Animal Spirit Guides Meanings: The Crow, Raven, and Blackbird Spirit Guide/Totem
Birds as Messengers
Since ancient times birds were thought to be very magical creatures. This is because they have the ability to fly...to be un-weighted from the Earth. Because of this innate ability to leave the ground and soar amongst the clouds, our ancestors believed that birds were able to take messages to the gods and bring messages to us from the gods. In fact, the Celtic people used different means of counting birds and reading bird flight patterns in order to predict the future and gain various tidbits of wisdom from the gods.
Two of the most magical (and mysterious) birds were the crow and raven. Unfortunately in today's times, both of these birds have gotten somewhat of a bad rap from modern society. Often in the United States, the crow is seen as a pest and a scavenger of trash, if you will. The raven is even looked upon as a bad omen to some people. In this article, we will take a fresh look at the magic and mystery behind the crow and raven's appearance in your life and how each of these birds can be a helpful and wise spirit guide/totem.
The Crow as a Spirit Guide/Totem
When the crow shows up in one's life, his message isn't always the clearest. This is because the crow's message is sometimes that of "mystery". He comes to those who need a little mystery in their lives...a little adventure...a little seeking out of hidden wisdom.
In certain Native American tribes, the crow was revered as one of the wisest birds and therefore the crow's feathers were often worn in their hair and adorned their clothing. These indigenous people were correct in their belief that the crow was wise, because in reality the crow is indeed the smartest bird on the planet. Crows have been known to knock at people's doors in order to acquire food from them, drop nuts/acorns on the road to have cars crush and open them for easier access, and so much more!
But the crow isn't coming into your life as a spirit guide just to show you how to crack nuts...he is coming to you to show you how to dive deeper into your spirituality. He is prompting you to see with your mind's eye the things that are hidden in your life - to discover your own spirit's mysteries. What does this mean exactly? This could have different meanings depending on the individual. I would recommend taking notes on how the crow spirit guide is showing up to you in your daily life. Is he sitting in your tree outside in the morning? Is he popping up in television shows or in books? Is he stealing birdseed from your bird feeder every day? Once you notice a pattern of the crow spirit guide's appearances, you might have a specific message laid out before your very eyes.
The Raven as a Spirit Guide/Totem
The Raven is in the same family as the crow, and therefore carries with it a lot of the same charisma as the crow. Mystery, intuition, and seeking wisdom are three of the main themes the Raven spirit guide and totem shares with the crow spirit guide/totem. Other messages the Raven could bring include fertility, healing, death and rebirth. Particularly transformation from dark to light is a recurring message of the Raven spirit guide/totem.
The raven spirit is often seen as a trickster in many ancient cultures and tribes; however, to other cultures he is seen as natural wisdom embodied. With the element of rebirth and the gaining of wisdom, raven spirit guide brings a message of change to those who are willing to listen. One must experience change and transformation in order to be reborn.
Raven spirit guide might teach you how to blend into the shadows and how to use this ability in order to observe your ever-changing and hard-to-see surroundings. This will also teach you to discern danger from safety. With this lesson, raven spirit guide teaches you to be a master of disguise in the face of oncoming disaster.
In my experience, raven as a spirit guide seems like he would be a lot like crow, but his personality can be quite different. He is often seen as statuesque and stoic, in a way. I have seen a blue jay fight a raven, and while the raven didn't give up without a fight he also seemed to be saying, "hey, there's no need to fight here." Raven spirit guide / totem will most definitely teach the student how to be a mediator and how to choose the right battles in life and with his/her own spiritual path.
The Crow and Raven's Connection to the Gods
As previously mentioned, birds were thought of as messengers for the gods...this belief/outlook has remained constant with many people in modern times. For instance, when many of us find feathers we look at it as a sign from the other side. Some of us see feathers as signs that our guides are watching over us, some of us see feathers as messages from passed loved ones. But one thing is for sure - bird feathers are special, and so are the birds from which they originate. Each bird on this planet has a connection to the Divine, some birds even have connections to specific ancient deities. The crow and raven are two of those special birds.
When I think of the crow spirit guide/totem, I think of the connection the crow has to the Irish warrior goddess known as The Morrigan. The Morrigan was a goddess who was said to have the ability to shift into the form of the crow and did so as she saw fit in times of need. The crow spirit guide also has a connection with the god Bran the Blessed. In fact, the Welsh word "Bran" translates to crow. In ancient Greece, the crow spirit guide was associated with the mighty god Apollo.
The Raven spirit guide is also associated with various world mythologies and therefore has deep connections with ancient gods and goddesses. Odin, the Norse "Allfather", is said to have been accompanied by two great ravens...a symbol of Odin's undying wisdom. These two ravens actually had names - Huginn and Muninn, and they served as Odin's eyes and ears. The Celtic god Lugh is also thought to have been named after the Raven. And of course if we were to study just a few of the Native American tribes' stories about Raven, we would see how important Raven spirit guide was to the indigenous peoples of America and their spirits/gods.
Other Blackbirds as Spirit Guides
In addition to coming in contact with crow or raven spirit guide/totem, there are also many other kinds of blackbirds that could come to you as a spirit guide or messenger. There are actual families of blackbirds, but here are just a few you might be in contact with: Brewer's Blackbird, red-winged blackbird, yellow-headed blackbird, or the rusty blackbird. Don't forget that there are vultures and buzzards that are also black, as well as starlings and grackles.
It is very possible that you might have a magpie spirit guide or even a cowbird spirit guide come to you during the appropriate phase in your life. We must be open to all messengers from the Divine, no matter how seemingly insignificant they might be at first. Be open to all messages from birds - both blackbirds and otherwise.
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© 2015 Nicole Canfield