Because owls are often nocturnal birds, they have easily accepted symbolic meanings connected to the unseen and mysterious spiritual world. The owl, a creature of the night, carries symbolic significance for many cultures. It might be a sign of good fortune, but it can also be a harbinger of calamity.
Although they are typically interpreted as omens of poor fortune in Chinese culture, this is not always the case. According to Chinese beliefs, owls can transmit both positive and negative chi.
As a Feng Shui symbol, however, it is quite beneficial. It is a symbol of many things, including fortune, knowledge, and protection.
This article discusses the symbolic significance of the owl in both traditional Chinese culture and Feng Shui. Although there appear to be divergent opinions, everything comes down to how one understands the majestic bird’s inherent capabilities.
Ancient Chinese beliefs about owls
In traditional Chinese culture, owls were seen as omens of bad fortune. This is because owls have long been symbolic of death, the night, and the hereafter. Some believe that owls are the reincarnated souls of people who were murdered or committed suicide. Therefore, neither owning an owl as a pet nor giving one as a present is advised.
The owl is called mao-tou-ying 猫头鹰 (cat-headed hawk) and xiao 鸺 (brave) in Chinese. Though “bravery” is one of the connotations, owls are often seen negatively. Young owlets are said to only leave the nest once they have pecked out their parents’ eyes.
Owls are nocturnal birds with superb night vision, which has led to their being connected with mystery, mysticism, secrets, intelligence, and death.
Owl in Chinese Archaeology
The owl has played a significant role in the origin stories of Chinese cultures dating back to the Shang era. The Chinese have traditionally associated the owl with fear due to its ominous appearance and its eerie hooting.
The Shang (1600–1046 BC) and Zhou (1046–256 BC) dynasties of our Neolithic ancestors, however, had a quite different perspective on owls. Artifacts depicting owls have been discovered in the provinces of Shanxi, Hubei, and Hunan, as well as in the ancient Shang Dynasty capital city of Yin.
Two “zun” unearthed at the Tomb of Fu Hao are the most famous owl artifacts. (A “Zun” is a type of Chinese ceremonial wine vessel.)
Fu Hao, commonly known as Lady Hao, was one of the Shang Dynasty wives of King Wu Ding. She was also a military leader and a priestess, and her records may have been lost over time.
The head of the owl has two enormous horns, bulging eyes, and short ears. The back of its head resembles a lid. The neck and mandible of the owl are adorned with taotie, a mythical, terrifying animal in Chinese folklore.
What does the owl mean in Feng Shui?
The owl represents luck, intelligence, and safety in feng shui. People in the fields of learning and knowledge find it useful. This is due to the owl’s long-held associations with those qualities. In ancient Chinese thought, the owl was also seen as a powerful totem that brought prosperity and good luck.
Think about the owl’s traits and how you’d like to increase them in your life and house, as with other powerful celestial beings in Feng Shui. In Feng Shui, owls serve as guardians and custodians of wisdom.
You can bring beneficial masculine “Yang” chi or energy into your house or office by placing this sign in the right spot.
The Feng Shui Benefits of the Owl Symbol
Some creative ways to use the owl symbol at home or work:
To Repel Negative Energy
No one enjoys being in the presence of a negative person or vibe. It brings in lethargy, fatigue, illness, wrath, and bad fortune. The Feng Shui owl emblem may help you dispel negative spirits. You should put it somewhere that needs shielding and a boost of positive energy. Consider hanging a photograph of a family of owls or a gold-painted figure on the wall.
Place Owl Symbol Outside Your Home
The owl is a symbol of knowledge and the ability to see what is under the surface. Place a decorative owl sculpture with its back to the door or the entrance to the house to ward off negative energy.
Place the owl figure in front of passing traffic to drive away negative energy from your home. The oncoming traffic acts as a poison arrow, perhaps causing loss of health or prosperity. The presence of the owl deflects the poison arrow energy, allowing only good energy–positive chi–to enter your home. You can display the owl figurine on a window sill or as a front porch decoration.
Help Improve the Flow of Money
The owl symbol is widely used to stimulate the growth and flow of wealth. This is because the owl symbolism in Feng Shui is related with prosperity, which results in increased money circulation.
- Place the owl figurine near your accounting records or cash register in your commercial building or office for wealth growth. You can even put it on the table or desk where you sit to plan out your monthly budget.
- Place the owl image in your office’s waiting room to help your business fly and attract clients.
- Placing the owl in the south or southwest corners of your living room or bedroom is ideal for attracting prosperity and growth.
To Increase Knowledge and Intelligence
In your residence or office, an owl statue promotes positive energy in the areas of your career, knowledge, children, and creativity. A display of owls atop your mantel reflects your household’s high regard for intellectual pursuits.
Bring in Yang Positive Energy
The owl is a powerful emblem of positive yang energy. If you feel that certain rooms in your home might use a boost of positive energy, try hanging pictures of owls there.
At the Altar
An altar is a special place in your home where you can keep spiritual reminders, self-cultivation tools, and other objects such as meditation pillows and crystals. If the owl signifies something to you, this is a perfect area to display an image of it.
Owl Pairs Bring Good Fortune
The owl’s combined benefits of safety and wisdom serve as a shield against misfortune and harm, drawing in wise guides and encouraging keen, far-reaching vision. It has been suggested that keeping a pair of owl figurines in a bedroom will help couples grow closer to one another.
Is it important what kind of owl figure you use?
No, you do not need a Feng Shui owl to benefit from this symbol’s positive energy through this practice. The significance lies in the owl’s symbol.
You may embellish your home with owl-themed figurines, decals, and paintings. From cute to serious, it can be incorporated into the feng shui of your residence.
Friendly or Fierce or Both
A diminutive owl figurine with enlarged eyes is as adorable as a toy or a cartoon character, and it can bring pleasure to your home. Realistic sculptures with menacing beaks and talons are viewed as raptor omens and are best used to frighten away vermin.
Beautiful or cartoonish owl art is the best option for feng shui enhancements in general, as it encourages positive chi in your home. However, the choice of owl artwork or figurine must bring the proprietor positive vibes and likability.