“Sure, but what does it actually MEAN?”

stellar visionary artwork by Chris Saunders
stellar visionary artwork by Chris Saunders

So yesterday I recounted the terrific dream I had about an owl appearing before me, and then going so far as to alight on my hand.  Super-cool, right?  Sure, but what does it actually mean?  Dreams tend to mean stuff, don’t they?

Yes, very often they do.  And one like this — at least in my mind — does…and I was the dreamer.  I don’t think that can ever be discounted when engaging in dream interpretation: if the dreamer feels something is significant, it almost surely is.

So what’s the significance here?  How do you go about nailing that down…?

Well, you can always go out and pick yourself up a dream dictionary.  These are books that list hundreds of different things that can appear in dreams, and then spell out how these things can or “should be” interpreted.  Plenty of websites will provide long lists of similar interpretations.  These kinds of resources shouldn’t be difficult to find — there’s approximately a million of them out there at this point.

And I don’t mean to imply that such resources are inherently bad, per se.  They can be extremely helpful.  They do have their limits, though, the main one of which, no author can really be faulted for not addressing…  That main limit is this: authors can collect up commonly accepted meanings for a whole host of symbols that appear in dreams, and report back on the ways that very large numbers of people have agreed a given symbol can be interpreted (such as, “A bridge in a dream can represent a connection, or a solution to a problem!”)…but what these authors can’t do, ever, is to tell you — a very unique individual with internal reference systems all your own — what that dream-symbol means to you, specifically.

Sure, saying that a bridge signifies a connection or a solution is a pretty fine start, and totally logical.  But what if you’re someone who has this long-prized family tale about how your parents met while stopped in traffic on a bridge?  Maybe for you, then, a bridge symbolizes love and romance, which isn’t an interpretation the general public would arrive at if someone were to say they dreamed about a bridge.  Or maybe a similar traffic jam on a bridge once made you late for an interview, and therefore cost you what might have been a sensational job opportunity…so maybe a bridge for you now means a cruel blow from fate, or something not to be trusted.  In my view, dream symbols get highly personal like this, and our own private associations simply can’t be disregarded when interpreting our dreams.

So what did the owl in that dream mean to me?

Well, I do start by considering the commonly-held interpretations of what owls might mean in dreams — just because these interpretations are common, doesn’t mean they can’t ever apply.  And a basic dream dictionary or guide to symbols will tell you that an owl can often represent wisdom, insight, keen perceptions, the world of the nocturnal, and some sources will even regard the owl as a symbol of things like clairvoyance and magic.  I can see how all of these are pretty solid and understandable possible meanings here…

But then going further, what does the owl mean to me, the dreamer who dreamed of it?

I’m a huge one for mythology.  To be honest, I awoke from the dream with three firm certainties about what it meant, and the first stems from mythology…Greek mythology, to be precise.

The owl is one of the primary symbols associated with Athena, the Greek Goddess of wisdom.  In a large percentage of renderings of Athena that you can find, she’ll be depicted with an owl perched on her shoulder, or fluttering nearby, a companion or familiar to the lovely Goddess.  If there’s no actual owl present, there will often be an owl motif worked into her helmet, shield, or armor.

Artwork by BasakTinli at DeviantArt
Athena and Owl by BasakTinli at DeviantArt

I awoke from the dream already thinking of Athena, and wisdom, and how we often talk about a “wise old owl”…

The next certainty I had was based on the fact that the owl flew right toward me in the dream…like a messenger.  It was bringing me word of something or assurance about something.

And finally, I was very struck — even within the dream itself — by the notion that a wild creature like an owl would literally fly in the face of the mistrust that virtually all such animals have for us coarse humans, and would choose to land on my hand and commune with me in some fashion.  This said to me that in spite of all probabilities running to the contrary, something remarkable is brewing and/or manifesting for me…something to do with the world of nature, the realms of the supernatural, or both at the same time.  As this blog should indicate, I have an intense Scorpionic passion for the occult, and I’ve been devoting myself to rather intense study of many facets of metaphysical thought for several years now…so who knows what’s now taking shape out of that!

The point, though, is that to me, the dreamer of the owl-dream, the receiver of the owl-message…something is taking shape.  Something is being born out of accumulated wisdom and concerted effort over time.  I can’t say just yet what that something is, but the dream gives me faith — certainty, even — that that’s what’s happening.

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