This large, stately black bird assumes an almost universal role as a symbol of death or destiny.
Among the Celtic people, the bird was associated with various war goddesses, who could assume the form of a raven at will. The Vikings held similiar beliefs about the valkyries, and it was decreed that understanding the speech of birds could help one gain entry to the world of valkyries and ravens, where the results of future battles were ordained. Valkyries, in their coats of lustrous black feathers, were also known as Kraken, or crows. Warriors who fell in battle and whose bodies could not be reclaimed by friends or family were known as hrafengrennir, “raven feeders.”
The great Danish hero Sigurd was the some of King Ragnar Lodbrok and the valkyrie Krake, a shape-shifter who could choose to be a beautiful maiden or a crow.
0In numerous fairy tales of the northern Europeans, the raven is the spirit helper who guides the hero through the dangerous turns and traps of his quest. The raven is also a reliable consultant on the vagaries of the Other World.
In the Germanic tradition, the great hero Emperor Fredrick is guarded by ravens as he sleeps in his underground sanctuary until the day of his return to earth.
During the dark and troubled Middle Ages in Europe, the crow also came to be associated with Satan because of its black color and raucous cry. Moralistic animal fables were told of the crow’s shame of its blackness, even to the point of scattering mud on elegant swans in an attempt to make them look like him. They, of course, could wash off the dirt, but the jealous crow could never change his color. St. Antony, however, was not disturbed by such negative reports against the crow, for he chose it as his animal symbol.
Among many Native American tribes, especially among the plains and southwestern groups, the crow is a trickster figure, similiar in many ways to the coyote.
The Dakota envision the crow as an assistant to the plover, the Spirit of the South, who presided over warm weather. When the Spirit of the North arrived with his winter wolves, a battle ensued between them and the crow and the plover. According to tradition, if the two birds with their war clubs are able to beat back the wolves, warm weather would prevail for a little while longer before the harsh cold set in over the plains.
The Pueblo groups usually associate owls and crows with Dark Side witchcraft, and it was generally accepted that witches could change themselves into crows at will and fly at night to work their evil deeds.
In the Native American zodiac, those born from September 23 to October 22 are Crow/Raven people. The Medicine Wheel describes them as social, energetic, and full of nervous energy and fluctuating moods. But they are generally very flexible and adapt well to new enviroments and circumstances.
If you have selected the crow as your totem animal-or if the crow has selected you-you may consider yourself to be something of a shape-shifter, gifted at wearing many faces. Be cautious of becoming too manipulative of others and impinging upon the free will of those who may be a bit gullible and easily led.
Your crow is a keen-eyed student of the enviroment from a perspective seldom achieved by ordinary observers. As one who watches shrewdly over the lay of the land on both spiritual and physical levels, your totem animal expresses a point of view that touches several dimensions. As you learn better how to listen, you will find that he is a messenger without peer.
As a spirit helper, the crow will be able to get you in touch with many ancient mysteries, but you must regularly enter the Silence to be certain that you do not yield to the temptation of exploiting the powers of these ancient wisdoms for the glory of the Dark Side. If you are able to maintain your spiritual balance, the crow will guide you to become a gifted practitioner of True Magick and Medicine.
Your animal totem is warning you that should you continue a present course of action, you will be in for a great disappointment.
The Transformative Power Of Your Personal Animal Totem
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.