Why the Owl?

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Many people around me are aware that my totem is the Owl.  The Barn Owl totem reflects the ability of the heart and the mind and it connects me to the spirit world.

I am often asked why I use the owl as a symbol connected to my writings.  I see the wisdom and the unhidden, which it is our journey to uncover, when the time is right.  The owl has the ability to see where we can’t see and by going into the dark reaches of our mind and self we can find the hidden treasures that await us.


As a child I was fascinated by the owls that lived in our shed, dark in the day but darker at night.  During the day they would be perched on the rafters, eyes closed and sleeping after a full night of surveillance and survival.  At night, especially in the summer, they would come out and be on the roads when we drove home late.  They were no doubt catching mice or whatever food they could found.  Sometimes there were lots of them and they would sit on the road feasting on road-kill that was waiting to be cleaned up by a scavenger.  Their white faces would gleam in the headlights of our car on the road.  Thus, my love of the owl started.

On pondering why this is so I started to think about the difference between the eagle and the owl.  They are really so very similar except one comes out in the day and the other more often than not during the night.

Related: “Pondering”

The eagle part of us is what we show the world.  It is the public face whereas the owl is the inner, the one we know ourselves to be, often called the ‘shadow side’.

We all have both within us and learning to understand both these parts of ourselves is the greatest gift we can bestow on our growth!  Digging deep within to gain the knowledge of who we really are and finding our purpose can sometimes take strength being so vulnerable.

In many cultures around the world owls have been the symbol of wisdom, power, intuition, mystery, protection, messages and change.  The owl is seen as a mediator between the material and the spiritual worlds.  It has a peaceful and protective vibration.  Known as ‘the ruler of the night’ owls can teach us how to acknowledge our shadow side giving us the courage to accept who we are and what our purpose is in this life.

It is fascinating to know that the owl is the only bird that has forward facing eyes like humans. The owl can turn its head 270 degrees and capture most of what is happening around it.  When a group of owls come together they are called a ‘parliament’ and I often wonder what our parliamentarians could learn from them.

Owls, with their extraordinary fine eyes can see distances which give them the ability to see their prey easily when flying up high.  Up close, their vision is very poor. I wonder at this ability when it comes to humans.  It is easier to see the future when we open our peripheral vision in our outer world but not so at close up range in our own personal shadow side.  Owls do mate for life and are the symbol of the feminine, the moon and the night.  They are seen as the bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom and considered a powerful spirit guide for those who use this symbol. I know it personally for the wisdom and strength it gives to me.

Related: “Concious Wisdom”

In Greek mythology, the Goddess Athena is associated with the owl for its wisdom and femininity.  Athena was the goddess of wisdom and strategy whilst Diana, a Roman goddess was also associated with the moon and the owl.  The owl gives you the ability and power to extract secrets.  Listen to the little voice inside for what will be revealed when you go to that quiet place within.  It is hard to deceive the owl people as they see into the darkness of others souls.  So, if the owl calls you, learn to trust your instincts about people you meet or come in contact with.  Let him guide you to greater wisdom.

If you tune in to the owl, and allow his energy to create balance in your life, he will teach you how to overcome and balance out the negative that is around us all.  He teaches the balance of light and dark within us all and will help create in you the stillness of silence.

The owl teaches that knowledge is knowing what to say, but wisdom is the knowing when to say it.

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