BLACKBIRD, CROW & RAVEN: Animal Wisdom ~ Air Animal Totem Meanings

The Blackbird, Crow & Raven are closely interlinked and deeply interwoven in the myth and lore of the world. These birds have been seen and depicted as involved with powerful forces for both/either (depending on which story you read) good and bad in almost every major culture recorded.


Keywords: Protect what’s yours

Oracle: Good omen. You are supported by the Animal Kingdom, and they are lending you their energy. Define your boundaries and claim your territory.

Blackbird’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Connection to the water plant kingdom
  • Doing trance work
  • Use of camouflage in protection of family
  • Ability to sway with the winds of change

Blackbird – Red Winged Oracle: You’re about to become privy to some hidden information that will put everything in a new light. Surprises and new understanding are on their way.


Keywords: Justice, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, energy, community sharing, balance, magickal help

Oracle: Unexpected help with problems and obstacles is on its way. Your magick is calling, and it will be answered.

Crow/Rook’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Guardian of the place before existence
  • Ability to move in space and time
  • Honouring ancestors
  • Ethics and Ethical behaviour
  • Carrier of souls from darkness into light
  • Working without fear in darkness
  • Guidance while working in shadow
  • Moves freely in the void
  • Understands all things related to ethics
  • Shape-shifter


Keywords: Destroy/rebuild, explorer of the unknown, mysterious, introspection, courage, self-knowledge, magic, shape-shifting

Oracle: Things are shape-shifting around you. There is an awakening of magick. Give it new expression and life will change for the better.

Raven’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Rebirth without fear
  • Ability to tear down what needs to be rebuilt
  • Renewal
  • Ability to find light in darkness
  • Courage of self-reflection
  • Introspection
  • Comfort with self
  • Honouring ancestors
  • Connection to the Crone
  • Divination
  • Change in consciousness
  • New occurrences
  • Eloquence

Ravens are common characters found all over the world, most prominently in the traditional North American, Siberian, Norse and Celtic mythology. They have been known as tricksters, cultural hero figures, and even the creator of human beings in various narratives…

The Cherokee call Crow Medicine “koga nvwato”. The power to shape-shift means they can be in two places at one time.

In the Puget Sound region, Raven lived in the land of spirits (literally “bird land”) that existed before the world of humans. One day, the Raven became so bored of spirit world that he flew away, carrying a stone in his beak. When Raven became tired of carrying the stone, he dropped it, and it fell into the ocean where it grew to form the first land that people now live upon.

A Haida myth speaks of Raven discovering the first human men in a clam shell, and upon freeing them (and growing bored with them), proceeded to look for and find female counterparts, trapped in a chiton. He is said to have been very entertained at the meeting and interacting of men and women. Many Haida myths and legends often suggest the Raven to be a provider to mankind.

An ancient story told on the Queen Charlotte Islands tells how Raven helped to bring the Sun, Moon, Stars, Fresh Water and Fire to the world. During this quest, Raven’s white feathers were blackened, and they never grew white again.

In one common North American story, Raven plays a vain and regretful Chief in a moral tale similar to that of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

Another legend from the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest tells of how at the beginning of the world, Raven was the one who brought light to the darkness. Great Spirit stored all things in separate cedar boxes, and gifted these boxes to the animals who existed before humans. As the animals opened the boxes, so all the things that comprise the world came into being – mountains, fire, water, wind, and seed for all the plants. Seagull was given a box containing the light of the world, but selfishly refused to open it. All the animals asked Raven to intervene, who subsequently begged, pleaded, bullied and cajoled Seagull to no effect. Finally, he stabbed Seagull in the foot with a thorn, deeper and deeper, until Seagull finally had to drop the box from the pain.

The Raven features equally prominently in Germanic mythology. Odin was often associated with ravens, specifically two ravens, Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) who served as his eyes and ears.

Druid legend says that the birds of Rhiannon are three blackbirds, which sit and sing in the World Tree of the Otherworlds. Their singing puts the listener in to a sleep or trance which enables her/him to go to the Otherworlds. It was said to impart mystic secrets.

In Irish mythology, ravens are associated with warfare and the figures Badb and Morrigan. The god Lugh, god of the sun, and creator of the arts and sciences, was closely associated with ravens, as his name is derived from a Celtic word for “raven” or “crow”.

Bran the Blessed, a giant in Welsh mythology, is considered to be closely associated with Lugh. According to folklore, England will fall if the ravens ever abandoned the Tower of London. The head of Bran the Blessed, according to the Welsh Triads, is buried underneath the Tower.

The Raven even manages to get an, albeit brief and gruesome, mention in the Quran, during a story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam, where the Raven teaches men how to bury dead bodies. {Surah 5:27-31}

In the Story of Bhusanda, from Hindu mythology, a very old sage in the form of a crow, Bhusanda, remembers a succession of epochs in the earth’s history, as described in Hindu cosmology. He survived several “destructions”, living on a wish-fulfilling tree on Mount Meru. In Hinduism, the Crow is considered to be an ancestor, and during Sraddha, the practice of offering food or pinda to crows is still practiced.

In Islam, Raven is punished for being one of three beings who copulated on Noah’s Art during the flood, and got punished as a result. In the Christian faith, Raven is mentioned in the Bible (Kinds 17:4-6), saving the prophet Elijah from starvation as he hid in the wilderness by feeding him.

In Closing:
Reading up on Raven, it was difficult to decide when to stop, as there is a proliferation of legends and stories stretching back hundreds of years. If this bird has captured your attention, please do some more research – you will be fascinated!







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