Another name for this shy yet common owl is Boobook. Mopoke is another interpretation of its call, which sounds very mournful and forlorn. Aboriginal Dreaming lore attributes the Owl’s call to a bad tempered, selfish man who refused to share his ample possessions with the Great Spirit who was walking in disguise as a man. As the fates have it, his karma catches up with him and he is transformed into an owl. His sad cry still rings out because Mopoke will always remember his crime. To say “don’t be a mopoke” is to say, “Cheer up!”

Some people think hearing an owl call at night, and in particular Mopoke’s wail, presages a death. More likely, this death is something in your life that has outlived its usefulness. The old energies will be replaced by new ones, so welcome the end – on whatever level; it’s really the birth of something totally different! A new phase in life is augured if you hear Mopoke’s mournful call.

Mopoke as a symbol may refer to a need to lighten up and not put too much significance upon seemingly negative things. It is the positive outlook that will bring results! Being mournful will elicit exactly this from others, so be aware of your attitudes when interacting socially. The owl also relates to the archetypes of wisdom, the night and the occult.