The owl is known in mythology as a sign of wisdom. In Greek myths, it was connected to the goddess of wisdom, Minerva. This mysterious creature is an interesting field of study because it flies at night and is still able to see to catch its prey. Because of its tendency to only be seen during the nighttime, it has developed a fearsome reputation over the centuries. Many human cultures have feared the owl and connected to negative things, darkness and mysteries. Other cultures have seen the owl as a symbol of prophesy and wisdom. It is often connected to the nighttime, the moon and the feminine side of life.
What Does It Mean When You See an Owl?
Seeing an owl in real life can be considered a bad omen or a blessing depending on which culture you were raised in. If your culture does not have any particular associations with the owl, then you can look for what happens after you hear or see the owl to see if the owl is a good thing or a bad thing. If something bad happens immediately after seeing an owl, then it is a sign of bad news like an illness. If something positive happens, then it is a sign of good fortune.
Ancient Christians once believed that the owl was a sign of pure evil. Early Christians connected the owl to Lilith, who was rumored to be Adam’s disobedient first wife.
Meanwhile, the ancient Romans connected the owl to the goddess Athena. They believed that owl symbolism revolved around prophecy and wisdom. This nighttime bird was also the source of other Roman superstitions. In one superstition, it was thought that the feather of an owl could be used to help you divine the secrets of a sleeping individual.
The Welsh thought of the owl as a symbol of fertility. They thought that a pregnant woman who heard the sound of an owl would eventually have an easy labor. Meanwhile, the ancient Greeks were known for revering the goddess Athena. Long ago, Athena was the guardian of the Acropolis and the goddess of wisdom. Since her symbol was the owl, the owl became linked to higher wisdom.
Hearing an Owl
Owls are typically heard and seen during nighttime because they are mostly nocturnal creatures. Only a few owls like the pygmy owl are active during the hours of twilight. If you happen to hear an owl during the daytime, it means that you are probably hearing a diurnal owl that sleeps at night and is awake during the day. Examples of these owls are the short-eared owl and the burrowing owl.
Native Americans and Owl Symbolism
Owl symbolism varies from one culture to another. In Native American cultures, people are represented by a certain kind of animal based on the time of year when they were born. The owl is considered the symbol for anyone born between November 23 and December 21.
Like other cultures, owl symbolism can vary a lot. Different Native American groups connect the owl to different things. In Pueblo culture, there is a god called the Skeleton Man. He is the god of fertility and death. This god is connected to the owl. Meanwhile, the Pawnee once believed that the owl was a potent sign of protection. In the Ojibwa tribe, owl symbolism said that the owl was a terrible omen of evil or death.
Different Native American cultures associate the owl with different things. Some cultures connect the owl to bad people and bad spirits. When an owl appears, it could be a sign of someone who is trying to use negative psychic powers (we might call it black magic, even) to control someone else for their own selfish reasons. They may even try to control and manipulate the people around them.
Someone who has an owl in their totem is said to be extremely adaptable. No matter what happens in their life, they are easygoing and able to go with the flow. These types of people are said to be adventurous, creative and artistic. People with an owl in their totem are also said to be flexible, full of life, witty and sensitive. When the situation is right, these individuals are able to accomplish amazing things. At the same time, they have a tendency to hold grudges and become a bit self-absorbed.
Why Are Owls Always So Quiet?
When you hear the hoot of an owl, you probably do not think of this creature as being particularly quiet. In reality, you probably will not hear an owl unless it is deliberately making noise. When an owl flies, it moves in complete silence. They are able to capture and devour their prey before the prey even realizes that they are there. This silence is only possible because of the way their wings are made. The fringe-like, soft form of the wings and their impressive size compared to the rest of their body helps them to fly in silence. When they do capture their prey, they swallow the entire thing whole with the heed going first. Then, the body digests all of their prey. The fur, bones and teeth are not digested entirely, so they are eliminated from the owl’s body as a pellet.
Interesting Facts About Owls
While owls are able to blink like people do, they also have a third eyelid. This eyelid moves side to side instead of up and down. Its purpose is to clean away debris and lubricate the eyes since the eyes cannot move. Since the owl cannot move their eyes to change their gaze, they have to use their heads instead. While cartoon owls can turn their heads in 360 degrees, real owls cannot do this. At the same time, they can move their heads fairly close to all the way around to see everything.
The reason why owls have large eyes is so that they can see in the dark. Their eyes have adapted and become larger so that they can see in the low light level. Unlike you or me, the owl is excellent at detecting any movement in the dark.
While it might seem like it, the owl’s ears do not actually sit evenly on their head. One ear is often larger than the other ear. This is part of the way their body is designed so that they can hear different areas of the ground and identity where the sounds are and what they are easily.
There are more than 100 known species of owls. Since they love to eat rodents, many of these species live near humans and the rodents that live off of human waste. Unfortunately, a number of species of owls are endangered because they have lost their habitat. Some people hunt and kill owls because they believe that they are pests. Interestingly, they are quite the opposite of a pest. The average barn owl can catch 10 times more rodents than a cat can within the same night. If the owl is feeding baby owlets, it will catch even more than this.
Owls typically live alone, but they will seek out other owls to breed. A female only mates with a male that they trust. Once a barn owl mates, they will bond with their mate for life. The female generally stays with the eggs or owlets and lets the male owl hunt for the food.