Birds serve as enigmatic messengers from another realm. Their appearance signals the transformative shift of seasons. Among them, ravens and hummingbirds are notably linked to spiritual realms and the afterlife. Likewise, owls share a similar connection.
If you often find yourself coming across these guardians of the night, if their haunting hoots reverberate through the depths of your very soul, or if they grace your dreams with their silent wings, then I implore you to cherish these encounters. They are far from ordinary.
Due to the mysterious and otherworldly nature of these creatures, frequently hearing an owl may be deeply significant. So how do you know if it’s a sign? And if so, what does it mean? Keep reading to learn about owls as a spiritual sign and their connection with several different deities!
Owls are often seen as messengers: harbingers of ancient knowledge and secrets from beyond the veil. Their bright, all-seeing eyes shine with omnipotence and otherworldly wonder. Seeing or hearing an owl may be a symbol of spiritual awakening – an omen of transformation or significant life events that will soon come to pass.
Many interpret the sound of owls as a positive sign, as an owl is thought to bring good luck and prosperity to those it graces with its presence. Also seen as a protector and guide, the owl may be a messenger from your spirit guide(s), gently letting you know that they are watching dutifully over you.
In their duality, however, an owl may be an omen of something much worse. Brace yourself! A difficult decision or painful transformation may await you in the near future. In severe cases, the owl may be a warning of sickness, misfortune, or impending death. At the very least, an owl hooting may just signal that inclement weather is on its way.
To some, an owl encounter holds a deep spiritual significance. Embrace the possibility that this call is an invitation from a deity or higher power, ready to forge an extraordinary bond with your spirit.
But if that’s the case – then which one? While there are a multitude of deities associated with owls, I implore you to pay attention to signs and synchronicities, and listen to your intuition carefully as you undergo your spiritual journey.
One of the deities most commonly associated with owls is Athena, a Greek goddess of war and wisdom. The owl is also a symbol of her namesake city of Athens, its rooftops graced by little owls guarding over her domain.
Referenced in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the owl of Athena was once a mortal of tragic upbringing. Nyctimene was a princess of the island of Lesbos. After suffering sexual abuse from her own father, Nyctimene fled to the wilderness to escape the only home she had ever known.
When Athena found Nyctimene in the wilderness – ashamed, afraid, and alone – she took pity on her. Athena comforted Nyctimene, transforming her into an owl so that she may never suffer at the hands of man again. Like other birds, in this tale, the owl also symbolizes hope, freedom, and a new beginning.
Athena is a wise but firm protector. While she is more than willing to charge into battle for what is right, she uses her divine knowledge and intuition to calculate a cunning strategy. Despite her hard edge, she is a patron to artists and artisans.
Misunderstood messengers of the night, the owl’s eyes reflect the brightly-shining moon. But this is not its only association with Hecate, the Greek Chthonic goddess of witches.
The owl has long been tied to practices of witchcraft, possibly because owls are perceived as witches’ familiars, or perhaps a witch herself that has taken on a wild shape. The nocturnal nature of owls draws further suspicion to those who practice their craft at night, as witches were believed to be able to see in the dark.
Those who work with Hecate often encounter her while undergoing a deep spiritual transformation. She is the goddess who meets you at the crossroads, guiding you by torchlight as you navigate life’s many potential paths. Guided by intuition, Hecate is a goddess of powerful magic, transformation, and rebirth.
Known by many different names and stories, Lilith is a divine figure associated with owls. Some stories see her as a demon, while others view her as a goddess. Today, she is viewed by many as a divine feminist goddess associated with freedom and gender equality. It is thought that she is the figure carved into the Burney relief, an ancient plaque of unknown origin that depicts a female figure flanked by owls. The exact origins of Lilith are unknown. Some believe she is Adam’s first wife, cast out of the Garden of Eden when she refused to be subservient to him. Others believe that she is the Mother of Demons.
In Hebrew texts, the word lilith – night creatures – first occurs in a list of animals in Isaiah 34. Since then, Lilith has been associated with different birds. However, the most prominent bird she is associated with is the screech owl. One story in The Alphabet of Ben Sira details how Lilith fled from Adam after they fought for dominance. During this argument, Lilith told Adam that they were both equal because they were both made from the earth. After this, Lilith pronounced God’s name and flew away into the air.
See also: Lilith Discussions in the Spells8 Coven
Stolas is a high prince of hell, manifesting as either an owl or a man depending on his needs. Appealing to practitioners of Goetic magic, Stolas bears knowledge of the Earth and sky, teaching his followers astronomy as well as the properties of plants and precious stones. Stolas commands 26 legions of spirits, making him a powerful entity to have on your side.
Born from Chaos, Nyx is the primordial goddess of darkness and night. In Greek mythology, she is one of the oldest deities and one of the most important. Nyx is responsible for the existence of many of the Ancient Greek’s most important gods. With Erebos (Darkness), she gave birth to Aether and Hemera, the deities responsible for light and day. On her own, Nyx gave birth to many darker spirits, including the three Fates, Death, and Pain.
Though the owl isn’t historically associated with Nyx, the connection can be made for the modern Pagan. Owls are creatures of night, often coming out of darkness to live and hunt. They are keepers of mystery and knowledge, both concepts that are also associated with Nyx.
Lakshmi is a well-respected and honored goddess in Hindu belief. She is part of a triad of goddesses, and she is seen as the prosperity aspect of the Mother Goddess. Among other things, she is associated with wealth, power, beauty, and fertility. Depictions of Lakshmi often show her accompanied by many different animals. One of these animals is an owl.
It is said that the owl symbolizes patience, knowledge, and blindness. Lakshmi encourages those seeking knowledge to have patience. Learning new things takes time, and if the process is rushed, knowledge isn’t gained. Blindness is an interesting concept with Lakshmi. The owl is a bird that doesn’t see well during the day. Thus, the owl is a reminder to not be blinded by greed when seeking knowledge, and to look for knowledge with an open heart.
Messenger or Not?
It can be hard to determine if an animal is a message, your guide, or a sign from a deity. The owl can be any of them, or none at all – sometimes, an owl is just an owl. It is up to you to decide the significance of the owl in your life!
Signs From Your Spirit Guides: How to Find & Meet Them
A spirit guide is a discarnate entity that watches over a person throughout some point in their life. While many spiritualists believe in guardian angels, many folks seem to use the broader term “spirit guide” to encompass any entity that lends us aid from the spirit realm.
How Does a Goddess Choose You? Signs a Deity is Calling
For the spiritual worker and Modern-day Witch, whether we are Wiccan, Neopagan, or other denomination, the guides we work with are of utmost importance. Some work with angels, others with elementals or even power animals, and others with one or more deities.
11 Goddesses of the Forest, Wild Animals, and Nature
Every single religion and mythology has deities, gods, and goddesses, that refer to the natural world. They could be forest deities, animal goddesses, or related to a natural element or force.