Owl's Wisdom Includes:
• Silent and swift movement
• Seeing behind masks
• Keen sight
• Messenger of secrets and omens
• Link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light
• Comfort with shadow self
• Moon magick
There are approximately 135 species of Owl, seventeen which are found in North America. Their secretive habits, quiet flight and various calls from whistles, screeches and hoots, have made them objects of superstition and even fear in some parts of the world. Some native tribes see the owl as a symbol of death while other tribes believe they embody the mysteries of shamanism and sorcery. Individuals with this totem are private complex people and don't like others to know what they are really thinking. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings especially in the area of personal relationships.
Owls have many abilities which set them apart from all other birds. Their wings which are extremely soft and thick, allow them to fly silently as they can swoop down on unsuspecting prey. They are able to slip in and out of places unnoticed and can teach us how to do the same.
Their eyes are large and forward facing giving them a wise appearance. They have a greater range of motion in their necks than any other animal with a spinal column. Owls turn their heads rather than their eyes, which are stationary. Their night vision is so powerful that they can see prey when the light is the equivalent of a candle burning 2500 feet away!
Their powers of vision are matched by their almost otherworldly hearing abilities. In studies done with owls that were placed in totally light free rooms, the owls were able to locate a mouse by sound alone. Those with this medicine are usually gifted with clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. Souls who are born with this totem have chosen a path which suggests a need to refine and perfect these gifts for the aid of others. They make excellent therapists, psychologists and counselors.
Active at dawn and dusk owls are sometimes referred to as the night eagle, a messenger from the darkness and a guide through all the mysteries that it contains. It teaches us how to embrace our personal darkness without fear. Owls are sometimes thought to come to those that are about to die. This does not mean a physical death as much as it means the letting go of some part of yourself that is not serving you. Owls with their spectral senses help guide us through the dark tunnels of fear, change and uncertainty to the brilliant light shining at the other end. If the owl appears in your life thank it for its willingness to guide you through its shadowy realm to the other side of promise and joy.
Owl is territorial, a vicious fighter and a courageous defender of the nest. This is why Owl inspired and protected the Greek armies, and why Roman soldiers believed Owl signified triumph in battle. The Japanese drink a toast to Owl before a hunting expedition, and Russians believe Owl is sacred because it once saved the life of Genghis Khan.
Owl is monogamous in love. Therefore, Australian aborigines believe Owl represents the soul of women. French spinsters call on Owl to help them find a husband. Also in France, when a pregnant woman hears the cry of Owl, her child will be a girl.
Owl's approach to rearing offspring is sometimes brutal. Many Owl chicks starve or are killed by siblings, depending on food availability. Perhaps because of these cruel survival tactics, African Swahili tribesmen believe Owl brings illness to children. Moroccans believe that Owl's cry can kill an infant. Still, some Owl offspring always survive to produce more Owls; consequently, Owl amulets protect Babylonian women during childbirth.
Dawn, dusk, and the dead of the night is Owl's domain.
Owl is the Hopi god of the dead, guardian of fires, and tender of all underground things. Owl attends Lilith, the Sumerian Goddess of death, and in Mexico is called "messenger of the lord of the land of the dead". Popular belief holds that seeing Owl or hearing its cry means impending death, sickness, and misfortune. Therefore, Owl is too evil to name in Cameroon, and is known only as "the bird that makes you afraid".
You may have Owl Medicine if you frequently see, hear, or dream of Owl, or if you have gifts of invulnerability, insight, invisibility, keen observation, wisdom, and curative healing powers.
Owl - Silent wisdom, magical mystery, clairvoyance, fearlessness. You can access your strength and power, your ability to “see in the dark” of even the most mysterious circumstances.
Ask Owl to help you see what's blocking your manifestation, creating an illness or causing disharmony in your workplace. Owl helps you see anything that is hidden from you, including what other people are seeing and feeling.
Here's how to ask Spirit of Owl for help:
1. Say aloud or in your mind, "Spirit of Owl, I request your help."
2. Wait a few moments until you feel the presence of Owl (no more than a few seconds).
3. State your request. For instance, if you need help seeing what's causing an illness, you might say, "Owl, please come with me today and show me what is causing this illness in my body. Please show me in a way that I can clearly understand. Thank you in advance for your help." As with the angels, appreciation is
4. Stay open to what Owl will show you. Owl will ride with you on your shoulder, whispering in your ear, giving you knowing and understanding where before you had only blindness and confusion.
Owl may bring up old memories, send you a phrase from the mouth of a stranger or bring a chance meeting with another person. Owl will use any and every device to help you see.
If at the end of the stated period of time, a day in the above example, you still don't understand what Owl is showing you, ask again the next day. Each day Owl will make it more obvious to you. Each time you gain a new insight or understanding, thank Owl for the help. Remember that Owl penetrates secrets and veils, and can show you anything you wish to know. To gain help from this quick-fixer, all you have to do is ask!
Quick Note: You have the right to know and understand anything in this Universe. It's what you do with this information that's important!
Thank you so much! Spider has taught me so much over the years but has been quite absent of late-I started having Owl dreams (Barn Owl to be specific) a few months ago along with an increasing sense of being watched and I'm currently experiencing a lot of changes in my life that I think Owl is trying to draw attention to.
I really appreciate the wealth of information you've given me here and thank you very much for the speedy reply! I have a place to begin now :-)
Owl frequently visits me, so that is how/why I accumulated so much info. I hope something in all this helps you.
Spider is also one of my guides. She is an amazing teacher.
Owl medicine is symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection, and magick, both black and white. Since ancient times, the owl has been associated with wisdom, deep learning and the Underworld deities. Later, it came to be connected with black magick. It is a bird of prey and a night hunter. The owl is a powerful, noiseless flyer with good hearing and sight. It is armed with a vicious beak and talons for protection and hunting. It is so alert to its surroundings that it appears to turn its head completely around when watching something.
There are two families: the typical owls, with about 167 species; and the barn owls, with about 14 species. There are anatomical differences between the two families, but many generalizations apply to both.
The large eyes of owls (smaller in barn owls) are directed forward, and are encased in a capsule of bone called the sclerotic ring, which allows little eye movement. Owls must turn their entire heads to look sideways, facilitated by relatively long and flexible necks that permit the head to be rotated through 270 degrees. In most owls the eyes are surrounded by a facial disk of stiff feathers. As relatively few owls hunt their prey in full daylight, their hearing is particularly important. Many owls have asymmetrical skulls, with the ear openings at different levels; this enables the bird to get a "fix" on the sound made by a prey animal. Owls range over the whole globe except in the Antarctic region; the common barn owl has one of the largest ranges among living birds. The nesting habits of owls are highly variable. Some nest in holes in trees or among rocks, others nest in large tree-nests, and others, such as burrowing owls, nest on the ground. All lay pure white eggs. Owls feed entirely on living animals, with the size of the prey proportional to the size of the owl, from insects to mammals as large as hares. A few feed primarily on fish. Indigestible portions of their food, such as bones, hair, and feathers, are compressed and regurgitated as compact pellets; analysis of pellet contents reveals their prey species.
Some genera of owls have many species; the largest genus contains more than 50 species. Some owls of this genus are well known, such as the eastern screech owl of eastern North America. Many of the tropical species, however, are known from only a few museum specimens, and their habits have not been studied. All species belonging to the largest genus of owls look much alike, and . . . are differentiated most strongly by their distinctive voices. Among the largest species of owls are the eagle owls. They have tufts of feathers on their heads that are called "ears" but are not related to true ears. Only the great horned owl is found in the Americas, but there are 17 species in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Most widely distributed is the northern eagle owl, found from Scandinavia and Spain to Japan. It is about 71 cm (28 in) long. Smallest of the family is the elf owl of the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is 13 cm (5 in) long, and nests in woodpecker holes in large cacti.
From very early times the owl was a creature of the Great Goddess. It was often combined with the goddess figure to make and owl-woman in the early matriarchal cultures, such as Le Tene. Stelae, figurines, and amulets belonging to the Megalithic era of France, Spain, Portugal, and Great Britain show a goddess with great staring eyes; this figure has come to be referred to as the Eye-Goddess. In Peru and Ecuador, the owl image decorated spindle whorls along with a birth-giving goddess. In Crete, during the third millennia B.C.E., jug vases shaped like a winged owl with female breasts were a ritual vessel; the breasts were perforated for pouring. Originally, such Middle Eastern goddesses as Mari, Lilith, and Anath were closely connected with owls. A Sumerian relief of the goddess Lilith shows her naked except for a horned tiara; she has owl talons for feet and is accompanied by owls. The Hebrew translation of this goddess’s name is "screech owl." As the patriarchies gained control, people began to believe the owl, and the goddess with which it was associated, was an ill omened bird whose form could be taken by an evil spirit. Babylonians said that hooting owls were the souls of dead mothers crying for their children. This gradually changed into the owl being an evil spirit which prowled the night and carried off children. In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the owl signifies death, night, and the black Sun in the Otherworlds. There are differences of opinion as to whether the Chinese and the Japanese considered this bird to symbolize evil and death. The Ainu of Japan, however, did call this bird "beloved deity." Athene/Minerva had an owl as her sacred familiar; its image was cast on coins to represent the city of Athens. Homer writes that Pallas Athene was sometimes portrayed with an owl face. The Etruscan god of night and darkness was associated with the owl and death; the Romans adopted this view of the bird, saying that it was prophetic but its hooting prophesied death and misfortune. In Latin, the owl was called strix (pl. striges), a word that later changed into the Italian word strega for witch. To the Celts, in general, this bird was a sacred magickal creature, sometimes called the Night Hag and the Corpse Bird. It symbolized Underworld deities, such as the Welsh god Gwynn ap Nudd, and the Welsh Moon goddess Blodeuwedd. The messengers of the Hindu death god Yama were usually two dogs, but occasionally he would send an owl as his messenger. The Scottish Gaelic word cailleach means "owl"; this word connects it with the goddess Cailleach, who was a deity of death. The owl is identified with many Crone or Underworld goddesses in Europe and the Mediterranean area. During the Middle Ages, the owl became known as the Night Hag. This bird was called the Night Eagle by Native Americans. Most of them believed the owl was a bird of sorcerers. However, the Cherokees held sacred both the owl and the cougar for their ability to see in the dark. They said the owl brought messages at night through dreams. This creature was the Chief of the Night to the Pawnees, who said it gave protection. Traditionally, the owl sits in the East on the Medicine Wheel, the place of illumination.
Warm hearted, jovial, and fun loving, owl people have lively minds, an independent outlook and an adventurous temperament. They like the great outdoors and its freedom from confinement and limitation. Owls require freedom of mind and expression, and freedom to go where they please, think what they like and say what they feel. Their minds are so alert that they are inclined to develop more interests than they can cope with and thus become masters of none. Their inquiring minds entice them into lengthy discussions and arguments. They enjoy talking about things that interest them at the time, but are less enthusiastic about other people’s interest. They are individualistic and sincere and have jovial dispositions, but they are prone to explosive bouts of anger if they are provoked. Their boldness and frankness can sometimes come across as insensitivity or just plain rudeness, and they can be bitterly sarcastic when hurt. Although they require freedom of movement, they can sometimes run away from their responsibilities in a blind dash to avoid burdensome problems. Usually such attempts to evade responsibility rebound on them, and the problems and ties increase rather than diminish. Physically, they are courageous and are usually attracted to dangerous sports because risk and recklessness exhilirate them. They are adventurous and enjoy opening up new ways that others may follow. They are pioneers, explorers, and visionaries, and they like doing things in a big way, though they are rarely satisfied. They will always come back for more, and when that apetite is for material things they can find it difficult to discern between need and greed. For all of their exuberance and confidence, Owls find themselves pursuing many blind alleys and dissipating their energies in all too many directions so that their plans and ambitions rarely materialize completely. They need to learn to fix their mind on a single, clear goal, for they have the energy to attain it. Those with the Owl as a totem animal conduct themselves proudly, and some even flamboyantly. Because they are so observant that little of relevance escapes their attention, they have a keen eye for detail and a good insight into whatever they set their minds on. In general, they are drawn to esoteric subjects and "secret" things, but with this inquisitive urge is an intuitive pull towards cautiousness and the need to keep themselves grounded in the world of practical reality. This desire to vanish from view like the owl disappearing into the darkness is reflected in many ways, sometimes by the normally outgoing owl person becoming withdrawn, even to the point of avoiding the company of others, and sometimes breaking away from situations in which they have been supportive or deeply involved. During this time there is a danger of being misunderstood and causing hurt to others as well as to themselves.
The Path of Owl is intended to lead to the discovery that whatever is required outwardly must first exist inwardly. That which is without was first that which was within. The prime purpose is for the tempering of opposites in order to attain good management of one’s potential. In American Indian culture the weaving of a blanket required the mingling of many skills. It was treasured as a gift because it represented, in an enduring form, the inner beauty of the one who had woven it. It symbolized too, the necessity for a balanced heart and mind and the need for rational thought to be balanced with feeling that comes from the heart. That is the path of Owl. The primary function of Owl is elavation and exaltation. It requires opportunities for raising the intellect and elevating the morality to obtain the clarity of vision that is spirit insight.
Magickal Attributes: Owls symbolize wisdom, the ability to see things that are hidden, stealth, swiftness, darkness, freedom, dreams, shape-shifting, secrets, omens, clairvoyance, astral projection, magick, deception, observation, total truth, night, death and misfortune. They are connected to the Underworld and the Moon. They are connected to The Goddess in general, as well as Athena, Mari, Lilith, Anath, Gwynn ap Nudd, Blodeuwedd, Yama and Cailleach. Associated with the Crone aspect of triple Goddess. It is seen as a guide through the Underworld. Useful as a familiar when we need help seeing in the 'dark', when we need keen sight for seeing those who may deceive us and into obscure events. Silent and swift movement. In meditation, often a guide to and from the Underworld. Moon magick and wisdom to make positive changes. Stealth, Seeing behind masks, Keen sight, Comfort with shadow self and Freedom.
Shape shifting quality: An owl is always alert and aware of its surroundings giving the appearance of wisdom.
Bibliography: Animal Speak, Animal Magick, Totem Cards, Encyclopedia En Cart, Wyldkat, Animal Spirit Guides Shamanism