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Raven Symbolism & That means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)


    Ravens, together with different members of the corvid household are sometimes thought to be among the smartest birds round. Regardless of this, many cultures connect a powerful adverse affiliation to the raven. Maybe because of their reference to unhealthy luck, unwell omens, and negativity, a big group of ravens is known as an “unpleasantness” of ravens. (1)

    Regardless of the spooky repute that ravens have a tendency to carry, they’ve really had loads of constructive cultural roles as effectively. Essential to Norse mythology, Japanese mythology, and plenty of Native American cultures, ravens even maintain constructive meanings in lots of biblical contexts. For individuals who worry or distrust ravens, studying a little bit of the raven’s cultural historical past can shed some mild onto the distinctive virtues of this beautiful chook.

    Desk of contents

    Raven symbolism and which means

    Ravens are frequent birds which have a tendency to carry a variety of symbolism for the cultures which work together with them. Whereas plenty of traditions see ravens as an unwell omen, they’re sacred and essential in lots of cultures as effectively. (2) Ravens are resilient and are sometimes present in city environments. They are usually considerably fearless round people and are joyful to dwell close to human communities in quest of scraps. Their tendency to eat carrion has lengthy related these birds with demise, decay, and bloodshed. Regardless of this, their resourcefulness additionally connects ravens to concepts like adaptability and wit. (3)

    The intelligence of ravens is broadly reported, however what you might not know is that the raven’s cognitive skills are sometimes on par with nice apes. Capable of clear up puzzles, memorize issues, work together with objects, and grasp duties shortly, on an array of intelligence exams ravens carried out at about the identical stage as an grownup chimpanzee. Moreover, ravens outperformed younger human youngsters in some areas. (4) So, ravens might signify intelligence, problem-solving, creativity, or genius.

    ravens roosting

    The darkish coloration of the raven in addition to many cultural traditions which connect mystical significance to those birds implies that ravens are sometimes related with magic and witchcraft. Ravens aren’t unusual Halloween decorations and they’re fairly prevalent in gothic imagery. This side of raven symbolism can’t be talked about with out acknowledging the huge recognition of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven, which includes eerie themes of demise and finality with this corvid.

    “Open right 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 a minute stopped or stayed he; However, with mien of lord or girl, perched above my chamber door—Perched upon a bust of Pallas simply above my chamber door—Perched, and sat, and nothing extra. Then this ebony chook beguiling my unhappy fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, “Although thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I mentioned, “artwork certain no craven, Ghastly grim and historic Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—Inform me what thy lordly title is on the Night time’s Plutonian shore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.””

    Excerpt from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (5)

    Raven Native American symbolism

    In Native American cultures, the raven is each a heroic determine which shapes and creates actuality, in addition to a trickster determine which might wreak havoc when it so needs. Whereas the raven is taken into account to be heroic and intelligent, additionally it is regarded as grasping, hasty, and liable to foolishness. (6)

    In some traditions, the raven is credited with restoring mild to the world after a interval of darkness. In keeping with one model of this story, a human chief managed to seize the solar and moon and he saved them locked up in his residence for his household alone to take pleasure in. The world was darkish with neither the solar nor moon to mild it. At some point the raven, who missed the solar, remodeled himself right into a tiny fish and jumped into the consuming cup of the chief’s daughter. When the lady drank the fish, the raven remodeled himself right into a child within her. When that child was born, he was the chief’s beloved grandchild. At some point, the human toddler raven started to cry to his grandfather that he wished to play with the solar and moon. To cease his crying, the chief allowed the kid to take the solar and moon outdoors. Victory at hand, the raven threw the solar and moon again into the sky, revealed his true kind, and flew away. (7)

    In lots of traditions, an incredible raven is credited with creating the world itself. Because of this, some Native American cultures maintain the raven to be a sacred animal. (8)(9)

    native american silhouette

    Some tales concerning the raven are extra fearsome than others. One legend from the Northwest describes the raven as a conniving creature who feeds off of carrion while his village starves because of a famine. On this story, the raven earns the chief’s daughter as his spouse, however she can’t stand the carrion scent that he provides off and he or she flees from him. He takes one other lady to be his spouse and brings residence an incredible whale for everybody to eat. In the long run, the raven’s whale causes the deaths of everybody within the village apart from the raven, his grandmother, and his new spouse. (10)

    Raven Christianity symbolism

    Ravens seem quite a few occasions within the Bible and appear to serve totally different symbolic functions relying upon the context. In Job, for instance, the raven is used for instance of one of many many animals whom God alone offers for on earth. The raven is symbolic of God’s position because the creator and supplier of all issues.

    “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
        and fulfill the starvation of the lions
     after they crouch of their dens
        or lie in wait in a thicket?
     Who offers meals for the raven
        when its younger cry out to God
        and wander about for lack of meals?”

    — Job 38:39-41 (11)


    In keeping with Genesis, the very first chook which Noah despatched out to seek for land after the catastrophic flood was a raven. (12)

    “After forty days Noah opened a window he had made within the ark  and despatched out a raven, and it saved flying backwards and forwards till the water had dried up from the earth. Then he despatched out a dove to see if the water had receded from the floor of the bottom.”

    — Genesis 8:6-9

    On this context, it may be understood that the raven is, at greatest, unreliable and incapable of fulfilling the duty set earlier than it by Noah. At worst, the raven is a treacherous animal who’s distracted from his quest or is in any other case bored with fulfilling his responsibility.

    Raven Celtic symbolism

    Ravens characteristic prominently all through many various Celtic traditions. In lots of circumstances, ravens signify chaos and demise in addition to the power of a warrior. Many historic Celtic poems reward the strongest warriors for his or her skill to “feed ravens” on the our bodies of their enemies. (13)

    In Welsh mythology, the story of Branwen involves thoughts. “Bran” means “raven.” The story of Branwen, whose title means “sacred white raven” follows her and her brother Bran by means of a warfare that tears Wales and Eire aside. In keeping with legend, Bran was an incredible large and the king of Wales. He selected to have his sister Branwen marry the king of Eire in an effort to be a part of the 2 nations. When the married couple produces a son, although, their evil youthful brother slays the kid. Disgusted, the king of Eire locks Branwen away and he or she is pressured to coach a chook to ship a message to Bran to rescue her. Bran walks throughout the ocean to avoid wasting his sister. In the long run, although, Bran is killed and his head is buried beneath the place that might develop into town of London. On the finish of the story, solely a handful of individuals from Wales and Eire survive. (14)

    celtic cross

    In Irish myths, the raven is among the symbols of the Morrigan. The Morrigan is a goddess of chaos who seems in lots of types all through Irish mythology. She is a warfare goddess, however she has the flexibility to be benevolent in the direction of these whom she favors. In lots of tales, the Morrigan’s favor decides the victor in essential conflicts. (15)

    Raven in goals

    Dreaming of a raven might point out anxiousness. Since so many individuals see ravens as omens of misfortune, a raven dream would possibly point out that you’re fearful concerning the future or that you simply sense a catastrophe on the horizon.

    Luckily, superstitions surrounding ravens don’t overshadow their constructive meanings. Dreaming of a raven would possibly point out that the issue that you simply’re going through requires some advanced and artistic pondering. The raven can point out puzzles and curiosity in addition to artistic options.


    Dreaming of the raven can point out one thing unknown or mysterious. An enormous a part of the superstitious notion of the raven is said to their mysterious attract and darkish coloration. Confront the unknown head on and also you’ll discover that issues that appear obscure or scary aren’t so difficult as they seem as soon as confronted immediately. (16

    Raven encounters and omens

    Historically, encountering a raven is an omen of demise. That is due, largely, to the truth that ravens are carrion birds which feed on the useless and are thus present in shut proximity to demise. In fact, not each raven encounter might actually foretell demise, as these birds are frequent and widespread. Encountering ravens is usually a day by day expertise relying upon one’s location and routines. (17

    So, what else can a raven encounter signify? Effectively, ravens are present in so many human environments as a result of they’re resourceful and able to making the very best out of just about any scenario. So, a raven encounter would possibly signify perseverance, resilience, or craftiness. Look at whether or not you’ll be able to conquer the conditions that you simply face by benefiting from the assets that you’ve got at your disposal.

    two ravens

    A raven encounter can also signify relationships. Ravens have advanced social buildings which contain versatile social teams that develop and break up and alter frequently. Encountering a bunch of ravens could also be an indication to prioritize empathy in future decision-making. (18)

    Raven mythology and folklore

    In mythology all over the world, the raven is a distinguished character who’s related to a broad vary of persona varieties. Widespread motifs related to ravens embrace trickery, cleverness, magic, malice, knowledge, and therapeutic.

    As talked about above, ravens are related to each royalty and chaos in Celtic myths. They convey victory however may symbolize the brutality of the battlefield.

    In Norse mythology, Odin is assisted by a pair of ravens named Hugin and Munin. Hugin and Munin are so essential to Odin that he’s sometimes called the raven god. Thus, ravens aren’t solely related together with his two helpers but in addition with one among Norse mythology’s most essential god. Hugin and Munin are liable for flying out and observing the world after which reporting their findings to Odin. In a means, these two ravens act as his eyes all over the world. As in Celtic mythology, Odin’s affiliation with ravens most likely has one thing to do together with his position because the decider of who lives and who dies on the battlefield. When warriors die in battle, Odin “feeds” ravens. (19)


    In Japanese mythology, the “Yatagurasu” is a significant image of each the realm of the divine and of Japan itself. The Yatagurasu is often portrayed as a crow or raven with three legs. In some tales, the Yatagurasu has the conventional two legs however is eight toes lengthy. This legendary creature seems in quite a few tales and often signifies steering and divine intervention. (20)

    In Nice Britain, it’s mentioned that if the ravens go away the Tower of London, it should fall and so will the Crown of England. (21)

    Raven spirit animal

    If the raven is your spirit animal then you might be doubtless an clever, curious, artistic, and sociable persona. The raven spirit animal is usually present in folks with a deep-seated love for studying. Although they take pleasure in socializing, folks with the raven spirit animal can seem eccentric or odd due to their intense fascination with the issues that curiosity them.

    In case your spirit animal is the raven, then you might must work on the methods wherein you talk with others. The raven spirit animal tends to be each very curious and really adept at seeing uncommon options to issues. Studying to speak your distinctive worldview could be robust nevertheless it’s very well worth the effort! (22)  

    Raven totem animal

    If the raven is your totem animal, then which means you might be gifted in the case of perception. Folks with the raven totem are nice at digging beneath the floor and studying concerning the hidden meanings that lie beneath on a regular basis conditions. The raven totem could be very intuitive and infrequently senses depths beneath issues that different folks fail to spot.


    From the skin, folks would possibly see the raven totem as fortunate, as a result of they have a tendency to decide on essentially the most fortuitous attainable path. What folks don’t see, although, is the advanced evaluation that goes into every determination. Folks with the raven as their totem suppose by means of every determination very fastidiously and infrequently make selections blindly. The raven totem is way from impulsive. (23)

    Raven energy animal

    The raven energy animal brings options. When pondering your means by means of a tough downside, name upon the raven energy animal that can assist you acquire some perspective and see your concern from a model unique approach. The raven energy animal is nice at zooming out and gaining a “chook’s eye view” of adverse conditions.


    Once you really feel trapped, name upon the raven energy animal to indicate you the best way. The raven energy animal brings steering. (24)

    The raven energy animal is resourceful. It usually reminds us to be glad about what we now have and to make use of all of our assets to our benefit. When issues appear hopeless, the raven energy animal reminds us that we now have a lot extra going for us than we would notice.

    Raven tattoo which means

    Raven tattoos are often chosen along with gothic imagery. In these situations, the raven could also be a “memento mori,” a reminder that demise is inevitable.

    A raven tattoo can also symbolize curiosity, intelligence, and magic.

    woman getting a tattoo

    Within the West, crows or raven symbolism could also be adverse, however in Japan, the crow or raven is depicted in Rising-Solar fashion and even seen in Shinto shrines. The crow is even the image of the Japanese nationwide soccer staff! A Japanese raven tattoo might signify divine steering.


    Hopefully, even if you’re somebody who’s unnerved by ravens usually, the tales that we now have shared with you’ve gotten modified your notion a bit. Ravens are nothing to worry. Actually, all through the world, ravens are sometimes admired and beloved animals. It’s solely correct that we should always revere them since they rival primates with their spectacular mind!