Miller's Guild » 10 Meanings When You Hear an Owl Hooting

10 Meanings When You Hear an Owl Hooting

Owls are mystical creatures of the night, and when you encounter one, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’ve experienced something profoundly magical.

An owl’s hoot usually carries an important spiritual message, so if you hear one, you should take the time to interpret it correctly – and to help, in this post we discuss the question, what does it mean when you hear an owl?

10 Meanings When You Hear an Owl Hooting 1

Owl symbolism according to different cultures

Before we look at what it means if you hear an owl hooting, it will be useful to take a moment to think about the symbolism owls have had according to various cultures around the world.

Native American beliefs

Although different Native American tribes have a range of varying beliefs, animals and the wider natural world are almost universally seen as having deep spiritual and symbolic meaning.

For this reason, it is no surprise that an animal as mystic and mysterious as the owl features in the beliefs of several tribes – although the beliefs can differ significantly from tribe to tribe.

Some tribes see owls as an evil omen that heralds bad luck, misfortune, bad weather or even death. For example, the Cherokee have beliefs of this kind, associating owls with death, witchcraft and misfortune.

Others see owls as foretelling important spiritual events – this can mean death, but in the metaphorical sense, which also leads to spiritual transformation and rebirth.

In some tribes, children are told that owls can hunt humans and that they can steal people’s souls – this is a traditional kind of lesson for children in some Native American societies that teach them to behave properly.

Finally, some tribes see owls as what’s known as a “psychopomp”, a guide that accompanies the souls of the departed to the other side.

So in short, in Native American culture, owls are feared and revered in equal measure.

Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, the goddess Athena was associated with owls and was often depicted with them. Athena was the goddess of knowledge, so seeing or hearing owls was considered a good omen that foretold good luck or wealth.

The owl was seen as a symbol of wisdom, and it was also a guardian for troops, representing victory over enemies on the battlefield.

In ancient Greece, hearing the hoot of an owl was a sign of good luck. And it can also bring guardianship and peace to the troops, so law enforcement departments also like to use the owl as a symbol. Law enforcement agencies usually had officers on night duty. They carry owls in their related merchandise designed to be given to police officers who are on duty at night. For police officers, the owl is the patron saint of the night. Therefore, police departments, usually give them owl related items such as custom police challenge coins, custom patches, etc.

Ancient Rome

Unlike in Greece, in Ancient Rome, the owl was seen in a much more negative light. It was often seen as predicting poor weather or death – and owls are known to have appeared before the deaths of important Romans such as Julius Caesar, Augustus, Marcus Aurelius and Agrippa.

Once, the city of Rome even had to undergo a lustration, a kind of purification ritual, because an owl was observed in the Capitolium.

Ancient Egypt

In Ancient Egypt, owls were feared but also worshipped. This is because they were believed to be connected to death and darkness – but they were also related to the afterlife.

Arab beliefs

According to certain Arab beliefs, owls were bad omens and evil spirits. An old folk story tells that owls can fly into houses and carry off children.


In China, owls are believed to be connected to disease and death, and according to one belief, when an old person hears an owl, they should begin digging a grave.

In traditional Chinese feng shui however, the owl represents strong yang energy and has potent protective capabilities. According to these beliefs, the owl is a positive omen of good luck and abundance.

This means it is a positive emblem to hang in your house, although you shouldn’t place it in areas of peace and tranquility. It is more suitable for places like offices, and when placed by windows, it can deflect harmful negative energy from outside.

Modern spiritual meanings

Modern spiritual meanings

In modern spirituality, the owl combines many of the old beliefs about owls with more modern thinking, giving this bird a whole new level of symbolism.

One important signification is that owls are related to setting limits and boundaries. They defend their territory fiercely, and part of owl symbolism relates to defining boundaries.

Nowadays, owls are seen in more of a positive light than a negative one – they are seen as being wise creatures, and the idea that they are bad omens is less common.

However, seeing or hearing one can awaken deeply spiritual feelings in some people, so it’s easy to understand why some people can also be afraid of their powers.

Owls are also related to new beginnings, and in modern spiritual symbolism, this is an important aspect of what the owl represents.

Whereas in some cultures, owls foretold literal death, now more people choose to see this as meaning the end of one phase in their life and the start of something new.

What does it mean if you hear an owl hooting?

What does it mean if you hear an owl hooting

Because owls come out at night, seeing or hearing them is quite uncommon, and when you do hear an owl hooting, it can be an eerie experience, leaving you with the impression that you have witnessed something profound and meaningful.

However, understanding what hearing an owl can mean is not always easy, so here are some of the most common interpretations.

1. Wisdom and knowledge

If you hear an owl, the message intended for you could be related to wisdom and knowledge – it could be about using your intellect to solve problems in your life rather than relying on your gut instincts.

Are you facing a difficult situation in your life at the moment that you don’t know how to resolve? Then hearing an owl could be a sign encouraging you to think rationally to find the solution instead of allowing your emotions to guide your choices.

2. Change or transformation

As we have seen, owls have been seen as ill omens that foretell death in many cultures, but if you hear one, it could be more related to change, transformation and rebirth than a premonition of a real death.

Sometimes we can be afraid of change. This is natural because we never know what the future brings, and often, it is easier to cling to what we know.

However, change and evolution always bring new opportunities, so we should welcome change and face it with courage.

Are you facing a big change in your life – or is there a decision you need to take that will bring change with it?

Perhaps you are thinking about changing your job, maybe you considering leaving a relationship or it could be that you are pondering a move to a new city.

However, whatever it is, hearing an owl hooting is a reminder not to be scared of change, and if you are looking for guidance in making the decision, there is a good chance that hearing an owl was the confirmation you were looking for.

3. Female energy and intuitive power

Owls represent female energy and intuitive power, and hearing an owl hooting can be an indication that you should trust this side of your being when making an important upcoming decision.

Allow things to run their course, accept what happens and allow your intuition to show you the best path to follow.

4. Setting of boundaries

We mentioned before that owls can symbolize the setting of boundaries, and this is an important message that hearing one can bring.

It could be that somebody is getting too close to you, bringing unwelcome or negative energy. If that sounds like it could be true – and you hear an owl hooting – it could be a clear sign to you keep that person at a distance.

Alternatively, just as the correct interpretation can relate to spiritual boundaries, it can also relate to physical ones. Perhaps somebody is making unwanted advances towards you, maybe at work or in another situation.

In this case, the owl could be telling you to set clear boundaries for that person and to tell them that their advances are unwelcome.

5. Escape from a toxic relationship

Related to the setting of boundaries is the possibility that an owl’s hooting is a message for you to escape from a toxic relationship.

If you are in a relationship that is making you unhappy or preventing you from growing and developing as you should, maybe it’s time to be honest with yourself and end that relationship.

It can often be difficult to make that kind of decision, but you will know deep down that it’s what you need to do.

If this interpretation resonates with you, you should think deeply and search within yourself for the correct answers – and if your intuition tells you to leave the relationship, you should take courage from the owl’s hoots that this decision is the right one.

6. Number of hoots – India

An interesting interpretation of what a hooting owl means come from India and tells you to count how many hoots you hear.

One hoot foretells a death, but two hoots predict success. Three hoots tell you that a woman is going to marry into the family soon while four is a warning of unrest. If you hear five hoots, on the other hand, it tells you that you are about to embark upon a journey.

7. Hooting during the day

Since owls are creatures of the night, hearing one hooting during the day is extremely unusual – and for this reason, it can also be an extremely important spiritual message.

In general, it can be taken as a positive sign, and it often predicts that a major event is about to take place that will change your life for the better.

However, sometimes it can also be a message telling you to re-evaluate your life since you may need to make that major change for yourself.

8. Hooting at daybreak

By daybreak, owls are usually no longer active, so it’s also unusual to hear them hooting at this time. If you do hear one, it is also a positive message and usually one of hope and peace – it may be a premonition of an enlightening event in your spiritual development.

9. Hooting during the “witching hour”

It’s most common to hear owls hooting during the night, but the hours from around 2am to 4am are a special, mysterious time of the night when most people are asleep, and this is why this time is known as the witching hour.

If you are awake then and you hear an owl hooting, you can be sure that it is communicating directly with you since it is unlikely that anybody else is around, so you should take notice.

This is also a time when it is easiest to connect with the spirit world, so the hooting of the owl may be a message from a departed loved one trying to make contact.

10. Hooting in a dream

If you dream of a hooting owl that you can’t see, it may tell you that you are holding on to something that you need to let go. It may be a person, a possession or a situation, but by letting go, it will allow you to grow in new ways instead of always clinging to the past.

How to interpret hearing an owl hooting

If you hear an owl hooting, there are quite a few ways to interpret it, so how can you understand the true meaning of what you heard?

To interpret an owl hooting, you should consider where you were and how you felt at the time, and you should also think about the kinds of issues you are currently dealing with in your life.

If you have one particular question that you need to answer and are looking for spiritual guidance on, then when you hear the owl, it is likely to be a response to that issue.

How did you feel when you heard the owl? Did you feel happy or confident? If you did, it probably means you are on the right path and the decision you are about to make is the right one.

However, if it scared you or made you upset, you should proceed with caution since the path you are on may not be the correct one.

Many possible interpretations

Hearing an owl can leave a deep impression on many people, and it can be hard not to think that the experience has a deeper spiritual meaning – and in most cases, it almost certainly does.

To find the correct interpretation for what you heard, think about everything that’s going on in your life at the moment and apply the experience to that. Then, through deep thought and meditation – and by trusting your intuition – the meaning of what you heard will be revealed.

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26 thoughts on “10 Meanings When You Hear an Owl Hooting”

    • I was wakened by an Owl and I went to bed in an upset. I have been thinking of leaving my relationship of 25 years. I keep pushing my feelings down and making excuses of why O shouldn’t leave. No physical abuse, just not sure how to handle things.

  1. I heard an Owl while I was outside washing my Car. It hooted toowittowoo sound three times directly above the tree under which I was standing. I wasn’t scared, wasn’t happy either but I’m curious as to what it means.

  2. I’ve been hearing owls since my brother passed away 2003 i use to be very scared and last year I started feeling comfortable hearing them hoot .but last night I find it strange hearing it I dealt confused don’t know what that means

  3. I have been hearing an owl for like a whole year..and according to what usually happens to me it is a bad omen owl

  4. I am 40 years old. An owl follows me everywhere I go since I was about 20. Even when I travel, it follows me. It screeches so loud at night. On some occasions, I came out to kinda confront it. It is whitish/greyish. What does it mean? I am so worried.

  5. I just heard the owl, 3:04 am, i was up with my girl friend. I know it was called 5-6 times. I dont know what it means, everything seem fine until my woman started to tell me i am not special n dont have a ability! My opinion i dont think the owl can be light, no wisdom. Maybe knowledge the same knowledge 🍎that was on a tree🌳! Now aint that somthing ! 💪💾Birds of a feather flock 🐍, praise to the father my rock!!!!🙏

  6. I have heard this owl every night but to night I felt strange. I keep wondering what my message is because I have been going through a lot lately. Not really sure what to think about it. Maybe I should meditate some more on it?

  7. I heard an owl hooting like 5 to 7 times at 11:40 p.m I texted my daughter so she could hear it as well and it stopped it was weird not sure about it at all

  8. What we heard as we were walking underneath the carport, sounded as if the 2 owls were conversati g with each other in my backyard. Just for a few seconds it startled us but then as they went on I was curious to where they were in my backyard and what did they look like but as we entered the backyard one of the owls flew away and we was able to see the second owl still perched in the big oak tree

    • This just happened to me as I had gotten home from work at 1am, I saw 2 large owls on my power line and as I was about to record 1 flew away and I was able to record the other. Please let me know how you feel after the experience. I wasn’t scared just curious and amazed that there was 2 together. What could it mean?

  9. I heard an owl hooting backyard of my window 2 days now around the same time I believe at 5-5:30pm pacific time. I can’t recall but maybe 5 times then it stops. I believe the owl is sending me a few messages. I believe it could be my mom telling me she’s near me, she just passed in Oct 18,2022 And another message about my relationship and a new change in my life like a new job new car etc… could the owl be telling me what I think is true?

  10. I had a dream 3 nights ago where I heard an owl hooting. I searched for it in my dream and a giant white owl flew right above my head. I kept hearing hooting and I looked down and saw a young or baby brown own. I went to pet it and then woke up.

    For the last 2 nights I’ve had an owl hooting in my backyard. Can anyone tell me what this means?

  11. About 8 pm with a full moon I was playing fetch with our red golden retriever, throwing a squeaky toy off our back deck. First time I’ve ever heard an owl here in the 31/2 years we lived here. I thought it might have been scoping out the toy. Brought the dog in and 9:30 pm it’s still hooting. I can here it from inside my house!! Over and over. Stops for no even a minute snd starts up again! I’m baffled.

  12. so my mom had been sick and the other morning my husband heard an owl.
    then that night my mom was brought to the emergency room by ambulance and she was unresponsive. they brought her back but she was put on life support and after a few hours they took everything off and moved her to icu and then when we got home my son said he heard the owl at about 2 am and we got home at 8 am. Then they decided to have my mom have hospice and move her out of the icu and after that happened i heard the owl again around 230 am. Well today she passed away and i heard the owl again around 6pm. was my mom communicating with us this whole time because she never did wake up from when they first brought her to the er. just curious. I would like to think its her communicating with me and telling me shes ok.

  13. I heard an owl hooting about 3oclock in the evening and another answered it just a few seconds later one on each side of me. I have been thinking about letting a woman come back to live with me but have not really made up my mind because we parted on bad terms last time but she says she is changed and will be different this time don’t really know what to do

  14. About a month ago i couldn’t sleep and went outside to get some fresh air and look at the stars. As i was sitting their out of the right hand side of my perfurial vision a owl swooped around the corner of the house and fly right towards me and landed 6 feet maybe 4 feet away from me and perched down right next to me. He/She started making these one sounded higher pitch calls and did this for about 2/3 minutes then directly in front of me from more then 75 yards out i saw another owl flying directly towards me. He/She came in hot and completely silent and landed right nest to the owl that was sitting right nest to me. They kept looking at me and talking to each other and looking at me and talking to each other. This went on for almost 10 minutes, Then in perfect unison they took a step apart from each other and took of in flight to a tree about 25 yards away from me. Now i hear them almost every night and see one of them occasionally but haven’t seen them both together yet since then. It was one of the coolest expirences I’ve had in a while now, I cant say it felt good or bad but it defiantly hit me right in my core, That i was lucky enough to have such a rad experience with nature like that. But who knows what it really meant alls i know no is that i have a couple guardians perched up next to me keep a big eye on me hah. Thought id share Thanks for the read…Brooklyn

  15. So my husband saw a barn owl at night outside of our tent the owl turned its head looked directly at him opened its eyes wide and said his name and then 3 days later came back and did the exact same thing again….what does that mean exactly?

  16. I heard an owl outside my house tonight. It frightened me at first. I checked to see what hearing an owl might mean and came across your article. I feel there may be a change coming, a decision I need to make, or it is a sign that one of my relatives has passed. I asked my angels if the message was positive. I received a message saying it was positive. Now I need to figure out which of the 3 reasons I heard the owl. It was about 12:15 – 12:30 am when I heard the owl hooting. What is your opinion of what I experienced? Thank you.

  17. What ever may it be to me, Hearing a Barred Owl hooting and going into what I call a fit.
    I don’t equate it to anything. Jesus is my All and All. I can ascribe anything to it. God made all the animals. I look to God for the meaning of life. In this I feel true peace. I try to keep my mind focused on Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. After all for me, an Idle mind is the devils playground. That my woot, woot.

  18. The owl I heard was through my bathroom walls/window, while I was getting ready to go out alone for dinner, on my birthday, cuz I got in a disagreement with my estranged husband. (In beginning stages of divorce after 28 yrs. But trying to still be friends). It hoot-hoot-hoot-paused 21 separate times before it was done. I was not scared. I was thankful to be reminded the universe cares enough to send me a message.
    I wonder what the message means.


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