Owl Symbolism and Meaning (Totem, Spirit, Dream and Omens)

Owl Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning

It is no secret that owls are a very popular subject in spirituality and mysticism, and this is all thanks to the legends and myths regarding their incredible powers. Throughout time, they have been ruled by the moon goddess from various cultures, they were thought to be deities and depicted as wise creatures of the night.

Some people even believed that they were psychopomps – beings of great knowledge that could guide souls into the afterlife. Let’s find out what does an owl symbolizes.

Owls are mysterious and elusive creatures that are often associated with magic, mysticism, and the occult. Their nocturnal nature and hooting calls add to their mystique and have helped build legends about these birds around the world. As symbols of wisdom, they have popped up in many major religions and in popular culture, including literature and movies. While some people consider these birds to be the harbingers of death and destruction, others associate them with good fortune and wisdom. 

Are you here to learn more about the cultural representation of owls? Or are you interested in their dream interpretations? In this post we look at the symbolism and spiritual characteristics of owls, exploring why people see owls in their dreams, and what they have come to symbolize.


Owl symbolism

There are over 225 different owl species in the world. While it is practically impossible for you to remember what each individual species looks like, there are some widespread species that have a unique symbolism. Let us take a look at what these owl species symbolize:

Great Horned Owls

The Great Horned Owls represent fearlessness. There are times in our life when the fear of failure makes us doubt our capabilities. We begin to undermine our skills to save ourselves from the pain and humiliation of defeat.

However, if we always leave the game for fear of losing it, will we ever be able to win? You’re right; we won’t. We must remember that failure is just a minor obstacle on the path to success and not the end of the road.

Barred Owl

The Barred Owls are a symbol of co-operation. These owls teach you how growing together is better than growing alone. If you are too competitive, you might achieve success, but there will be no one to celebrate it with you. On the other hand, mutual help and respect can take you much farther in life.

Screech Owls

The Screech Owls represent the need to change your perspective about life. If you are a “glass half empty” person, you will always find bleakness in everything you do. A pessimistic perspective has never helped anyone in achieving greatness. If you need success and joy in your life, you must adopt a more optimistic approach to things.

Barn Owls

The Barn Owls stand for making the most of every circumstance you find yourself in. The harsh truth of life is that you can’t control everything that is happening around you. No matter how careful or thorough you are, there will always be something you can’t control or help.

Under these circumstances, you have two choices: you can either accept it and try to adjust to it or crib about it. And since cribbing will get you nowhere, the former alternative makes more sense.

Snowy Owls

The Snowy Owls symbolize to us the importance of patience in our lives. They teach us that we can’t hurry the process no matter how badly we want something. Therefore, instead of wasting your breath trying, you can wait for things to run their own course and appreciate the lessons you learn meanwhile.


What does it mean to dream of owls?

It’s not every day that we dream of an owl. Are the owls in our dreams trying to tell us something, or are these dreams merely accidental? Let’s take a look at the interpretations of some of the common owl dreams to understand better what they could mean for us:

A giant owl

If a giant owl has appeared in your dream, it indicates a critical issue you need to deal with in your life. But instead of doing so, you are simply choosing to ignore it. The owl is symbolic that your problems will keep growing until you find a way to tackle them.

A featherless owl

If you see a featherless owl in your dream, it is not a good sign. Such a dream signifies that you have been under a lot of stress lately, most likely because of work. You need to take some time off work to blow off the steam and unwind yourself.

A baby owl

Dreaming of a baby owl symbolizes a new beginning in your life. It is probably the first time in your life when you’ve been fully independent. And as thrilling as it sounds, it also scares you.

The baby owl in your dream is telling you that all of it is completely normal. It asks you not to let your fear stop you from exploring the world. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, for they will only make you wiser.

A scary owl

If you dream of an owl that appears frightening or scary to you, it is symbolic of some guilt from your past that you are trying to suppress. However, that’s just not how guilt works; it will not go away if you keep telling yourself it doesn’t exist. You should probably confront your guilt and try to make amends for your mistakes.

An owl flying

Owls are one of the quietest fliers, which works to their advantage when they are hunting. Dreaming of them flying is a sign that there might be something going on in your life that you don’t fully understand, and it is eating away at you. However, you have to have faith that its outcome will be in your favor.

If the owl in your dream is flying right over your head, it is a sign that you need to change your perspective about life.

A friendly owl

If you see an owl that is being friendly with you in your dream, it signifies that you should make peace with your darker side instead of condemning it. You might not find it pleasant, but there are places where it is needed, and you can’t deny that. Therefore, embracing it wholly will only make things easier for you.

An owl eating

If you see an owl eating something in your dream, but what it is feeding on is not clear, then it means that you will go through a difficult experience in the near future. Although you are not anticipating it right now, it will teach you lessons that will help you in the long run.

An owl landing on you

If an owl lands on you in a dream, it has a positive interpretation. Such a dream is a sign that you are exactly where you were meant to be. However, if the owl lands specifically on your hand, it suggests that you’re overthinking something trivial or unimportant.

An owl talking to you

If an owl is talking to you in your dream, it is a sign that you have a gift for clairvoyance. You must pay attention to what they’re telling you, for it could be a message for you from your spirit guide. If the owl is saying something negative, it means that you need to cut ties with the toxic people in your life.

An owl attacking you

If you dream of an owl attacking you, it is symbolic of your fear of losing control of your life. While it feels good to be in control, being obsessed with it is unhealthy and can drive you crazy. You must understand that there are limitations to the things that you can control.

An owl staring at you

If an owl is staring at you in your dream, it is a message from your inner intuition, an attempt at trying to get your attention. If you see such a dream, it might be a sign that you are ignoring or suppressing your conscience and should probably stop before you end up making an irreversible mistake.

An owl turning into a human

Dreaming of owls transforming into humans has a positive interpretation. Such a dream suggests that you are soon about to make friends with some very powerful people, and their friendship is going to transform your life for the better.

Owls fighting among themselves

If you see two owls fighting among themselves in your dream, it is indicative of an inner struggle within yourself. This struggle may be about your ideas, beliefs, and principles. If both the owls ultimately kill each other in your dream, then you must make the necessary changes in your attitude.

A dead owl

The sight of a dead owl is too disturbing in reality that there’s no reason why seeing it in a dream might have a positive interpretation. Dreaming of dead owls is the warning of an impending sickness that could befall you or one of your family members. During such times, you must take immense care of your own health and your loved ones. This sickness, if not prevented, could potentially end in someone’s death.

Staring at an owl

If you find yourself staring at an owl in your dream, it signifies that someone in your life is not treating you the way you deserve. Although you treat this person with the same respect and decency you show others, they are unwilling to reciprocate. This person most likely belongs to your workplace, and your dream is a sign that they are not worth the annoyance and humiliation they cause for you.

Holding an owl

If you see yourself holding an owl in your hands in your dream, it is a warning of a road accident you might get into soon. It would be best if you tried to avoid traveling late at night for a while as a precaution.

Feeding an owl

If you find yourself feeding an owl in your dream, it indicates that you will soon learn a new skill that you may or may not have planned to.

Attempting to kill an owl

If you see yourself attempting to kill an owl in your dream, it suggests that you will somehow manage to create bigger problems while trying to solve the smaller ones.

Killing an owl

Dreaming of killing an owl can have two different interpretations. It can either mean that you will soon become the subject of gossip in your workspace or neighborhood. Or you will manage to pay someone back for mistreating you or misbehaving with you.


Owl dreams interpretation based on their color

Can the color of the owl you see in your dream affect its meaning? Yes, it can. Here is what dreaming of different colored owls can symbolize for you:

A white owl

White is the color of spirituality. If you dream of a white owl, it is a sign that you are soon about to find yourself on the path of spiritual enlightenment.

A golden or yellow owl

A golden or yellow owl in your dream is symbolic of your realization of your worth and capabilities. If you dream of them, it indicates that you have found your own identity and no longer seek others’ approval.

A silver or grey owl

A silver or grey owl is symbolic of some kind of supernatural or mystical energy. Dreaming of them is a sign that the higher powers are guiding you.

A blue owl

The blue owls are gifted with telepathy and are, thus, endlessly compassionate towards others. Dreaming of them might be a sign that you’re probably being too selfish and self-indulged. You should try to communicate with those around you more and put yourself in their shoes to understand them better.

A green owl

Dreaming of green owls is a good sign for your personal life. Such dreams foretell the happy times about to come in your life. You might take a vacation with your significant other soon.

A purple owl

A purple owl is symbolic of your intuition. If you dream of them when you’re standing at crossroads and your gut feeling is telling you to make a choice, you should probably go with it.

A brown owl

Brown owls are symbolic of parental energy and fertility. If you have been trying to have a baby for some time, the dream might bring you good news soon. And if you’re already a parent, it indicates that you should make more time for your children.

A black owl

A black owl symbolizes darkness. Dreaming of these owls is a bad omen and might indicate some kind of misfortune awaiting you in the near future.


Interpretation of owl dream based on their kind

Not all owl species visit your dream to convey the same message. Check out what dreaming of the following owl species might mean for you:

A Barn Owl

Barn Owls are symbolic of healing and forgiveness. If someone close to you has wronged you in any way and is seeking redemption, the barn owl in your dream is probably telling you to forgive them, not only for their sake but for your own. If you don’t, you would never truly be able to move on from it.

A Great Horned Owl

If you dream of a Great Horned Owl, it indicates that you’re not the most flexible person, which is causing you a lot of trouble in your new environment. Under such circumstances, it would help you to try to be more adaptive and open yourself to changes and adjustments.

A Barred Owl

If a Barred Owl comes to your dream, it means that there is someone around you who is selfish and deceitful and is only being sweet with you to serve their own purpose. You should beware of such people.

A Snowy Owl

Snowy Owls are symbolic of freedom, both mental and spiritual. If these owls come to your dream, they are trying to tell you to give up things and people that weigh you down or stand in your path towards true freedom.


The cultural significance of owls

For some reason, the owls have often been associated with the world of magic. Let’s take a look at how different cultures around the world perceive these nocturnal birds:

  • The Christians believed owls to represent everything that stays hidden behind the darkness of the night. Seeing an owl was considered to be a bad omen among them, indicating the arrival of uncertain times.
  • In Chinese philosophy, owls are symbolic of wisdom, protection, and intuition. They are good omens and are believed to repel all kinds of negativity.
  • The Egyptians used to celebrate these birds because of their dark and mysterious qualities. They were believed to be linked to the afterlife because people both feared and worshiped them.
  • In the Native American culture, the owls were believed to be the news-bearer of spiritual and supernatural events. Several tribes considered them to be shape-shifters and were wary of them. Several myths and lores of owls stealing children’s souls at night were also popular among many Native American communities.


Owl totem

The owl totem enters your life when you begin to doubt your own abilities because of your paranoia and irrational fear of failure. You have too many conflicted emotions in your head that you don’t want to share with others. And in the process, you are pushing everyone who cares about you away.

The owl totem will eradicate your fears and lend you the strength and confidence you need in order to go ahead and take the necessary risks. Once you can see past your own insecurities, you will find that nothing is unachievable for you.


Owl spirit animal

If you don’t fear darkness, both literal and figurative, you are probably guided by the spirit of the owls. Being primarily nocturnal in nature, the owls’ spirit might be the reason you have a sense of familiarity with the darkness and can get more work done at night than during the day hours.

People guided by these spirits are never early-risers. They can easily pull an all-nighter with you, but wouldn’t accompany you to an early morning jog.

Although they are not the most punctual people in the world, they have a sharper mind than most and are very productive. If one of these people is your colleague, you will notice your boss bending backward to accommodate their unique work schedule. This is because they know that although the employee cannot conform to the rules of the institution, they are extremely beneficial for it.

These people will judge you by your actions and not your words. They are smart, fearless, and dedicated to their cause, whatever it might be. When it comes to resourcefulness, they will never disappoint you.

Guided by the owl spirits, these people are often found difficult to love because of their untraditional methods and inability to express their feelings in words. But they make their intentions clear in their actions, and once you grow close to them, you will begin to appreciate their ways.




The Owl has always been an interesting creature, mostly because of its unique characteristics. From their nighttime appearance to their tremendous size, some believe these birds hold a deeper meaning than just your average feathered friend. One look at them and you can tell they are nocturnal, which could be why they’re associated with the occult and spirit communications.

They can be associated with traits and qualities like mystery, darkness, magic, and wisdom, sharpness and intelligence, stealth, and silence. They have been displayed both in positive as well as in negative light in different cultures. To have them as your totem and spiritual animal means to overcome all your fears.

They are also known for their exceptional eyesight, their ability to fly silently, and even their supposed power of healing.


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