Barred Owl

Meaning, Medicine & Magic


Owl spirit animal symbolizes wisdom, intuition, insight, the messenger, mystery, freedom, secrets, stealth, and vision.

Owl enjoys the mysteries of life and has an appreciation for life’s magic.

Owl asks you to examine things from the perspective of how they truly are, in order to see things that are usually hidden from view, such as other’s motives.

Using Owl-vision allows you to extract secrets beyond the veil of illusion in order to access knowledge and wisdom. Trust your instincts about people.

During confusing and changing times, Owl can help you to make confident decisions that let you step away from situations that no longer serve you.

Lessons In Wild Play


Nature is a master teacher. Research your animal’s habits in the wild and try playing & acting as it. How could this help shift your experiences?



All Owls:

  • They rely on their flexible necks in order to observe their world. Keeping your neck stretched and relaxed will help open you up to greater perceptions.
  • Like other birds of prey, Owls have a third eyelid that helps to clean their eyes. This is a reminder to keep your vision clear and to realize that you already have all the tools you need in order to keep your vision clean, sharp, and focused. What could be fogging your ability to see situations clearly? What could you “clean up” in order to see more clearly? Whatever you’re seeing is more than just wild imagination. Trust it.


  • Owls fly silently due to a feathered fringe on the front of their wings. Practice silently going about your business.

Barred Owls:

  • Their eyes are dark brown (they almost appear black), instead of yellow like most Owl’s eyes. This represents your deep connection to the cosmos and to creative potential. You can see far and deep.


  • Barred owls like to stand in streams and eat crayfish. Sometimes they eat so many crayfish that the feathers on their bellies turn pink! You have the ability to access things from other realms (spirit, dreams, imagination…) and bring them back to this world, manifesting them in personal transformation that serves the highest good of all.


  • The Barred Owl gets its name from the bar-like marks on its feathers. This is a strong symbol of protection, not a jail. Barred Owls know where their personal boundaries lie and they show this to others through a physical expression, radiating out self-respect. Is there a way you could adorn yourself in order to humbly tell others that your space is sacred?


  • How do you communicate with others? Barred Owls are the most vocal of all Owls. Their hoot has a laughter-like rhythm to it. Try bringing more humor and silliness into your conversations with others. We could all use a chuckle.

Splash & Dance…

with Water, Color & Spirit

Watch the magic in lightspeed action…

Call on Barred Owl

Invite Barred Owl into your life. Surround, inspire, and remind yourself that your spirit animal guide is with you & within you. Embody the skills of your power animal and share your unique gifts with the world.

Totem Card

barred owl spirit animal symbolism

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Art Print

barred owl watercolor art print


Be Inspired


barred owl spirit animal watercolor painting, meaning, symbolism

Original Painting $120


Dive in Deeper

Spirit Animal Readings

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Discover what messages your spirit animal(s) have for you. Through my visual meditations, I can take you on a journey full of wonder and intuitive guidance.

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Custom Totem Animal Painting

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I would love to paint your spirit animal for you. What animal is calling to you?

Just For YOU

I want to hear about your Barred Owl experiences. What stories or dreams have you had? Please share and join in the conversation below!


  1. Michael Farewell

    Hello, last night I listens to a CD by Dick Sutphen to help me meet my spirit guide. I did this on a whim to help me fall asleep. I ended up dreaming of Owls. Three of the came to visit me. I held them and they sat on my shoulder. I looked into their deep dark get/blue eyes. The owls were friendly and blue/grey in color with huge eyes. Searching the web for the meaning the owls closely look like your drawings of a barred owl. Were these my spirit guides? I guess so. What do I do now? Do you do paintings?

    • Tanya Casteel

      Hi Michael, Wow that sounds like a meaningful dream! Yes, owl (or more specifically the barred owl) could most definitely be your spirit animal OR just a spirit animal messenger. If owls keep presenting themselves to you regularly in life and in dreams then most likely owl is one of your main spirit animal guides. If not, then owl is bringing you a message for this time in your life. Reading about your dream it sounds like it has a lot to do with vision and your ability to look deeply within yourself and others. Yes, I do paintings. I offer prints and original paintings here:

  2. Holly

    I dreamt last night of a lone perched barred owl in a sterile white room. I could not see him, until I looked around a wall, tho in my mind’s eye, I could sense he was there. He just sat there, blinking and staring at me. Later, I also saw two fairly young deer in a green field grazing about, very calmly. I have had two other dreams of owls before. They are, I am pretty sure, my spirit animal. In waking life, they used to visit and surround our house, and I would see images of owls all the time. Though my favorites are the Barn and Snowy owls, the Barred keeps making itself known to me…
    Please help me decipher my dream, and thank you!!

    • Tanya Casteel

      Thanks Holly for sharing your dream! It does sound like owl is working closely with you. The barred owl, in particular, works with vision because the depths of it’s dark eyes. Your dream also seems to speak strongly about vision. Showing you that you don’t need your physical human eyes to “see” things around you. I gather that barred owl is asking you to trust your intuition when it comes to knowing things that can’t be seen or are currently obvious. What are you sensing around the corner? Trust that vision/feeling/knowing. Deer asks us to be more present and alert – fine-tune your observations skills.

  3. Anna

    Hi Tanya,
    Thank you so much for your intuitive interpretation here. Barred Owl called to me this past weekend while I was at the end of a solo hike, sorting love and other detours.

  4. Colleen Otterson

    I live in the heart of the city in Atlanta Georgia. My townhouse backs up to some woods. I often see a Barred owl perched on a limb. It will stare at me and observe, and I do the same. My back porch sits high off the ground I am at eye level with the owl. I enjoy seeing it very much. What could it mean I see this owl often. The owl brings me comfort.

    • Tanya Casteel

      Keep receiving the gift of comfort from owls. They are surely sending that to you. It seems that you (like owls) are keen observers. Try taking these skills to all places of your life. What do you notice in nature, in people, at work, in society? Then ask, what could it mean? And most importantly, how can I be useful with what I see? How can I use my observations to better serve myself and others? Even if you don’t know the answer right away it’s important that you start asking the questions.

  5. Flyingirl

    Driving home in the dark tonight I was running one of my fear tapes in my head having decided earlier to step out and take a course later next year with a teacher lthat I’ve been strongly drawn to but have not met in person yet. Turning the corner onto my road home with this loop running through my mind a beautiful barred owl flies out from right side of the road right across the path of my moving vehicle. I hit the brakes to avoid hitting the owl it was that close. I stop and back up to see if I can see it in the woods across the road but no sighting. It snapped me right out of my unconscious mind chatter. This is the 3rd or 4th time I have seen a barred owl in that vacinity, this was the first time at night, in flight, and right in front of me. It was a bit shocking and frightening in that we almost collided, but also rare and awe inspiring. The owl was beautiful and highly visible. I thought it was an omen. I am fond of owls. One night many years ago there were three in the trees right by my house which was really pretty special. I’d love to hear your thoughts and love your barred owl painting!

    • Tanya Casteel

      Thank you 🙂 It sounds like you have a close connection with owls as they keep appearing for you. Having almost collided with the barred owl is most definitely a “wake up call” from Spirit to help snap you back to more productive thoughts. Keep your owl totem close to your heart and trust in its gentle flight and ability to navigate in the dark (unknown). When you feel afraid know that you have these abilities within you and owls to guide you.

      • Flyingirl

        Thank you Tanya!

  6. Monica Anderson

    I had a barred owl come visit me twice last Monday and she let me get very close to her. We just stared into eachothers eyes and I got a message “calmness during chaos.” I felt this was a VERY powerful and important interaction for me especially with where I am on my life path right now 💜

    • Tanya Casteel

      Yes absolutely. Eye contact is so powerful — connecting us to soul to soul. What a lovely message/gift.

  7. Mat

    A few years back My wife and I were driving home About a quarter mile from our house on the side of the road stood a Barred Owl. I asked her to pull over and I walked up to the Owl. I lowered my arm to his feet and he climbed on. Normally this was a busy road but empty at the time. Either way he wasn’t going to be safe there for long. It was dark, so I decided to walk him to the house where I could see if he was injured. When we got for the house, I places the Owl on a stump to turn the lights on. It took me maybe 30 seconds to do so. I turned back to the Owl and he/she was gone. Neither one of us heard it take flight and did not see it anywhere the ground. After that night we started hearing an Owl in the woods. At our new place we have Screech Owls around us. Ill never forget that day

    • Tanya Casteel

      Whoa! This story gave me chills. Thanks for sharing! So magical. Strong owl magic runs through you and that land.

  8. Debra

    Last night many owls surrounded my house at around 1 a.m. What does that mean?

    • Tanya Casteel

      Wow, that sounds very powerful. It makes me think of Harry Potter and owls delivering messages, ha. To discover the meaning for you I would think about what has been going on with you in your life during this event. I would also research what phase was the moon in during this event to see if you can draw any further connections. Spirit animals often speak to us in symbols that are not immediately clear to us. Be patient, keep aware, and trust any feelings you get about the possible meaning for you.

  9. Victoria Moore

    I have had some strange things going on this last week and when I try to explain my thoughts and feelings, my husband just laughs so I came across your postings and I am so thankful. For the last year and a half we have had 2 owls that stay in between our house and our neighbor across the streets house. We always would hear them at night occasionally. Some months would go by without noise. I’ve seen them at night only a handful of times. Within this year I have been diagnosed with an immune deficiency, asthma and had a hysterectomy.Now my gallbladder is needing to be taken out and the doctor found small nodules in my lungs but not too concerning. I haven’t felt well the last mo th and I’m not recovering that good from the hysterectomy which also led to pneumonia. I’m a mess. My immunologist is talking about me neding to do immunoglobulin transfusions weekly because my body is not responding to any boosters they give me. Anyway, so 4 days ago I dropped my kids off at school and when I got home I hear crows cawing and making a loud commotion, squirrels start going crazy and other birds too. It took a few minutes for me to finally see what the issue was but they were right outside my patio window. At first I didn’t see anything except the crows flew off when I came out and the other birds did too. It was 930am. The clouds were moving fast and I looked up one last time and 2 owls were right above my head staring at me. At first I was creeped out. I thought it was odd. They were right where the group of crows were. But I grabbed my camera and took some pics. I went inside and they let out 3 hoots. Maybe a few minutes later I went back out and 3 turkey vultures were flying around my yard. I wasn’t smelling any dead animals so I thought it was odd too. One vulture perched itself on my neighors tree limb that is low to the groud and watched me. The other 2 kept soaring in circles. This continued all day. The owls never left and the vultures stayed. However, no matter where I went I have turkey vultures flying high in the sky. I always see 3. I feel like they are following me. I am driving and they are there. When I pull into my destination, they are there. My husband just says there are just dead animals everywhere. The only time there was more than 3 was yesterday when I got to my destination, 3 were constantly there when I was driving but when I went to get back into my car to leave to come home, a flock of atleast 10 had shown up. I feel spooked. I haven’t seen the owls again however, everytime I step outside in the daytime I hear only 1 hoot. I am certain that there is some kind of meaning to this.

    • Tanya Casteel

      This a quite a unique story, thanks for sharing. Owls showing up to stare at you in the daylight and vultures showing up in 3s, yes I would say that sounds significant. Raven is my main spirit animal and crows often show up for me to get my attention, so I liked hearing that the crows started cawing and making a commotion. You might also be interested in checking out my vulture page: for more insights (they are great at purifying). And I’d be curious to see the photos you took of the owls if you feel like sharing: . It’s hard to say what the exact meaning is for you at this time, but the birds are definitely communicating with you. Keep watching and try talking back to them. It sounds like owls have been watching you for a while. They could very well be bringing you comfort and healing as they can feel the situation you’re in. I wish you the deepest blessing with your healing journey.

  10. Monique

    I went out on the porch this morning at 12:45 because I couldn’t sleep. There was a barred owl perched on the roof of the porch across from me. It did not move, I turned on the outside light to see it better….it did not move….just stared at me. I shut off the light because I felt it was disrespectful. I just stood and admired it….looking into it’s dark eyes. I wished it well and thanked it for visiting; then went back inside. I looked out the window about 20 minutes later…but it was gone. I know the owl came to me for a very specific reason and I am grateful….I will listen to my intuition <3

    • Tanya Casteel

      Lovely story. Thanks for sharing. I love how you turned the light off for the owl. So thoughtful and so much gratitude in your encounter.

  11. Haley

    This afternoon a barred owl ran into my window a couple hours before sundown. I wasn’t sure what kind of bird it was at first and it lay unmoving for about 10 minutes before jumping up and staring directly in my eyes before flying off. I have never seen or heard another owl where I live and am curious as to the meaning of this. When the bird struck the window it startled me but I didn’t realize it was probably a bird until a few minutes later. Between that and the way the owl looked at me, I felt as though it was telling me “pay attention” but I have no clue what to pay attention to. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Tanya Casteel

      “Pay attention” feels very accurate for this encounter. Owl is asking you to be more fully present in each moment so something doesn’t knock you down and take you by surprise (like the car did to the owl). It’s also saying that even if you do get knocked down that you won’t stay down for long. You’re strong and can fly off again regardless of your challenges.


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