Celtic Owl Tattoo Design Picture 1
Tattoo Center. Celtic Owl Tattoo Designs. In the western tradition owl is inextricably associated with the quality of wisdom. This is due in part to its ancient associations with the Goddess Athena, and also with its large forward-facing eyes. In Welsh tradition, the owl is among the most ancient of animals, second only to the eagle and the salmon of knowledge. It was the third animal that Culhwch asks regarding the whereabouts of Mabon. Whereas the salmon of knowledge offers a general kind of wisdom, the owl is symbolic of a more circumspect wisdom. It is objective and detached from the mundane.
Celtic Owl Tattoo Design Picture 2
Owl watches and waits, in ruined castles, church towers, barns, and hollow trees. The owl is symbolic of esoteric wisdom and secrecy. In folklore the owl is associated with death, night, and silence. The owl is much noted for its unique feather and wing structure which allows it to fly silently. Owls have acute hearing, and use a kind of echo-location to hunt their prey. The owl can be a symbol of both silence and the ability to hear those things that others might miss. An owl totem can be a sign that one would benefit from listening more.
Celtic Owl Tattoo Design Picture 3
One of the Celtic names for owl is "Cailleach-oidchce" (crone of the night), linking the owl with the Black Goddess as the Cailleach. The Black Goddess is the Lady of life-in-death and the call of the owl is seen as an omen of both the birth of a girl or the death of a man. This ability to foretell the future links the owl with clairvoyance and astral travel. Another Goddess figure who was also transformed into an owl as punishment for betraying her husband is the Sumerian-Jewish Lilith.
Celtic Owl Tattoo Design Picture 4
Lilith is also associated with wisdom, as folklore tradition makes her the serpent in the Garden of Eden who offered forth the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to Eve. To the Ojibwa tribe of North America the owl is a symbol of evil and death. To the Pueblo, it represented Skeleton Man, Lord of death and fertility. To the Pawnee the owl was a powerful symbol of protection. Owls are sometimes nailed, wings spread, over the doors of barns to protect livestock from evil spirits, both in North American and in European tradition.