Because the owl sees in the dark it represents our intuitive sense that ‘sees’ what is happening in the subtle areas of our feeling and experience. This sense ‘feeds’ by watching or acting as an integrating function with the many dark or hidden aspects of our experience and behaviour. Because this part of our mental process is aware of the hidden activities in the depths of our body and mind, it can initiate our conscious self into the mysteries of life and death. If one can imagine having a council of all living things, we would all have in common the drive to reproduce, and there would be huge links of understanding regarding care and rearing of young and perhaps of love for mate. The unconscious seems to have a sense of this synthesis of all life, and the owl, representing it, speaks with this sort of collective wisdom; a wise advisor.
Because the owl as a dream symbol is an actual doorway to the usually hidden side of life, we may sometimes feel fear or danger in regard to it. In some mythologies the owl was connected with death, and might act as a messenger regarding the death of a family member. For instance in Jewish tradition it is unlucky to dream of an owl, but okay to dream of any other bird. See: Second example in wife.
Idioms: Wise old owl; wisdom of the owl; night owl; owlish – looking wise or solemn.
Useful Questions and Hints:
What do I know about Owls?
Does this show any use of my intuition and wisdom?
If the owl seems menacing in the dream, is this about my fear of the dark, or death, or possibly the contents of my unconscious?