The Owl: A Nuanced Symbol in Native American Cultures

Posted: July 26, 2019 By:

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Jul

The Owl: A Nuanced Symbol in Native American Cultures

Posted: July 26, 2019 By:

Zuni white mother of pearl and cowrie shell inlay owl pin/pendant

 

Of the various usages of owl symbolism, Native American religions and their shaman priests have placed upon the bird numerous spiritual associations.

 

To this day, practitioners of Native American spiritual traditions hold that the owl represents vision and insight.

The Cree believe that the whistle-sounds of the Boreal Owl are a summoning call to the spirit world.  If an Apache dreams of an owl, it is held that death is on its way.  Cherokee shamans viewed Eastern Screech Owls as consultants on punishment and sickness.  To this day, practitioners of Native American spiritual traditions hold that the owl represents vision and insight.Cochiti Owl storyteller with six owlets by Mapuwana, Juanita Inez Ortiz

The Pawnee view the owl as a symbol of protection; the Ojibwa, a symbol of evil and death, as well as a symbol of very high status of spiritual leaders of their religion.  The Pueblo associate the owl with Skeleton Man, the god of death and spirit of fertility.

In some Native American cultures, owls are associated with magic, clairvoyance and astral travel.  Owls are birds of the night-they have the power to see the unseen in the blackest of darkness, to hunt for food and fly silently through the night.

Owls have often been associated with magic, witches and sorcerers, and in some cultures, the owl is a symbol of wisdom and all-seeing knowledge.  The Greek goddess Athena was often pictured with an owl on her shoulder which had the power to reveal hidden secrets.

Jemez Owl storyteller with sixteen babies by Emily Fragua TsosieOwl energy helps you to connect with your inner wisdom and intuition.  It can aid with clairvoyance and the ability to see through deception to the truth of a situation.  To have an owl symbol can aid in the intention to increase your wisdom or intuitive skills.  Some activities that can help support this connection include dreams and meditation.

The owl represents wisdom and gives the ability to see things that are normally hidden from view, such as the motives of others, and aids in thwarting deception.