The owl is an object of rich symbolism in many cultures, ranging from wisdom, to luck, to death. One can make a permanent and powerful statement by acquiring this mysterious bird as a tattoo.
Owls are known primarily as creatures of wisdom. For instance, they are associated with the Greek goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom and military victory. An owl on the battlefield was believed to indicate impending victory. On the flip side, this also meant that owls were sometimes seen as a harbinger of death. In some Native American cultures, the owl can represent the soul of a dead person. An owl tattoo can represent the pursuit of wisdom, and the willingness to work through hardship in order to gain it, all while being aware that losing the battle is a distinct possibility. It can be a reminder to make wise decisions while fighting to achieve one's goals. In Hindu culture, owls are associated with the goddess the goddess Lakshmi. They're seen as symbols of luck and prosperity.
In modern culture, the owl makes a notable appearance in such works as "Harry Potter" and "Winnie the Pooh." In these cases, it's less about the meaning and symbolism behind owls, and more about the character of the specific owl in question. For instance, in "Harry Potter," Hedwig the owl is thought to represent loyalty, dedication, escape from a difficult childhood, and, eventually, the loss of that childhood.