Biblical Meaning of White Owl in Dreams: Spiritual Symbolism

By Faith Way

Have you ever woken up from a dream with an owl in it and wondered what that meant?

As a Christian, you may be curious about the biblical meaning and symbolism of owls in dreams.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Owls are fascinating nocturnal creatures that are mentioned numerous times in the Bible, so dreaming of an owl can be quite symbolic.

In this article, we’ll explore what the white owl represents in dreams from a biblical perspective.

Get ready to gain some insight into what God may be telling you through this mysterious nighttime vision.

Introduction to White Owls in the Bible

In the Bible, white owls are symbolic of wisdom, prophecy and the spiritual world. They are mentioned several times, often representing God’s omniscience and foreknowledge.

White Owls in the Old Testament

The white owl is first mentioned in Leviticus 11:16-18 and Deuteronomy 14:15-17, where it is described as an unclean bird that the Israelites were forbidden to eat. Some scholars believe this was because the owl was associated with sorcery and divination.

In Psalm 102, the psalmist says “I am like a lonely owl in the wilderness, I lie awake, I have become like a lonely owl in the wilderness.” This suggests the owl was a metaphor for solitude, mourning and foreboding.

The white owl is also mentioned in Isaiah 34:15 as a symbol of chaos and judgment. The passage describes the owl inhabiting the ruins of Edom after God’s wrath.

White Owls Representing Wisdom

The white owl later became a symbol of wisdom, appearing in this role in the New Testament. For example, in Matthew 23:27, Jesus compares the Pharisees to “whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Some interpret the ‘whitewash’ as representing the white owl, a symbol of wisdom that the Pharisees lacked.

In conclusion, while the white owl had some negative associations in the Old Testament, it evolved to become a positive symbol of wisdom and prophecy in the Bible. Owls remain a complex and thought-provoking symbol in many cultures and spiritual traditions.

Symbolic Meaning of Owls in Christian Culture

In Christian belief, owls have long been associated with wisdom, insight and prophecy. White owls, in particular, are seen as a symbol of purity, divinity and a connection to the spiritual realm.

Symbolic Meaning in the Bible

The owl is mentioned several times in the Bible, often representing desolation, loneliness and abandonment. However, the white owl is seen in a more positive light. In Isaiah 34:11, the white owl is referred to as a bird of prophecy that inhabits the ruins of Edom. Its ghostly pallor and nocturnal nature have linked it to the world beyond the veil.

Some Christians view the white owl as a sign of divine wisdom or an angelic presence. Dreaming of a white owl may indicate you have an important message to share with others, or that you need to look within to tap into your intuitive wisdom. The white owl teaches us to embrace our abilities to see beyond the surface.

A Messenger of Transition

A white owl in your dreams can also signify a spiritual transition or transformation in your life. Its appearance is a sign to prepare for change and be open to new insights. The white owl may be bringing you an important message to guide you on your journey.

Pay close attention to the context of your dream and any messages the white owl seems to be conveying. It may relate to releasing old beliefs, behaviors or relationships and making room for spiritual growth. The white owl is a reminder to follow your intuition and move forward into the light.

Though once feared as a harbinger of doom, the white owl is a welcome vision for many Christians. Its radiant wings carry hope, truth and the promise of new beginnings. If it visits your dreams, know that you are being called to awaken to your highest wisdom and purpose. The white owl is a sign of divine grace and protection as you navigate changes in your spiritual path.

Biblical References to Owls as Symbols of Wisdom

In the Bible, owls are referenced as a symbol of wisdom.

The Owl in Proverbs

The book of Proverbs uses the owl as a metaphor for wisdom and insight. Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” The owl here represents seeing and understanding the truth.

The owl is also referenced in Proverbs 1:5, which states, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” The owl’s ability to see in the dark represents gaining insight and discernment through wisdom. Just as the owl’s night vision gives it a wider perspective in darkness, wisdom opens our minds to greater understanding and judgment.

An Owl Named Sophia

Some translations of the Bible refer to the owl in Proverbs as “Sophia,” the Greek word for wisdom. The owl’s name and its references in Proverbs demonstrate that it was a symbol of wisdom, knowledge and good judgment. The owl earned this status because of its piercing eyes, its ability to see what others could not, and its habit of being awake during the night.

Other References

There are a few other minor references to owls in the Bible, though not as direct symbols of wisdom:

  • In Leviticus 11:16-18 and Deuteronomy 14:15-17, owls are listed among the birds that the Israelites were forbidden to eat.
  • In Psalm 102, the psalmist wrote that he was “like a lonely owl in the wilderness” due to suffering.
  • In Isaiah 34:11, the prophet warned that owls would inhabit Edom after its destruction.

While owls were considered unclean food sources, the predominant view of owls in the Bible is one of wisdom, discernment and clear insight. The owl’s ability to navigate in darkness represents gaining wisdom and understanding what others cannot see.

Owls as Harbingers and Messengers in the Bible

In the Bible, owls are often depicted as messengers or harbingers of important information. Their nocturnal nature and loud hoots in the night are seen as signs or warnings from God.

Owls as Signs of Desolation

The owl is mentioned several times in the Bible as a sign of desolation or ruin. In Isaiah 34:11, the owl is referred to as inhabiting the destroyed Edomite city of Bozrah: “The owl and the raven shall dwell in it.” The owl dwelling in a city signifies that it has been abandoned and left in ruins. Similarly, in Jeremiah 50:39, owls are said to inhabit fallen Babylon: “Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein.”

Owls as Symbols of Wisdom

While owls are often seen as harbingers of doom in the Bible, they are also used as a symbol for wisdom. In Job 12:7, Job says: “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” Owls are implicitly referred to here as wise teachers that can impart knowledge to humans. Their ability to see in the dark and hunt in the night has long been associated with wisdom, knowledge and prophecy.

The Warning Call of the Screech Owl

The screech owl is specifically mentioned in Isaiah 34:14 as a sign of desolation. The Hebrew word translated as “screech owl” refers to a nocturnal bird of prey whose call was seen as an ominous warning: “The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.” The screech owl’s cry is a sign of the ruin and desolation that is to come.

Owls appear throughout the Bible carrying messages of wisdom, warning and doom. Their nocturnal nature and loud hoots are seen as signs from God, whether as teachers, harbingers of desolation or messengers of prophecy. Paying heed to the owl’s warnings in Scripture can impart wisdom and knowledge if we choose to listen.

Negative Symbolism: Owls as Creatures of the Night

In some cultures and spiritual belief systems, owls are viewed as negative omens or symbols of bad luck. Their nocturnal nature and eerie calls have associated them with darkness, evil spirits, and even death.

Owls Represent Darkness

Owls are creatures of the night, hunting and active during the hours of darkness. In the Bible, night and darkness are often equated with sin, evil, and separation from God. The owl’s affinity with the night may portray the influence of dark, sinister forces at work. Their spooky hoots and screeches in the dead of night led some to believe owls were in league with evil spirits or were evil spirits themselves.

Owls Foretell Death

In many cultures, an owl’s hooting or screeching at night was thought to portend death or misfortune. Hearing an owl hoot three times or seeing one during the day were considered bad omens, signaling that death was nearby. The Bible refers to owls as unclean birds of prey in Leviticus 11:13-19, grouping them with vultures, hawks, and eagles. Some interpret this as owls representing death or decay.

The Wisdom of the Owl is False

Although owls are commonly seen as a symbol of wisdom, some biblical interpretations view them as representing false wisdom or knowledge that leads one astray from God’s truth. Their ability to see in the dark could represent misguided beliefs or pagan practices. Isaiah 34:14 refers to owls dwelling with serpents and wild beasts in desolate, forsaken places which some see as representing ungodly or heathen wisdom.

While owls have both positive and negative symbolic meanings, in some biblical interpretations they are predominantly seen as unclean birds of darkness representing evil, death or false wisdom. An owl appearing in your dreams could signify you are under the influence of spiritual darkness or deception, or warn of impending danger or misfortune. The color of the owl in your dream and the context surrounding its appearance can provide further insight into its meaning. Seeking the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit is the best way to determine a dream’s interpretation.

Seeing a White Owl in Your Dreams: Positive Interpretations

Seeing a white owl in your dreams is often interpreted as a positive sign. Here are some of the optimistic meanings associated with dreams of white owls:

Wisdom and Knowledge

The white owl is a symbol of wisdom, knowledge and intelligence. Dreaming of a white owl may indicate you are seeking truth and gaining a deeper understanding of yourself or a situation in your life. Pay attention to the owl in your dream, as the messages it brings may provide guidance or insight.

Transition and Change

White owls are associated with transition, change and new beginnings. A dream of a white owl could signify you are undergoing or about to experience a transition in your life, such as a new job, relationship or home. The owl is a sign this change will have a positive outcome.

Spiritual Guidance

Some believe white owls represent spiritual guidance, wisdom and intuition. A white owl appearing in your dreams may be a sign you need to trust your intuition and inner guidance. It suggests looking within for answers you seek. Meditation, prayer or quiet reflection may help provide clarity.

Overcoming Challenges

Dreaming of a white owl can symbolize overcoming obstacles or challenges in your life. The owl signifies you have gained a higher perspective that will help you solve problems or get through difficult times. With patience and perseverance, you will prevail.

Overall, a white owl in your dreams is a positive messenger. Pay attention to the feelings and intuitions you have upon waking for additional meaning and guidance. The owl may be bringing you an important message about your purpose or path in life. With an open and receptive mind, the wisdom and meaning will become clear.

Seeing a White Owl in Dreams: Negative Interpretations

Seeing a white owl in your dreams can represent negative meanings, especially if the owl seems threatening or ominous in some way. Some potential negative interpretations of a white owl in dreams include:

Loss of Innocence

The color white is often associated with purity and innocence. A white owl in dreams could symbolize the loss of innocence or naivety. Perhaps you have recently experienced a situation where your trust or optimism was taken advantage of, leaving you feeling more cynical or worldly. The white owl may be a symbolic representation of lost purity.

Bad Luck

In some cultures, owls are viewed as harbingers of bad luck, darkness or even death. A white owl in your dream may be a sign that you are worried about potential misfortune headed your way. You could be anxious about an upcoming event or life change that feels uncertain or risky. The owl could reflect feelings of impending doom.


The white color of the owl could point to deceit or dishonesty. Perhaps the dream signifies that someone in your life is not being truthful or transparent. Or, the white owl may represent your own tendency towards secrecy or trickery in some situation. There could be a message in the dream to be wary of hidden motives or double-talk from others.

Lack of Wisdom

Owls are typically seen as wise creatures, so a white owl could represent a lack of good judgment or common sense. The dream may be highlighting a poor or misguided decision you have made recently. It could also indicate you are ignoring good advice or insights from others who wish to guide you. The white owl is a prompt to open your eyes to wisdom you have been missing.

The specific context of your dream and personal associations with owls or the color white are important to consider when interpreting the meaning. But when a white owl seems threatening or ill-omened in your dream, it often points to one of these negative possibilities: lost innocence, bad luck, deception or lack of wisdom. The dream may be a warning to watch your step during a precarious time.

Biblical Advice for Understanding Dream Symbols

The Bible often uses symbolic images and metaphorical language to convey deeper spiritual truths. Dreams, too, can be a way for God to speak to us through symbols. When interpreting dream symbols, it’s important to pray for wisdom and discernment.

Look for clues in the context and details of your dream. The color white often symbolizes purity, innocence, or holiness in the Bible. An owl is a nocturnal bird of prey associated with wisdom, foresight, and intuition. So a white owl in your dream could represent spiritual wisdom, insight, or a message from God.

Consider the owl’s behavior and any interactions you had with it in the dream. Was it flying, perched silently, hooting? Did you feel threatened or at peace in its presence? All of these details provide clues to the dream’s meaning and any guidance God may want to offer you.

Search the Scriptures for connections. References to owls in the Bible, though scarce, associate them with desolation, solitude, and a mournful cry. But as a white owl, it could connect more closely with purity and light. Look for other Bible passages related to wisdom, prophecy, dreams or vision to help shed light on the potential meaning.

Talk to others. Share your dream with close Christian friends or a pastor and ask them to pray with you for interpretation and application. As “iron sharpens iron,” their input can help bring clarity and wisdom. But weigh all interpretations against Scripture and what the Holy Spirit reveals to you.

Listen for God’s still small voice. Ask God to speak to you through his Word and by the counsel of his Spirit. Be still and listen; He will guide you into all truth. The meaning and application of your dream may become clear over time through prayer, study of the Word, and life circumstances. Continue seeking God, and He will make your path straight.

Dreams are a way God can get our attention and speak to us. Pay attention to the details, search the Scriptures, seek godly counsel, and listen for the Spirit’s leading. Over time, the meaning of your white owl dream will become clear as God opens your eyes to see and ears to hear. Be patient, and He will reveal all things in His perfect timing.


So there you have it, some possible interpretations of seeing a white owl in your dreams from a biblical perspective. Dreams are highly symbolic, and the specific meaning depends a lot on your own life experiences and what’s going on in your waking life. But in general, a white owl can represent wisdom, purity, clarity or a message from God. Pay attention to how you felt in the dream and any details you can remember. Your subconscious may be trying to guide you or give you insight into something meaningful. Keep an open and curious mind as you reflect on the dream’s possible meaning for your life. Sweet dreams!

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