Dispelling Bad Rumors About the Owl as an Omen of Death: There are many incorrect assumptions circling about that identify the owl as a ‘death-bringer’ or an omen of death. This is simply not the case. However, the owl IS a creature that is associated with death and very comfortable with it in many cultural myths and legends. But instead of the owl representing death, it is actually an overseer or navigational master of death.
The owl has been regarded as a kind of guardian, ally or liaison for the souls/spirits of the dead.
What I mean by this is that (symbolically speaking) death holds no fear for the owl. This creature is supremely comfortable with symbolic situations such as: Darkness, The Unknown, Shadow, Secrets…and yes, Death.
Why the Owl is Associated with Death in Ancient Myths and Legends
In cultural myth and legend, certain ancient people (European, like Celtic) identified the owl with death because they observed owls were so easy with issues that were very scary for early humans.
For example, owls hang out in the deepest heart of the forest…to early country folk, the forest was a place to be feared…a place where one could disappear…it was spooky in there! But the owl navigates the perils of the forest with aplomb.
Early man also recognized the owl was most active at night, and needed almost no light to hunt, play and do owly things in the middle of the night. To the indigenous way of thinking, darkness and nighttime was akin to death because it represented a space where nothing is known…there is no light to shed answers on ‘the other side.’
Owls area also mysterious babies. Their behavior is not always predictable and they have a reputation for bursting out of nowhere, scaring the bejeebies out of anyone nearby. Their appearance, actions, vocalizations and deft skills in the thick of night was viewed as supernatural to the early rural, Native way of thinking.
Owls as Messengers of Hope, Not an Omen of Death
I present all of this in hopes to help you understand how the owl may be connected with death, but not a sign or omen of death. Very often owl visitations are a direct communication from people who have transitioned into non-physical (I avoid the word ‘death’ because in my world…there is no such thing…only a transference or transformation of energy).
Owls are powerful guides that are expertly skilled at navigating between the realms of physical life on earth, and the non-physical side of life. Because they are easy with shadow realms, they often show themselves to say: “Hey, this is a message from the loved one you lost. Always remember…they are not lost to you. Your dearly departed is not nearly as departed as they may seem. I am here to remind and assure you that those who have crossed over are still with you, and helping you grow through the life you are living now.“
I hope these insights helped to dispel the myth surrounding the owl as an omen of death. Furthermore, I hope this article encourages you to consider more hopeful viewpoints about the owl.
As always, thanks for reading!