May 8

Spirit Animals: Crows & Ravens


photo by nbphotogfy
photo by nbphotogfy

When a new animal totem shows up in your life, one of the best ways to understand their messages is to start is learning about that animal’s characteristics.

The Crow (and its close relative, the Raven–essentially a bigass crow) are among the most intelligent animals, not only able to use tools but construct them, or even use tools on tools! They show evidence of remembering things that have happened to them before. They have also demonstrated the ability to recognize faces, so if you think a particular crow knows you…well, there’s a good chance you’re right. They sometimes warn other birds of “bad humans” through loud shrieking or cawing.

Are you using your smarts and learning from past experience? Are you paying attention to warnings?

They nest up high, so they have a broad perspective of events. Their sight is keen, so they do not miss much.

Are you taking a long-range view of your situation? Are you seeing clearly?

Crows are highly adept communicators, known for complex vocalizations, sometimes in response to events in the environment. They have even been noted “talking” to other animals. As such, they are natural messengers. Odin’s Ravens brought him information from all over the worlds!

Are you communicating clearly? Are you paying attention to incoming information and messages from all sources?

Like most intelligent animals, they are quite playful.

Do you have enough fun?

Crows are extremely adaptable. Ironically, the “Scarecrow” seldom works to scare crows because they quickly see through the ruse.

Are you remaining flexible? Is anyone trying to fool you?

Crows and Ravens may team up with wolves, serving as a scout for prey in exchange for access to the leftovers. Crows in particular are extremely social, often banding together for safety or to achieve a goal.

Are you teaming up with others in mutually beneficial ways?

Consider what you’re thinking about, talking about or doing when the crow is showing up. Consider what’s commanding your attention and emotional energy. Often, the animal’s message will be related to what’s on your mind at the time. Pay attention to any symbolic gestures…what is the bird doing? Running around, flying away, cawing loudly?

Could the bird’s behavior be interpreted metaphorically?

This bird stars in many myths, very frequently associated with magic, transformation, death and the underworld. If you are exploring magic, going through a transitional or transformational period, developing psychic sight, communing with the dead or exploring your own shadow in some way, you may find the crow appearing in your life. You can honor the crow and get aquainted by learning about him, collecting representations of him, and if you don’t know what he’s trying to say, try asking! Because I hear, these crows are talkers.

Are you friends with the Crow or Raven?

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Crow, Crows, Ravens, Spirit Animals, Spirit Messages

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  1. “Crows and Ravens may team up with wolves, serving as a scout for prey in exchange for access to the leftovers” I did not know this! Fascinating!

    1. When I was starting with Runes, I wanted to make an offering honoring Odin. I knew he had Ravens, so I was looking around for a wildlife organization or something that helped Ravens. That’s when I learned that they team up with wolves that way. They even will play with the wolves, like pull on the cubs tails and such. Who knew? So I donated to the Yellowstone Wolf Project. I am pretty sure it was the first donation they got with a memo saying, “In honor of Odin.” But they still send me their update mail…haha!

  2. I have that Ted Andrews book on animal symbolism, and the info about crows was very cool. If I recall correctly it said that if you hear a crow cawing, it means pay attention, because you will be getting an important message soon. I always think of that when I hear one of them with a loud CAW CAW…

    1. I have heard or read the same, sofie. The more I read about these birds, the more they make me think of Mercury in his role of messenger and psychopomp. I didn’t see anyone else making that connection, but that’s what their role felt like to me.

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