If you love tattoos, you may consider an owl tattoo which may not be among the known ordinary tattoos, yet it is popular. Owl tattoos have been a favorite for both men and women. They are usually very elegant and stylish on the body. An owl tattoo has a lot of symbolism presenting a magic world for the lovers of tattoos. Therefore, it is better to understand the owl tattoo meaning before wearing one.

Owl Tattoo Symbolism

Tattoos have different connotations and the owl tattoo meaning is just among such. As a bird, the owl has been linked to many things useful in giving the best meaning to your owl tattoo. Different cultures have attached different meanings to the owl tattoo. Some of the cultures that have found interest in the owl are the Egyptian, Celtic and Hindu among others.

Symbol of wisdom, education and intelligence

Undeniably, the owl is a carrier of many symbols. However, this is not a big surprise because the bird’s appearance is unique. It is rarely seen especially during the day. Mostly, it can be found at night, and therefore the beliefs can be many. It represents something precious that is not easily found but through a struggle and great search.

The owl tattoo is a complicated and beautiful work of design that is very much appealing to the eye. For a long time now, the owl tattoo symbolism is connected to education and wisdom. The Native Americans believe the owl to be the protector of sacred knowledge, hence regard it as a symbol of intelligence.

Symbol of death

One common belief is the attached relationship of the owl bird with offering protection to the dead. It is commonly known as the “Angel of Death.” The belief in the owl is so strong to a point that some people allege that it can communicate with those who died long ago and the underground world. Some of the symbols linked to the owl can be terrifying. An owl seen in dreams is taken as a symbol of death either to the dreamer or someone close.

Symbol of deity

For Greeks, the owl was regarded as holy especially pointing towards the learning goddess commonly known as Athena. Therefore, an owl tattoo for them would symbolize holiness. Some cultures like the Hindu believed the owl carried the wealth goddess known as Laxmith. Their owl tattoo meaning is therefore linked to affluence.

Symbol of freedom and vision

Just like the beliefs that birds are known to be free by flying wherever they please, the owl tattoo can symbolize freedom.

The owl with its big eyes is a great hunter. It is known to look for its food in an organized quiet manner even when flapping its wings. An owl tattoo will thus be used to symbolize vision. Weather forecasters of ancient times used the owl in their work. It was also useful in telling important weather conditions for different seasons.

Owl Tattoo Meanings

Knowledge, protection and wealth among the other things represented by this bird don’t just come easily. Men and women have worn them to show these different meanings. Before looking at the design that you desire for your tattoo, it is important to have an understanding of the owl tattoo meaning behind. Owl tattoos have different meanings as listed below:

  • A mark of a messenger

  • A sign of independence

  • An icon of knowledge

  • A symbol of wisdom

  • An emblem of vision

  • A sign of protection

  • A mark of secretiveness  

  • A symbol of rarity

  • A sign of mystery

  • A mark of experience

  • A symbol of transition

Therefore, it is important to get an idea of your owl tattoo meanings. Because they become lifetime companions, your tattoo should send the message you want.

Owl Tattoo Variations


Various options

There are a number of owl species available. Similarly, the owl tattoos are of different kinds. The Barn owl tattoo can be used as a symbol of mystery. On the other hand, the Snowy owl tattoo is a symbol of elegance and dignity. The physical trait featured by owl tattoo designs is quite obvious. Barn owl is identified with huge facial features while Snowy owls will be tattooed showing perfect white feathers. Others will have long ears.


Celtic owl tattoos

Different places have different owl tattoo meanings. The owl in European world has conflicting connotations representing two opposing agendas. While it can be used as a sign of wisdom, it can also symbolize death. Celts have over the years linked the owl to matters related to death and death-related issues. Therefore, a Celtic owl tattoo connotes danger and the fear of death. It symbolizes reverence of owl’s mysteries.


Tribal owl tattoos

Owls have been taken as calls of bad signs. Particularly, the Native Americans consider owls as a sign of approaching destruction and death. Tribal owl tattoos including those of the Mayans, the Caribbean and Latin America are closely related to misfortune and on a worst case, death. A tattoo of this kind simply signifies the habitation of fear and demise.


Beyond fear

While the owl tattoo has been regarded by some to be a sign of death, it is amazing how others consider it as a source of knowledge and the illumination needed to guide humanity towards greatness in the unknown. In this sense, an owl tattoo shows a deep spiritual conviction and a personal acceptance of what life has in store.

Where to Put the Tattoo

Get to know where an owl tattoo is commonly worn. Ideally, these tattoos are very useful, a reason to make sure that they are worn on the right place. They could be of any size. For that reason, an owl tattoo can be placed in various parts of the body. Specialists in owl tattoos can perfectly place an owl tattoo in a person’s body part of choice.

However, a large surface can make the final image attractive and very striking because it will have much more details. An owl tattoo on an individual’s back is just a perfect example area to get a detailed owl tattoo.

The ability to combine an owl tattoo with other designs produces amazing results suiting various areas. For this reason, an owl tattoo can be placed in the following areas:

  • On a person’s back

  • On the arm

  • On the leg

  • On wrist

  • On a person’s neck

  • On the hip


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  • DyanOct.23 08:43
    When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks!
  • Kunachakorn Aug.28 05:18
    Very good article, personally I would like an owl tattoo.This article helps me to know the meaning of it
  • Olivia FairJul.14 15:34
    Good article. I'm thinking to get an owl tattoo in the near future. I was thinking about it a lot, then start searching on the web and got here. I really don't know what to do, so that's why I'm here. I am sure that most of my friends and parents won't love the idea and will tell me not to do it. But I want to do it. I was thinking about an owl tattoo for a couple of reasons (no, not because Bieber has it), but because I love the meanings behind it. I always thought an owl is some sort of mysterious and magical.
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