Totem Animals

Page 138

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By CinnamonMoon

*Note: Raven and Crow are closely associated and should be studied in conjunction with one and
other. Raven carries Magical Law, recognizes spiritual deception, and bends time and space to
put you on notice of being in the right place at the right time…or to place you there.


*Ted Andrews/Animal-Speak: Keynote: Magic, Shapeshifting, and Creation
Cycle of Power: Winter Solstice

The raven is one of those birds that has a tremendous amount of lore and mythology surrounding
it, and it is often contradictory. It is a bird of birth and death, and it is a bird of mysticism and
magic. In the near East, the raven was considered unclean--because it is a scavenger. It is one of
the foods listed as forbidden in the Bible. The raven is one of the birds that Noah sent out after
the floods, but it did not return to the ark. On the other hand, also in Biblical lore is the tale of
how raven fed the prophet Elijah when hiding from King Ahab.

In Scandinavian lore, the raven played a significant role. The Norse god Odin had a pair of
ravens who were his messengers. Their names were Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory). Odin
was known to shapeshift as a raven himself. This reflects the idea of raven being a messenger of
the great spiritual realm.

The raven has a long history of being an omen. During the Middle Ages the croak of the raven
was believed to foretell a death or the outcome of a battle. It was even taught to the common folk
in Christian communities that wicked priests became ravens when they died. Even today, some
old timers tell how you can expect hot weather when a raven is seen facing a clouded sun.

The raven is a member of the corvids family, to which belong crows and magpies and other such
birds. In truth, the only really significant difference between the crow and the raven is in size, the
raven being much larger. It would be beneficial to study the information on the crow for anyone
who has a raven as a totem. Much of the same information that applies to one, also applies to the
other. It is simply a matter of degree. Rather than repeat that information here, I would like to
give you some information not generally associated with the crow itself.

The raven has a wealth of myth and lore surrounding it. In many ways it is comparable to the
coyote tales of the plains Indians, the Bushmen tales of the mantis and other societies in which
an animal plays both a significant and yet confusing role. The coyote was both trickster and wise
being--fool and wise one. This was true of the mantis in the tales of the Kalahari Bushment.

In the Pacific Northwest, the raven has this same aura about him. In the Pacific Northwest, raven
brought forth life and order. Raven stole the sunlight from one who would keep the world in
darkness. Nothing could exist without raven. Raven is honored in art and on totem poles,
reflecting the tales and mysticism that have developed around it.

With raven, human and animal spirits intermingle and become as one. This is reflected in its
deep, rich shiny black. In blackness, everything mingles until drawn forth, out into the light.
Because of this, raven can help you shapeshift your life or your being. Raen has the knowledge
of how to become other animals and how to speak their languages.

Ravens are great at vocalizations, and they can be taught to speak. They incorporate and mimic
the calls of other species. In the Northwest are tales of the Kwakiutl Indians who offered the
afterbirth of male newborns to Raven so that when they grew up, they would understand their
cries. Raven can teach you to understand the language of animals.

Ravens are playful, and they are excellent tool users. They will use stones and anything else that
is available to help them crack nuts and such. They are birds not intimidated by others, and they
are very fast and wary. Because of this, they are not easy prey for other animals or birds. This
implies the ability to teach you how to stir the magic of life without fear. They are also known
for their amorous behavior, reflecting the strong creative life force to which they have access.
This creative life force can be used to work the magic of spiritual laws upon the physical plane.
It can be used to go into the void and stir the energies to manifest that which you most need. All
this and more is what raven teaches. If raven has come into your life, expect magic. Somewhere
in your life, magic is at play. Raven activates the energy of magic, linking it with your will and intention.

Raven speaks of the opportunity to become the magician and/or enchantress of your life. Each of
us has a magician within, and it is Raven which can show us how to bring that part of us out of
the darkness and into the light. Raven speaks of messages from the spirit realm that can
shapeshift your life dramatically. Raven teaches how to take that which is unformed and give it
the form you desire.

The winter solstice and winter season is the time of greatest power for those with the raven as a
totem. The solstice is the shortest day of the year. The sun shines the least on this day, thus it is
the darkest. From that day forth, the light shines a little more each day. This is symbolic of the
influence of raven. It teaches how to go into the dark and bring forth the light. With each trip in,
we develop the ability to bring more light out. This is creation.

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Raven symbolizes watchfulness for and recognition of spiritual falsehoods.

*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
The Raven and the Crow are always good signs, but they have distinct, often multiple messages
and meanings. Both birds are good luck signs of protection and messengers of wealth. If you see
a Raven or a Crow eating or flying with food in its mouth, then it means you are going to get a
gift or some money. The power symbols of the Raven and the Crow can be used to counteract or
checkmate bad signs and omens, or to fight against bad signs or spirits, such as the Owl. I always
watch out for bird signs while traveling. If I see a Hawk, I know she is warning me of danger, so
I prepare for the danger and thank the Hawk. But afterward, if I see a Raven or a Crow, I know
the road or my path is clear; the danger has gone away.

We have a ceremony in our tribes in northwestern California, where w use the symbol, power,
and prayers of the Crow to make warrior medicine and protection. (This special kind of dance,
prayer, and ceremony is kept secret.) My father-in-law had the ceremony performed on him
when he went into WWII. He was part of the 101st Airborne's Screaming Eagles, druing the
Normandy invasion. He lived, while others around him were either wounded or killed. I know of
Indian friends and relations who used the same medicine, power, and ceremony before going to
Vietnam. They came back unharmed. That is how powerful this knowledge and the use of certain
birds as spirit allies can be.

In my previous book *Native Healer*, I talk about the sing of the Raven appearing each time I
died and came back to life. The Raven is one of the very few natural powers and supernatural
aids that can go over into the land of the deceased, into the spirit world, and bring a person's soul
back to the physical world, hence bringing that person out of a coma or back to life. (This kind of
knowledge is a high shamanistic form of philosophy and symbolism and requires specialized
training in mythology and estoterics.)

The Raven and the Crow are also used for hunting medicine and power. We make prayers and
recite an ancient prayer about the Raven or the Crow prior to going on a hunt, and the bird will
always lead us to game such as a Deer, Elk, Moose, Mountain Goat, whatever. We also always
promise to leave some of the food in return for his services!

*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams: Raven:
Scandinavian: A spiritual messenger. Heed well this bird's call, and look to the rest of the dream
for more meaning. During the Middle Ages, hearing the call of a raven during battle portended
defeat or death. Are you fighting a lost cause? Your ability to vocalize ideas and opinions. Note
Edgar Allen Poe's use of the raven's call, highlighting this trait. Creativity, especially in regards
to using what's available to you. A raven will pick up and employ anything it can as a tool for
nest building.


I heard an interesting fact about Raven today on a tv show. The Vikings used to always have a
Raven on board their ships as a landspotter. Apparently, Raven is one of the few birds that will
not land on water and will always seek dry land if over water. So, if a Raven is set free from a
ship it will soar up to a great height to look for land. If it sees land it will fly towards that land,
and the sailors will follow the direction the Raven flew to find the land themselves. If Raven does
not see land it will return to the boat.

I found this interesting having walked with Raven, as the Journeys Raven took me for three or
four years were Journeys to explore the Primordial Waters beyond the Veil and how, as I moved
on to the Middle East and the new Journey it created, how I found the dry land (literally in the
desert!) of the Wisdom of Raven's teachings.

Noah sends Raven out, before he sends out the dove which returns with a sprig of greenery, in
the Deluge myth of Genesis. I had come to understand the Shamanic nature of the Jesus mythos,
but here we find the same influence in the Old Testament... just thought that that was interesting!


The Druid Animal Oracle by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Raven: Healing, Initiation, Protection

Raven offers initiation, protection and the gift of prophecy. What is meant by initiation in
practice may be as formal as actually undergoing an initiation ceremony, or as informal as, for
example, being initiated into the mysteries of a new post or profession. It marks the death of one
thing, which gives way to the birth of another. The power of raven can also bring you the very
deepest from of healing, which is achieved through a process known as "the resolution of the
opposites"--giving you the possibility of resolving conflicts that have long lain buried in your
unconscious or perhaps in your past.

Contrary it suggests that you should become aware of the forces of destruction that exist in your
life and in the world. However much we might wish that destruction did not occur, we know that
without destruction there cannot be construction and recreation. The raven speaks of the
knowledge of the dark and difficult aspects of life, which it is hard for us to understand.

Sometimes we, or our lives, must go through a process of disintegration and darkness, in order to
emerge into the greater light of a new morning. To a greater extend our fear of the dark is worse
than whatever it is that we find there. Reversed may mean that we can now come to terms with
our own destructiveness--a rage that has perhaps been buried for years--knowing that we have
the protection of the Goddess. Deeper still, it may mean that we can come to a resolution of the
conflict of opposites--experiencing the reality that in darkness there is light, and in light darkness.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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