The Symbolism of Owls
As a symbol in funerary art, the Owl represents Wisdom, Watchfulness and Reflective Solitude and is often depicted in scenes of the Crucifixion of Christ, as a reference to Jesus's ability to guide those who are in darkness.
In the mythology of ancient Greece, Athene, the Goddess of Wisdom, it was believed that a magical "inner light" gave Owls night vision. As the symbol of Athene, the Owl was a protector, accompanying Greek armies to war, and providing ornamental inspiration for their daily lives. If an Owl flew over Greek Soldiers before a battle, they took it as a sign of victory.
However the Owl has not always been so highly revered and is often feared in the folklore of Europe. As the Owl is portrayed as an omen of Death, due to it's association with night-time and darkness and has therefore been seen to have a connection with witches and witchcraft also.
The Owl pictured at the beginning of this post is seen here sitting on the broken column of the Family grave of the Hartog Van Banda's
Groot Was De Vlught Van Uw Geest,
Maar Heilig De Schat Van Uw Harte,
Waar Gij Van't Eigene Heil,
Anderen Rijk Hebt Gemaakt.
( Sorry I have no translation for this Inscription )
Joseph Mac Donald Simmons
Oscar P.F. Oldenburg
13 October 1960 - 5 October 1991