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A barn owl sweeps so close to the car its wings brush the windscreen as I drive home over the New Forest in the light of the almost-full super moon. It’s a spot where I’ve had so many significant shamanic ally meetings in the past. I can reach out and touch him as he keeps pace with me for awhile. This is no dream. I am wide awake and it’s the witching hour. But I explore the symbolism nonetheless.

A ghost in the shadows

‘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

The Wild Gratitude site asks: ‘Do you feel like you’re groping around in the dark?’ Suggesting, ‘Time to call on barn owl’s help for understanding what you haven’t been able to know before and making your way to the dawn.’ No, not exactly groping. I’ve explored this symbolism before and the gems are making sense. American intuitive artist Kristin Ann Wieland drew me an incredibly insightful soul reading in which I appeared as an owl. Half darkness, half light, centered around a sceptre of power. With a single tear trickling. It summed up my life. But I’ve not visited this particular website before, so let’s see what it has to say. Insight is always welcome, especially as in the recent past I’ve been virtually blind for six months and intermittently deaf for days on end:

‘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 the medicine of barn owl 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… 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… 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.’


So appropriate given that I am writing two books at once and am more than a little pushed for time. The site goes on to talk about how the barn owl ‘lights the way for us through our own fears, nightmares, and shadows if we are brave enough to follow.’ And highlights its usefulness in soul retrieval work and finding the gems waiting in the darkness. Totally in accord with all that I have been doing. It looks like I am on the right path. I am assured:

‘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’ll go with that!

I’ll go with that!

Owl Totem

Owl Totem

The Daily Om tells me that:

‘Owls are patient messengers, bringers of information and the holders of wisdom, and they are capable of seeing the unseen… With their keen eyesight, they can glance into the soul to discern meaning and motive, and they are totems of truth. Fully integrating the medicine of the owl into spiritual existence is a matter of considering how we might open ourselves more fully to the wisdom that can be found in the larger universe.’

But also warns that:

‘This denizen of the nighttime has overcome many prejudices in its long association with humankind. To reveal those hidden elements of the self that impact your life for better or for worse, you must often make your way through the darkest parts of your soul as if you yourself are the nocturnal hunter. There is indeed darkness both inside the self and outside the self, but like the owl you can transcend it by drawing nourishment from the insights you receive when you penetrate it.’

So, as always, the answers lie within.

answers lie within