Owl Mythology/Folklore

by OBDK on November 06, 2020


As Halloween approaches, let’s dive into some of the more misunderstood, spooky aspects of owls. Over our next two Monday emails, we’ll be exploring owls in mythology and folklore. Today, we’ll chat about the good, while next week we’ll chat about the bad


The most common connection to owls within mythology is with the Greek goddess Athena. She’s the goddess of wisdom and war. Through her, the owl was a symbol of protection to Greek armies. If one flew over them in a battle, it was taken as a sign of victory. 


But even before their association with Athena, they appeared on Athenian coins in the late 7th century BC. The coins were thought to serve as talismans against negative forces.

Their association with protection and war can also be found in both Chinese and Native American beliefs. It was thought that the owls had the ability to ward away evil and protect people. Eagle owls in particular were thought to be safe from evil spirits, because the eagle owl was said to devour the spirits. Native Americans associated them with warriors and hunters because of how efficient they are as predators. 


Owls were also associated with foretelling the weather. In England, a screeching owl meant that cold weather or a storm was approaching. In other parts of the world, it could mean snow, fair weather, or just a change in the current weather. 


What do you normally associate owls with? Did you know about these perceptions of owls already?