The owl is associated with death, sorcery and the dark underside of life. To the ancient Egyptians, the owl represented night, death and cold. The Bible (Leviticus) says the owl is an unclean bird. The ancient Greeks, however, viewed it as the sacred symbol of wisdom, for the owl was the constant companion of Athena, goddess of wisdom.
The ancient Romans considered the bird a bad omen, presaging death; Caesar’s murder was announced by the screeching of owls. Besides death, the hooting of an owl foretells illness, bad weather and the loss of virginity of a village girl. In European and American folklore, various charms could counteract the owl: throwing Salt in a fire, turning one’s pockets inside out or tying knots in a handkerchief.