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Spirit of Great Horned Owl

Spirit of Great Horned Owl

Spirit of Great Horned Owl

Role: Extractor of Secrets

Lesson: Timing

Element: Water

Wind: West The Quest Within

Medicine: Clairaudience

Keywords: Insight into the Shadow Self. Feminine Power. Timing. Extractor of Secrets. Clairaudience. Sensuality. Protection of the unseen. Able to Hear What is Not Spoken. Harbinger of New Cycles. Extractor of Secrets.

Great Horned Owl - Totem Sister to Red-Tailed Hawk

The large eyes of the Owl appear to miss nothing as they glimmer into the night, and indeed their vision is amongst the keenest in the animal kingdom, the rods and cones of their eyes designed in such a way as to allow in the smallest amount of light in order to penetrate through the veil of darkness in search of prey.

This uncanny vision has earned the Owl the reputation of being able to pierce beyond the veil that separates the physical world from the spirit world, a reputation that as a Animal Totem is well deserved.  Yet in filtering out the light from the darkness, Owl reminds us that both exist simultaneously, and that it is up to us to recognize both.

For the two-legged beside whom Owl flies, the implication of the Gift of such penetrating sight is highly significant, for there will exist the ability to see beyond the masks that are worn by Others to the true face beneath.  This ability may also be nurtured to give the Owl Soul greater insight into the lessons which exist cocooned within every encounter and experience they face while on the Earthwalk.

What the Owl individual does with information received via higher "sight" or intuition, is dependent upon both that person's level of maturation as well as upon other Primary Totems.  For instance, if one has Owl as their Power Totem yet also has Lynx as a Mission Totem, then the knowledge and insight indicated by both of these Spirit Animals will be kept private and shared in subtle & unobtrusive ways with the person who the information has been gathered about, if spoken at all.  On the other hand, if the Mission Totem of the Owl individual is Black Panther, then the information garnered will be spoken directly to the individual involved, then perhaps later utilized as an example to Others regarding the lessons inherent in that "knowing."

When the Owl soul is not sufficiently mature, or there exist underlying and unresolved issues, the information gained can be either used against the person who has been "sussed," or the personal details may be shared with others who have no business in knowing such details.  Though most Owl individuals are strictly confidential by nature, there are a few that can`t seem to resist sharing what they know freely despite a breach in confidence.

Yet for the Owl individual that is operating from Higher Intent, their code of ethics and confidentiality will guide them through the decision of whether or not, and how much, of the information received is meant to be shared with the one whom they have unmasked.  These are the souls that constitute some of the finest clergy and therapists, as their insight into human behavior and penchant for confidentiality and respect of privacy engender deep trust in those whom they have been sent to assist.


It has long been believed that the Owl and the Hawk are closely connected and enjoy a symbiotic relationship.  Each has dominion over a territory and share that realm, the Hawk akin to the Sun god Apollo who rules the day, with the Owl the counterpart of the Moon goddess Artemis who rules the night.  In fact, most owls are nocturnal (meaning they are awake and active during the night) and Hawks are diurnal (active during daylight), so this mythological correlation is not far from reality.

During the day, the Hawk flies throughout the territory, keeping the boundaries free of encroaching threat and trespassers while hunting for food.  Hawk`s patrol of the territory is relinquished at dusk as he journeys to sleep, while Owl awakens to begin her night duties.  In this manner, though they seldom (if ever) directly interact, Owl and Hawk are never the less closely linked to one another and their environment.

Each distinctive member of the Owl family is thought to be a counterpart of the Hawk family, for Great Horned Owl, the counterpart is the Red-Tailed Hawk  By looking at this member of the Hawk family, one with Great Horned Owl as a Totem may also gain some further insight as some of the keywords that apply to the Hawk will also ring familiar for this Owl as well.

In the Red-Tail, the Kundalini energy is a powerful energy source that flows through that beautiful raptor.   Some envision the Kundalini as a powerful sexual energy, yet to view its potential only thus, is to limit its true breadth and power of this fundamental energy, for it is then keeping that energy coiled at the base chakra (sexual center), rather than encouraging it to reach further and higher.

At the time the energy is awoken, it begins to rise up through the other six energy centers (chakras).  As it passes through each of these chakras, the lessons, issues and areas of our lives which are symbolized and or governed by these energy centers, are opened for our acknowledgment through the process of Conscious Awareness.  Thus, when the Kundalini has completely uncoiled, its energy unfurled along the length of the spine and flowing easily through all seven energy points to emerge through the top (or Crown) Chakra, a state of Enlightenment is experienced.

Likewise for Horned Owl, the Kundalini energy may not be quite so strong or of such focus, yet there will none the less exist within the Owl Soul a deep sensuality that will need to find free expression.  If this sensuality has been repressed due to early environmental conditioning, then there is a good likelihood that the individual with this Totem is not fully expressing themselves in other areas of their life as well.  If such blocks from expressing themselves can be removed, the Great Owl Soul will truly begin to unfurl under the Light of self-acceptance and personal freedom, giving the soul wings with which to fly to newer heights of Self-Expression and releasing a deep power that will otherwise lay dormant, one of the key lessons that the counterpart of Hawk can bring to these wise souls.

Harbinger of New Cycles

Birds and Raptors are recognized in Earth Medicine as Messengers with the type of message and method through which these messages arrive, being unique to each specific breed.  With the Great Horned Owl, it is believed that he/she arrives as a messenger heralding Change and New Cycles.  Perhaps it is her close connection to the Moon with its constantly shifting and changing cycles that is at the root of this particular Medicine, but the fundamental power of this Owl`s ability to alert us to Change and Growth is highly significant when one learns to hear and listen to, the messages this beautiful and wizened creature brings.

When one is blessed to have Great Horned Owl as one of their Primary Totems (Power, Theme or Mission), there will be an emphasis placed upon cycles and new beginnings.  Frequently throughout the life of these individuals, circumstances will thrust upon the two-legged change that will often initially arrive (or be seen) as "forced."  In reality, the changes occur as part of the process of growth and learning, a part of the process of continual renewal and rebirth, key components to New Cycles.

If the Owl Soul resists such change, the consequences may be quite profound and often very painful, and this arrives to teach the Owl individual the importance of relinquishing control and embracing in faith, the change that is so much a part of their Earthwalk.  In this way, each transition that later occurs in the life of these sensitive and perceptive individuals may then be embraced and seen for the opportunities of growth and evolution that they truly offer, rather than seen as a threat to their basic security.  If this soul can tap into that intrinsic part of their fundamental nature that is excited and stimulated by such change, then they begin to realize their potential in a much broader and deeper sense and are willingly able to let go of models of behavior, thinking and feeling that have out served their usefulness, and step into the light of a new day.

Once the one beside whom Owl flies embraces, with an eager and open mind/heart, the changes they will frequently face, this ability to recognize such transitions as a fundamental cornerstone of new life may be transmuted into assisting Others through their moments of upheaval and accelerated growth.  This ability may be honed into one of intuitively picking up on when new cycles are beginning, and to then assist themselves (and their fellow humans) through the moment of transition that exists in the golden doorway which separates the old from the new.  In this manner, the Owl soul fully embraces the Medicine of Harbinger of New Cycles, and aligns him/herself with the beauty of their Life Path.


One of the physical characteristics that easily distinguishes the Great Horned Owl from other members of the Owl family, are the tufts of feathers that resemble ears or "horns."  These remarkable feathers that sets this Owl apart, are the reason for the Great Horned Owls namesake.

It has not been clearly established whether these feathers are merely adornments to attract mates, or if they serve a biological function such as increasing and/or filtering sounds as they travel through the air and to this beautiful birds ears.  Regardless of their function (if any), these feathers create a signature appearance for the Great Horned Owl that is also closely linked to his/her Medicine of Clairaudience.

For the two-legged beside whom Great Horned Owl flies, there will be an inherent focus on communication in all forms, but as good as these individuals are at speaking and writing, they will also make excellent listeners.  These souls are the best of friends, providing a listening ear and excellent advice that is based in their own rich experiences.  Likewise, music is deeply stirring to the Horned Owl Soul and they can often elicit healing experiences for themselves by listening to some favorite music, or (if there are other creative Totems that travel beside them) they will be gifted themselves in musical endeavors.

This responsiveness to sound is a reflection of the Horned Owl`s elongated head feathers that resemble ears, and hence much of life is processed through what these individuals hear.  Often, they will pick up subtle voice inflections and tones that will alert them to when another is attempting to deceive them though the process may be so quick and automatic that they may not even be aware of this acuity.

Another form that this ability to "tune in" takes on is Clairaudience.  Where a Clairvoyant can often see other realms, alternate futures and realities, spirits and all manner of that which unseen to the average two-legged eyes, a Clairaudient will have the ability to hear messages that will elude Others.  This ability may be somewhat startling for those Owl individuals who develop this talent later in life, rather than are born with it, as often the Gift will arrive out of as a result of an accident or a by-product of delving into spiritual and mystical philosophy.

In the instances where the individual has been born with this talent, there is not so much trauma attached to the talent, but for those to whom the blessing of Clairaudience comes later in life, naturally the emergence of this gift can be quite alarming.  Much stigma has been attached to individuals who "hear the voices" of departed relatives, spirit guides and others who speak across planes, with accusations ranging from "fantasy" to schizophrenia being leveled against individuals who are often fearful of coming forward and acknowledging such unique abilities.  So long as no medical or psychological factors are the key behind the sounds and voices heard, the Great Horned Owl would do well to acknowledge and heartily embrace this Gift, for it has been given by the Great Mystery for a reason.

If the talent has remained thus far dormant, then it may be that the Soul beside whom Great Horned Owl flies still receives messages, yet instead of "hearing" the words spoken, the messages will arrive in the form of vivid dreams and strong intuition.  By embracing this talent with a humble acceptance and enthusiasm to be of service to his/her fellow two-legged, the Great Horned Owl soul matures fully into their unique and mystical heritage.


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