Barn Owl

By Shirley Pentruff

Barn Owls are silent, deadly predators with a taste for mice and other small to medium sized rodents. Because of their white color (on the belly) and stealthy night flights, they are sometimes called ghost owls or death owls. What is phenomenal about barn owls is that they can locate their prey in complete darkness using only their hearing. Their facial disk collects sound and funnels it toward their ears, which are unevenly set on each side of their heads. These anatomical traits allow the barn owl to move its head and hone in on a sound. He can judge how far away a target is, how deep it is in the snow or grass, and he can adjust for the prey’s movement – all using only sound. As you may have guessed, barn owls rarely return to their nests in the hollows of trees without a meal. Another interesting fact about this particular type of owl is that it hisses rather than hoots. The hiss is uniquely eerie.

Barn Owl first came to me in a trance vision when I went to talk to my fetch or fylgja. Because I thought that I had already found my fylgia (Coyote, wrong!), Barn Owl was quite unexpected and I almost ignored him when I saw him. However, I could not shake the feeling in the vision that we had business so I stopped what I was doing with Coyote to ponder the mysteries of Barn Owl. It was not until a later trance journey that Barn Owl confirmed himself as my fylgia. Barn Owl is generally knowledgeable and experienced, with many insights to help me navigate the unique Norse otherworld landscapes.

For information about the behavior of Barn Owls, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_Owl.

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6 thoughts on “Barn Owl

  1. Hmm…. how does one find their fylgja? I feel close to many animal spirits, and many come and go in my life, so I wouldn’t know which would be my fylgja. A few years ago I had a very powerful, incredibly realistic dream about Coyote, and in this dream I looked into these absolutely gorgeous amber eyes and then Coyote merged with me, and we went running through a field together. It was the most intense dream I’ve ever had; yet, I never felt like I was a coyote-like person, you know what I mean?

    So, how would I know how to find my fylgja vs. feeling an animal ally spirit?

    • Hi Khristine, I definitely can see how you might feel a little daunted by the task. If you do a lot of work with animal spirits it can sometimes be difficult to discern fylgja versus other types of animal allies. Hmm, I would recommend reading up on the fylgja. It is a soul-part in Norse lore so it is not an animal per se but a part of you and/or your ancestral line that can manifest in animal form.

      To find my fylgja I engaged in meditation and prayer. I had to clear my head and let the connection happen. Try not to over think it. Request to meet him, enter into trance, and let him meet you half way. Then trust your intuition about your fylgja. If it is not your fylgja, you will know/find out. I actually thought mine was Coyote (tricky bastard) until it became clear that he was not. Coyote has another role in my life (and part in my soul) but he is not my fylgja).

      I mention my experience to reiterate that figuring these things out can be a process. Try not to rush or over think, instead go through the process and, with time, it will likely yield results that you can work with. Hope this helps.

      • Hi there,

        It’s funny, because I don’t know if I’ve ever been in trance consciously before, but I do go into what I guess you could say is stream-of-consciousness visualization easily. In other words, images and sensations unfold naturally within my mind’s eye without conscious control. So, I’m not sure whether that’s a form of light trance or what. And in these, I always feel a wolf within me and around me. Of course, pretty much everyone says that their fylgja is a wolf, and there are many heathens who ridicule all the folks who say their fylgjais a wolf and that it’s not possible fofor all of them to truly have a wolf fylgja, so that’s why I hesitate to say it’sa wolf for fear it could just be all in my head or that it’s a wolf guide rather. But like I said, this particular wolf is embedded in my heart at the core of my being. In my meditations, it says it is my fylgja, and it feels right, granted by the Norns and a gift from my ancestors… as well as a connection to Odin. It’s silver like Odin’s beard, and in the latest meditation, called itself “Odin’s Ghost.” Sometimes though it appears in other colors which confuses me… but perhaps fylgjas can do that. This wolf leads me to places within and without myself and gives me wisdom… it brings me much joy (although the first time I saw it in my mind’s eye it threatened to eat me!). So, even though I’ve never truly been in trance to contact it, does this sound like fylgja behavior?

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