Owl tattoo was a sign of individuality in all times, but the meanings of this design can be totally different. Maybe the mysteriousness of the flying in the night owl made these tattoo designs so popular.
Nowadays owl became an emblem of intuition, erudition and deep knowledge. But owl had ill-omened and even terrifying symbolism in many ancient cultures, especially in China. Silent night flight, shining eyes and scary cries influenced the meaning of owl tattoo designs. Owl was often connected with death and occult powers. She was associated with the gift of prophecy and ability to see in the darkness.
Owl was thought to be a bird of death in ancient Egypt, India, Central and North America, in China and Japan. In some traditions, for example in India, owl was honored as a patron of the night and a messenger of the underworld, whose mission was to accompany souls to the world of dead. For North American Indians the feathers of the owl in headwear had protective symbolic meaning for the same reason.
In China an owl symbol had negative and destructive meaning. The owl itself was connected with thunder and June solstice. As a creature that chose the night style of life and very mysterious one, owl was associated with magic in Europe.
And the associations of the owl with wisdom have their beginning in the ancient Athens, where an owl was thought to be a companion and an attribute of the goddess of wisdom Athena. That is why the images of the owl are often met on coins in Greece.
Also from Greek tradition comes the image of clever and wise owl in European fairy tales, myths and legends. And the emblem of this bird – an owl sitting on the books became popular as a sign of knowledge. Since then, scientists, professors and well educated people, or those with thirst for knowledge were associated with owls.
Today owl is associated with intelligence, thoughtfulness and preference for solitude. The owl tattoo designs with feathers are thought to be a protective amulet.
On the whole owl tattoo designs have ambiguous connotation. Owl tattoo can be the symbol of desire to learn and a sign of knowledge. At the same time it can symbolize intuition and even mystical powers. In all cases owl is a mysterious bird and owl tattoos always attract attention and look original. Such tattoo designs usually have deep individual meaning and are popular among both men and women.