owl tattoo meaning

Owl Tattoo Meaning

Last Updated on October 4, 2020 by Avia

Exploring Owl Tattoo Meaning

Symbolic Owl Tattoo Meaning, Owl Meaning and Tattoo Ideas

Are you a shadow-walker? What I mean is, do you appreciate the magic of the night…the mystery of darkness…the deep secrets cloaked in shadow? If so, an owl tattoo might be a great way to express your appreciation for the shadow side of life.

Owls are sentinels of the night, and are infinitely comfortable with the realm of unknown.If you dig that, then an owl tattoo might be a way to symbolize your comfort with mysteries lurking in the darkness.

The owl is an intensely sensitive creature. Most owls cannot bear exposure to light. It’s their eyes that cannot take in full sunlight to capacity. But that’s okay, because owl eyes are expertly equipped to handle the darkest of night.

This is symbolic on many levels.

Have you endured a ‘dark night of the soul’? A time of life in which it appeared all hope is utterly exhausted? A time of despair, when it felt like it seemed no light would ever grace you again? I think we’ve all experienced a dark night of the soul to one extent or another.

The owl is a symbol of hope in those murky, frightening times. No matter what blackness surrounds her, the owl sees her way through the gloom. The owl has superior vision that lifts the veil of shadow. This is a powerful concept. The owl is a stalwart reminder that even without the presence of light (hope), we can expand our vision – open our view – and still see the contours of promise in our lives. An owl tattoo might be the perfect testimony to the fact, that indeed, light IS present – even in the darkest moments. Call upon owl energy as a constant assurance that shadow cannot keep you in fear as long as you adjust your view and wisdom to see beyond.

owl tattoo meaning and owl meaning
Owl tattoo meaning and owl meaning

Summary of Owl Tattoo Meaning

  • Magic
  • Power
  • Clarity
  • Dreams
  • Wisdom
  • Intuition
  • Guidance
  • Protection
  • Awareness

On the subject of wisdom, owl tattoo meaning is symbolically connected to knowledge. There are several historical links to the owl and wisdom. Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom (Minerva in Roman mythology) claims the owl as one of her symbolic totems. The Greeks observed the owl as a keen strategist in nocturnal hunting and maneuvering. It’s skill at providing for itself – even under dim conditions is a metaphor. This ability says something like: “I see no restriction – only opportunity.” If you find that motto inspiring – an owl tattoo might bring that affirmation home on a deep level for you.

owl meaning and owl tattoo ideas

What about that legend that holds the owl as a symbol of death? If you’re worried about that kind of message being tattooed on your body – don’t let it hold you back if you’re devoted to the owl. Why? Because this connection between owl and death is kind of a misnomer. It’s not that the owl is exclusively a sign of death…it’s more accurate to say the owl is a guardian of the sacred realm of afterlife.

To wit, many tales tell of the owl ferrying souls to the otherworld (afterlife). This theme of soul-carrying to the other side of life crops up in Incan, Egyptian, Algonquin and Welsh mythology. Depending upon your interpretation of these and other legends, the owl can be seen as a merciful conduit or path-finder through the passage of death. Quite simply, the owl inherited its association with death because of its ability to see clearly through night, which is often considered a symbol of death.

The owl is also a symbol of magic. I’m not talking card tricks and pulling rabbits out of hats. I’m talking about a communication with incalculably powerful cosmic forces for the purpose of shifting form and reality. Why is the owl a symbolic spokesperson for big magic? It has to do with that theme of darkness again. Think on it. Some of the greatest mysteries of the Universe are nestled in a black blanket of mystery. Consider dark matter, and the vast darkness of the cosmos. It takes vision to tap into that dark void of pure potential. It takes faith to connect meaning in order to weave magic. The owl, on a symbolic level, is a master at this. Adopting the metaphorical essence of the owl encourages connection with the great unknown, and facilitates clarity.

The moon is often featured as a magical, mystical symbol in many philosophies. Not coincidentally, the owl is affiliated with the moon. Here again, this alliance comes from the owl’s nocturnal nature. The moon (and the owl by association) is symbolic of intuition, mystery, magic, dreams and the cycles of time. Countless cultures have honored the moon for serving as a bright beacon piercing the dark of night. The owl serves the same symbolic purpose.

Final Thoughts on Owl Tattoo Meaning

♦  Do you like that night life? Do you like to boogie? An owl tattoo might be your perfect disco partner.

♦  Are you comfortable with weighty concepts of life versus death? Owl can be your companion in exploring these high-gravity issues.

♦  Do the aspects of darkness, shadow and mystery remind you of infinite potential and possibility? An owl tattoo can galvanize that giddy groove.

♦  Does the authentic meaning of magic make you reverent and awe-inspired? The owl can accentuate your respect for the magic inherent in every moment of life.

To be sure, owl tattoo meaning is heavy. Really heavy. As a powerful nocturnal raptor, the owl is no light-hearted commitment. Owl asks for devotion, wisdom and clarity of soul. Keep this in mind before you embark on setting your owl tattoo as a permanent marker.

owl tattoo meaning and owl meaning for tattoo ideas
owl tattoo meaning and owl meaning for tattoo ideas

Also keep in mind the owl is a guardian of the sacred. She protects the secret forces of life and afterlife. If you possess the awareness of that gravity, then an owl tattoo might be a worthy expression of the respect these deep concepts deserve.

In the owl-tradition of wisdom, don’t let this page be the end of your journey in gaining symbolic knowledge about this amazing raptor. I’ve written more about the owl for your continued research. Check out my article on Owl Meaning and Symbolism here. And don’t miss more owl articles listed at the end of this page.

Owl blessings and happy tattooing,


symbolic owl meaning

Symbolic Meaning of the Owl

Our ancient ancestors gave us a great foundation upon which to base our understanding of owl meanings. It’s up to us modern-day folks to add our own perception and understanding to gain realistic interpretations. Get more information about symbolic owl meaning here.

owl visitation meaning

Symbolic Meaning of Birds

Bird totems are symbols of strength (both physical and mental), sovereignty and so much more. This article gives you a whole list of bird meanings. From Bluejays to Vultures, you’ll find what you need here. Get more about symbolic bird meaning here.

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