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The symbolism of the raven

The raven is an important totem among the American and Celtic tribes. Perhaps the raven sounds negative to many at first. Certainly that negative connotation with the raven comes from the presence of the raven in the battles of ancient Europe. The raven was the one who freed and "cleaned up" the remains of the fallen warriors after the battles. The raven thus carries a message that has been handed down for a long time: death. The raven was associated with the goddess Morrigan in Celtic Europe: the goddess of war, death and destruction.

Still, the raven's best quality is arguably its intelligence. You can even train these birds to speak. Often you can hear the raven making sounds like “cras, cras”. This “cras” means “tomorrow” in America, which is why the raven in America can also predict the future.

The symbolism of the raven (intelligence, wisdom, knowledge) is also associated with the Welsh hero Bran, whose name means raven. Bran forms part of the Celtic myths and his wisdom was legendary. His head was buried separately from his body as a kind of ritual to keep calling his intelligence. Bran rests in the Tower of London. The raven is a symbol of spirit, thought and wisdom. In keeping with Nordic legend, the god Odin was accompanied by two ravens. One of the ravens was Hugin, who represents the power of thought and the active search for information. The other raven, Mugin, represents the mind and intuition. Odin sent these two ravens to fly over the earth every day. At the end of the day the ravens came back and talked with him about everything they saw on their travels. Odin is also known as the raven god. Odin had many daughters known as Valkyries. These had the power to transform themselves into ravens and with this appearance they fetched the souls of the fallen Nordic warriors from the battlefields and helped them to get to their heavenly paradise Valhalla, where they should rest in peace.

The ancient Greeks and Romans associated the raven with the sun, even if its plumage is actually black. In addition, ravens were associated with the gods Atenea and Apollo, who were both symbols of sun and wisdom. There are some Greco-Roman legends that tell that there was a time when all ravens were white and this was because the raven couldn't keep a single secret, so Apollo colored the ravens black as a punishment. There is also a version that says that the owl was replaced by the raven of Atenea as a symbol of wisdom. In the Bible the raven puts his paw and suffers eternal consequences. Noah sent the raven outside to see if it was still raining. But the raven didn't come back and so he sent the pigeon and when the raven came back later he was punished and his color changed from white to black.

With the Indians the raven has the meaning of the metamorphosis and symbolizes the changes and the transformation. Often the raven is revered by humans and medicine for its qualities. The raven is invoked in the rituals of the shamans because he can clear up the visions of the shamans. Above all, the raven is a symbol of magic among native Americans and also an oracle for news from the cosmos. The messages that are in space and time are found in the wings of the ravens at midnight and can only be delivered to those who are worthy of science.

The raven is also invoked in rituals for healing purposes. Specifically, this means that the raven is invoked to promote the healing from a distance. The raven is also the keeper of secrets and can help us determine answers by revealing our inner wisdom. The ravens are almost heroes in many tribes. The Inuit, for example, believe that the raven used his verbosity to deceive and defeat a giant monster from the sea. To this day, this defeated monster is part of Alaska.

Other North American tribes saw the raven as a kind of bringer of light. The Hopi, Navajo and Zuni say that the raven from the black hole brought us the light and therefore the raven symbolizes the awakening of understanding. For these tribes, the raven is a revered bird, because without this bird people would live in darkness forever. Carl Jung associated the symbolism of the shadow with the bird with the dark side of the psyche. The positive thing is that knowing this dark side can efficiently communicate with both sides of our inner selves. This opens up a liberating equilibrium that gives us access to high wisdom, which is the true symbolism of the raven. The raven totem is an oracle, which is able to convey messages with clairvoyant abilities about dreams.

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