Barred Owl Meaning & Symbolism (Protection & Happiness)

The barred owl symbolizes protection, happiness, peacemaking, vision and intuition, and sacred knowledge.

Barred owl populations are spreading around the United States at the moment. People living in the eastern half of the United States or the pacific north-west might be lucky enough to spot a barred owl in real life.

If you are seeing a barred owl in a dream or if one comes and sits by you, be sure to reflect, journal about it, and consider what it may mean in your day-to-day life. Below are 5 of the top symbolic meanings of the barred owl.

Barred Owl Symbolism

barred owl spirit animal

1. Protection

Many people assume the bars across the barred owl are a symbol of imprisonment. This is not the case. Instead, these bars are a symbol of protection.

If you see a barred owl, it is a sign that you are feeling protective over someone or something. Perhaps it is over a part of your identity which you hold close to your chest.

The appearance of the barred owl is an acknowledgment that you are valid for feeling that way.

If you are feeling concerned that your protective instincts are off or not putting you in the right direction, use this as a symbol that you are doing the right thing.

Two Native American tribes, the Dakota and Hidatsas tribes, also see the barred owl as a protective spirit.

The barred owl appearing in a dream could also be a symbol that you are feeling unsafe and like you need protection from those around you.

Do not be afraid to reach out to those in your inner circle for help and support, and if you need assistance to feel safe always speak to those who can help. Make sure you are not in a dangerous situation and spend time with those who make you feel calm, secure, and protected.

The barred own in a dream can also be a symbol that someone around you needs protection, maybe from their own negative thoughts of self-doubt, or maybe from something more serious.

Reach out to those around you and allow yourself to be a protective and soothing force. Journal about how you might be able to further protect yourself or those around you.

See Also: Snowy White Owl Symbolism

2. Happiness

barred owl dream meaning

The barred owl is different than other owls in that is the most vocal of all the different owl species, often sounding as if it is laughing.

Because of this, the barred owl is known to be a symbol of happiness and laughter. If you are seeing a barred owl in a dream or coming across one in nature it is a sign to embrace the things that make you happy.

Make sure you find a work-life balance in order to live your happiest and most fulfilling life.

The barred owl is a timely reminder that the main priority for you is to be happy with what you are doing. Spend some time with loved ones and do the things you enjoy, and which make you the happiest in order to feel your best.

Journal about whether you have been doing things that make you happy and, if needed, correct so that you are on the path to happiness.

Here is some great footage of a barred owl hooting:

3. Sacred Knowledge

The barred owl is a symbol of a higher sense of self and sacred knowledge. If you see a barred owl it is a sign that you are a very powerful individual with a great understanding of the world and forces around you.

Make sure you honour your wisdom and knowledge and continue to put energy into learning and teaching.

It could also be a symbol that you need to tap into that higher sense of knowledge and wisdom.

Perhaps you have been neglecting your learning and studies for other commitments, which have left you feeling unfulfilled.

Be true to yourself and spend time on practices and studies which make you feel like you are always learning and improving.

Related: 13 Animals that Symbolize Wisdom

4. Vision and Intuition

barred owl spiritual meaning

It has long been believed that barred owls have sacred spiritual ties to witches and those who practice Wiccan rituals.

And in fact, many Native American tribes also see barred owls as creatures engaged in witchcraft.

If you are seeing a barred owl, particularly if it is appearing in repeat dreams, it can be a symbol of spiritual beings calling out to you.

You may have a family ancestry of witchcraft, or perhaps you are highly intuitive and gifted.

Whichever it is, the barred owl is a symbol of a great sense of inner vision and is a good omen for those it appears to.

Be sure to meditate and make a note of the times when the owl has appeared to you to see if there are any links or similarities.

You could also read up on your family history and consider researching different Wiccan practices and beliefs to see if any align with your own beliefs.

The barred owl does not mean you have to “become a witch”, simply it is a symbol of a deep spiritual vision, which could be applied in everyday circumstances. A great example is a vision within yourself and being clear and aligned with what your own goals, dreams, and values are.

5. Peacemaking

what does a barred owl symbolize

The barred owl is often seen as the symbol for making peace within broken relationships.

If you have been in a conflict or disagreement with someone close to you, the barred owl may appear to give you the sign to make peace with that person.

The barred owl is a harmonious and peaceful animal, who promotes ending conflict and finding common ground.

It will appear in a dream if the conflict has been weighing on your mind, and prompt you to take the first step in ending the conflict.

This could also be an inner conflict, causing you a great deal of stress and struggle. Be sure to be kind to yourself and those around you. Treasure the close relationships you have and try to make amends where needed.

Barred Owl Meaning in Dreams

Dreams are hard to interpret. They’re often very subjective and the vision of an owl for you may have a very different meaning to the vision for someone else.

I find that it’s best to keep an open mind to the multiple possible meanings and also be alert to the idea that maybe the owl wasn’t a message at all.

I journal about my visions and dreams and reflect on which messages I personally feel are most important for me to hear right now to return to balance in my life.

Below is a summary of some dreams involving barred owls and potential interpretations:

The Owl Lands on your ShoulderYou are being protected by the owl. You are very lucky.
The Owl is HootingThis usually means that you have found happiness.
The Owl is Following YouThis could mean that the owl wants to protect you. This is a great sign, and may mean that the Barred Owl is your spirit animal. You are very lucky because barred owls are powerful spirit animals.
The Owl is Flying Away from YouThis could either mean that the owl is beckoning you to follow him (often linked to the idea that he wants you to embrace Wiccan spirituality), or he is angry at you that you haven’t been seeking balance and happiness.

Barred Owl Spirit Animal Meanings

The barred owl as a spirit animal is one of the most powerful and strongest. His main job is to give you protection and happiness. Accept him into your life and when he visits you, listen to his message.

It may also be a sign that you have ancestors who are highly spiritual people. Use that spirituality in your body and your genes to your advantage. Get in touch with your spiritual side, because you likely have great depth of spiritual insight within you.



The barred owl is a beautiful creature, with many empowering messages and symbolic connotations.

Be sure to take the advice the owl is giving you in order to live your fullest life and enjoy your highest purpose.

The barred owl is a wise and knowing animal and will appear to you when you need its message most, so take note and become the best version of you that you can be.

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