Owls, and Witches oh my!

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved owls! I’ve always found them beautiful, and mysterious! Such beautiful creatures!  However I realized today that I do not know much about owls, and the stories and folklore that surrounds them. So tonight I decided to do some research and find out some folklore behind  this most beautiful bird..

So my search began, I simply googled “Owl Folklore” and went to the first interesting, McAfee “ok’d” website..and what is the first thing I seen…

“Witches were often linked to owl superstitions. One Greek & Roman superstition believed that witches could turn themselves into an owl and then they would swoop down and suck the blood of babies. Other mythology related to witches and owls were that the owls were messengers for sorcerer’s and witches; that they danced together on the graves of the dead; and that if you hear the hoot of an owl, then a witch approaches.”

I automatically rolled my eyes, started to laugh, and wanted to call my brother!  You see since I was a teenager my brother has told my mom that I am a witch (jokingly.. I think?)  That I study Wicca, etc. Of course I do a lot of things that may lead him to believe this like send him links to online Wicca Social Networking, my fascination with ghost, the paranormal, folklore, etc… oh and the fact that I’m a witch every year for Halloween oh and one of my favorite music groups are Wiccan so I guess I can see how him, or others might think I’m a witch. He’ll probably tell my mom first thing in the morning I am writing this, who knows he may if even read it to her! Hi mom! Just in case he does! I did find it funny how the very first thing mentioned about owls had to do with witchcraft, a false , misinterpreted version of witchcraft (as those who are Wiccan know) but nonetheless it did.

Anyway, back to the rest of the folklore surrounding Owls. Here is what I’ve found.

  • In many cultures owls were symbols of magic. In England, it was believed that if you cooked an owl’s eggs until they were ash, it could be used as a potion to improve eyesight. In India, if you ate an owl’s eyes you would get the same result.
  • An owl hooting or screeching at night could result in the death of a newborn baby; will cause the child to have an unhappy life; or possibly that the baby would become a witch
  • If the owl was heard screeching during cold weather it signaled that a storm was coming
  • Owls apparently are the only creatures that can live with ghosts, so if an owl is found nesting in an abandoned house, the place must be haunted.
  • Death is often associated with owls such as if: an owl perches on the roof of your house or hearing an owl hooting constantly nearby.
  • If a traveler dreamed of an owl, then that meant he would be robbed or possibly shipwrecked.
  • Some owl superstitions can be quite silly, like the one that implies that if you see an owl perched in a tree and you walk around and around that tree, the owl will follow you with its eyes, turning his head around until he wrings his own neck. (The reality is that an owl cannot turn his head completely around
  • Not all superstitions were bad. Owls were also believed to bring good fortune in some cultures. An Afghanistan legend states that it was the owl that presented humans with flint and iron so they could make fire. In exchange, man gave owls their feathers.
  • The Aborigines of Australia believe that owls are the spirits of women and are therefore sacred, while in Brittany is was a good sign to see an owl on the way to the harvest as it meant that it would be a good yield that year
  • The owl is a symbol of guidance and help by the Inuit’s of Greenland, while the people of Indonesia saw them as wise beings using the owl’s different calls to determine whether to travel or not.

In today’s world, we have learned that most of these owl superstitions are just stories, born in a time when people were fearful and trying to find answers to their lives and environment. However, many of these legends survived over centuries.  I  hope you enjoyed!!

Up next I’m going to write about Spirit Guides and my brush with a psychic!

9 responses to “Owls, and Witches oh my!

  1. where im from owls are known as witches bad witches they only come out at night if it only whistles at you then its for you not for anyone else but this been goin on since the death of my cousin a few months back & ever since den the owl seems to follow me home & whistles only at me what could this mean

    • Yes that is actually a common belief with owls, that they are witches. They come out at night, fly, and can turn their heads almost 360 degrees! To me hearing an owl is the most comforting sound, but to many others it’s scary and spooky. They are also usually associated with death.

  2. we have 2 owls that come next 2 our home before it gets dark.we have had such bad luck since.it sits on the street light pole and nis not even afraid of the light,people or cars.what can we do 2 chase it away or catch it/

    • Well you can’t catch it, owls have very sharp claws and will hurt you if you try to catch them! So I advise you NOT to do that. I would try to get a fake owl and place it some place in your yard! That may help.

      I will say owls are not bad luck, even though there is a rumor they are..they are not!

  3. owls supposed to be bush animals. however, when an owl persistently and regularly hoots in a neighbourhood, witchcraft actvity cannot be ruled out.

  4. Hi, you have briefly touched on what I needed to know. Very often I hear the hoot of an owl, but not necessarily at the same place. I just wanted to know what and why…I usually hear one hoot and during the day. I’m hoping you might be able to shed some light. There are no owls in the area. Thank you

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