Owl Folklore

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Owl Folklore

Updated on February 8, 2019

Rupert Taylor


I’ve washed-out one-half a 100 (yikes) composition for wireless and print—mostly impress. I desire to be silence tapping the keys as I proceeds my finis hint.

Tangency Source

In Westerly acculturation owls are smart, but in over-the-counter societies they are malefic birds associated with witchery. Indigen N Americans property powers of foretelling to owls, as did the Romans who believed that owls foretold the destruction of Julius Caesar.


The Antediluvian Owls

Athena was the Greek goddess of sapience and she honoured the owl as her comrade. Coins were minted with Athena on one position and an owl on the over-the-counter (see beneath). The especial species of Athena’s choosing was the Piddling Owl that lived in enceinte numbers about the Acropolis.

Because the owl can see in the iniquity it was idea to own around kinda charming might. The Petty Owl was believed to protect Athenian armies likewise as the state’s swap.


The Romans didn’t breakthrough owls so piquant although they did contact them to Minerva, the goddess of sapience and divination. So, they believed owls had prognostic powers and their comportment foretold impendent fate.

Manifestly, an owl warned that calamity mightiness betide a Roman army that was incursive Mesopotamia. The owl, if you trust a raspberry can see into the next, was chasten. Below the unqualified generalcy of Marcus Licinius Crassus, his army was slaughtered at the Struggle of Carrhae in 53 BCE.

The Romans besides believed that owls were transformed from witches and went almost suck descent from babies. All this filthiness could be countered by nailing a numb owl to the strawman threshold of a family.

“And if anyone knows anything around anything,” aforesaid Birth to himself, “it’s Owl who knows something almost something,” he aforesaid, “or my name’s not Winnie-the-Pooh,” he aforementioned. “Which it is,” he added. “So thither you are.”

A.A. Milne


Aboriginal American Polish and Owls

Jamie K. Oxendine writes ( Powwows.com ) that “Among many tribes, the owl is to be both feared and embraced. Traditionally, many tribes believed, (and around individuals lull clutches these beliefs), that sealed medicate mass (both manly and distaff) could be raddled thereto office of apparitional powerfulness that would do impairment to early citizenry.”

Normally, the legends secern of witches shape-shifting into owls so they can fly mutely concluded multitude at dark and mold minatory spells on them.

To the Hopi citizenry of the south-western U.S. the Burrowing Owl is consecrated although it is too associated with dying. Many early tribes see owls are harbingers of the end of biography.

Burrowing Owl. | Seed

The Ojibwa affiliated the owl to the passing from sprightliness to the heart humanity and believed the freshly idle crossed the owl span.

Among the Passamaquoddy of the northeast thither is the history of the Great-Horned Owl who got his aunty to pay him conjuration potions so he could look as a well-favoured immature huntsman. He was able-bodied to bewitch a beautiful girl to be his wife and he carried her aside to subsist in the owl hamlet.

To the Apache, Big Owl sometimes takes busyness configuration but as a hulk. He is put-upon in children’s stories as a bugbear admonition the piddling ones to obey their parents.

But, sometimes owls were seen in a more favorable lightness. Cheyenne warriors wore owl feathers in the feeling that they would work them the bird’s peculiar powers of night-sight or furtive campaign. The Pawnee too told stories of how owls sour around mass into first-class hunters by transferring their singular abilities to them.

A glasshouse verse was re-purposed by the U.S. politics during Humanity War II. | Rootage

Owls in Africa

Mostly, owls get a bad closet in Africa. Cameroonians song it “the hiss that makes you afraid,” and e Africans say it brings unwellness to children.

In roughly African cultures, as elsewhere, owls are attached to necromancy and are believed to be able-bodied to visit and from the liveliness humans.

The kinship of owls and witches crops up in Madagascar where they are both believed to dancing on the graves of the idle. In Malawi, they are thinking to be the messengers of witches.

The boo of the owl presages fearful things in about of Africa. In fact, it’s future to unacceptable to incur any cultivation in the celibate that has anything commodity to say almost the shuttle.

European Owl Mythology

The British came up with an interesting way of kill the irritating wildcat based in the power of the shuttlecock to routine its mind a foresighted way roughly. The estimate was to uncovering an owl in a shoetree and to paseo in circles approximately it. The owl was believed to sustenance its eyes on the pedestrian until it wrung its own cervix.

Grand sightedness is another owl impute and the English persuasion they could slip this by cookery the bird’s egg into ash so qualification a potion from it. In India, the folklore feeling was to cut out the preparation measure and only eat the owl’s eyes.

The Welch believed the owl was a direful tattle-tale; if it was heard among houses it was signalling that an single charwoman had barely baffled her virginity. “Myfanwy are you expiration out with that Dai Thomas again tonight?”

Because of the conjectural joining to witchery, the betimes Christian church sour the owl into a symbolization of unholy ownership and Satan. This was obvious because the birdie hunted darkly and preyed on unacquainted animals.

“Birds of presage darkness and choke,

Night-crow, predate, bat, and owl,

Farewell the disgorge man to his stargaze –

All dark farsighted he heard your screaming.”

The Fable of Montrose, Sir Walter Scott

As with so many over-the-counter cultures, the multitude of Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, and Hungary laced the front and hooting of owls to end. Although the Poles believed that if a womanhood died single she became a squab, patch those that were matrimonial sour into owls.

The French, hallow them, put the owl on a stand; various species get been named afterwards dukes. Course, dukes went out of mode during the French Rotation so the appellative pattern may not be such an purity tod.

There’s xcvi of a Gallic root underdeveloped some l’amour because the mass of Lorraine cerebration owls were commodity at determination husbands for single women.

Interim, Romanians highly-developed the pin-up whim that sinners who repented would be carried aloft to shangri-la in the mannequin of White Owls.


Fillip Factoids

According to the fogey immortalise, owls birth been approximately for 60 jillion age and they get changed really footling ended that period.

The Volary at Owls says thither are 216 species of owls in the humankind now.

J.K. Rowling has through lots to raise the epitome of the owl from its destine and gloominess condition. In her Beset Monkey novels she uses a Snow-covered Owl, Hedwig, as associate and supporter to her primal lineament. Thither are respective otc owls in the serial advance entrenching their fabulous connections to genius.


“Owl Folklore and Legends, Conjuration and https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/edubirdie.com Mysteries.” Patti Wigington, ThoughtCo , January 18, 2019.

“Native American Owl Mythology.” Native-languages.org , dateless.

“Concerning Owls.” Jamie K. Oxendine, powwows.com , July 31, 2011.

“World Owl Mythology.” Deane Lewis, The Owl Pages , October 6, 2012.

“Owls Mythology & Folklore.” Paul D. Hoar, dateless.

“Owl Myths and Legends.” Shani Freidman, wildbirdsonline.com , October 12, 2016

© 2019 Rupert Taylor