A few years ago, I was in the house with a friend when we heard an owl hooting just outside my house several times. As a theologian and devout Christian, I do not look deeply into such things.
However, my friend mentioned an interesting interpretation of owl hoots. This sparked curiosity in me, and I embarked on a research journey about the meaning of an owl hooting and what the Bible has to say about that.
I learned several interesting facts about this and read various books to expound my knowledge. The other week, I was so happy to share these findings with a group that I am a part of after a member asked about the meaning of an owl hooting.
Other members also wanted to know the biblical significance of such a phenomenon.
So, let’s look at the biblical meaning of an owl hooting.
Though the Bible does not clearly assign any meaning to an owl hooting, several interpretations have been drawn from the several times an owl has been mentioned in the Bible. For example, in the book Psalms 102:3-6, owls are used as symbols of loneliness. Some people believe that when an owl hoots, it signifies a call to repentance; others link it to wisdom, while others assume it signifies desolation.
So, join me as I take you through some interesting findings of what an owl hooting could mean. I will discuss what owls represent in the Bible, what it means when you hear one hoot, the spiritual meaning of an owl hooting, and what it means when an owl hoots a specific number of times.
Continue reading to learn more.
What do owls represent in the Bible?
Owls of different species are mentioned throughout the Old Testament. Owls in the Bible are used figuratively to reflect mourning, desolation, loneliness, and judgment.
The owl in the book of Psalms 102:3-6 is used as a symbol of the loneliness that the Psalmist was going through. The Psalmist notes that he is in distress and has been reduced to bones and skin. He continues and compares himself to a desert owl who is among the ruins.
Micah, in the book of Micah 1:8, compares the voice of owls to mourning. In Jeremiah 50:39, the prophet talks about the destruction and desolation of Babylon and notes that only desert creatures like the owl will inhabit the land.
What does it mean when you hear an owl hooting?
Different cultures attach different meanings to an owl hooting. This is also dependent on where the owl was when hooting and at what time it did so.
Generally, different cultures across the world regard owls as signs of knowledge and wisdom. In Ancient Rome, the sound of an owl hooting is assumed to be an indicator of death.
Other cultures view the hoots of an owl as a sign of guidance and protection from harm when facing adversities. Hoots from an owl at night can spark negative emotions in you, depending on your beliefs.
Some cultures believe that an owl hooting at night is sending a message of impending misfortune or death.
Owls are also free creatures that only come together to form family groups or to mate. Therefore, they are viewed to symbolize intellect, freedom, and swift movement.
Some people believe that an owl hooting is, therefore, interpreted to mean that you need to embrace your freedom.
Biblical meaning of hearing an owl hooting
There are various biblical meanings attached to the hoots of an owl. Some people believe that an owl hooting signifies a call for repentance.
This interpretation is drawn from the book of Isaiah 34:13-14. In this verse, the hooting of an owl is used as a warning for the people to turn away from their wicked ways, or their fortresses will be destroyed.
Some Christians associate this sound with wisdom. To others, the sound of an owl hooting is linked to suffering, sorrow, and loss.
They believe that this sound ushers a period of grief as it is an indicator that death is on the way. The interpretation of desolation and death linked to owls is drawn from owls in Job (Job 30:28-29).
Spiritual meaning of an owl’s hoot
Owls are viewed as symbols of wisdom. Therefore, some cultures assume that an owl’s hoot is a clear sign that you need to seek wisdom from any wiser person in your life, especially if you are in a dilemma.
And if you have already come up with a decision, they believe that the hooting of an owl is a reassurance that you have made a wise decision.
Other cultures regard owls as symbols of death. Even some movies use the sounds of owls to create tension. Therefore, some people believe that an owl’s hoot is a sign of a bad omen, especially if you hear the sound at night.
If someone close to you is injured or sick, they believe that the hooting could be related to that. And if you know of someone who has already passed, they assume that hoots mean that the spirit of the deceased is still around.
Birds are often viewed as messengers from the spirit world. Ravens, owls, and crows are believed to fly between the spirit and the human world. Therefore, some people believe that an owl producing the hooting sound might be a message from your guardian angel or ancestors.
Others view an owl’s hoot as a sign of love, support, and protection. Furthermore, some cultures believe that hearing these hoots means you are protected from negative entities because of the territorial nature of owls.
As mentioned above, death is associated with death, which is associated with rebirth. Ancient Egyptians believed that an owl was a representation of departed souls headed to the afterlife.
Therefore, one hooting is interpreted to indicate letting go of the old and immersing yourself in the new.
A call for self-introspection
As mentioned above, the hooting of an owl is regarded as a sign of intuition and wisdom. Therefore, some people believe that hearing one hoot could be a call to look inside and pursue spiritual enlightenment.
They interpret an owl’s hoots to mean that it is time to embark on a personal journey of discovery.
What do owls hooting mean in different cultures?
The interpretation of an owl hoot is different in each culture. In some cultures, an owl hooting is seen as a positive sign of wisdom, while in others, it is attached to bad things like death and misfortune.
So, let’s look at some cultures and how they interpret owls hooting;
In Ancient Greece, Athena, who is viewed as their god for military strategy, wisdom, and crafts such as wisdom, had an owl as her representation.
The name of this god is said to have been drawn from the city of Athens, where various species of owls lived. Therefore, they view owl hoots to signify good fortune.
The owl is a representation of the letter “M” sound in hieroglyphics. Egyptians link owls to death; they are viewed as the guides and protectors of those who have died.
Furthermore, Egyptian art has always granted owls special treatment. They display them facing forward, unlike other animals only shown in profile.
Different people in North America hold onto different beliefs. The Cherokee regard owls as misfortune and witches.
The Dine also considers an owl hooting as a bad omen or an indicator that death is on the way. In contrast, the Oglala from North America views an owl hooting as a sign of power, hope, and wisdom.
The Irish people believe that hearing the sound of an owl hooting symbolizes magic, wisdom, and being able to see what is not entirely clear to others. The Irish associate Brighid, who is the goddess of wisdom, poetry, fire, and smithcraft, with owls.
Hindus link owls to the goddess of good luck and wealth, Lakshmi. Therefore, when they hoot, it is viewed as a sign of abundance and wealth. Hindus also interpret the hooting of an owl as a sign of good luck and fortune.
What does it mean when an owl hoots outside your window?
Some cultures believe that if an owl hoots from your window, then it carries an important message that you should not ignore. Some people believe that this incident means that big news might be coming your way soon.
They believe that it could be something that could change your life for the better. Others believe that when you experience such a phenomenon, it means that you will give birth to a daughter who is healthy.
What does it mean when an owl hoots a specific number of times?
An owl hooting one time
An owl hooting one time is associated with transformation and renewal. Some cultures believe that if you hear an owl hoot once, then something unexpected will happen in your life and will positively impact you toward new levels of growth.
Others believe that such an incident is a warning that you should not immerse yourself in certain risks.
An owl hooting two times
An owl hooting two times is interpreted to symbolize wisdom and guidance. Owls have long been linked to wisdom.
Therefore, hearing one hoot two times is viewed as the universe signalling that you should take full control of your life and embrace the path of wisdom. Other people believe that hearing this sound two times is a reflection of a period of growth and self-introspection.
An owl hooting three times
An owl hooting three times is linked to spiritual guidance. Some cultures view this phenomenon as the divine communicating to you a powerful message.
Hearing hoots from an owl three times is assumed to bring you healing, protection, and insight if you are facing challenging predicaments.
Other cultures believe that when an owl hoots three times, then a woman from that family will get married.
An owl hooting four times
When an owl hoots four times consecutively, the sound is viewed as a message from the spirit world. Others believe that such an incident means that a transformation of a kind is about to happen in your life.
The Chinese link the word four to death. The number four stands for reliability and stability in numerology. Therefore, in Chinese, an owl hooting for times is viewed as a bad omen.
They believe that this is a sign that your stability is about to face some type of distraction.
An owl hooting five times
In numerology, the number five represents adventure and novelty. So, some people associate an owl hooting five times with a trip.
It is believed that if you hear an owl hoot five times, you should prepare yourself for new experiences and sights that are to come soon.
An owl hooting six times
Some people believe that when an owl hoots six times, it is an indicator that something life-changing or positive is about to happen to your life.
Others believe that such a phenomenon means that you will have loved ones or guests visiting you soon. They suggest that if you hear an owl hoot six times, be ready to host.
An owl hooting seven times
When an owl hoots seven consecutive times, it is considered negative. Some people believe that this is a warning message of hard times that will affect you mentally.
The number seven is often linked to the spirit and introspection. Therefore, others believe that such an experience could be a sign that you are about to get into an intense period of self-reflection.
However, this period might not be smooth, but it will be a great learning experience.
An owl hooting eight times
An owl hooting eight times is interpreted to indicate death. This death could be metaphorical and not a real one. Some people believe it could be time for you to detach from material things and embark on a spiritual journey.
An owl hooting nine times
When an owl hoots nine consecutive times, it is seen as a sign of good fortune or luck. Some people interpret this to signify happiness, safety, and security.
Furthermore, the number nine is often associated with transformation and universal love. Other times, an owl hooting this many times could just be that they are looking for a mate.
What should you do when you hear an owl hooting?
Different people and cultures give various suggestions on what one should do if they hear an owl hoot. Some people believe that when you hear an owl hoot, you should take some time aside and do some self-reflection to understand how the incident relates or applies to you.
They suggest looking at your current life situation and where the owl hooted from to try and decipher the meaning of the sound.
Those who believe that owl hooting is a message of protection believe that if you experience this phenomenon, you should take time and be grateful. They suggest that you should express gratitude feelings to the spirits around you.
From a Christian perspective, if the sound of an owl hooting disturbs you because of the scary stories you have heard, take it all to God in prayer. Philippians 4:7 reminds us that God can give us peace that surpasses the understanding of all humans.
He is also an all-knowing God, and if we need wisdom to interpret what the hooting of the owl meant, then we should go before Him in prayer.
Should I be worried if I hear an owl hooting outside my house?
In some cultures, an owl hooting has been linked to scary stories and bad luck omens. However, the question as to whether you should worry or not depends on your personal beliefs.
In some eastern cultures like China and Japan, an owl hooting is interpreted to mean death or impending danger. Such a phenomenon can be pretty scary if you believe in these superstitions.
However, as Christians, we are called to believe in the word of God and not superstitions. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us not to worry about anything but to present everything to God in prayer.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.