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The Legend and Superstition of the Owl

Wise Owls
Ed Park/Three Lions/Getty Images

I’ve been reading a murder mystery lately that has an “owl” in the mix. The murderer has placed a plastic owl at the scene of the crime and now it’s up to the investigator to figure out the meaning behind the owl. I remembered from my college literature classes discussing crows, owls and other birds and there omens. So I decided to research it a little more because some see owls as “wise” while others see them as “evil”

Depending on what part of the country you are from, what century you’re in and personal beliefs the owl can be good or bad. The Native Americans/Inuits have many thoughts about the spirituality of owls. They believed owls, were the spirits of their dead. Owl symbolism even dates back to Caesar’s time and their prediction of his death.

In the early 18th century many artists and writers would use the owl as a sign of death in their works. That is what has been done in the current book I’m reading. The investigators follow the owl left at the murder and a note that was found with it, which was written in Latin, and says ” God sees, God sees all”. It refers to a painting featuring owls that in turn reflects religious beliefs of death. Haven’t finished the book yet, so I’m not sure where the owl will lead in the end.

I didn’t realize that owls had been so much a part of history, art and literature until I began researching the superstitions and legends. I believe that owls are just animals, I like them, I think they are pretty. I don’t find them menacing or evil although that is in the back of my mind now.

Do you believe in superstitions? What are your thoughts on owls; are they just animals or do they represent evil?

For more information on owl legends check out this owl magic and folklore website.

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