The Crow / Raven
Ravens: are loyal beyond measures. They are the birds that perch around and hear all and listen for all. They go to their kin and make sure that they get the information of what they have heard. They are known to find lost things, they are also seen around death, evil and darkness…They can go were no one would like to tread…You would find that Ravens tend to like graveyards at night…They seem to hang out and even play there. They also feed off the death with in the sanctuary of the dead in the graveyard.
Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning May bear the raven's eye
Cymberline, by William Shakespeare
Raven is a contrary spirit. On the negative side, Raven represents the profane, the devil, evil spirits, the trickster and thief, war and destruction, death and doom, the void Yet in many cultures Raven also represents deep magic, the mystery of the unknown, death and transformation, creation, healing, wisdom, protection, and prophecy. Raven is both the symbol of the sun, and the symbol of a moonless night. She is the birth giving light in the center of our galaxy, and the black hole in the center of the universe, to which we are all traveling to our eventual extinction.
Raven is the fatal touch of the Calleach in winter, the wisdom of Odin, the vessel of prophecy given to a seer, the mighty protector of the Western Isles, and the healing message of an Indian shaman.
Raven is a complex bird, both in nature and in mythology.
Tokens and Artwork:
When choosing a totem, find a symbol to represent that totem and keep it on you, or in a sacred place in your home. (For instance, I always wear a silver raven ring). This token will help you to communicate with your totem, and it will protect and guide you both in magical and mundane affairs. It is illegal to hunt and kill ravens and crows in the United States, under the Endangered Species Act. Keeping ravens and crows as pets are also illegal. Raven artwork is all around us. In the northwest Indian and Alaskan cultures, Raven is the Creator Deity. Native American artists have created artifacts, T-shirts, emblems, and all sorts of sacred raven art Raven and Crow are favorite subjects in traditional Chinese and Japanese art. I have found raven paintings by local Japanese and Chinese artists in San Francisco.
Raven art is catching on in Western Culture, especially among Celtic and Norse style artists. I now find ravens in jewelry, decals, T-shirts, and altar cloths, available from vendors in local craft fairs, Scottish and Celtic Games, Scandanavian festivals, Renaissance fairs and other historical re-enactment fairs. You'd be surprised where you can find ravens. I have found wooden and metal ravens in antique stores. Halloween is an especially good season to find raven designs sold as decorations. Many artists and craftspeople are open to suggestion, and available for commissions. The more people that ask for raven designs, the more they will show up in the marketplace! If you have a favorite local artist - commission him/her to do a raven design!
Raven art can also be found in several tarot card decks - including The Medicine Cards and The Druid Animal Oracle. Pull these cards out and use them in meditation, trance work, spirit guide work
Raven represents winter, because of their ability to endure the cold. My husband, who was stationed in Greenland with the Army in the 1960's, saw only two animals the year he was there - arctic foxes and ravens!
Raven also represents night, their ebony plumage reminding us of the Dark Moon. Raven magic is very potent at this time of month when the majesty of the starry universe unfolds above us. Raven is an ideal guide on the path of the deepest mysteries. And in Eastern traditions, Raven represents the sun - rising, noon and setting. The intelligence and adaptability of Raven really makes Her an appropriate totem for any time or season.
There are many chants and songs that can be used to invoke Raven.
A traditional Scottish chant to shapeshift into a crow (for astral traveling), while holding a crow or raven's feather: (From the witch trial of Isobel Gowdie)
I shall go into a crow
with sorrow and such and a black thraw
And I shall to in the Devil's name
Until I come home again!
To change back:
Crow, crow, crow God, Send Thee a black thraw I was a crow just now But I shall be in a woman's likeness even now Crow, crow, crow God, Send Thee a black thraw!
Prophecy and Divination
I have fled in the shape of a raven of prophetic speech. - Taliesin
To invoke Raven as bird of prophecy, you can use the old English rhyme used to interpret omens by the number of ravens, crows, or rooks seen in a flock:
One for bad news, Two for mirth. Three is a wedding, Four is a birth. Five is for riches, Six is a thief. Seven, a journey, Eight is for grief. Nine is a secret, Ten is for sorrow. Eleven is for love, Twelve - joy for tomorrow.
Keep a raven feather or artifact with your divination tools. Ravens especially preside over dark tools such as dark mirrors and onyx scrying balls, but can be used with any tool.
Raven is an excellent dream guide. Most Native American craft stores will sell dream wheels (or you can make your own). Attach a raven feather or artifact to the wheel and hang it over your bed. Powerful and prophetic dreams will come your way.
When drawing a circle using Raven imagery, clothe yourself in dark flowing robes. In the Morganian tradition of Wicca, the Raven priestess circles the perimeter nine times in honor of the nine priestesses of Avalon.
Adding raven feathers to your tools (for instance attaching the black feathers to your wand, staff, athame, shield, drum, pentacle) or crafting your tools in the shape of ravens is a powerful way to use Raven Magic. I have also worn a raven mask when drawing down the Raven Goddess, Morgan.
Use Raven to guide you into trance. There are many poems and songs dedicated to Raven that you can use to guide you.
Invocation of Raven
by Susa Morgan Black
Morgana of the Dark Moon Night
Onyx bird, bold in flight
Raven, come to us now!
Keeper of the sacred well
Where the faerie spirits dwell
Raven, come to us now!
Guardian of the Blackthorn Tree
Home of the feared Banshee
Raven, come to us now!
Teacher of warriors, and of sex,
spells that heal and spells that hex
Raven, come to us now!
Bean Sidhe by the river bed
Washing shrouds of the newly dead
Raven, come to us now!
Twin birds of memory and thought
Who brought the knowledge Odin sought
Raven, come to us now!
Raven with his bag of tricks
Always getting in a fix
Raven, come to us now!
Stalwart guardian of the Land
The sacred bird of mighty Bran
Raven, come to us now!
Wise One of the Second Sight
Who foretells our human plight
Raven, come to us now!
Raven, Oldest of us All
Watch over us and hear our call
Raven, come to us now!
Bird whose magic is revealing
The hallowed mystery of healing
Both Celtic and Druid Slànaighear (Healer) and Native American shamans use Raven's spirit for healing, especially long distance healing. When doing a healing circle for an absent friend, the energy can be sent in the form of a raven.
If you are working directly with someone who is ill, you can use raven feathers to stroke their body, collecting and drawing out the negative energy, to be shaken out and cleansed later. Raven is powerful medicine
The dead are lying in the field,
Oh, hear Her Kraaak and cry!
The gaping wounds, a raven's yield,
She comes hungry from the sky.
- The Morrigan by S. Black
In nature, Ravens will mob their enemies if they come too near their nest. Ward your home or business against malefactors with the spirits of warrior ravens, like Owein's Raven Army, the Morrigan, or the Valkyres. When you invoke their fearless spirits, nothing can prevail against you.
According to Jamie Sams and David Carson, in their excellent book Medicine Cards (which accompanies a beautiful deck of animal cards), Raven's medicine is magic. She is the Great Mystery of the Void.
Black, to Native Americans, is a color of magical power, and only to be feared if misused. Raven symbolizes the void - the mystery of that which is not yet formed. Ravens are symbolic of the Black Hole in Space, which draws in all energy toward itself and releases it in new forms. The iridescent blue and green that can be seen in the glossy black feathers of the raven represents the constant change of forms and shapes that emerge from the vast blackness of the void. In Native American tradition, Raven is the guardian of both ceremonial magic and healing circles. She is also the patron of smoke signals.
Raven's element is air, and she is a messenger spirit, which Native American shamans use to project their magic over great distances.
In many northwestern American Indian traditions, Raven is the Trickster, much like the Norse Loki. Observing ravens in nature, we find that they often steal food from under the noses of other animals, often working in pairs to distract the unfortunate beasts. Anne Cameron has written several northwestern Indian tales (Raven and Snipe, Raven Goes Berrypicking, Raven Returns the Water, and others) with the Raven as Trickster theme.
Ravens are considered a solar symbol in Chinese mythology. The three legged raven lives in the sun, representing the sun's three phases - rising, noon and setting. When the sunlight hits their glossy black feathers just right, they seem to turn to silver.
The Shinto Goddess, Amaterasu is sometimes represented as a giant raven, Yata-Garasu.
Brahma appears as a raven in one of his incarnations. Ravens are also sacred to Shiva and Kali.
In Aborigine mythology, Raven tried to steal fire from seven sisters (the Pleides), and was charred black in the unsuccessful attempt.
To Egyptians, ravens represented destruction and malevolence. However, Arabs call raven Abu Aajir - the Father of Omens.
Hebrew/Christian In the Hebrew/Christian tradition ravens were considered unclean, representing impurity, mortification, destruction, deceit, and desolation. Ravens were cursed by Noah for not returning to the ark with news of the receding the flood.
Yet, conversely, the Bible also says that ravens were the protectors of the prophets; they fed Elijah and Paul the Hermit in the wilderness. Also, ravens helped St. Cuthbert and St. Bernard. In contradictory Christian traditions, ravens represent the solitude of the holy hermits, yet also the souls of wicked priests and witches.
Since ravens can be taught to speak, and have such a complex vocabulary of their own, they are connected symbolically to both wisdom and prophecy. But in Europe, at least from Christian times, ravens have several strikes against them: black is considered a negative color; ravens are carrion eaters; and they have a symbiotic relationship with man's oldest enemy, the wolf. In many western traditions raven represents darkness, destructiveness and evil. They are sometimes associated with deities of evil and of death. Both witches and the Devil were said to be able to take the shape of a raven.
Raven is the messenger of the Sun Gods, both Helios and Apollo. She is also associated with Athene, Hera, Cronos and Aesculapius.
The pagan Danes and Vikings used the raven banner on their ships, in Odin's honor. These flags, usually sewn by the daughters of great warriors and kings, were tokens of luck on their voyages. Houses where ravens nested were also thought to be lucky.
Odin had two ravens - Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) who flew about the world, delivering messages, gathering knowledge and reporting back to him. One of Odin's many titles is Hrafna-Gud, the God of the Ravens. Odin's daughters, the warlike Valkyres, were sometimes said to take the shape of ravens.
In the Elder Edda's cryptic poem, the Grimnismal, a verse refers to Odin's ravens:
Huginn and Muninn, every day
They fly over earthground.
I fear for Huginn,
that he may not return.
But even more, I fear
for the loss of Muninn
In the Norse shamanic tradition, Odin's ravens represent the powers of necromancy, clairvoyance and telepathy, and they were guides for the dead. This poem expresses a shaman's fear of his loss of magical powers. (Source: The Well of Remembrance by Ralph Metzner, Shambala, Boston, 1994)
On Walpurgisnacht, April 30th, German witches fly to Brocken Mountain in the Harz Mountains for the great witches' Sabbath in the shape of their familiars - ravens and crows.
In Beowulf, an Anglo Saxon poem, is written " . . . craving for carrion, the dark raven shall have its say, and tell the eagle how it fared at the feast, when, competing with the wolf, it laid bare the bones of corpses."
In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth sees the raven as a herald of misfortune as it "croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan."
In England, tombstones are sometimes called "ravenstones".
Among the Irish Celts, Raven was associated with the Triple Goddess, the Morrigan, who took the shape of Raven over battlefields as Chooser of the Slain. She was a protector of warriors, such as Chuhulian and Fionn MacCual.
Raven is also the totem of the pan-Celtic Sorceress/Goddess Morgan le Fay, who was also called the Queen of Faeries. In some tales, she is Queen of the Dubh Sidhe, or Dark Faeries, who were a race of tricksters who often took the form of ravens.
Irish and Scots Bean Sidhes (Banshees) could take the shape of ravens as they cried above a roof, an omen of death in the household below.
Tha gliocas an ceann an fhitich or Fice ceann na fhitich are Scots Gaelic proverbs meaning "There is wisdom in a raven's head."
"To have a raven's knowledge" is an Irish proverb meaning to have a seer's supernatural powers. Raven is considered one of the oldest and wisest of animals.
Also a bird of wisdom and prophecy, Raven was the totem of the Welsh God, Bran the Blessed, the giant protector of the Britain, the Isle of the Mighty. After the battle with Ireland, Bran was decapitated, and his head became an oracle. Eventually Bran asked to have his head buried in what is now Tower Hill in London to protect Britain from invasion. Bran's Ravens are kept there to this day, as protection against invasion. During World War II, Tower Hill was bombed, and the ravens were lost. Winston Churchill, knowing full well the ancient legends, ordered the immediate replacement of ravens, and they were brought to Tower Hill from Celtic lands - the Welsh hills and Scottish Highlands.
Raven was the favorite bird of the solar deity, Lugh (Irish/Scots), or Lludd (Welsh) the Celtic God of Arts and Crafts. Lugh was said to have two ravens to attend on all the His needs (similar to Odin and his ravens). Many Celtic tribes and clans descend from animals. An ancient clan called the Brannovices, the Raven Folk, once existed in Britain. To this day, the Glengarry MacDonalds of Scotland have a raven on their heraldic arms, and their war cry is Creagan-an Fhithich - Raven's Rock, a landmark on their ancestral lands.
The Scottish Goddess of winter, The Cailleach, sometimes appears as a raven. A touch from her brings death. Giving a child his first drink from the skull of a raven will give the child powers of prophecy and wisdom in the Hebrides.
Scottish Highlanders associate ravens with the second sight. An excellent book on the subject is Ravens and Black Rain: The Story of Highland Second Sight by Elizabeth Sutherland (Corgi Books, Great Britain, 1985
In Cornwall, as in England, King Arthur is said to live on in the form of a raven, and it is unlucky to shoot one.
"Have not your worships read the annals and histories of England, in which are recorded the famous deeds of King Arthur, whom we in our popular Castilian invariably call King Artus, with regard to whom it is an ancient tradition, and commonly received all over that kingdom of Great Britain, that this king did not die, but was changed by magic art into a raven, and that in process of time he is to return to reign and recover his kingdom and scepter; for which reason it cannot be proved that from that time to this any Englishman ever killed a raven?"
- Don Quixote by Cervantes
The Welsh Owein had a magical army of ravens.
In Welsh folklore, the raven is also an omen of death. If the raven makes a choking sound, it is a portent of the death rattle. A crying raven on a church steeple will "overlook" the next house where death will occur. A raven could smell death and would hover over the area where the next victim dwelt, including animals. Ravens were heard to "laugh" when someone was about to die. Welsh witches, and the Devil, would transform themselves into ravens.
by: Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door --
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow -- sorrow for the lost Lenore --
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore --
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me -- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door --
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; --
This it is, and nothing more,"
Presently my heart grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you" -- here I opened wide the door; --
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word "Lenore!"
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore --
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; --
'Tis the wind and nothing more!"
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door --
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door --
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore --
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning -- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door --
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered -- not a feather then he fluttered --
Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have flown before --
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore --
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore --
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet violet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from the memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! -- prophet still, if bird or devil! --
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted --
On this home by Horror haunted -- tell me truly, I implore --
Is there -- is there balm in Gilead? -- tell me -- tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!' said I, "thing of evil! -- prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us -- by that God we both adore --
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore --
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked upstarting --
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted -- nevermore.
It is possible to foretell coming events through careful attention to the cries and behavior of crows. As we may see, the practice of divining from bird calls, properly called auspicy in the English language, appears to originate in China. Yet, as narrowly concerned with crows, it would seem the practice is an Indo-Tibetan invention with symbiotic relationship to Chinese methods.
The tradition with which I am most familiar comes to Tibet from India. The first written record of which I am aware is found in the middle sixth century, in the Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira. In the early ninth century we find a Sanskrit text entitled Kakajarita translated by the pandit Danacila into the Tibetan language as Bya-rog-gi skad brtag-par bya-ba, or "Investigating the Cries of Crows." Through incorporation of this translation into the Tibetan Tanjur, or Buddhist canon, crow auspicy became an established means of divination in
1. Crows are of varying distinction and intelligence, therefore notice
must be taken of the varying classes of crows.
2. Crows respond to events with characteristic behavioral patterns,
therefore by noting the character of the response one may learn the
character of the event.
3. Crow behavior and response differs according to time of day.
4. The angle of direction between the observer and the crow has
The general predictions governing crow calls are given as follows,
categorized by the time of day and the direction in which the call is
6:00 am - 9:00 am
East: Wishes will be fulfilled
Southeast: An enemy will approach
South: A friend will visit
Southwest: Unexpected profit will accrue
West: Great wind will rise
Northwest: A stranger will appear
North: Scattered property will be found
Northeast: A woman will come
Zenith: A demon will appear
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
East Near relatives will come
South Flowers and areca-nuts obtained
Southwest Numerous offspring
West You will set out on a distant journey
Northwest One king replaced by another
North Good news will be received
Northeast Disorder breaks out
Zenith Fulfillment of your wishes
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
East: You will obtain property
Southeast: A battle will arise
South: A storm will come
Southwest: An enemy will come
West: A woman will come
Northwest: A relative will come
North: A good friend will come
Northeast: A conflagration breaks out
Zenith: You will gain profit by being taken care of by the king
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
East: Great fear predicted
Southeast: Great gain coming
South: A stranger will come
Southwest: A storm will rise in seven days
West: Rain and wind will come
Northwest: Scattered property found
North: A king will appear
Northeast: You will obtain rank
Zenith: Hunger predicted
East An enemy appears on the road
Southeast A treasure will come to you
South You will die of disease
Southwest The wishes of one's heart fulfilled
West Relatives will come
Northwest Obtaining property predicted
North Homage will be done to the king
Zenith You will obtain advantage you hoped for
Crow on right: good journey
Crow behind: you obtain siddhi
A crow flapping his wings, calls: great accident
Crow pulls human hair: death
Crow eats dirty food: food and drink about to come
Crow on thornbush: enemy
Crow on milksap tree: milkrice to you
Crow on withered tree: no food and drink
Crow on palace: excellent halting place
Crow on divan: enemy will come
Crow facing door: peril at frontier
Crow pulling dress: dress to you
Crow on skull: death
Crow with red thread on house: fire
THE RAVEN (the crow) SYMBOLOGY
Everything that exists has has some type of symbology attached to it. Raven is by no means an exception. Below you will find a few of the more commonly used symbological associations to Raven.
"Raven . . . black as pitch, Mystical as the moon, Speak to me of magic, I will fly with your soon". Throughout time Raven has carried the medicine of magic. Raven magic is powerful medicine that can give you the courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that is not yet in form. Raven is the messenger of the void. If Raven appears in your spread, you are about to experience a change in consciousness. Raven is the guardian of ceremonial magic and in absentia healing. In any healing circle, Raven is present. Raven is the messenger that carries all energy flows of ceremonial magic between the ceremony itself and the intended destination. Reversed Raven can indicate a boomerang effect - bad wishes for others rebound back on you. Or it may be telling you that you have forgotten the magic of life and settled in to a mundane rut. It may also portend a time of smoky, confused messages that you cannot see or hear because your "intellect" is insisting that magic is not real. As based in the "Medicine Cards"..
Symbology - creation, magic, illumination. "The raven is frequently associated with powerful magic and omens. Its symbolism parallels that of the coyote and rabbit in Native American myths, and it is worshipped as a deity. The Haida and Tlingit peoples of western Canada and Alaska revered the raven as a hero and helper of human beings, a role reflected in the bird's prominent position in the totems of the Northwest. The raven is believed to have placed the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, bringing light to the people both day and night." As based in the "Animal Spirit Cards"...
Symbology : Kingdom - Strength, Trine - Challenge, Teaching - Challenge of Darkness. Characteristics: Foreknowledge, Prophecy, Cunning, Intelligence, Change, Battle, Opportunism, Selfishness, Scavenging, Protection. In a spread, the Raven represents a sharp, quick intelligence and the talent to anticipate or predict events. It can signify the ability to turn any situation to personal advantage, sometimes without regard for the consequences or for others. It may also suggest a tendency towards dangerous pursuits of various kinds. The Raven has an appetite for the acquisition of knowledge, and shows how to use that knowledge to its own best advantage. Spiral Path Meaning: Challenge of Darkness. The Raven offers the challenge of the unknown. With its prophetic cry muted, it teaches the ability to overcome the dark forces of uncertainty, ignorance and death." As based in Beasts of Albion Cards"...
THE RAVEN (the crow) TOTEM
Although the word totem derives from the Algonquian word nto'tem, meaning "my kin", the concept of animal totems is universal by Shamans, and other cultures around the globe. Animals are the guardian or tutelary spirits, and each person and group has an animal totem. Individuals inherit totems at birth, acquire them through marriage or by membership in a clan, or learn of their watchful presence while in trance. Shamanic dancers invoke the power of the totem by imitating the animal either in posture, movement or dress. Totems were also represented elaborately carved totems or fetishes, which as you could well imagaine, have many, many functions.
THE RAVEN (the crow) FACT
The raven is the king of the Corvidae birds, weight 3 pounds. It is black and has a strong beak, wing span 4 feet, length 2 feet plus, The raven can reach an age of 30-50 years. The oldest only in captivity. The raven is omnivore.
The nest is built in trees, on cliffs and on power-line poles usually 15 - 30 m above the ground. They use twigs and sticks, the lining is made of animal hairs -especially from elk (moose)- Juniper bast and grass.
The eggs are 4 -8 light blue and spotted. Both parents feed the nestlings who stay in the nest until they are almost full fledged when they start to walk around in the tree top. Pairs live in lifelong "marriages" and annually return to the same nests.
The ravens don't move south in the winter, they move around in wide areas to find food. The raven is a very skilful flyer, diving, flying upside down, turns somersaults and other tricks. Imitating other animal sounds, the sound of the wind and human speech are other skils. The raven is believed to be intelligent and regarded as the king of Corvidae family.
The Crow. The storm-bird. The Fig Bird. One Who Lingers Too Long
The main stars in Corvus
Fixed Star Long 1900 Long 2000 Decl 2000 Lat 2000 RA Sp. Cl. Mag
GIENAH (CRV) Gamma. 09LIB20 10LIB44 -17.31' -14.29' 12h15m B8 2.8
MINKAR Epsilon. 10LIB17 11LIB40 -22.36' -19.40' 12h10m K3 3.2
ALCHITA Alpha. 10LIB51 12LIB15 -24.44' -21.44' 12h08m F2 4.2
ALGORAB Delta. 12LIB04 13LIB27 -16.31' -12.11' 12h29m A0 3.1
KRAZ Beta. 15LIB58 17LIB22 -23.22' -18.02' 12h34m G4 2.8
Notes and history:
Corvus the Raven or Crow. Although now traversed by the 20th degree of south declination, 2000 years ago it lay equally on each side of the celestial equator. Its earliest appearance in the skies, however, seems to date back to the Euphrates valley. There is a Euphratean myth, from far back beyond classical days, where it was one of the giant ravens bred by the dragon of chaos, Tiamat, or the Hydra, a watersnake, upon whose back it stands; making it one of the monster ravens of the brood of Tiamat that Hydra represented; the ancient Sumerians called this constellation the 'Great Storm Bird', or 'Bird of the Desert', to which Tiamat gave sustenance.
The Babylonians equated it with their bird-god Zu, who stole the "tablets of destiny" from Enhil. It was a noted constellation with the Greeks and Romans, and always more or less associated with the Cup and with the Hydra, on whose body it rests. Aratos (3rd century BCE) described it "pecking the folds of the Hydra".
Known also as Avis Satyra, the Bird of the Satyrs, and Pomptina, from the victory of Valerius when aided by a raven on the Pontine Marsh. This bird and an ass appear together on a coin of Mindaon, which is interpreted as a reference to the almost simultaneous setting of the constellations Corvus and Cancer, for the ass always has been associated with the latter in the Ovot, or Asini, of its stars (the Assellus in Cancer).
Manilius designating it as Phoebo Sacer Ales, and Ovid as Phoebeius Ales, mythology having made the bird sacred to Phoebus/Apollo, in connection with his prophetic functions, and because he assumed its shape during the conflict of the gods with the giants.
One of the best known myth associated with Corvus is the story of Coronis, and of her unfaithfulness to Apollo, when the bird reported to his master this unwelcome news he was changed from his former silver hue to the present black (see that myth Below). This story gave rise to the stellar title Garrulus Proditor. Apollo and Coronis were the parents of Aesculapius, who became the Serpent-holder Ophiuchus.
Another version of the legend appears in the Fasti-viz, that the bird, being sent with a cup for water, loitered at a fig-tree till the fruit became ripe, and then returned to the god with a water-snake in his claws and a lie in his mouth, alleging the snake to have been the cause of his delay. In punishment he was forever fixed in the sky with the Cup (Crater) and the Snake (Hydra); and, we may infer, doomed to everlasting thirst by the guardianship of the Hydra over the Cup and its contents. From all this came other poetical names for our Corvus - Avis Ficarius, the Fig Bird; and Emansor, one who stays beyond his time; and a belief, in early folk-lore, that this alone among birds did not carry water to its young. [SLM].
For the Celts, the raven was the sacred bird of Bran, the god whose prophesying head is said to be buried beneath the Tower of London, which is still guarded by ravens, upon whom the safety of the city is supposed to depend. Two ravens called Hugin and Mugin, or Mind and Memory, sit on the shoulders of the Norse god, Odin, and inform him of everything that happens in the world.
The Chinese knew it, as a portion of their great stellar division the Red Bird, while its individual stars were an Imperial Chariot ruling, or riding upon, the wind. [SLM].
It has been likened to Noah's Raven flying over the Deluge ("first he send a Raven"), or alighting on Hydra, as there was no dry land for a resting-place; or one of those that fed the prophet Elijah; Julius Schiller (1627), who reinterpreted the constellations in Christian terms combined its stars with those of Crater in his Ark of the Covenant. [SLM].
A Christian view of the constellation Corvus: The Witness of the Stars, E.W. Bullinger, 1893.
The Symbology of crows and ravens
Raven: Recent comparative studies of the customs and beliefs of a wide range of peoples would seem to show that the purely negative aspect of the symbolism of the raven is very late and an accretion almost entirely localized to Europe. In fact, here its appearance in dreams is considered of ill omen and allied to fear of misfortune. It is also the great black bird of the Romantics, hovering over battlefields to feast on the bodies of the slain. Such an image, it is worth repeating, is recent and highly localized, although it recurs in India, where the Maha~bha~rata compares ravens with messengers of death, and perhaps in Laos as well, where water soiled by ravens cannot be used in ritual aspersion.
Despite this, nearly everywhere, in both East and West, the symbolism of the raven is founded upon its positive aspects. Thus in both China and Japan it is a symbol of filial gratitude, the Han considering the fact that it feeds its parents as auguring the reinstatement of the social order. In Japan, too, it is taken as the expression of family affection. In Japan it is regarded at the same time as a messenger of the gods. while the Chou regarded it as a bird of good omen, the herald of their victories and the mark of their virtues. The bird in question was, it is true, a red raven, bearing the color of the sun, for in China ravens were solar birds. The symbol of the ten ravens which flew from the mulberry-tree in the East to fetch light into the world, would s eem to have passed into Shintoism. However, Yi the Archer shot nine with his arrows, otherwise the universe would have caught fire. Han dynasty stone carvings show a three-legged raven in the centre of the Sun. It would seem to be the principle giving life to the Sun and perhaps stands for yang (odd-numbered). Like the tripod. the raven's three feet, which became the emblem of the Chinese emperors. corresponded to the solar symbolism of dawn, noon and dusk.
In the Book of Genesis the bird is a symbol of clear-sightedness, since it was sent out to see if the lowlands had emerged from the waters of the Flood. 'And it came to pass, at the end of forty days. that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth' (8: 6-7).
In Ancient Greece, too, the raven was a solar bird sacred to Apollo. Although Plutarch says that eagles determined the siting of the omphalos at Delphi, Strabo states that this task was performed
by ravens. At least both birds have this in common, that they acted as messengers of the gods and performed prophetic roles. Ravens were also attributes of Mithras, and these were believed to be endowed with the power of casting evil spells.
Ravens are common features of Celtic legend, in which they play prophetic roles. The Pseudo-Plutarch who undoubtedly based himself upon Gaulish tradition, translated Lugdunum (the Celtic name for Lyons) as 'Ravens' Hill' rather than the accepted 'Lug's Hill', since a flight of ravens had shown the city's founders where to build.
In Ireland, the war-goddess took the name of 'Bobd' or carrion-crow and often appeared in this shape. The crow is the nocturnal aspect of the raven and in Ancient Greece was sacred to Athene while, as we have seen, the raven was Apollo's bird. In any case, ravens play a fundamental part in the Welsh tale, 'The Dream of Rhonabwy': when Arthur's men slaughtered Owein's ravens, the surviving birds reacted violently and in their turn hacked the soldiers to pieces. Ravens still occupy a respectable place in folklore. The birds were sacred to the Gauls and in German mythology were the companions of Wotan (Odin).
In Scandinavian mythology, two ravens perched on Odin's throne, Hugin (Mind) and Munnin (Memory), and a pair of wolves crouched beside the god. The two ravens stand for the creative and the two wolves for the destructive principle.
'Among the TIngit Indians (North-West Pacific), the central divine figure is the Crow, primeval hero and demiurge, who made the world (or, more precisely, set it in order, and spread civilization and culture through it), created and liberated the sun, and so on'. The Crow endowed it with the dynamic and regulatory element.
'In North America the Supreme being of the sky generally tends to be come amalgamated with the mythological personification of the thunder and the wind, represented as a large bird (the crow, etc.); he beats his wings and the wind rises, his tongue is the lightning' (ibid.).
In the Mandan Spring Festival, the 'First Man', herald of renewal who commemorated the 'retreat of the waters', had his naked body painted white, wore only a cape made from the pelts of four white wolves and had two tufts of ravens' feathers stuck in his hair.
The messenger of the Mayan god of thunder and the thunderbolt was a raven (Popol-Vuh).
From Black Africa comes evidence of the raven's role of guide and guardian spirit. The Likuba and Likuala in the Congo Basin regard the raven as 'a bird which warns men of the dangers threatening them'.
Ravens may also be regarded as symbols of solitude, or rather of the deliberate self-isolation of the individual who has determined to live upon a higher level. They may also be seen as emblems of hope with their constant cry, according to Suetonius, of Cras! Cras! ('Tomorrow! Tomorrow!').
Thus most beliefs surrounding the raven depict the bird as a solar hero and often as a Demiurge or messenger of the gods. The bird is in any case a guide, and even guides souls on their last journey since, as a conductor of souls, his keen sight pierces the darkness and he is not led astray. It would seem as if this positive aspect is linked to the beliefs of nomadic hunters and fisherfolk and that the raven only became negative when mankind settled and agricultural communities developed.
Alchemists have always associated the stage of putrefaction, when matter becomes black, with the raven. They call this stage 'the Raven's Head': it is leprous and must be bleached by 'bathing seven times in the waters of Jordan'. These are the imbibitions sublimations, cohobations or digestion of matter, all practiced under the lordship of fire alone. This is why the black bird is so often depicted on the pages of ancient treatises of Hermetic lore. [p.789 "The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols", 1969, Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant" translated by John Buchanan-Brown, Penguin books. ].
Before this incident, ravens were once of a silvery hue, with snowy white feathers and they were able to speak in human tongue. They were the sacred birds of Apollo/Phoebus (Delphi, Sun-God and the god of light, music, poetry, healing, prophecy, eloquence, truth and manly beauty). But its chattering tongue brought about the ravens downfall. When Phoebus saw an extremely beautiful maiden named Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths in Thessaly, he fell deeply in love with her. According to Ovid, she remained true to him, or at least while her faults passed unnoticed. But the bird of Phoebus detected her in wrongdoing, and, a pitiless informer, hurried to its master, determined to reveal her guilt.
The crow who was another garrulous bird, credited with prophetic ability, who stood near the Pythie of Delphes during her prediction; because the crow was gossipy, Athena/Minerva replaced it with the owl as her companion.
The crow pursued the raven on swiftly beating wings, anxious to learn the whole story. When it heard the object of the raven's flight, it said: "No good will come of your journey. Pay heed to my warning. Look at what I was and what I now am. If you inquire into the cause of this change, you will find it was my faithfulness that ruined me. Once upon a time, Pallas took Erichthronous
(Auriga), a baby born without a mother, and shut him in a chest woven from Actaean osiers. This chest she entrusted to the three unmarried daughters of Cecrops, that king whose nature was part human and part snake, imposing the condition that they should not pry into her secret. I was hidden in the light foliage of the elm and watched to see what they would do. Two of them, Pandoros and Herse, honorably guarded the trust they were given; but the third, Aglauros, taunted her sisters with cowardice and undid the knots. Inside they saw the infant with a serpent stretched out beside him. I told the goddess what had happened and my reward for that service was that I was ousted from my place as Minerva's attendant and ranked lower than the bird of the night (the owl). The punishment I suffered may serve as a warning to other birds, not to court danger by telling tales. It was not as if I had ever asked for any mark of favor from her - she, of her own accord sought me out. Ask Pallas herself - angry though she is, her anger will not make her deny the truth".
But the Raven answered the crow in these words: "I hope your attempts to hold me back may recoil on your own head! I have no time for your futile predictions!" - and did not abandon the journey it had begun, but went and told its master Phoebus that it had seen Coronis lying with a young Thessalian.
When her lover heard this charge against Coronis, the wreath of laurel slipped from his head, his face changed, his color ebbed away, and the plectrum fell from his fingers. His heart was in a fever of swelling rage.
Phoebus strung a bow and Pierced Coronis with an arrow. As the arrow struck her breast, Coronis, who was pregnant, groaned; then she drew it out, scarlet blood welled over her fair white limbs. "O Phoebus" she cried "you could have let me bear your child. Now, in my one person, two will perish". That was all she said, before her spirit ebbed out with her blood. A deathly chill crept over her lifeless body. Too late, the lover repented of the cruel punishment he had exacted, and hated himself for listening to the tale, for allowing his anger to blaze in such a
way. He hated the bird, whose officiousness had forced him to learn of Coronis' guilt. Fondling her lifeless body he employed his healing art, without avail, his aid came too late. As the funeral fires was being got ready, he snatched his son, Ophiuchus, from his mother's womb, saved him from the fhim to learn of Coronis' guilt. Fondling her lifeless body he employed his healing art, without avail, his aid came too late. As the funeral fires was being got ready, he snatched his son, Ophiuchus, from his mother's womb, saved him from the flames and carried him to the cave of Chiron, the centaur. (Metamorphoses book 11).
In a fit of furious anger, he punished the faithful crow, who was hoping for a reward for revealing the truth, by cursing him and turning his feathers black and took away his ability to speak for bringing in the bad news (all of the other crows met the same fate).
"Wanton blabber! See thy fate!
Messenger of mine no longer,
Go to Hades with thy prate!
Weary Pluto with thy tattle!
Hither, monster, come not back: And - to match thy disposition -
Henceforth be thy plumage black!"
Crow is the left-handed guardian. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of
creation and is the keeper of all sacred law. There are several species of
crow. Raven is one of these and magpies are another. Crow medicine people
are masters of illusion. Do not try to figure crow out. It is the power of
the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen.
Crow is also the guardian of ceremonial magic and healing. In any healing
circle, Crow is present. Crow guides the magic of healing and the change in
consciousness that will bring about a new reality and dispel "dis-ease" or
illness. You can rest assure when ever crows are around, magic is near by
and you are about to experience a change in consciousness. Crow can give you
the courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that
is not yet in form.
They are territorial and won't give up an area without a fight. They are
loners, seeming to like to spend time to themselves.
Jack died on September 12, 1979, a casualty of Hurricane Frederick
If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and
speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the
wilderness and "caw" the shots as you see them. Crow is an omen of change.
If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful
voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that
they are out of balance.
Crows are the bringer of messages from the spirit world, and is thought to
dwell beyond the realm of time and space.
When you meet crow, he could be telling you that there will be changes in
your life and that possibly you should step by the usual way you view
reality and look into the inner realms …walk your talk…be prepared to let go
of your old thinking and embrace a new way of viewing yourself and the world
Crow is the sacred keeper of the law. Crow medicine signifies a firsthand
knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by the
laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful
voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of
balance, out of whack, or unjust.
When you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense
of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you
will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be
mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak
your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present, and future
in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow
the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of
Crow Crow is the medicine of the "Universal Law." If you are blessed with
the medicine of Crow you are so in tune with the law of the universe you are
able to bend the law of the physical universe. Those who possess Crow
medicine are given the duty of protecting the sacred universal law.
Spirit of Crow With Wolfs Moon
Role~Carrier of Lost Souls into Light~
Lesson: To Understand the Shadow Within
Wind: West ~The Quest Within~
Carrier of Souls Shadow Within Sentinel
Night descends upon the ancient forest as a silky shawl of midnight blue,
Settling over all that she encounters upon her journey,
She leaves everything she touches changed in
The shimmering veil of her silver light.
Perched atop the hard surface of granite boulders that dot the mountainside,
Crow stands, head cocked to the side, affording him a gaze
Of the moon, as she rides the pathway
Of the autumn sky.
From the beginning of the time when ~Great Spirit~ transformed Crow
From the form of a two-legged, to the shape he now wears,
Crow has dwelled simultaneously in Two Worlds,
One of the earth & the other of the sky.
He is the Watcher that has observed we of the Two-Legged
as we walk along the Red Road of Physical LIfe.
He stands, ever vigilant, at the Gateway between shadow and light,
watching for the Soul that is beginning to Unfold, and then,
with a beckoning call, black wings touch our face,
and we Journey with him, flying from
the Night of denial, and awakening
with acknowledgments Day.
Carrier of Lost Souls into Light
The Crow is a creature that has elicited much thought and speculation
amongst all indigenous peoples and across many cultures and times.
To some, Crow is a harbinger of "evil" or portender of physical death, to
others, he is one who offers the choice to fly free of the chains of the
past and to soar toward self knowing, yet all seem to agree, that this
Animal Totem possesses a powerful energy (Medicine) contained within his
***One who has the honor of having Crow fly by his/her side, is an
individual who has the Role of carrying souls lost in pain, denial,
bitterness or ill intent, into the light of forgiveness and self-awareness.
When we are reeling in the darkness of emotional pain and turmoil, confused
by denying that which we don`t want to see, or feeling bitter over the
actions of those who have hurt us, betrayed us or rejected us in the "past,"
we have become lost on our Path. It is the Role of one who has Crow as
their Power Totem, to then find those lost souls and call to them to make
the journey into the light of awareness, and eventually, sincere forgiveness
For one who does not have Crow as their Power Totem (yet has lost the sense
of their Life Path), it is Crow that they would call upon to carry them to
re-align with their Path once more, as she is the Totem whose vision sees
through the darkest of Nights to find the way back home.
Yet in order that one with Crow Totem can carry others into the Light,
he/she must first find their own way free of the shadows of the past. This
can be an arduous task, yet is essential to fulfilling their Role as Carrier
of Lost Souls into Light, for how can they fulfill a task that they have not
yet completed for themselves?
To assist them in this process, Crow Souls have been blessed with the
ability of keen perception, to see right to the core of their own Self.
This is reflected in Nature as the Crow is considered to be the most
intelligent and perceptive of all Winged Ones, and she is renowned for her
abilities in cognizant thought and strategy.
Whether turned within to gain understanding of herSelf, or reflected back as
a mirror to Others so that they may know themSelves, this is a beautiful
gift bestowed upon a deserving Soul.***
All who hear the caw of the Crow immediately recognize that raspy voice.
Yet, in reality, that particular call is only one of the sounds that Crow
will utilize to make a statement, call out his territory, or alert other
crows to impending danger, though without a doubt, it is his caw that most
two-leggeds recognize him by.
He will also make a very distinct chirping sound when he is singing in the
morning or welcoming the moon into the night sky, and he can elicit tingles
along the spine of the listener when he is warning others of infringement
upon his territory, or of danger approaching, with a call that is halfway
between a screech and a caw.
***For anyone who is born with Power Totem of Crow, communication is an
integral part of their flight along the Sacred Hoop of life. They are here
to express the depth of what they feel, to alternately inspire others with
their vision of Life, or to transport them, through beautifully woven words,
into other realms and planes of Being.
Yet for their keen intelligence and ability to communicate the intensity,
scope and beauty of their own experiences to Others, Crow Soul is one who
struggles to find and define him/herself to the Self. Years, and even
lifetimes, may be spent in gradually coming to an understanding and
embracing of all the facets that make up their Personality, Mind and Soul.
Part of the process is in uncovering the ~Shadows Within~ that all possess
along this Earth Walk. These are the areas of our Self that represent our
greatest lessons and opportunities for growth, yet can remain elusive to our
grasp and understanding. However, once these "shadows" have been fully
understood and integrated, then the journey upward to the light of the
Higher Self can be easily attained and serve as inspiration for Others.
To achieve this demands that one go Within and illuminate all of the corners
of the subconscious where shadows still linger. To open the door to the
corridors of pain where the past still haunts the soul, and shed the Light
of awareness so that true Healing may occur. Then, Crow Soul may share
his/her insight, understanding and awareness with others through words
(written or spoken) in either literal or metaphorical language, that will
invoke understanding and inspiration within Others to reach for the Light
This is the Journey of the Soul from Night into Day . . . the blessing of
Crow to both the Self, and the Gift to Others.***
Crows are known for their tendency to observe all that is happening around
them and to alert other crows nearby at the first sign of an intruder or
danger. Their keen eyes miss nothing, and when an approaching threat is
noticed, they will sound the alarm with their throaty caws echoing in the
It is believed that because of their tendency to call out when intruders are
around, they have been given the task of being the Messengers of the
Ancestors. In other cultures and times, the belief that they are messengers
of the Spirit Realm is also predominant, as in ancient Roman mythology,
where a white crow was said to have delivered a foreboding message to Apollo
who then turned all ravens and crows black out of his anger at the bad news
***Like their Power Totem, Crow Souls are Sentinels who keep silent watch
over all that is happening around them. They will first observe what is
occurring, making mental notes on what has been seen, heard and experienced.
They will then translate these thoughts into either spoken or written
format, sharing their observations with the world around them.
In esoteric astrology, the Crow would be considered to be much like Saturn,
the Gatekeeper, who stands ever at the ready of the Doorway between Planes,
keeping the Ancestors informed as to the progress and evolution of those who
walk the Red Road. Yet Crow will also carry messages from the Ancestors to
his/her fellow two-leggeds. This has earned the Crow Soul the
responsibility of being the Watcher and the Sentinel, standing as a
messenger between the realm of the physical, and the realm of the Spirit.
If Crow is not your personal Power Totem, yet has suddenly made an
appearance in your life, then there are messages that the Ancestors are
bringing to you that will likely be heralding significant changes in your
life. The more crows that you encounter, the more likely the message is to
be urgent and needing your acknowledgment and attention. Take the time to
quietly go within, asking for clarification on the Message being delivered.
Or it may be that you will be called upon to assist others in their journey
from the darkness of denial into the light of awareness.
If Crow is your Power Totem and you are suddenly noticing him/her all about
you, it is a time to go within, immersing yourself in quiet contemplation,
listening to the messages you are to pay heed to for either your own Path,
or as a message to relay to Others.***
Several creatures of the Earth Mother are believed to have been given the
Gift of Shapeshifting, that is transforming from their animal state to that
of a two-legged, and back again. Amongst these Beings who are said to
possess this ability is the Crow.
It is said that the Elder Spirits will appear before a two-legged in the
form of a Crow so that the strength, character and faith of the mortal can
be ~tested~ prior to receiving a special gift or honor. For this reason,
Crow can be clever, attempting to trick the two-legged into folly. If the
two-legged passes the test, then the Crow will transform his shape and
appear before the mortal as an Ancient One, who will then deliver a message
of great importance, or bestow an ability upon the one who has triumphed in
the face of challenge or adversity.
***One who flies with Power Totem Crow, is an individual blessed with great
This ability to see to the very heart of a matter, serves the Crow Soul well
as he/she traverses the ~Earth Walk.~ With the keen perception and ability
to grasp complex ideas and philosophies (initially on an intuitive level,
followed by deductive reasoning), one with Power Totem Crow may transform
the direction of their Journey, their belief system and understanding,
indeed their very Life here in Physical.
More often than not, one whose Soul shares a deep bond with Crow will be an
individual who may experience an especially difficult early life, wherein a
certain sense of detachment or "dis-connectedness" to other two-leggeds has
been felt. This general sense of ~not belonging~ will exist on some level,
and at varying intensities, throughout their physical life, or until a
deeper level of understanding and acceptance has been attained.
Perhaps it is because, like their Animal Totem, they exist simultaneously
within two worlds, that of the Spirit and that of the Flesh, that these
individuals always seem to be looking for the answer to all of their
questions, and ultimately, a sense of `conection.~
Yet the true thirst for connection comes from the Soul of Crow desiring to
re-connect with all that was once known, yet lost when the Soul is cast upon
the blank shores of forgetfulness that is Physical Life. He/she seeks to
connect all that which was known, is now known, and will one day be known,
thus perhaps receiving the Answers to all of the Questions which fill their
active and pondering minds.
When one with Power Totem Crow comes to realize that he/she is already
connected to that vast repository of Universal Knowledge, and that the Earth
Walk is the "schoolroom" of that great university, then, the process of
transformation begins. This leads him/her to the discovery that one is
never truly ~dis-connected~ in the first place, merely walking on a
different level, plane or experience than some of the other two-leggeds.
Once this realization has been made, then Crow Soul will begin to Shapeshift
from the bindings of the past, which have dictated that there must be
something "wrong" with his/her way of experiencing, feeling or viewing
~Life,~ and can instead, come to Accept, Celebrate and Love the Self. This
is when the integrated human (mind)/crow (soul) may truly fly free.***
Keeper of the Sacred Law. Crows are the keepers of the Sacred Law and to have a Crow totem is very powerful.Personal Integrity are your watchwords and your guide in Life. If you have a Crow totem, your prime path is to be mindful of your opinions and actions. You must be willing to walk your talk, to speak your truth and to know your life's mission. Crow is a omen of Change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time, therefore, it sees past, present and future simultaneously. Crow merges both light and dark, both inner and outer. It is the totem of the Great Spirit and must be respected as such. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. Look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life. Crows are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive in the world today and available to us
Crows are very vocal birds. They are sly and often deceptive in their actions. Crows have been known to build false nests high in treetops to confuse predators. The height of their nests give them the opportunity to watch everything that is going on around them. Many cultures think of crow as the keeper of knowledge for nothing escapes their keen sight. Crows travel in groups and make mischief in teams. As one crow explores something new, others will watch closely to see what happens and then learn from it. In this way they seem to always be in council with each other. They often raise a ruckus when hunters are around, warning deer and other birds. Crows recognize possible danger and always post lookouts when feeding---thier most vulnerable time. Their language is complex and they have a remarkable voice range. Each caw has its own meaning. Sometimes crow warns of impending danger. Other times it signals a time to join in council and make decisions. Listening to crow can teach those with this medicine how to hear the truth of what is being said. The striking black color of crow represents the color of creation. It is the womb out of which the new is born. Black the color of night gives birth to the light of a new day. Crow is a daytime bird reminding us that magic and creation are present in both. Their ability to shift between the known and unknown world indicates new journeys. Because crow is adaptable to all environments and will eat almost anything they can survive in almost any situation. Crow is associated with magic, unseen forces and spiritual strength. If crow flies into your life, get out of your familiar nest, look beyond your present range of vision, listen to its caw and act accordingly.