Owl Symbol


Owl Symbol Image  

Owl Symbol: Seeing an owl in your dream is a symbol of wisdom, insight and virtue - The owl is also a symbol of death and darkness - Hearing the hoot of an owl symbolises disappointments and forewarns that death creeps closely in the wake of joy and health  The Bird has a deep symbolic significance to many different cultures and religions. The Bird is said to be able to communicate with gods; the bird can ascend into heaven and the bird is even a feature of the Tree of Life often depicted with a serpent at their feet -  Owl Symbol Traits

The bird is generally thought to be a symbol of freedom. They can walk on the earth and swim in the sea as humans do but they also have the ability to soar into the sky. Birds are free to roam to earth and the sky. Many cultures believe that they are a symbol of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth.

A comprehensive guide to Owl Symbol:

  • Meaning of Owl symbol
  • Owl symbol - Facts
  • Dream explanation, what is the significance of seeing a Owl in a dream?

Owl Symbol
There is no exact definition for any symbol; each symbol is open to interpretation and birds are no exception to this. Their symbolism can vary greatly depending on different cultures and religion. The Owl is generally thought to be a symbol of wisdom and knowledge, most people are familiar with the term 'Wise Old Owl'. It is also however seen as a symbol of the night due to its nocturnal nature and its cry is said to signal impending death and misfortune. The ancient Celts believed that the owl was linked to dead bodies and called it the 'Night Hag'.

Owl Symbol - Meaning
The Owl is a bird of prey and has extremely sharp talons (claws) and a hooked beak for tearing at the flesh of its prey. A bird of prey is defined as a bird that kills other birds and small animals for food. The owl has an unusual appearance with extremely large eyes and a flat face. Its hearing is extremely sensitive and unlike other birds, its eyes face forwards. It is unable to swivel its eyes but has the unique ability to swivel its neck enabling it to see to the side and even behind without moving its body.

Verreaux Eagle Owl

The Verreaux Eagle Owl (Bubo lacteus) shown in the image on the right is also known as the Giant Eagle owl and comes from Africa. They mate for life and eat small birds and mammals.


Verreaux Eagle Owl Image


Owl Symbol - Christian Significance
A medieval book called a Bestiary had allegorical descriptions of real and fabled animals including the Owl. These books were often full of symbolism and contained a moral or religious lesson or allegory. A Bestiary reflected the belief that the world itself was the Word of God, and that every living creature had its own special meaning. The Aberdeen Bestiary which was written in the 12th Century contains the following information regarding the Owl as a religious symbol:

  • The Owl  represents the Jews, who showed that they preferred darkness to light when they rejected Christ

Owl Symbol - Facts

  • The owl was considered sacred in ancient Greece, in particular to Athena who was the goddess of wisdom and night

  • In ancient Greece, the owl was featured on their coins

  • In Africa, the owl is associated with magic, indeed the head of the owl was used for preparing spells!

  • The owl hunts at night and relies on night vision (it can see in almost total darkness) and fantastic hearing to find its prey

  • The owl has extremely sensitive hearing, up to four times more sensitive than a cats!

  • The owl has massive eyes which take up half the birds skull

  • Most owls are brown in color, the exception is the Snowy owl who lives in the artic and is pure white in colour to blend in with its surroundings

  • Although the owl is considered to be a symbol of wisdom, they are no more intelligent than any other bird

  • The European Eagle Owl is the largest species of owl with a wingspan of 1.5 metres

  • The owl's eyes cannot swivel in their socket like other birds. In order to look around and even behind them, the owl is able to twist its neck and turn its whole head

  • There are approximately 135 species of owl and their diet varies on the size of the species. Small eyes eat insects, barn owls eat rats, mice and lizards whilst larger species of owl eat rabbits and squirrels

Owl Symbol - Dream Explanation

  • Seeing an owl in your dream is a symbol of wisdom, insight and virtue

  • The owl is also a symbol of death and darkness

  • Hearing the hoot of an owl symbolises disappointments and forewarns that death creeps closely in the wake of joy and health

  • Seeing a dead owl is a symbol of a narrow escape from desperate illness and death. Death in this sense may also represent a symbolic death, as in an important transition in life

Dream Interpretation - Significance of Bird Symbol

The following explanation of dreams involving birds in general is taken from the book entitled 'Dream Dictionary (10,000 Dreams Interpreted - by Gustavus Hindman Miller)':

  • It is a favorable symbol in a dream to see birds of beautiful plumage. A wealthy and happy partner is near if a woman has dreams of this nature

  • Moulting and song less birds, could denote merciless and inhuman treatment of the outcast and fallen by people of wealth

  • To see a wounded bird, is a symbol of fateful of deep sadness caused by erring offspring

  • To see flying birds, is a symbol of prosperity to the dreamer. All disagreeable environments will vanish before the wave of prospective good

  • To catch birds, is not at all bad. To hear them speak, is owning one's inability to perform tasks that demand great clearness of perception.

Owl Symbol

Owl Symbol

  • Owl Symbol

  • Meaning of Owl Symbol

  • Origin and History of Owl Symbol

  • Owl Symbol - Facts

  • Owl Symbol - Dream Explanation

Owl Symbol Picture


Pictures and Videos of Owl Symbol
Discover the vast selection of pictures and information which relate to Owl Symbol and illustrate the many individual symbols that we see in everyday life, each with their own unique meaning. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Signology Index - a great educational resource for everyone!


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