I spotted an owl the other day on our property and made me think the Owl would be a good blog topic. Oh, I can’t pass up the pun… “spotted” owl (groan). And yes, we do live in spotted owl territory, but I only got a quick glance, so I’m not sure what kind it was.
Much mystery seems to surround the owl. Maybe because Owl is a night creature and we humans are intrigued and/or fearful of “things that go bump in the night”. Symbolism for the owl ranges from the symbol of fertility, higher wisdom, insight and protection to an intense fear of the owl as a symbol of bringer of bad news, evil and death. In fact, I found a couple of wonderful articles on the internet that I would highly recommend–Owls in Lore and Culture by B. G. Marcot, D. H. Johnson, & M. Cocker on The Owl Pages and Owl Mythology and Folklore that covers the different cultural symbologies of the owl.
So, where does owl get its title “The Wise Old Owl”? It is mainly comes from the nursery rhyme…
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?
So, we extrapolate from this that the ability of the owl to see in the dark, detect subtlies and its keen hearing and patience (oh, that “p” word…) is what makes this old bird wise. Owl is associated with wisdom because it can see what others cannot. It can see into the shadows and show us secrets that appear only when the Sun is gone.
Owl Medicine links to the gifts of clairaudience and clairvoyance as well as to be able to see into the future. Those with Owl Medicine seem to be able to “hear and see” what’s hiding in the darkness. You can detect subtleties and hear what’s not being said in your interactions with others. You have the unique ability to see into others’ souls where their secrets and motives lie, discerning (and often pointing out) the truth behind any falsehoods or facades.
Owls have wings that are large compared to their size, with a fringe that allows them to fly slow, smooth and silent. For those with Owl Medicine, this ability to be silent and go about your business will help you succeed in your endeavors. Like in the nursery rhyme above … “The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard.”
We invite you to explore what The Wise Old Owl holds for you. Maybe read the articles I linked to above, especially how your Ancestors may have resonated with Owl. Possibly a shamanic journey or meditation to call upon Owl or a quiet reflection in the woods at dusk may call Owl into your presence for a chat.
What message does Owl hold for you?
Until next time –
Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),