Did you know that October is Owl month? This is the month that the owl prepares for breeding and the approaching winter. They tend to be more active during this time and this is why you will often hear their call during the dark of the night more at this time of year than any other.
They are nocturnal, and have a unique appearance. Their eyesight is unparalleled and they are known as silent fliers as can they easily silently swoop down upon their prey. They also have a piercing stare with the ability to turn their necks at 300 degrees. And did you know that they are known to become more vocal during full moons as well?
And the Owl has quite a varied reputation!
On one hand, you have ancient Greek mythology where the owl was the companion of the Greek Goddess Athena. The owl was perceived to be wise and intelligent and revered within their culture. It was believed that the owl would reveal the truths of the world to Athena. She could see what others could not because the owl was there to provide her with wisdom.
Then you have the Romans, who viewed the owl as a bad omen. They believed the owl fed not only on animals, but humans too. So when Rome defeated Athens, perceptions of the owl became more spiteful. In fact, the Romans did not believe that owls were real.
They believed that the witch or wizard actually turned themselves into the owl and then they would suck the blood of babies. Many owls were killed in the Middle Ages because of this and the reputation of the owl had morphed and became associated with witches. The Roman’s also
believed that if you heard the hoot of an owl, there was a witch nearby.
So it is no coincidence that the Owl is associated with Halloween. Halloween does have its roots with the Celtic festival, Samhain. Samhain was celebrated on October 31st of each year and it was thought that the barrier between the worlds was thin. The Celts believed that the
spirits would rise up and visit their farms and homes and often dressed up in masks and animal heads to ward off any evil. They also believed that because owls were creatures of the night, they were the seer of souls and the guardians of the underworld.
Many myths regarding the owl still exist amongst some cultures today. For example, one belief is that if you hear an owl, death is imminent for someone. Another myth is that if you hear a screech of an owl at your home, then someone within the home will die. Even the owl’s ability
to rotate it’s neck became a superstition.
The owl is a special bird. One that is filled with mystery, intrigue and a diverse reputation. What are your beliefs about the owl?
Author: Cate Coffelt http://bestamericanpsychics.com/listing/cate-coffelt
Owls in Mythology and Culture. (2021, April 24 ). In The Owl Pages. https://www.owlpages.com/owls/articles.php?a=62
Owl Myths and FAQ’s (2023, September 13). The Owl Center. https://www.internationalowlcenter.org/mythsandfaq.html
Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopedia (2023, September 13). Halloween. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Halloween