Spirit Animals: BARN OWL

A ghost in the shadows, he comes from behind scooping up the quiet mouse no one ever saw and only he heard. On white wings he travels off silently caring death in his talons. There is no remorse, only absolute recognition of the cleverness in him that reflects the genius of the Divine. He finds a fence post on which to perch and brings his claw adeptly up to his beak. This is his sixth meal of the night and he is no rush to fill his belly. Instead, he snaps the neck of the mouse and sits stoically with it in his talons. He owns the night, the night without moon or stars, the night that sends most creatures into hiding. With his white, heart-shaped face and pitch black eyes he is both a light in the darkness and an invitation to it.

Navigating in the Dark

Owl symbolism across all species of owls is spoken of as hearing and seeing in the dark, but no owl embodies this talent like the barn owl. Barn owls are so incredibly successful at what they do that they are found throughout the world and “are arguably the most widespread bird species on earth” [1]. There are 46 races of barn owl with the race in North America being the largest. No other owl or animal is able to outcompete them at hunting in the dark. In addition, the barn owl has adapted to human intrusion into natural habitats. He is just as comfortable nesting and hunting in a barn, hence the name, as his is in the open prairie or box canyons. Still, despite his conspicuous pale coloring,  the barn owl is rarely seen by humans. If you have had the opportunity to encounter one of these mythic beasts especially during the day, there is a significant message about fear of the unknown and the courage to navigate it that you must heed.

Do you feel like you’re groping around in the dark? Time to call on barn owl symbolism to receive help understanding what you haven’t been able to know before and making your way to the dawn.

Power of Listening

It is the excellent hearing of the barn owl that enables him to hunt in absolute darkness using sound alone. No other animal on earth has this ability. Other owls can hunt in near darkness, but they still need some measure of light to see. Being able to sense in absolute darkness speaks of the talent in ourselves to locate resources while blind. By listening deeply and intently like the barn owl spirit animal you can tap into the ability to find what you need where others may see nothing. The barn owl is able to create a “neural map” of auditory space.  Not only will barn owl symbolism help you pinpoint what you need, but he will also grant you a picture of the unknown with more detail and accuracy than any other animal.

Barn owls and eight other species have asymmetrical ear openings. One ear is higher on the barn owl’s head  than the other. This speaks of the power to listen at all levels. By integrating what we hear from above and below , we are blessed with the gift of receiving guidance from the heavens and the earth. The guidance can relate to mundane matters of the every day as well as the most profound spiritual truths. Barn owl symbolism is about being able to discern where the intuition you receive applies to and from where it comes. This could be why owls are associated with wisdom because they can hear and know what others may not.

 

Find your spirit animal workshop. Painting of red-tailed hawk.

Abundant Productivity

Not only is barn owl symbolism about finding the resources we need, but an astonishing amount. Barn owl catches 3-6 mice a night for himself and just as many for each chick he helps rear. This is no small feat as barn owl clutches range from 2 to 18 eggs! He brings food to the female while she incubates the eggs and then for all of those chicks for the first two weeks of their life. Then his mate joins him for the hunt to help keep up with the voracious eaters. The amazing feat of potentially catching 50 or more mice in a night is compounded by the fact that the barn owl and his mate may raise up to three broods in a given year.

Strong signatures of barn owl symbolism are abundant creativity as well as fantastic capacity to produce well beyond what others may do. This productivity will not always be visible either since the barn owl hunts primarily at night when others are sleeping. The barn owl is monogamous which speaks of a steady commitment to what you are producing in the world.

When are you producing the most? What is your relationship to productivity? Do you wish you could produce more? Call on the barn owl spirit animal to help. Are you worried about others seeing what you’re doing? If so, now is not the time to pine for recognition. Now is the time to take advantage of the energy you have and to harness it.

Facing Fears

The barn owl has a terrifying blood curdling scream and his white underside causes him to look like a ghost. He has a calculated and solitary way about him that is different from the outgoing, hooting nature of other owls like great-horned owls. Sightings of barn owls in the wild are relatively rare. All of this combines to make his visits chilling. He have a coldness or callousness about him that reminds us of the other side of the veil and not in a friendly way. At the same time, he is a light in the darkness and can light the way for us through our own fears, nightmares, and shadows if we are brave enough to follow.

I work extensively with a barn owl in my soul retrieval work. His ability to hear and see in the dark helps me search through the unconscious and find what has been missing. Thus, for you, barn owl symbolism can help with seeking out parts of yourself that you have long neglected or forgotten. The barn owl can also help you work through fears to find the “mouse” or gift that is waiting in the darkness.

He mostly swallows his prey whole after breaking the prey’s neck to kill it, but he can also dissect and eat the mice piece by piece with surgical precision. So much about these creatures is detached and distant. When he looks at us with his black eyes he appears to see straight through us. Is there a person or circumstance you need to distance yourself from? Have you seen the dark side of the situation and find a need to think analytically about it without getting your emotions involved?

This may be one of the most productive times in your life if you get the timing right and open your senses beyond the ordinary. The fruits of what you do may not “show” in the world for a long time or to many people, but that is not the point. The point is to join the barn owl in mapping the unknown and allowing the gifts to flow in as a result.

 

I recommend you check out the “Barn Owl Cam” at Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website for an opportunity to see video footage of barn owls in their nest. There is nothing happening live outside of the breeding season but you can page through the video clips under the live stream to see highlights from the previous breeding season. Very fun! http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/42/Barn_Owls/

[1] The Birder’s Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds by Paul R. Ehrlick, David S. Dobkin, and Darryle Wheye.

 

 

Stacey Couch

About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch

Stacey Couch is a Spiritual Advisor who supports creative seekers learning as they go on the spiritual path. She serves beginner and life-long students of the soul. Her compassionate and collaborative approach honors the humanity and value of each person. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. Through meeting with Stacey, lost souls find refuge. Connection to the Divine is realized. Belonging comes. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. Learn More about working with Stacey
87 replies
  1. James
    James says:

    I have been seeing different birds for 2015. First, in the middle of the day in N.H. driving home, I caught glimse of something flying, front and to the left. I stopped at the spot. Looking to my left was a LARGE Barn Owl in as tree. we were both fixed. Staring Eye to eye, for 20 plus secounds. those big black eyes spooked me.
    Secound I was driving across a bridge and saw a White Dove standing on the white line. I was going 55 mph and he didn’t move . i was no more than foot from him
    Third. Hawks or falcons, 2 close encounters and many glimses and hearing them around my home.
    Forth, on a fishing trip,. a Loon swam in a half moon very close to my boat. He swam around the front and side approx. 5 feet from the boat. but he was under water.
    James

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Beautiful! What great fortune to have the attention of the winged ones. Thank you for noticing and paying attention to the greater messages of their visits. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
      • Danny Bradshaw
        Danny Bradshaw says:

        Have a question for you. My wife and I have been hearing a barn owl outside our house every night and when we she goes outside our house it will fly close to her like right over her head and also will sometimes land beside her. Could this be a bad omen or good luck? She’s kinda freaking out. She’s not scared of it it’s just making her nervous we may be about to loose someone in our family.

        Reply
        • Stacey Couch
          Stacey Couch says:

          Hello Danny, Barn owls by nature can be an unnerving sight, so I don’t blame your and your wife’s uneasiness. On the other hand, I have not been able to find any evidence that supports that sighting a certain animal, even over and over again, can be called a good or bad omen. In fact, I don’t believe in omens being good or bad ever. They instead come to prepare us for a change or situation that is ahead by highlighting qualities we can foster within ourselves. For example, barn owl is about trusting one’s inner voice and moving ahead into the darkness without any indication of success or even security ahead. They call this blind faith, which we need more often than not in life. It is our need for a guarantee that we’ll be all right that compels us to label an animal encounter as good or bad. The animal encounter just is. It is up to us to take it out of dualistic thinking and find the deeper wisdom guiding us forward. Many Blessings, Stacey

          Reply
        • Jessica Doran
          Jessica Doran says:

          My Mother has a barn owl that watches her during the “daytime” at are family home. It will fly into the tree and look straight at her or follows her through out the yard.
          I told her this is something so special. That this owl is trying to give her a message.
          She decided to listen to me. She went outside and sat on the ground and the owl then appeared again in the tree in daylight. She asked the owl if it had a message for her?
          She explain that clear as day myself, my two children and grandmother whom had pass 12 years ago where right in front of her. Like we were really there.
          She can’t figure the meaning out.
          I would very much appreciate your input on what you believe this magical owl is trying to reveal.
          Kindly,
          Jessica

          Reply
    • Amy cox
      Amy cox says:

      I had a strange experience tonight. My son just returned home after leaving a bad relationship. I was staying the night at my boyfriends house. A barn owl was sitting on the frame of my porch swing, looking in the window when my son went to take out the trash. The owl is just sitting there for over an hour. My son opened the window and the dogs started watching him just a few feet away and still he sits there. It feels strange to me. My husband passed away almost 3 years ago. Could he have sent it? I wish I could send you the picture.

      Reply
  2. teddybear
    teddybear says:

    I found a beautiful barn owl feather while I was walking today – recognized by the incredible fluffy softness and pale cream on the tip. I looked it up because I felt it was profound somehow that I had noticed it particularly, and came across your wonderful site here. You have no idea how relevant this information is to me at the moment! It’s almost funny it’s so pertinent, to the last detail…I usually find that the more I make an effort to tap into the spirit world, the more it talks back 🙂 if only more people were prepared to listen to this innate wisdom of nature – they don’t know what they’re missing! Thank you so much for this inspiration.

    Reply
      • Heather
        Heather says:

        I have a couple of barn owls outside my house regularly! I’ve seen them a couple of times! They are always hooting come morning time. What is this a symbol of? I have Native American heritage and to some it’s a symbol of death and I’m hoping that’s not it at all! ????

        Reply
        • Stacey Couch
          Stacey Couch says:

          Hello Heather, You are correct that to some Native American tribes, the owl is a symbol of death. We tend to take this idea literally and think the owl is predicting that someone we love will die soon. So we see this as a bad sign to be fearful of. This couldn’t be any farther from the truth. There are things that come (birth) and things that go (death) in our lives all of the time. We let go of old ways of believing and thinking. We stop being who we once were. These are small, little deaths of ideas and habits. Some things must pass away to make room for new things in our lives. Hopefully this helps you see the medicine of owl in a new way. Many Blessings, Stacey

          Reply
          • Jean-Luc
            Jean-Luc says:

            Hi my name is Jean-Luc. i was driving with my girlfriend along 156 going towards the I-5 in California. We were in the canyons and i saw a pair of wings arise when i drove by a tree. I immediately stopped and pulled over. There she was, a beautiful fully intact barn owl, that must have died earlier that day. It was still warm and very flexible, indicating the death was very recent. I have tried and manifest owl medicine for years now. i took her with me on my whole journey to our destination and back, in a box. when i got home i smudged her with sage said prayers, and told her that its ok to go back to father sky, that i would utilize her body as a tool of medicine. i was speechless when i found her. The reason why i say her is that i deeply feel that it is womanly spirit, gentle and guiding this owl particularly . Its almost serendipity with all these recent friends of mine speaking of owls, me asking for it for years. its truly is a blessing for me. My Navajo culture which im still learning more of, tells me that it is a carrier of bad news, but i felt not, i felt that indeed like you were saying, a guide into the darkness. i resonate with what you were saying about going into the unknown, and fearing not, a birth of new and death of the old. its all funny how things just lined up like this. By the way, “The silver chord” is still intact. The silver chord according to some native tribes, is the connection an animal has with its body here and its spirit in the sky. once that chord has past a few days, then one can use it for medicine. Like i said earlier, i smudged it and gave it praise and prayers for it to rest, now safe on my porch instead of the side of a highway. Anyways i wanted to share that since i resonate with what your saying. Please let me know anything that you feel the need to share with me.

            thanks and blessings

          • Stacey Couch
            Stacey Couch says:

            Hello Jean-Luc, It is lovely to meet you and hear your story. It is a great example of how we can dialogue/interact with animal spirits who have passed to gain further insight. Too many people fear seeing a dead animal as a bad omen and then, yes, there is the superstition about owls as well. I am encouraged by the reverence you carry for this experience and gift. The way in which you’ve sat with the experience for an extended time and allowed it to unfold naturally is beautiful as well. I don’t know where your promptings come from, but kudos to you for following them. That in itself is proof of your courage and stamina, both greater gifts than anyone could imagine. Many Blessings, Stacey

        • Mike
          Mike says:

          Hi I have a deep conection spiritually To my native Indian. Barn owl spirit much is unknown but only those who have it can see we are able to hear feel and see Into truth

          Reply
      • Kshitiz Shrestha
        Kshitiz Shrestha says:

        Hello mam as I have caught a barn owl and kept safe with me… Can u please suggest me how can I send it to u as I found u a nature mother

        Reply
        • Stacey Couch
          Stacey Couch says:

          Hello Kshitiz, Thank you so much for thinking of me. Do you mean a barn owl spirit? If so, simply say a prayer and all will be done. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to work with spirit animals. Do what comes naturally and feels of integrity for you. I trust your wisdom in the process. Many Blessings, Stacey

          Reply
  3. Cynthia Klahn
    Cynthia Klahn says:

    I also received many messages from reading this and Mouse the monk. The visit I experienced from the cutest mouse I’ve seen was on my car, as I was pulling out of a parking spot in a wooded area. First it was running back and forth on my front window, then on the side window back across to the otherside. It jumped off from behind…. bye bye mouse.
    I am convinced now that the clear statement that visit was making to me was that I am a mouse, (the description of a mouse hit the proverbial nail on the head.) Thank you for making this site as I feel as though I connect more & more with nature and Earth Mother as well as my mom who was told many years ago by a Native American shaman who sought her out at the Indian clinic in Tacoma she worked as a PNP for some 30 years, to inform her that her spirit animal is a rabbit.
    I now have freedom from religion that has allowed me to finally stretch out my spiritual wings to carry me out of the darkness! Peace & love to all, Cindy

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Cindy and you’re most welcome! I’m so delighted to hear that you are coming further into communion with nature and that you are experiencing a new sense of spiritual liberation in your life. What a blessing and thank you for sharing! In gratitude, Stacey

      Reply
  4. Godwin
    Godwin says:

    For the first time in my life, at about 5.00am in the morning driving slowly in my car I saw a full grown barn owl as it landed on a six feet roof top steering at me as I passed by. My animal totem is owl. What should I do to enjoy all the advantages of my totem. How can I call for the help of the owl to expose the unknown to me?

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Godwin, Awesome question. Just like all thoughts are prayers, so too are all inward and outward calls we make for the company and/or assistance of our spirit animals. Whenever you feel you are in the mystery, wondering what is going on, is an especially good time to recall that you have this awesome spirit helper with you. Remember the answers may not make rational sense, but if you can turn into your intuition more will be obvious. Good luck and have fun! – Stacey

      Reply
  5. Lluís Sunyer CApdevila
    Lluís Sunyer CApdevila says:

    Hi. I am from Girona (catalonia).

    The barn owl has appeared to me two times in one month. I live in the country side with 5 cats. Before they were 7. I have a strong relationship with them. I am part of the group.
    Two month ago a fox killed two of them. Then I clean the sorroundings of the house to make it more difficult for the fox, and also keep the cats inside the house, when i was not at home. But one of them is quite wild and is always outside.
    One day at night I was with him outside, and I tried to connect with him and the great spirit, asking for protection to him. Suddenly I saw white colour, and it was a barn owl, visiting us. He stayed in a mast for a few seconds and go. I read that for native american indians (I feel like one of them), one of the meanings of the owl is protection.

    One week ago, i found a small female cat, very slime and ill. I went to veterinary, then went home and tried to help her and love her, she looks better the first day but after very bad again. I ingresed her in the veterinary hospital. But finally died. SHe waited I arrived to veterinay hospital and put my hand over her, to die. I feel so sad. Yesteday I made a sioux funeral in a tree very close home. Two hours later in the dark with all the others cats outside and near the tree, the barn owl appears again. But don’t stop, just passed in front of us.

    May be the burn owl guides the spirit of the cat to the light.

    A part of this two times, the barn owl never before appeared at home.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Lluis, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your little rescued kitty. I love your idea that the barn owl has come to guide the spirit of the cat to the light. Oftentimes spirit animals provide that service for our loved ones when they go. My guess is this is a bittersweet experience because it was a gift to see the beautiful barn owl twice, but also a heart wrenching one to lose your cat. Sending blessings your way for what you do for the animals, Stacey

      Reply
  6. Daisy Thomas
    Daisy Thomas says:

    Hello ! Am from India.. And I saw a barn owl today on our balcony.. I was scared and tried to shoo it away,but it just looked right at me and sat there. Finally
    I called for help and when 2-3 ppl came, it flew away ! What does this mean??

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Daisy, Thank you for your question and for the reminder that barn owls really are found all over the world! What an awesome chance to stare a barn owl in the face and a once in a lifetime experience for many. I would advise that you pay special attention to the section of the barn owl article that talks about facing your fears. Seeing as you were literally face-to-face with the owl and you had a hard time shooing it away, I would suggest you look at what fears are surfacing in you right now that you need to bring out into the daylight and confront. Best of luck to you. Now you know you have a powerful ally on your side to do the work! Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  7. Suzanne C
    Suzanne C says:

    Hi Stacey,
    My father recently passed away after a short 3 week battle with cancer. It was very traumatic to my whole family. The night of the same day he passed away I had a dream that I was walking down the road with my niece hand in hand.. Everytime we came to a telephone pole she would point out a barn owl..There must have been three in a row or more. Even in the dream I found it odd. Any insight would be s helpful.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      How courageous of you to share your story Suzanne. I hope that the dream brought you consolation, even if to point to the deeper meaning of existence by showing you more than what is on the surface. It is a strange coincidence that you recount three or more sightings of a barn owl in the dream and that your dad had a 3 week battle with cancer. Telephone poles are about communication, holding up communication to be exact. The barn owl, as you read in this article, is about having faith and learning how to see in the dark. This could be the start of a new awakening when you are able to tap into deeper messages and meaning in your life that will bring you faith and help you keep listening for the messages that come. May your heart find comfort wherever you are. Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  8. Julie Luke
    Julie Luke says:

    I experience many animal sychronicities hawks,eagles,herons,falcons,cyotes calling at night, but the most with owls two day sightings in three days,and for the past year hearing barn owls at night one just a few days ago.i have a deep respect and love for nature and animals, they seem to speak to me in many ways ,and also in my art and dream state the latest an eagle flying ovet water..i myself have been feeling a call to shamanism for at least 4 years,but have not truly accepted it was true for me until recently .Do you have mote than one animal spirit or guide ?i seem to be visited frequently by many,especially reptiles and winged creatures.

    Reply
  9. Michaela
    Michaela says:

    I had the opportunity to see one of these magnificent creatures in the wild. On New Year’s Day, I was hiking in Maui with my boyfriend and we were exploring a valley along the coast at the bottom of the volcano. The valley rock was extremely smooth and had a very sacred feel to it. As we were walking I looked up and saw a barn owl circle over us three times and fly away. It was about 12-1pm and very sunny out. Such an amazing sight and a profound totem for the start of 2016. On the drive home a few days later, I saw so many bald eagles I lost count.

    I hope to connect with both of these birds for guidance on my path.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Michaela, What good luck to see a barn owl in broad daylight and in such an awesome place! I would say the connection is already underway and that the guidance is unfolding before you. It is always important to remember patience along the path. Did you get a chance to read my article on Eagles? If not here it is: https://www.wildgratitude.com/meaning-of-eagle-spirit-animal/. I look forward to staying in touch and hearing what comes for you. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  10. Sonam Yangzin
    Sonam Yangzin says:

    Hi 🙂 A year back I had a barn owl often visiting my area. I live in a building but the area is suitable for an barn owls settlement I think, and I could hear him/her scheeching outside almost every night. First notice was when I heard the loud scheeching and i followed the sound which was across my bedroom window side, I opened my window and I could literally see a huge flight thing flying straight towards me from the tree in the front, if not I had not closed my window fastly it was directed straight towards me, glading. After that I always heard the scheeching. My bedroom window has two sides of window line, I felt like the owl was flying back and front my window sides scheeching. It disappeared after awhile but I recently stated hearing it’s loud scheeching again. Does it mean anything. Please advice. I am very curious. Sending your way love.

    Reply
    • Sonam Yangzin
      Sonam Yangzin says:

      Sorry also I am not sure if it was really a barn owl. But, when I looked up on line, the sound i am hearing sounds like barn owl. And since I only saw it glading towards me in the dark, it looked something whitish in the dark. I am from the Himalayas. living in a town.

      Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Sonam, What an awesome story! I also am impressed that you’ve taken the time to figure out what species of owl this is. Barn owls often do live in abandoned buildings and they definitely screech, so there is a good chance your friend is a barn owl. I would suggest reflecting on the parts of yourself that you are working on bringing out of the shadow (unconscious) and into the light (conscious). It sounds like the owl has come to help you brave the darkness and do your inner work of healing or clearing. Sending love your way too, Stacey

      Reply
  11. Delli
    Delli says:

    I have been blessed to have three close-up daytime sightings of the beautiful barn owl in one month and gratefully read your article as a result. I have done shamanic journeying before and live between Avebury and Stonehenge in the middle of the countryside, but I feel some deep personal mystery is about to be revealed – should I search for it or let it come?

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Delli, It sounds like you already know what is necessary. That feeling of the deep personal mystery is your key. Sit with that. Determine the nature of the feeling. Is it welling up naturally like a wave coming to your shore? Or is it waiting like a lover at a crossroads for you to meet it halfway? What does the dancer in you feel moved to do? Barn owl spirit animal represents both listening and acting. It is up to you to tap into your inner wisdom and decipher what is needed at this time. I believe you have the capacity, fully, to find the truth. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  12. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I seen a barn owl. I looked up and he/she landed on the light pole outside. While I was talking to my boyfriend. The owl looked at me like if it was sending a strong message it was really beautiful but I’m kinda scared cause I’ve never I countered something like this
    Please help

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Rachel, Thank you for reaching out for help. Although intimidating, the barn owl has come as a source of support. Is there a knowing within you that you aren’t ready to admit to yourself? If you admit this truth to yourself will it change your life? Are you afraid of that change? Confronting the barn owl is a metaphor for confronting something you know within yourself that it is time to admit. We so often ignore our intuitive voice at the expense of satisfying other people or to stay safe. There comes a time when we can’t ignore what we know any longer. Now may be one of those times. Barn owl is a perfect companion to help you muster the courage needed to face the truth. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  13. Antonia Quast
    Antonia Quast says:

    I came across abeautiful but dead barn owl caught wingsspread across barbed wire fence. Took him ( actually think female) down, did a ceremony, dug a grave, took a feather. Symbolism please?

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Antonia, Whenever we encounter an animal that has crossed over I see this as a cause for serious pause. Please re-read this article and sit in contemplation with the questions I pose in the article. The posture of the barn owl draped across the fence sounds almost sacrificial in nature. What sacrifices do you have to make in your life so that you can listen more and be more productive? What fears is it time for you to sacrifice? Consider that word, sacrifice and what it stirs up in your soul. Thank you for honoring the owl with the beautiful service of a ceremony. Every time we perform these sacred acts we are contributing to the health of the whole. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  14. Jana Schroeder
    Jana Schroeder says:

    Hi, there. I feel so fortunate to have found your great article about owls! I have never been a “believer” in symbolism, etc. However, given our experiences over the past week, I’m sold. We have been negotiating a tricky real estate deal that involves us purchasing a home that will be an amazing deal IF part of the acreage is sold to a developer, as planned. I have really struggled with the risk, and my husband and I have discussed this often as we sit at our backyard campfires in the evenings. Last week, two (maybe three) barn owls showed up in the trees above us. We have been hearing their sounds for a couple of weeks but didn’t know what they were from. Suddenly, one swooped down over my husband’s head – so close he felt the need to duck. Then, about five minutes later, one did the same with me. It was amazing – not scary at all. They hung out there for most of the evening. We have never once seen an owl in our neighborhood before this.

    The next morning, I felt the need to ask our realtor more questions about the potential real estate deal and felt more comfortable moving forward with the risk. We signed a purchase agreement four days ago and then, yesterday, we serendipitously sold our current home to a wonderful young couple who heard from a friend that we may be listing it. Last night, as we were sitting by our campfire, we started hearing the owls again but couldn’t see them. I grabbed a flashlight, and there was one sitting in the tree just above us. So incredible.

    We would love to get your thoughts on all of this. Please share, if you are willing!!! Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Jana, How fun is that?! Just to be in the company of the owls in and of itself is a gift, but then to have it correspond with this leap of faith is an amazing thing. I think you’ve done a fantastic job of already weaving the two circumstances (seeing the owls and the real estate deal) together. Barn owls are all about venturing into the unknown (the darkness) and listening for inner guidance on what to do. Their message is about helping us rely on the inner world versus the external world and can symbolize a time when you won’t have the external cues you’d like to rely on. As always, I’m sure that the story will expand and deepen as time passes. Best of luck to you as you move into this new chapter. Sincerely, Stacey

      Reply
      • Jana Schroeder
        Jana Schroeder says:

        Thank you for your reply! “Leap of faith” is a good description! So I have a question for you…I’m a rather risk-averse person, so my gut kept telling me “no, no, no.” But, for some reason, right after this experience, I felt much more willing to do it. So…I feel rather confused, as my “inner guidance” seemed to be telling me one thing, but this owl experience seemed to push me into taking that leap. Does that make any sense?

        Reply
        • Stacey Couch
          Stacey Couch says:

          That is an awesome question Jana. Learning how to discern between divine guidance and gut, survival instincts is one of the challenges of this lifetime. Our gut is often concerned what will keep us safe. Whereas divine guidance takes us into our highest potential which does involve a good level of risk! Have a wonderful day.

          Reply
  15. Greg Graham
    Greg Graham says:

    Today I was walking along by an old shut down mill and a barn owl flew out of a hole in the wall, and as he flew toward me he stared me right in the eyes and then a blackbird chased him away. And the only thing I can think is what does this mean?

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Greg, I am struck by the contrasts of your encounter. Barn owls are a very light colored bird that are nocturnal while blackbirds are a dark bird that are diurnal (active during the day). The barn owl coming out of the dormant mill may be you breaking out of a hidden inner process that has gone dormant. Was there something you were working/thinking through that you finally gave up on? Sometimes deciding to give up thinking about something and deciding instead to come out into the light of day to engage with the world is exactly what’s needed. The blackbird may symbolize your enthusiasm about opening up or the skepticism that’s hot on your tail. There’s a number of directions to go with this. I suggest you play with it and see what resonates best for you. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  16. leah boelman
    leah boelman says:

    this explanation of the barn owl’s significance resonates so deeply for me. I recently moved from the east coast to west coast because of an intuitive pull I felt to be here. I let myself be guided and ended up on an 18 acre rural farm in northern Washington. on the property is a giant red barn, and recently I’ve met the owl who lives there. it’s beautiful! and sometimes its eerie screeching wakes me up in the middle of the night. my whole life I’ve been running from the “dark spells” (other people call this depression) that plague me. it feels as if they’re calling me to feel pain that feels too big to allow myself to experience. but in the last 2 weeks it’s apparent that I’m in the stages of no going back. I’m in the stages of gradually being with this pain I’ve run from most of my life. it hurts. but since i was a kid I knew that this “depression” that I was handed would always be the way into the greatness I’m here to bring to the world. meeting this owl, and now reading your interpretation of its medicine, brings me great hope and great feelings of support and confirmation. thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m continually amazed by how guidance appears in our lives.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Dear Leah, You are so welcome. Thank you for your candor, vulnerability and sweetness. All are a gift to the world. The transformation you are undergoing is also a gift. Thank you for sharing it. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  17. Debra
    Debra says:

    Hello Stacey last week I placed a large owl
    decoy in a tree next to our farmhouse property in the Wheatbelt in Western Australia . My Jewish friend gave me the owl I don’t know why .The tree is called the family tree but unfortunately two of the three big branches had to be removed because it was attacked by white ants . When we arrived at the farmhouse five days later we discovered a beautiful dead barn owl at the back of the house . We find this incredible since we have only seen one owl
    In the past 20 years !
    This seems too much of a coincidence what do you think it means ?
    Kind regards
    Debra

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Debra, It does seem too much of a coincidence. The correlation between the decoy and then dead barn owl appearing causes me to take a close look at both symbols. The decoy in a visible location could be a representation of how you trying to show others that you are able to see in the dark and know what’s going on in the invisible realms. You may be concerned about them thinking that you are wise and observant. The barn owl in the back of the house may be showing that it’s time to give up caring if other people know you know before you can come into a new level of the gift of seeing in the dark. The toughest part with being intuitive is letting go of the need to have other people know that we are! Blessings to You, Stacey

      Reply
  18. laurie
    laurie says:

    Hi Stacey…..thank you for your thoughtful guidance to all of us who have contacted you regarding encounters with Barn Owls. I live in a remote area and have take morning meditation walks for the last 4 years since we moved here. There is a meadow surrounded by oaks that I walk thru and it is my special sacred place……it is where I have requested to have my ashes spread. Last week I found a barn owl feather on the trail and felt the blessing and took it home for my altar. On my morning walk today, a beautiful barn owl flew over my head and landed in the tree above me and looked down for a few seconds. It took off and flew in a circle around my meadow and back the way it came from. I have never seen an owl in the 4 years we have been here but do hear them. I am experiencing a lot of spiritual growth at the moment and many things are going thru my mind about the significance of this……..some of it is scary. Thank you again for you guidance.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Laurie, You are most welcome for the guidance and thank you for sharing your story. Each one of you contributes more insight to this article with each experience you post. Your’r is no exception. What a lovely thing to be able to be present as all the signs come together to affirm the path that you are on. Blessings to You, Stacey

      Reply
  19. Chhimi
    Chhimi says:

    This is the 2nd time I am hearing this loud screeching bird noise. Yesterday it was after midnight and today at around 8pm. I was too chicken to venture out last night but today I went out to my porch following the sound. I saw a white bird flying. I googled owl sounds and it did sound like a barn owl. I wonder if there’s a way to decode the message ( if at all it is a message) in our culture, sighting of an owl is said to be a bad omen. How far is it true?

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Chhimi, Good detective work on identifying the barn owl! What you say about seeing the owl as a bad omen is true with the Navajo tribes that live near me in the southwest. There are many stories surrounding owls, some tell of good fortune and others of bad fortune. From all the research I’ve done, my experiences with wild animals, and talking with many other people I’ve come to a conclusion, which is one perspective. I believe that there are no “bad” or “good” omens and that every encounter with a wild animal is simply information. It is us that labels the message as either bad or good. Ultimately, the message is a prompting to continue or change something within ourselves, whether we do that out of fear and a need to avert disaster or we do that out of hope and a willingness to follow Spirit’s guidance does not matter. In the end, the most important aspect is that we are relating with the wild ones and doing our best to listen to what they have to say. I would say that the message for you is to ponder what I’ve shared and decide are you moving forward out of fear or out of hope? Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  20. Lu
    Lu says:

    Hi Stacey! Thanks for all the information here, it’s great! I love Barn Owls, always have from being a tiny kid and feel great affinity with them. I am very lucky and seem to be able to spot them quite frequently. I have to say, I consciously look for them when I am in likely areas and often I am!

    I have driven across open farmland twice now, on a single track road and I have been accompanied by an owl flying close, alongside me for well over a minute each time. I feel great privilege, joy, awe, oneness and great appreciation when this has happens.

    A friend of mine recently suggested that the barn owl must be my ‘totem’ which I had never even considered before. I feel driven to examine my affinity with Barn Owls which has lead me to your great site. I have even started to paint barn owls now too! Is there a message I am failing to see or understand, I don’t know what I need to do, learn or read next but feel I should be chasing ‘something else up’ to understand something important to me or about me! I hope this might make some kind of sense to you? Any insight most gratefully appreciated, thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Lu, Given your lifelong affinity and relationship with barn owls, by all definitions, the barn owl is your spirit animal. I can absolutely relate to what you are sharing about the urge to seek more understanding about the meaning of barn owl in your life. The significance of animals that we encounter often and that we have a lifelong kinship with is the most complex to decipher. This is because there is no one meaning or one answer. In fact, I don’t think you could fathom all of the messages or the enormity of meaning that this spirit animal of yours carries. When we have such a deep and lasting bond, there is no way to sum up the importance of the connection. The urge to discover more insight is important not because it leads us to an answer, but because it keeps us coming back over and over again. That is the piece that we need to get – that it is the coming back and staying with the animal’s spirit that is what has the most power. Hopefully I’m making sense to you :). Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  21. Isaiah
    Isaiah says:

    Hello!
    I have a somewhat similar story as Lu’s and i would like to know more about this barn owl medicine. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Isaiah, Besides reading everything I’ve had to share in this article and comments, another way to learn more about barn owl as a spirit animal is to reflect on how the qualities of the owl may be traits you either embody or like to embody. If you read through my article carefully, you’ll also find some questions that I pose in the writing. I encourage you to spend some time with a journal answering those questions and exploring what barn owl might mean to you. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  22. Star Warren
    Star Warren says:

    Everytime I try to get involved with spirit stuff, or anything similar, something happens that leads me in deeper. That can be scary. So I drew away. But lately, I have seen a Barn Owl in every dream I can remember each night. Which is unusual because I am usually a dreamless sleeper. With only one or so dreams that I can remember (after waking up) a month. I have no idea what to do. I could use some advice Thanks! -Star

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Star, It sounds to me like you’re being offered a lifeline of sorts. The barn owl may very well be coming in the dreamtime as a support in the deep darkness which is frightening to you. It may be time to reassess your story that going deeper is inherently a scary or dangerous. The darkness is just darkness and doesn’t have to be threatening. In fact, for barn owls, they require darkness to survive. Without it they couldn’t hunt and feed their families. Maybe consider sitting with the questions “Does all darkness have to be scary?” and “Could going deeper be the safer place?” These questions are prayers that barn owl can help show you the possibility within. Either way, I think you have the support you need to dip your toe into new waters and see what fruit that may bear. Many Blessings and may the angels watch over you, Stacey

      Reply
  23. Olga
    Olga says:

    I been walking at night with my four kids since its been really hot outside on June 25 2017 it was this Sunday night we had gone to the store there where about to close so we hurryed up to go back home it was almost 10pm as we walked to are home trying to hurry because the street we leave on is really dark as we walk owl flew over us an it screech we all got to see it we even stopped it look like a ghostly white owl I got scared cause the way it looked I really thought I was seeing something that was not really there the whole way home I keep asking my kid did you see it did you hear it I have not ever seen a owl that close can you please help me what dose that mean and if its good whats the best thing I can do
    olga

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Olga, What a shocking and memorable encounter! I am always saying that messages from spirit animals are “good” or “bad” but neutral and multi-layered. When you read through my article, which aspects of barn owl spirit animal do you like? Is it that he can hunt in the dark? This means that in your life you can still navigate without having a clue what you’re supposed to be doing. See what qualities of the barn owl stand out to you, that you wish you could have, and then spend some time thinking how you can confront your fears and remain calm. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  24. Anne
    Anne says:

    Dear Stacey,

    My mother passed away last year. She loved both owls.

    I had my first encounter with the barn owl a month ago. It was about 2 pm, and it dipped across the road about 12 feet overhead as I was driving back to work, allowing the sun to catch it’s feathers… then it gave me a profile of it’s face as I turned the corner into work. So majestic.

    My second encounter came this Sunday. Once again, broad daylight, about noon, and it was the anniversary of when mom’s decline started last year.

    There is potential for change in my future. It’s scary. I saw so much of my mother’s character in what you wrote about the owl. Can’t wait for my sister to read it 🙂

    I have been stunned and amazed by the visitation of this creature. I also have one that lives in the giant pin oak across the street!

    Thank you and God Bless!

    Anne

    Reply
  25. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    Hi stacey,

    It was 9:30am on monday, i was at work. I opened our gated complex and walked inside , i was faced with a beautiful white barn owl staring straight through me. I didnt know what to do but for some reason i felt the need to put out my hand. I was able to stroke the bird on the back of the neck.
    What does this mean. Any ideas.
    I filmed the whole thing.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Anthony, I just watched your video. That is a very beautiful bird! From what I can tell it looks to be a fledgling. There are a number of downy feathers on his/her belly that indicate this to me. This fledgling could have been rescued, raised and then released by someone, and thus be habituated to humans. This is the most likely explanation for the bird’s docility and lack of fear of people. This not how a wild raised bird would behave UNLESS he/she was weak from starvation or illness, which is my other guess. His/her wings look okay. Did you see the bird fly off? In terms of what this means, it relates to coming into direct and intimate contact with the messages I speak of in this article. In addition, it is worth looking at the docile aspects of your nature. What previously hidden parts of you have you recently befriended? Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  26. Michael
    Michael says:

    I have seen them and hear scratches almost every night some time there is nothing for few months but while my grandmother was passing from old age I went out at the time I had been seeing the owl and nothing for 30min or so..
    I turned to go back in the house and a loud screech was let out the owl was on the roof of the house
    He looked at me for a moment then flew away…
    They come and go but it’s like two months I see and hear them and they take a break
    I went out to write this and heard one I all ways whistle a screatch back at them

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Michael, It sounds like you are developing quite a relationship with the barn owls! Whenever this happens, it is definitely worth looking at all the aspects associated with their medicine and journaling about their significance in your life. When we take the time to write down the encounters, the surrounding events in our lives, and our interpretations a beautiful story starts to emerge that we hadn’t seen before. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  27. michele davies
    michele davies says:

    I look out of my window night and mornig to see if my horses have returned to the barn. Last night I caught a glimps of a large white wig span and then it was gone . But this morning I opened my window to see a huge barn owl sitting on the post we just stared at each other for some time he was so beatiful and his dark eyes bored into my soul. Then he flew with that wonderful wing span.
    I feel very special and blessed just had to share.

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Michele, It is lovely to meet you and thanks so much for sharing! Seeing a barn owl in the daylight is truly a wonderful gift. I’m so glad the two of you had a chance to spend some time together. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  28. Tonya brown
    Tonya brown says:

    I was out in nature , an had a barn owl come in to a branch no more than 12 inches , right above my shoulder , at first I was scared but then thought it was cool . He sat with me for over a hour. What does this mean ?

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Hello Tonya, I find it very significant that you had the presence and patience to sit all that time and just be with the owl. Not everyone would stay or be still enough to keep the owl comfortable. I encourage you to look at what gifts and talents this encounter is revealing in you. Take a look in the mirror. You may very well see a calming, receptive presence. If you find you are shouldering the burden of listening to others but not yourself, try offering yourself the same patience and presence you offered the barn owl. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  29. Judith scott
    Judith scott says:

    driving through a country lane this evening just as it had turners dark I turned a bend and a beautiful barn owl flew right accross/at my windscreen while looking at me and hit the windscreen. I was deeply shocked by this and immediately turned around to re trace my footsteps to see if I could find the owl but it was no where to be seen. My first priority was to see if the owl was ok as they are so beautiful too me and secondly to try and realise why does this mean. I so hope that it has recovered and is still flying but I am really upset by this event

    Reply
    • Stacey Couch
      Stacey Couch says:

      Understandably so Judith. I too would be very rattled by such an event. Situations like this force us to pause and take inventory of what is going on in our lives and in this case with the owl, in the mystery of you. I wish for you the courage needed to venture into the mystery and find your way through fear and darkness. It sounds like you have a powerful guide in the barn owl to help you find your way. Many Blessings, Stacey

      Reply
  30. Vidya
    Vidya says:

    I was out late night/ early morning waking my pet…..And I heard the screeching loud and when I looked in the direction of the sound …It felt as if it was watching us …My pet and me …And when we turned away …It would screech again …This went on the entire time we were out , it was bringing our attention to it .. ….I had no clue which bird it was …On returning home … Checked on the net and found out it was the Barn owl …and looked for the symbolism…The entire episode felt as if the universe was speaking to me ….Of late …Have been getting signs of changes in store ….Looks that …This too is taking the story forward….
    Thank you for the wonderful write-up …Helping is understand the universe better …
    God bless you always …
    Namaste,

    Reply
  31. Raul Cortes
    Raul Cortes says:

    Every night when I go out for a smoke I hear the same barn owl and I see it fly by overhead pretty often. Im often contemplating deep things when this happens.

    Reply
  32. John Gallo
    John Gallo says:

    My father passed away in July of 1995 from cancer. Later that year, on Christmas day, my mother, brother and I decided to go to high mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral in NYC instead of celebrating the usual way…we just could not get into the holiday spirit without my father.

    Since I got showered and dressed early, I went outside to wait and ended up praying to God while standing in the middle of the street. It was around 20 degrees and all the trees were barren of foliage when I asked God aloud if he could give me a sign that my Dad was OK wherever he was. Right then, I saw a distinctive sight…it was a white barn owl perched all alone on a tree branch (which was a sight that stuck out like a sore thumb). After our eyes met, it took flight and spent the next 3-5 minutes circling about 200 feet above me and our house. To me it was nothing short of a miracle and an obvious answer to my prayer!

    Just wondering if it had any more detailed of a meaning behind it and if you could comment on it if possible?

    Reply
  33. Trish gonzales
    Trish gonzales says:

    Im the morning i always hear one in my front yard by my window, my name is Trish, I live in San antonio texas, it screechs loud, I finally caught it on video, It sits in the tree, speads its wings and it screeches loud, for 5 minutes of so, or longer, then leaves the tree and flys away, what is the significance? it happens about 9am in the morning?

    Reply
    • Dawn
      Dawn says:

      I’m also curious about this, whether the usual symbolism is perhaps reversed/opposite, or to be taken even more seriously?

      Reply
  34. Cov Love
    Cov Love says:

    Kay so one night I was walking and seen a barn owl on a post! I know this not just from looking at it but because of its call…. we learned about them back when I was 13 in middle school at a Y-Camp doing history studies! om 32 NOW but at the the it was about 2 years ago walking down my sisters street after walking 9 hours because my chain broke on my motorcycle and I had no phone to call or cash on me oor my debit card to catch a taxi or uber….. this owl was sitting on a post at first and I walked past on the other side of the street, kinda nervous so I didn’t get attacked, but then as I passed it flew to another post up the street the same way I was walking and started hooting again! I stopped for a moment to try an watch it to see what it was gonna do but it just sat there at the second post! Probably waited 3 minutes before walking again an it flew back down the street the opposite direction this time… same similar thing happened with a deer a couple years ago but more just following me on the other side of the street! what does this mean?!

    Reply
  35. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    This is an excellent piece about Barn Owl medicine, clearly you’ve worked with this magical creature. I definitely received a powerful transmission through your words here, thank you ????????

    Reply
  36. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Hi Stacey, thank you so much for sharing a very helpful reading.

    Regarding your quote “I work extensively with a barn owl in my soul retrieval work. His ability to hear and see in the dark helps me search through the unconscious and find what has been missing. Thus, for you, the barn owl too can help with seeking out parts of yourself that you have long neglected or forgotten. The barn owl can also help you work through fears to find the “mouse” or gift that is waiting in the darkness”:

    My answer: I recently realized, after interacting with some challenging “others,” that the gift waiting for me within the so-called darkness (unknown)—via Shadow Work/Mirror Work (the expanded perspective within the ancient, Heart-centered teachings of The 7 Essene Mirrors)—was one of my individual and Collective heart wounds, our inner-child’s unhealed, traumatic experience of The Silent Treatment during childhood and throughout adulthood.

    Regarding your quote “When he [the barn owl] looks at us with his black eyes he appears to see straight through us. Is there a person or circumstance you need to distance yourself from? Have you seen the dark side of the situation and find a need to think analytically about it without getting your emotions involved?”:

    My answer: I initially thought I needed to distance myself from these “negative” fear-based energies, the way I did in the past, basically suppressing them; however, I’ve learned the hard way (though it doesn’t have to be if we follow our Hearts), that running away from our fears doesn’t make them go away, but rather, like suppressed “negative” emotions—that are not acknowledged, embraced, processed, and deeply healed in healthy ways—if we continue to play the avoidance game, will only exasperate matters, and these neutral energies will simply show up again in different others, since, ultimately, they (parts of the Whole) only desire to be reunited with The One.

    So for this particular Cosmic Rodeo, I chose to fully face my fears, dive even deeper into the dark/unknown, and unconditionally embrace, integrate, transmute—via the merged Light & Unconditional Love Frequency within (that’s available to all of us with open mind and heart, integrated Mind/Heart)—and transform these fear-based aspects into full-potential, Multidimensional, WHOLE self/Self (as The One). And so far, I experienced more authentic, soul-igniting, and deeply heartfelt connections with these invaluable relationships/Soul family members. 

    Reply

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