What makes owls so enigmatic and fascinating? Materializing as harbingers of doom, guardians of the underworld, and figures of wisdom, we have venerated and feared owls. Few other creatures have so many diverse and contradictory beliefs written about them.
In Native American folklore, owls are regarded as underworld messengers who shepherd spirits to the afterlife. The Cherokee name for the great horned owl is “tskili” which means witch. The Hopis believed brave and virtuous individuals became Great Horned Owls after death.
With its face pale face resembling a ghost, those who were wicked were thought to become Barn Owls. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Robert Blair and William Wordsworth poems presented the Barn Owl as a bird of doom.
With Superstitions diminishing the 20th century, the owl has resumed its status as a symbol of wisdom. Whether they are seen as emblems of wisdom or harbingers of death, owls continually inspire and amaze us.
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