Owl Symbolism Explained

Owl Symbolism is inextricably bound to Witch Vibe. Yes, any old dream dictionary will talk to you of wisdom and remind you that the Owl is exceptionally perceptive.

At the very least, if you dream of an Owl or your attention is drawn to one, it is a signal to open your eyes. Stay still and take in all of your terrains. Listen with your inner ear. Pick up on what people are not telling you. Owls can see in the pitch black and translate what they hear at Warp Speed. Emulate that.

All birds are messengers and ruled by Mercury, the Magician. When you’re woken by a bird call when there should be none, perhaps in a between-the-worlds trance state at 3 a.m, something is up. Or, to be fair, a cat or possum could be stuffing around in a tree.

But still, you know when it’s a message, as opposed to part of the nocturnal soundscape.  You’re already aware of the difference between signal and noise or you would not be reading up on symbolism.

The Owl is the symbol of Minerva/Athena. But the narrative goes back far beyond this urbane wisdom goddess. An owl is also the companion of Lilith, the Renegade first wife of Adam and Ancient Babylonian Snake Goddess. Her Owl is the Screech Owl, a reminder that the Roman word for Owl was the same as their word for a witch: Strix. The Owl was also called Night Hag, by the witch-paranoid persecutors of the Burning Times.

Archeologists discovered the so-called Burney Relief in Syria, once Mesopotamia, a land that worshipped Gods and Goddesses. More poetically called the Queen of the Night, it depicts Ishtar or Lilith with her familiars; Owls and Lions.

If you’re dreaming of Owls, noticing them more or flashing upon them in meditation, you’re aligning with a rich psychic lineage.

Some say that the Owl is linked to Sagittarius and of course, every Zodiac theory is interesting. But astrologically the Owl is more affiliated with Lilith and Ishtar. Think high magic and the fierce feminine divine that predated patriarchal religions by thousands of years. It’s wisdom but the sort of deep knowing that is already encoded into your psychic DNA at some level.

Image: Gertrude Abercrombie

56 thoughts on “Owl Symbolism Explained”

  1. Oh how I love Owls. They hoot at me in the late evening and early morning when I am out with my dogs. I tell my girl dog they are talking to her.

  2. No owls for me recently, but this morning a Black swan with 5 cygnettes just past the fence line of the backyard.Later on my partner had to usher the mother swan off the road, and then found a missing little swanette, wrapped it up and put it out the back where the wetland is, I hope it finds its mama again :/

    Also we have a couple of regular Swamphens come to visit most mornings, they hop the wire fence and come into the yard, andthere has been a wagtail nesting and telling off the other birds in the last week

  3. Wow. And everyone is feeling this. Not just me. What a comfort. Thanks Mystic.
    My new ex told me he’s working on a new drawing of an owl.
    * Keep on walking. No more haunted house.

  4. Funny I just bought a pattern to knit some owls. I gave the pattern to my mother in law to do. Just have a thing about owls at the moment.

  5. I punched a number from the past into the phone 30 minutes ago ready to dial, this number = my holy fuq’n haunted house. I wanted to dial to get closure, but I felt something wrong with doing so. I sat and sat and sat and thought and thought and sweated and so on..This post is perfect timing Mystic…I can get closure from within.

  6. Owls terrify me, they have since I was a little kid. When I was about 7, I had a morning paper route. On my very last stop, right across the street from my house, there was a big family of owls living in a tree right over the path to the door where I dropped the newspaper. The owls would often buzz me, flying right over my head, within a few inches, then spreading their big wings and flapping over my head and baring their talons. So one day, I managed to get to the door to deliver the paper without being swooped, I’m walking back down the path, and a big owl just falls out of the tree and plops into the snow with its wings spread. These were BIG owls, they must have had a wingspan of 4 feet or more. It moved around a bit so I knew it wasn’t dead, but it appeared to be stunned. And I had to walk right past it to get home. But it just stayed there, looking at me.

    When I did not return home in time to walk to school, my Mom went out searching for me. She walked right out to the street, then the big owl suddenly flew right up towards her and then flew off. She found me cowering in the neighbor’s doorway, crying.

  7. Sad and confused.
    My boyfriend’s daughter told me the other day about 2 more incidents where her dad’s ex was deliberately cruel to her. I asked her if she told her dad about them, she said no.

    So sad she dealt with that, especially when so young. She was obviously afraid to say anything then. I know I would want to know if it was my children. So I will tell him. His daughter did not ask me not to. Not looking forward to it.

    “The land/relationship where you imagine something important took place that you must now understand.” I completely get that and have done so often.
    The lover, him not so much. He sugercoated over that relationship, unaware of how cruel the girlfriend really was till after she was gone. Then he sugercoated over the memories. He knows now. Parts of me want to rip the curtains open and expose the light on all the dank depths of her betrayal, lies, use. I know it isn’t my job, except to protect them. His ex still has her son calling every 1 to 2 months. I smell manipulation and dirty reasons.

    On a more positive note, I Love owls!

  8. I will join in with all the other peeps on this post expressing their love for owls!

    2006-2007 – major change years. painful memories, a lot of anger, insecurity, hurt, loneliness… but also a lot of good stuff too. I have no desire to get stuck in the past anymore. I’ve spent too much of my life looking backwards. This is the year I changed direction.

  9. I love owls! Did you know in Chinese, the word for owl literally translates to “hawk with the head of a cat”? Gotta love em. I’ve been wearing a very special owl pendant every day for the last year or so. Last winter when was feeling depressed / insular and back in my parents’ house for the holidays, all I could do was sit in my room and read books on owls I’d checked out from the library. Try reading Wesley the Owl – a true story – for a real heartwarmer / tear-jerker!

    1. Tee, i have not been able to forget the neat, logical, deliciously frightening “hawk with the head of a cat”. Thank you!

  10. Interesting. I am a long-time Owl person, and in recent years they have been “in and out” on me; sometimes they are very prominent, other times they hide. Most recently they’ve been obvious. FTR, I have Athena conjunct Juno, Venus & Uranus in Cancer; Juno & Athena are only conjunct the ASC if you use a really wide orb. And Lilith is also a “pressure point” for me. When owls show up for me, I usually am into a “quiet” time, almost secretive, and if I don’t get some solitude at this time, I am not a happy camper. I am pretty introverted to start with, so I get even more silent. Give me some quiet time, and I am soon back, feeling much better.

  11. I had one of those very memorable dreams night before last…the owls did a sky dance up the back of my place…they looked so beautiful…the ones with the big round circle of feathers around their eyes & when they stretched their wings out (come to think of it they looked like a chorus line) the pattern on their wings looked liked human arms & then they kind of wiggled their tails…in the dream i did a double take like am i really seeing this & they did it again. I have no idea of the message but it was magical & beautiful & left me feeling that kind of joy when you see something of the beauty of nature ( i remember seeing about 15 kookaburras all on the same branch laughing once)…& then this post appears. I am away from my home atmo & probably will be for some time, maybe the owls are telling me its all ok. It was so strangely beautiful.

  12. Wow. Was wracking my brain trying to think what happened 06/07 and then I got married and there was a white owl at our outdoor reception. It was a bad marriage and it’s biting me again.

    Does anyone know what a white owl mean? My old scorp neighbour from childhood said they meant death. I remember I felt afraid at the time when I saw it – ie I saw it as a bad omen (oh how true that was)

    1. you are lucky when birds play a part in your understanding of the cycles of life. Intuition, or gifts of wisdom are available from the wind for you. Moving air wilfully to meet you. Owls appear as warnings to remain true to your deepest wisdom. There’s something saturnian about them. Failure to greet their appearance with joy and openness to recognise the big picture, can be tangibly painful. Still awesome… but painful

  13. P.S. This is btw is not a criticism of this post. I’ve recently been reminded of owls in astrology in relation to Minerva and Pallas and I’m very Pallas (1º Juno 2º & Lilith 3º in Sag aware, as they are all now in my first house since I made the switch to whole house astro. Which . . . . . talk about moving on!

    I probably would return to the haunted house to pick up my vuarnets confident I’d be protected. I’d know the risks and do it anyway. There’s a lot to be gleaned about all manner of things by one or two of us returning to the scene. But also remembering that you can morph yourself away at lightspeed too.

    I am bias I suppose. Chiron returning…again. I seem to have no choice but to weep about the past–unexpectedly. The now is pretty fucking painful too sometimes. But hey. I’m moving on. I have a head a tail, (sort of) I am designed to go somewhere.

    1. 12th house virgo

      Weeping about the past isn’t a lack of moving on, imho. Its because you are safe and secure enough now to let it out. I recently visited a memory of a lifetime ago. I had forgotten – or never identified – that it was the worst most terrifying experience of my life. The only reason I could think of why my consciousness went there was because I am safe now. Its been over 20 years – it took that long to realize how terrified I was then and let it out. Good luck with your self healing. xoxo

  14. But but but I LIVE in a haunted house! And sometimes the energy it takes to
    block it out quite drains me. Playing music counteracts it most of the time and yet so often pure silence it what i want.
    Luckily there are many birds that come visit for food & water then thank me with their songs, a small and valued blessing.

  15. I’m starting to have a stubborn, Aquarian, fixed, thing about all this ‘moving on’ advice/business. Unless you can wipe your memory. You never move on. Always you can access the past merely by thinking about it. You can always be a lot more aware of your surrounding and live ‘in the now’ for minutes at a time . . . but all this pithy ‘moving on’ advice is starting to annoy me because it’s everywhere. You nave no choice but to move on, such is the cyclical nature of life and the way transformation is biologically unavoidable. But by the same token, you always have access to your memories–well usually you have access to your memories and can be ‘back there’ within seconds just by conjuring a scene from your past. Whether that’s a good thing to do depends on what you’re conjuring. But this blanket ‘move on’ business is a bit of a nonsense and I think conflicts people who cannot deny what they have lived through and know.

    I’ve had cause to ‘move on’, & to get on with life as if these things were in any way avoidable in the first place. People talk about moving on as if it was the most important thing in life. I think being able to accept where you’re currently at probably trumps the idea of a future of having ‘moved on’.

    />ends rant.

    1. I don’t interpret ‘moving on’ as forgetting or denying what has happened – my interpretation is more in line with the last sentence of your comment… accepting a situation and not getting stuck on it… allowing yourself to keep going forward and not getting stuck on something that was… accepting, learning, acknowledging but not being a slave to the past. Just my two cents.

    2. 12th house virgo

      I see move on more as “stop banging your head against a closed door” sort of movement. I’ve spent a lot of time throwing myself against closed doors. Learning to look for the open ones. And to not take every closed one as a personal defeat.

    3. I think I get where you’re coming from Link, in that there is almost an insensitivity in various exhortation(s) to Move On, where sometimes there is actually a great deal of value in sticking around [if only in our hearts/mind/gut] to truly unravel a situation, for our own good.
      I think advice to ‘not dwell’ overmuch, as in to just try to mentally free ourselves from a scenario, isn’t a bad thing – b/c sometimes we need a reminder to look at something from a different angle. And maybe that new perspective feels good, better even, and we wouldn’t have tried it if we hadn’t received a reminder.
      but yes, a “Just get over it” call from an external source can overlook a deeper need of the person to sort of review a situation to derive some value from it, especially when it is to figure out that it’s a bad idea to graze at dusk on the savannah when the cheetahs are out hunting.. 🙂

  16. Definitely had the urge..absolutely needed your warning not to go back THERE…..and loved your gothic metaphor~closer to the truth than I want to acknowledge!!

  17. Pallas Athene transiting conjunct my midheaven. Oh Christ, if that’s where the Saturn/Neptune opp happened in ’06 – ’07, it all makes sense. What an owl moment indeed. Discovered huge cheats in the finances at work, and today they reared their ugly heads again as an echo. Then, I doubted myself, today, I do not. In fact I understand and can verbalize now what I simply intuited and moved upon instinctually then. My God Mystic, you are a gift.

    1. “Then, I doubted myself, today, I do not.”

      I missed this the first time around, but I guess synchronicity is at play. Your sentence resonates with me; I needed to see this *today*.

  18. Funny! During 2006/2007 I had what I called a series of “owl dreams.” It’s like the owls were pelting me on the head. I knew I was supposed to “see” something, but I just marveled at the fact that they were all over my dreams. Not sure I got the message.

    But I would make one caveat to the “don’t go back into the house” idea (which I, for the most part, support whole heartedly. And that is, I think that IF a piece of writing from that time was abandoned I would say perhaps that is worthy of investigation. Especially if you see an owl soon or get pelted with the word “owl.”

    Naturally, I have this view because I am doing exactly that. I am unearthing an abandoned manuscript, dusting it off and thinking about how to bring it new life. Kinda like Frankenstein, so therefore fitting your horror theme.

    Is this good? What do you think? Personally, I am gong for it.

      1. I think Mercury retro in Scorp is perfect for that BlueSky and I am doing a similar thing to finally put it to bed. Feels right. Big decision made and declared with Mercury on Saturn.

        Bang a gong 🙂

  19. Wow.. I need to dig. Not sure if what I want to get back into is haunted. It wasn’t before, not at all, but not the best situation based on societies rules. It was a time of pure transformation to help me improve. It was right for me. BUT, I am thinking about recent events from June that have made me cry since then. Maybe another phase of realizing some things and it hurts but it’s all good. I need to think about this one. Haunted… yikes!

  20. Scorporation, Inc.

    Once again, hornets have come to me. Hideous– or so I’ve always thought. I finally looked up their medicine & was dumbstruck by the info! Has given me so much enlightenment past present future. I am forever a student & so much better for it. The teachings of the Universe are unlimited, as is our capacity 🙂

    True Node-Neptune in Sagg/9th house.

  21. And I have no desire to lurch back to the scene (for once!) Unless that means I reneg on my minimum wine and cig intake – which can be quite the horror scenario now i think bout it

  22. Was just chatting to a guy who is known as “swoop owl’ whist I have a raven tattoo when that advice came in – just saying! Got a banquet with easy company on fri, and am currently overhauling cathartic garden. Hmmm…

  23. Mystic; you are a genius. Love your take on things – times they are a changin’ and we are so blessed to have your guiding light. x

  24. Got three very, very noisy, active, busy owls living in the trees outside my bedroom window, never known them to be so visible and loud. I love it.

    1. Scorporation, Inc.

      AND I have zero desire to venture back to 2006-7. Has never crossed my mind to revisit that shit fest. Nothing but a time of realizing lies & deceit; a year of cutting toxic people & ties. I learned all I needed to know then. Finished.

  25. “They don’t have guilt. They lie in the sun and stretch. Or they eat.”
    Lol, love it!

    Also, the Wednesday daily mystic really hit a nerve, made me feel weirdly emotional. And not just cos I’m a Leo with aqua rising and north node Taurus, south nose scorp, so yah, ultra fixed and feeling it. I think all that stuff about negative self assessment and regret resonated and the reminder to count your blessings and triumphs was like a big warm hug of support. Thanks MM xx

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *