Healing Arts and Pagan Studies - Owl Medicine
We have all heard conflicting stories about Owl and its medicine, or its supernatural power to protect, cure, heal, and to prevent or cause harm. Some traditions teach that Owl is beneficial, while others indicate that Owl brings misfortune. The truth is for you to decide.
Owl Fact & Myth
Owl is territorial, a vicious fighter and a courageous defender of the nest. This is why Owl inspired and protected the Greek armies, and why Roman soldiers believed Owl signified triumph in battle. The Japanese drink a toast to Owl before a hunting expedition, and Russians believe Owl is sacred because it once saved the life of Genghis Khan.
Owl is monogamous in love. Therefore, Australian aborigines believe Owl represents the soul of women. French spinsters call on Owl to help them find a husband. Also in France, when a pregnant woman hears the cry of Owl, her child will be a girl.
Owl's approach to rearing offspring is sometimes brutal. Many Owl chicks starve or are killed by siblings, depending on food availability. Perhaps because of these cruel survival tactics, African Swahili tribesmen believe Owl brings illness to children. Moroccans believe that Owl's cry
can kill an infant. Still, some Owl offspring always survive to produce more Owls; consequently, Owl amulets protect Babylonian women during childbirth.
Dawn, dusk, and the dead of the night is Owl's domain. Owl is the Hopi god of the dead, guardian of fires, and tender of all underground things. Owl attends Lilith, the Sumerian Goddess of death, and in Mexico is called "messenger of the lord of the land of the dead". Popular belief holds that seeing Owl or hearing its cry means impending death, sickness, and misfortune. Therefore, Owl is too evil to name in Cameroon, and is known only as "the bird that makes you afraid".
You may have Owl Medicine if you frequently see, hear, or dream of Owl, or if you have gifts of invulnerability, insight, invisibility, keen observation, wisdom, and curative healing powers.
According to mythology, if a person does something wrong, they may become Owl. Gwydion the Magician turned the unfaithful Blodeuwedd of Celtic Myth into Owl for betraying a magical secret. The Supreme Being of Borneo turned his wife into Owl after she told secrets to mortals. In Poland, girls who are married turn into Owl when they die.
Witches are sorcerers transform into Owl. The majority of indigenous tribal people around the world believe they do too, as shape-shifting is a common practice among shaman and magicians of various cultures.
If Owl Comes Calling
If you are visited by Owl, do not panic. Instead, try to interpret what the visit might mean. For instance, you can interpret Owl's cry by number.
One hoot is an omen of impending death
Two hoots means success in whatever project you start next.
Three hoots represents a woman who will marry into the family.
Four hoots indicates disturbance.
Five hoots denote coming travel.
Six hoots means guests are on the way.
Seven hoots are a sign of mental disease.
Eight hoots foretell sudden death.
Nine hoots symbolize good fortune.
If you hear an Owl hoot late at night, return the call to avoid bad luck. You can also take off an item of clothing and put it on again inside out, or get up from bed and turn your left shoe upside down. If you see Owl do the following: Throw salt in a fire to avert any possible danger.
Propitiate Owl by setting food, a shiny crystal, or some silver coins near the place where Owl appeared. Dedicate an altar to Owl. Cover it with a blue cloth. Place jewellery, and a moonstone, pearl, or crystal upon it. Ask the Lunar Goddess Artemis, Hecate, and Diana
for help and protection.
Finally, never injure Owl, as it is our teacher and elder, and should always be respected.
By Marguerite Elsbeth and GrannyMoon's Morning Feast Archives