What do owls symbolize?

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Owls are a very specific species of birds – and we all know birds are geniuses! People have a long fascination with owls. They are afraid of them, admire them, attribute power to them, and also use them for fashion purposes.

Owl symbolism is interpreted differently throughout history and different cultures. It is believed that the owl brings happiness, wealth, health, and love. In many countries, owls associate with wisdom, magic, and heightened sensuality.

To the Romans, the owl was a symbol of wisdom and prophecy. In ancient Rome, a dead owl was attached to a house door to avoid evil. The ancient Romans believed that the announcement of an owl indicated imminent death. Owls are also believed to have warned the Roman army of impending disasters.

The Chinese culture has long rooted in the teachings of Feng Shuai. According to this teaching, owl symbolism has several meanings:

wisdom,
attracting wealth,
caution,
study assistance,
protection of family life,
defense against dark forces.

Four of the most frequent symbolism are the following:

1. Owls are famous for their exceptional eyesight and it was thought that you could gain better eyesight from them. In England, the method was to cook owl eggs until they were ash, then incorporate them into a potion. Folklore from India had a more direct method: just eat owl eyes.

2. For some cultures, the owl was sacred. Among Australian Aborigines, owls are the spirits of women and so are sacred. The Kwakiutl people also thought owls were the souls of people and shouldn’t be harmed because if the owl was killed, the person whose soul the owl carried would also die. In fact, many different cultures believed that a person became an owl after death.

3. Owls are of course associate with witchcraft. Greeks and Romans believed witches could turn themselves into owls, and in this form would come to suck the blood of babies. In other cultures, owls were simply the messengers of witches, or hooted to warn of the approach of a witch.

4. Though the owl’s nocturnal activity was at the root of many superstitions, the amazing ability of an owl to rotate its neck to extraordinary degrees was even turned into a myth. In England it was believed that if you walked around a tree that an owl was perched in, it would follow you with its eyes, around and around until it wrung its own neck.


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