Native American Owl Traditions and Folklore
There are so many Native American traditions and stories about owls that I can only
hope to touch on them here. I would be grateful if anyone would share information from
specific tribes, or any stories they would be willing to tell me.
In his book Medicine Wheels, Roy I. Wilson speaks about the Owl as being one of the
spirit messengers in the inner circle of seven stones around the sacred altar of the
Native American Sundance Wheel. He says that "The owl is the bird of the shadows, the
darkness, the night. It is the messenger of death". Yet "The ability of the owl
to see so well in the darkness of the night speaks to us of the spirit of the owl, as a
spirit messenger, guiding us through the darkness of our night of bereavement. Therefore,
the owl not only gives the message of impending death, but when it continues to manifest
itself over a period of time to someone, it may be giving the message to that person that
he or she is being called to a ministry to the bereaved".
Roy I. Wilson, Medicine Wheels: Ancient Teachings for Modern Times
(New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1994), pp. 102-104.