Owls have been revered in many cultures as symbols of wisdom, knowledge, and unique vision. Unfortunately, they have also been feared and misunderstood by many other cultures who see them as omens of death and destruction. Due to their eerie nighttime call, they have been associated with banshees and goblins etc. Owls tend to be nocturnal, their large eyes and ability to almost fully rotate their heads give them keen night vision which makes them particularly fierce predators.
Great Horned Owls (the most common in the Americas) are easily recognized by the large tufts of feathers that look like "ears", but are not. Despite their large size, they fly silently and attack with stealth. Owls are associated with mediums, psychics, clairaudience, clairvoyance, and vision quests/journeying. Owl people are usually very psychic and in tune with or able to communicate with different dimensions and experience alternate realities. They don't fear death and darkness and tend to embrace it as part of the continual cycle of life.
When owl comes to visit you it is because you are being challenged to open your "inner eyes and ears" and expand your perceptions of "reality". Owl people are often inclined towards metaphysical careers, philosophy, and new thought. Owls are usually heard calling at dusk and at dawn. People with owl totem also embody this twilight aspect, with the unique ability to pick up on realities that others often don't perceive themselves. Owl people are considered to be "walkers between worlds".
Owls in your dreams give a stern warning that it's "time to pay attention!" You may be heading towards disappointment if you don't hear what is being said to you.