you must embrace your inner wisdom in all aspects of life. When the owl begins appearing more often, the spirits are communicating. Listen to the message and embrace the symbolism in areas where you need guidance. Let the owl’s power guide you.

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