What is it about owls?
To some they’re a symbol of quiet percipience — wisdom. Sort of avian gurus. To others they’re a wonder of the raptor world and, like so much wildlife, endangered at that. Still others view them from a mystical perspective, and have for centuries: as harbingers of unfortunate events or even symbols of evil.
When a Pope who many consider to have been corrupt (and an anti-pope) entered Rome behind an army in 1411, and summoned a council, according to a chronicle of the time, “a screech owl settled on John’s head at the opening of the council as he intoned the invocation, ‘Come, Holy Spirit,” noted Church historian Thomas Bokenkotter.
An odd shape for the Holy Spirit!
(When He comes, it’s as a dove.)
More to the direct mystical point is how often owls or owl-like figurines play into occultism — associated with witches, wizards, and Indian shamans.
Native Americans connected the owl with foresight — a keeper of sacred knowledge. To this day it’s considered a witch’s “familiar” (an animal soul-spirit linked to a person via a unique, communicative bond; dangerous stuff!). Perhaps it’s simply because the owl is a creature of the night.
Among the Kikuyu of Kenya, it was believed that owls were harbingers of death. If one saw the bird or heard its hoot, someone was going to expire. The owl is up there with crows, cats, and snakes when it comes to the occult aspect. In England, reports persist of a big phantom-like black cat. Ironically, just this week, word has been received of an actual black leopard photographed for the first time in a hundred years in Africa.
Not quite a hundred miles from San Francisco is Bohemian Grove, a secretive gathering of prominent people which takes places every summer, culminating in a mock ritual during which an effigy is burned under the watchful gaze of a thirty-foot owl (right; when he was alive, Walter Cronkite was the booming microphonic voice behind it).
Conspiracists assert there’s a tiny owl hidden on the U.S. dollar bill along with that all-seeing eye and pyramid.
In the wild, owls are part of God’s Creation — grand birds with eyes that seem nearly humanly cognizant. Again, a representation of wisdom. Curious it is how owls are so often mentioned as appearing at cites where other bizarre things (bigfoot creatures, poltergeists, demons, aliens) are reported. On a Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico, according to reservation police, a gigantic owl has been reported where other strange otherworldly (or “extraterrestrial”) entities have been reported.
The devil comes in many guises.
It is why we warn of all these (admittedly bizarre) things, especially in these deceptive times.
Romans 3:22-23: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things…”
We prefer to look at owls for what they should be: a magnificent animal the Lord has placed here for His purposes, some of which are now on that list of endangered species and need our protection. There is much anecdotal evidence for the many beliefs — across time and cultures — that spirits can manifest in, or as, various creatures: that they can transmogrify.
But when we view animals (or numbers, or elements, or stars) in an occult way, we are only evoking that, and asking for trouble.
[resources: Prayer of the Warrior]