There are over 200 species of owls on the planet and the vast majority of them are nocturnal, meaning you are only ever likely to see them active during the night. This in itself makes natural owl encounters very rare things to experience but when they do happen they can symbolize something magical.
If you have recently crossed paths with an owl then you have probably come here looking to find out what it could symbolize for you. Well, you’re in luck because today we will be providing an insight into exactly that.
Before looking at what your recent owl encounter could mean for you, it’s important to gain a little bit of background knowledge into the symbolism surrounding owls. In general, owls are looked at as symbols of wisdom and intelligence. This stems from their proactive hunting ability which has left many people throughout time looking at them as great thinkers.
Certain cultures around the world have their own ideas, though, when it comes to looking at what owls symbolize. Native Americans are very thoughtful when it comes to animal symbolism due to their beliefs in animals being totem animals or spirit animals.
Some Native American tribes believe that owls symbolize death and the afterlife. They look at owls as creatures that accompany souls to the afterlife, meaning that many Native Americans believe owl sightings to be related to deceased loved ones coming to visit us from beyond.
Other tribes simply believe that owls symbolize laziness due to their belief that these birds were banished to the night due to them being too lazy to hunt prey effectively in daylight.
The theme of owls being related to death carries through to Ancient Egypt too. Ancient Egyptians believed that owls were supernatural creatures that could take and receive messages to and from the afterlife.
Religions have their own thoughts too when it comes to owls. Christians, for example, believe owls to be sacred and mysterious birds.
Spiritual Meanings When An Owl Crosses Your Path
Now that you have a good idea of the symbolism surrounding owls, both in general and across different cultures, it’s time to consider the spiritual meanings behind an owl crossing your path.
1. A sign to be smarter
The first thing to consider during an encounter with an owl is the possibility that it could be a sign to be smarter. This could either be generally speaking in your life as a whole or a certain situation/aspect of your life.
It may well be that you are being taken for a fool in a personal relationship and the owl is there to tell you to stop letting this person run rings around you. By switching on and being clever, you will either get this relationship back on track on an equal footing or leave the relationship behind altogether.
On a more general note, the owl could simply be there to tell you to learn a new skill. You may have gotten stuck in the rut of your day-to-day life meaning that you are missing out on opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people. Use this owl sighting as a message to broaden your horizons.
2. A deceased loved one is sending you a message
As you learned earlier, owls are symbols of the afterlife for numerous cultures and tribes. Therefore, if you encounter an owl then consider the possibility that it contains the soul of one of your ancestors or a close friend that has passed away.
If you have lost somebody close to you recently then this could be their way of telling you that they have passed through to the afterlife safely and that they want you to stop grieving their loss. This may well bring you a great deal of comfort and allow you to carry on with your life in a happier way.
If you haven’t lost someone recently but have someone who is no longer with you who used to be the one person you went to for a pick-me-up or reassurance then take this owl encounter as a sign that they are still supporting you and believing you despite them not being on earth in physical form.
Even if you don’t believe that the owl contains the spirit of a loved one, they are also seen as messengers to and from the afterlife.
3. A bad omen
Sadly, many cultures consider owls to be a bad omen. For some Native American tribes, the sound of an owl’s hooting is a signal of bad luck or a warning of death. This is because certain mythology surrounding owls tells of them carrying the souls of dead people to the afterlife.
It’s possible, therefore, that encountering an owl means that either a bad stroke of luck is on the way or somebody you know is sadly going to pass away. Perhaps you should take this as a reason to visit anyone close to you that has been suffering from a long-term illness. Life is precious and no one knows how long we have left in this world.
It could also merely be a reminder of death and to live life to the fullest. Maybe you’ve been saying no to too many things and have become overly worried about trivial things. It’s time to start living life to the maximum and going on adventures as life is short and we don’t know what is around the corner.
4. A sign of good luck
On the flip side, an owl crossing your path could be a sign of impending good luck and/or good fortune. Although it may appear that we’ve been focusing on the negativity surrounding owls with their relation to death, some cultures do look at them as symbols of magic and fortune. This is particularly the case if your encounter is with a white owl or a snowy owl.
Perhaps you’ve been having a rough time at work and you need a light at the end of the tunnel. This encounter could inspire you to keep going with the knowledge that a positive turn of fortune and luck is on the way.
It’s good to know that an owl encounter can actually be a good omen and hopefully, if nothing else, it can leave you feeling positive about the future if you have been going through a rough patch in your life.
5. A sign that you need to open your eyes to a particular situation
Another possible meaning behind an owl crossing your path is that you need to open your eyes to something going on in your life. Owls are incredibly observant predators and perhaps you’ve been the opposite of observant recently.
Is it possible that you’ve been subconsciously turning a blind eye to something? Maybe your intuition has been screaming at you that something isn’t right about somebody or something in your life but you’ve been choosing to ignore it.
Regardless, use this owl encounter as confirmation that something isn’t right. Spend the next couple of days observing those around you closely. Keep an eye on any unusual or suspicious behavior and put a stop to it right away. If you think that someone close to you has been behaving slyly then don’t stand for it any longer; confront them about it and/or remove yourself from the relationship to prevent any further pain.
6. A sign that you are about to undergo a transformation
Finally, owls can symbolize change. With this in mind, an owl crossing your path could mean that you are about to undergo some kind of transformation in your life. Most commonly, this could mean that a new job offer is on the horizon which will take you to new levels within your career.
Regardless of what may or may not happen in terms of transformation, use this owl encounter as a reminder of how refreshing and engaging a new start can be. It’s easy to get stuck in a groundhog day-like routine but new opportunities are always there to be taken. You don’t have to wait for them either, you can go searching for them yourself.
Spotting an owl is one thing but having one cross paths with you is another thing altogether. Not only is this a rare experience to enjoy, but it also means something from a spiritual and symbolic point of view.
We hope that through this article you have gained an understanding of what this encounter could mean for you. Like anything, though, always look for the positives in the situation and see if you can take any lessons or messages into your personal life in the coming days, weeks, and months.