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Raven Symbolism, Lore & Mythology

raven-symbolism-lore

Myths of The Raven: Symbolism and Lore

Learn about the lore of the raven - bird of mystery, magic and omens both good and bad. Raven symbolism is rich and plentiful, with a plethora of raven mythology, raven lore and raven superstitions available from a wealth of cultures.

The raven often has a bad press, for being a carrion bird it is ultimately associated with death, and consequently considered a bad omen by many, or a forewarning of war.

But there is much more to this enigmatic and intelligent bird than death, darkness and destruction. Raven is a trickster, a protector, a teacher. and a bringer of great magic.

Learn all about the Raven and his lore here on this page, and perhaps you will take a little bit of Raven wisdom away with you, to help you on your way...

Photo Credit: Raven via Wikimedia Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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Raven Illustration

Raven Illustration

Raven Biology: Natural History of the Raven

About the Raven

Corvus Corax. Member of the crow family

The raven is not only the largest member of the crow family, but the largest perching bird in the world. An extremely intelligent bird, the raven was once extremely common, but persecution now finds it only in remote areas such as cliffs, mountains and moors.

The adult is completely black with a shaggy throat and heavy bill. It flies higher than the crow and is adept at aerial acrobatics.

It is a carrion bird, feeding the likes of dead sheep, and will also kill its own food also, including small mammals and birds, reptiles, as well as taking eggs and eating insects and seeds.

Ravens prefer to nest in a sheltered spot, favouring a rock crevice but also opting for trees. They build their nests from earth, moss, twigs and heather stalks, lining it with hair and wool. They raise just one brood per year, from February to March, which consists of 4-6 eggs.

Ravens are extremely intelligent and in some cases can even learn to talk.

Photo Credit: Raven illustration via Wikimedia Commons (image in the public domain)

Facts about Ravens



The wolf and the raven are often mentioned together in mythology, lore and scripture. In nature, the wolf and raven have an important relationship. Wolves use ravens as aerial spotters for possible sources of food, as well as using them to alert them of any danger ahead.

The raven also gains from this relationship with the wolf. Being carrion birds, ravens share in the feast provided by the wolves when they bring down their prey. Golden eagles and bald eagles have also been spotted feeding on the remains of wolf prey along with ravens.

There will be an accompanying lens in this series up shortly about the lore of Wolf and Raven, along with their symbolism and meaning in magic, wolf medicine and more.

Much Folklore surrounds the Enigmatic Raven

Much Folklore surrounds the Enigmatic Raven

Much Folklore surrounds the Enigmatic Raven

Raven and Swans

Raven and Swans

Raven Lore: Folklore & Legends

The Raven and Water

The raven has a plethora of lore surrounding it. Richly interwoven into Celtic and Norse mythology, it also features in many superstitions and countless legends and stories, from Noah to the Tower of London.

Those interested in perusing the very early stories of ravens should note that they often speak of the raven as the crow.

The raven is often associated with water, often with the finding of water, or lack of it. Sacrificing gods sent the raven for water, but the bird delayed his mission to wait for some figs to ripen. Angry, the gods punished the raven by cursing him with a great thirst in the summer, which is said to be why the raven croaks.

Photo Credit: Raven and Swans licensed from JupiterImages Corporation

The Raven, Death and War

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Raven - Omen of War licensed from JupiterImages Corporation

The raven is also, quite famously, known as an omen of death. Being carrion feeders, seeing them feeding on gibbet corpses was once a common sight, and most likely where the association arose. A famous example of ravens being portends of death include the Roman philosopher, statesman and political theorist Cicero being forewarned of his death by the fluttering of ravens.

Raven is a war bird. The Danes believed that observing ravens could help foretell the outcome of a battle. Indeed, they are said to have foretold the deaths of Plato and Tiberius, and told the Irish god Lugh of the invasion of the Formorians in Celtic mythology.

The Raven and Prophecy

Ravens on Tree

Ravens on Tree

Photo Credit: Ravens licensed from JupiterImages Corporation

The raven is also frequently linked with prophecy, further enhancing its status as a bird of the occult. Not only was it a messenger of the gods, both as an informant and as a guide, but it also was thought to be the most prophetic of all birds. People are still referred to as having "the foresight of ravens".

Raven, bird of prophecy,

is the protector and teacher of seers and clairvoyants.

Raven is considered both a good and bad omen according to different cultures

Raven is considered both a good and bad omen according to different cultures

Raven is considered both a good and bad omen according to different cultures

Close Up of Raven

Close Up of Raven

Raven Augery and Symbolism

Ravens and the Weather, Negative Raven Superstitions

Weather Raven Lore:

Ravens facing the direction of a clouded sun foretell hot weather

If you see a raven preening, rain is on the way

Raven Superstitions of Death and War:

Ravens flying towards each other signify an omen of war

Seeing a raven tapping on a window foretold death

If a raven is heard croaking near a house, there will be a death in it

If a raven flies around the chimney of a sick person's house, they will die

Photo Credit: Raven licensed from JupiterImages Corporation

Positive Raven Superstitions

Raven on Rooftop

Raven on Rooftop

Photo Credit: Raven on Roof via Wikimedia Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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Many parts of Celtic Britain and Ireland view the raven as a good omen:

Shetland and Orkney - if a maiden sees a raven at Imbolc she can foretell the direction of her future husband's home by following the raven's path of flight

Wales - if a raven perches on a roof, it means prosperity for the family

Scotland - deerstalkers believed it bode well to hear a raven before setting out on a hunt

Ireland - ravens with white feathers were believed a good omen, especially if they had white on the wings. Ravens flying on your right hand or croaking simultaneously were also considered good omens

Do Ravens Represent Good or Evil?

Many associate Raven with death, war and evil, while others see Raven as a bird of wisdom, magic and good omens. How do you view this enigmatic bird?

Do you see Raven as a good omen or a bad omen?



The Raven permeates the myths of so many cultures, from the ancient Celtic and Norse, to Greek and Roman, right through to Native American and Christian spirituality.

The Raven's appearances in mythology are discussed below. First, here is a list of deities associated with ravens, the most closely associated of which would be the Celtic goddess, the Morrigan, and the Norse god Odin.

  • Apollo
  • Arthur
  • Badbh
  • Bran
  • Branwen
  • Circe
  • Freya
  • Macha
  • Mari
  • Mithras
  • Morrigan
  • Nantaosuelta
  • Nemain
  • Odin
  • Rhiannon

Raven Mythology Resources

  • Raven Mythology and Lore
    Mythology of the raven with a focus on Scottish and other Celtic legends
  • Raven Lore
    Pagan and Wiccan resource on raven lore and mythology
  • Myths of the Raven
    Many myths of the raven from The Fortean Times, including numerous stories of the ravens in the Tower of London
  • Raven Myths and Tales
    Beautiful selection of blog entries that focus on raven legends, myths and tales from around the world
Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

The Raven in Norse Mythology

Raven and Odin

Ravens are an iconic symbol of Norse mythology and most closely associated with Odin.

The raven was a powerful war symbol to the Norse people. Warriors would fly black flags emblazoned with ravens during battle.

The goddess Freya also had a prophetic raven which she lent to Odin.

The sea raven was sacred to Odin, and was also the emblem of Danish raiders.

Odin himself had two ravens, Hugin and Munin (Mind and Memory). They perched on Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and would fly around the world seeking out news to deliver to Odin. For ever after ravens were thought of as spies and not to be spoken in front of.

The raven was also connected to Odin as the Yuletide father and the rebirth of the sun from the Underworld in the midwinter.

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

The Raven in British, Irish & Celtic Mythology

Celtic Raven Lore

In Celtic, Movran means ‘sea raven”, and Macha means “raven”, as does the name “Bran” (Slavic Branu meaning “raven”).

Ravens are closely associated with the god Bran. His head was taken to the White Mount in London, where it continued to prophesise and protect Britain from invasion. It was removed by King Arthur to show he was now Britain’s protector, but the descendants of Bran’s ravens remain on the site, which is where the Tower of London was later built. The ravens live in the Tower and are still said to protect Britain from invasion. According to legend, if they ever leave the Tower, Britain will fall to invaders.

Ravens also protected the Gaulish city of Lyon, which had the white raven Lugos as its totem bird.

Raven: Omen of War

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: Sergey Yeliseev

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: Sergey Yeliseev

The raven was a bird of death and war for the Gaels and Cornish.

Celtic tales had the raven associated with death and battle goddesses, namely Morrigan, Badbh, and Nemain, who could all take the form of a raven. Morrigan (meaning "great queen") became a raven on the battlefield and would foretell the outcome of the fight to the Dagda.

Warriors would invite the Morrigan to battle through the blowing of war horns, which imitated the croaking of ravens.

Ravens are said to have warned the god Lugh of the impending invasion by the Formorians.

raven-symbolism-lore

Ravens: Guardians of the Underworld

Ravens are also guardians of Underworld treasure. In the Chaw (“raven”) Gully mine in Cornwall, gold is said to be guarded by a fierce raven.

According to myth, a stone collected from a raven’s nest is called a “stone of victory” or “raven stone” and can help discover treasure and aid prophecy. One such stone was owned by Brahan the Seer.

The Celts held the raven in high esteem as a sacred bird, and its Gaelic name Fitheach appears as part of the name of Pictish deities and sacred kings.

The Raven in Arthurian Mythology

raven-symbolism-lore

Morgan Le Fay (Le Faye meaning "fairy" or "the fate") is said to be the later counterpart of the Morrigan, who could transform into a raven. Morgan could appear as a raven also.

Elsewhere in Arthurian stories, while Arthur plays the board game Gwyddbwyll with Owain, his warriors are attacked by those of Owain in the form of ravens.

While the name Arthur means "bear-man", the Irish name Art-Bran is translated as "priest of the raven", but can also be translated as "bear-raven".

Many areas believe Arthur to have become a raven following his death. Consequently many countrymen still tip their hats to ravens. It was considered a crime to kill one as to do so would insult Arthur, and in Wales and the West Country, ravens were considered royal birds.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: David Abbet

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: David Abbet

The Raven in Greek Mythology and History

Greek writers spoke of the raven portending storms, and consequently associated it with rain and clouds. Two ravens were linked with a rain-making ceremony at Krannon in Thessaly.

Coins from the fourth century BC depicted two ravens on a wagon, along with a jar of water that had pieces of metal hanging from it. This was a form of ancient “magic” whereby the jangling metal and splashing water would create a mini thunderstorm, with which to summon a real one.

The Athenian Oracle also mentioned ravens, stating that when ravens forsook the woods, famine was imminent. “Ravens bear the characteristic of Saturn, the author of these calamities and have a very early perception of the bad disposition of that planet”.

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

The Raven in Roman Mythology

Ravens were sacred to Apollo, the god of prophecy, and were oracular birds to him

Ravens are also associated with Mithras, and in Mithraic religion (popular among the Roman military) the first initiation was called the raven or “servant of the sun”.

Ravens often acted as the protectors of human seers.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: Sergey Yeliseev

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: Sergey Yeliseev

The Raven and Christianity

The Raven in The Bible

Ravens are mentioned in The Bible and have various segments of religious folklore attached to them also.

In one story of Noah, a story preceding Genesis in age tells of Noah sending out a raven, a swallow and a dove from the ark in order to find land.

Ravens are sometimes spoken of as the protectors of prophets.

They are said to have fed Elijah in the desert and aided Paul the Hermit, St Cuthbert and St Bernard.

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Raven feeds Elijah in the desert

Adversely, the raven was also once known as the devil's bird, with some saying that ravens contained the souls of wicked priests.

In Yorkshire, children were told that a great black bird would carry them off if they were naughty

Other stories say that the raven was once white, but was turned black as punishment for committing sin. The sins vary but one popular one is that the raven fed on the corpses of the drowned in the story of Noah's Ark.

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images Corporation

The Raven in Native American Mythology

Trickster Raven

Native Americans called the raven the messenger of death. The Raven is found in the stories of most tribes and is generally considered a Trickster.

In one story, Raven brings sunlight to a dark world.

The Tsimshian (of British Columbia and Alaska) were given light by Raven, who had tricked a tribal chief.

The chief had kept the light in a box, but Raven created an eleborate scheme to obtain it. He transformed himself into a spruce needle and then fell from the sky into a cup of water that the chief's daughter was drinking, impregnating her. Raven was born into human form, and stole the chief's box before transforming back into his original form.

As he flew off with his stolen prize, Raven saw some fishermen. Hungry, he asked them if he could have some of their catch. but they refused. Raven then flew away and released the daylight.

Raven Totem Animal

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: Sergey Yeliseev

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons. Copyright: Sergey Yeliseev

Shamanism and Native American spirituality speak of animal totems. These are important nature symbols used by people to get in touch with specific required qualities found within an animal. A person's totem animal will have qualities they need, that they connect with, or feel a deep affinity toward. You can work with more than one totem animal, although many people tend to have a main totem that they work with all their life.

Raven is known as the "keeper of secrets" in numerous native tribes.

As a totem, Raven is the teacher of mysticism. Having such a wealth of myth and lore surrounding him throughout many cultures and ages, Raven is the ideal teacher of this subject.

The black color of ravens and their carrion diet associates them with darkness. This dark void represents the the unconscious.

Raven brings heightened awareness and a deeper understanding of our consciousness. Raven allows us to see into the hearts of others using our newly found perception, helping us to empathise with their feelings.

Raven encourages us to experience transformation, so that we can be reunited with the mysteries of the universe, and rid ourselves of our inner demons.

Raven Medicine and Totems - Further Native American & Shamanic resources on the Raven

raven-symbolism-lore

The Raven, Magic and Witches

Associated Elements:

Air and Water

Associated Festivals:

Samhain and Imbolc

Station on the Wheel of the Year:

Northwest and Northeast

Raven is said to be the protector and teacher of seers and clairvoyants. In the past, witches were thought to turn themselves into ravens to escape pursuit.

The Raven as a Familiar

raven-symbolism-lore

A familiar is a spiritual animal power or supernatural spirit, representing a species as a whole (i.e. Raven, not a raven) in a similar way to a Totem Animal.

A witch works with a familiar by drawing on a particular species for their strength and abilities. A familiar may also act as a guide to the Otherworld, and act as helpers in healing or magic.

The term familiar is also sometimes applied to a witch's companion animal, such as a black cat.

The Raven is a teacher, particularly of magical systems. If you find that one is attracted to you, it means you have the potential to be a great worker of magic. Raven does not care if this is for good or bad.

Raven familiars are not for the newly initiated – Raven only appears as a familiar to those who have progressed significantly down the path. Your consciousness must be at a certain level to understand the teachings Raven brings.

Raven brings the secrets from the underworld, particularly bringing the secret of transformation from the underworld to the world of magic.

Raven appearing physically out of the blue, or in a vision, is an important omen.

The Raven appearing in a vision can signify a warning, telling you to take heed as you may be in dangerous territory or are attracting negativity to yourself through magic or other workings.

Alternatively it can mean that the higher powers have acknowledged your progress in your magical workings and have sent Raven to instruct you further in the magical arts.

The Raven - Bird of Mystery and Magic

The Raven - Bird of Mystery and Magic

The Raven - Bird of Mystery and Magic

More on Raven Symbolism:

Coming Soon...

I have further information to add to this lens, including videos, links, books and other resources, as well as additional lore and sections on Raven in Literature & Media, Raven in Astrology and more.

Do you love ravens, or loathe them? Are you interested in raven symbolism and lore? I hope you enjoyed reading this lens as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please leave your thoughts here before you go!

Your Thoughts on Raven Symbolism... - Please leave your comments and feedback here!

William on August 06, 2020:

The past 5 yrs a large raven has accosted me i cant help but think he is trying to tell me something the last time he made a showing his throte was huge and he just kept yelling at me idk perhaps im insane

coffee herbs and other oddities on December 01, 2017:

Crows and Ravens all my life 2 pet crows a large Raven landed on my roof and hour ago I am very ill but that is not the meaning I feel WAR is imminent

Sorcerers Stone on May 04, 2014:

What a thorough job you did! A great lens. I love ravens- my art business reflects that, Ravenlight Arts. I consider the raven to be symbolic of the power of facing death, among other things. That's why it can be both "good" and "bad". Death is on your side when you stop running away from it and honor it!

Lydia Workman from Canada on March 02, 2014:

A wealth of information! Thank you for posting this!

Snakesmum on February 14, 2014:

A family of ravens live near my house and often come to the bird bath in my back yard.

Angela F from Seattle, WA on February 05, 2014:

I just started watching Vikings so had to come back to affirm what I thought their connection in Norse mythology was. I bet you'll have more viewers coming your way ;)

Missmerfaery444 (author) on January 22, 2014:

@Rachel214: That does sound scary!

Rachel214 from Haifa on January 22, 2014:

I was attacked by a Raven outside my apartment. It dive bombed me into the back of my head. I called the municipality and the veterinarians came to check if there were nests anywhere. They didn't find any, and I wasn't attacked again, but I'm really sure that I did something to upset it some time! They remember faces. It was super scary by the way.

The_Kelster on January 10, 2014:

Really interesting stuff! I had no idea ravens were so prevalent in so many different legends and stories. I saw a documentary on ravens on like PBS or something, and they are so intelligent! Cool lens! :)

chrisilouwho on December 18, 2013:

Really great information here, thanks for sharing!

Missmerfaery444 (author) on July 27, 2013:

@hlw186: Glad you enjoyed! Wolf and raven are in the first section of the page, just above "Raven Lore" :)

hlw186 on July 27, 2013:

Did I miss the info on Wolf and Raven? I'm trying to research them in folklore and I didn't see anything more than the little bit mentioned saying there would be more later.

Otherwise, lovely info!!! ^_^

dellgirl on July 25, 2013:

The photo of The Raven and Prophecy is awesome! What a great lens you have, I like what youâve done here. Thank you for sharing.

SBPI Inc on July 21, 2013:

Beautiful, smart ,big black bird. Wonderful animal as are most creatures.

Jonathan

LoriBeninger on July 20, 2013:

Great lens, thank you! I've linked to it in my "Black and Boo" lens, about the ordeal black animals must face when confronted by human superstitions.

Missmerfaery444 (author) on March 20, 2013:

@NoYouAreNot: I do, thank you for reminding me of this beautiful story!

NoYouAreNot on March 16, 2013:

Wow, stunning lens!

Do you know the Greek myth of Athena and the Raven? According to it, the Raven started out by being white. To make a long story short, one day he delivered bad news to the goddess, and she turned it to black ever since.

You can contact me, if you want more details.

Peter Badham from England on February 27, 2013:

There is definitely something eerie about these birds. I love them though.

anonymous on February 27, 2013:

Ravens feature regularly in The Game of Thrones books, as messengers. Sadly, given the nature of the books, the messages are usually bad, but that does not mean the Ravens are!

And of course there's the famous Ravens who live at The Tower of London - lots of folklore there, including the belief that if The Ravens leave then the Tower will fall.

askformore lm on January 05, 2013:

Great lens! I am Scandinavian, so of course I know abot Odin and the ravens

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on January 01, 2013:

I love to watch ravens and crows. They are so very intelligent and it shows in their eyes.

Missmerfaery444 (author) on January 01, 2013:

@anonymous: The raven was often thought of as a bad omen in days gone by because it was a scavenger of the dead. But actually, the raven and crow are smart enough to find food wherever they can. So I would say that seeing this raven scavenging could represent making the most of what you have, getting the most from life in the way you know best, or being resourceful in a situation. Given that this sighting was linked to a funeral, it could also symbolise the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Hope that helps.

anonymous on December 07, 2012:

I went to a funeral yeserday for a first-nation man. Afterwhich, in the parking lot a raven was eating a pigeon. An individual told me that this has meaning in the aboriginal context, but she was not sure what the meaning was. Thoughts?

myspace9 on December 06, 2012:

Great and informative article.

Missmerfaery444 (author) on November 27, 2012:

@anonymous: You're welcome, so glad it was helpful for you! Good luck with your assignment :)

anonymous on November 25, 2012:

I'm doing the mythology and all that kinda of stuff of the raven for my year 12 art assignment and I found this lens a really great help. Thank you!

This also really helped me because there is always at least one raven at my house and every time something bad has happened even minor things there has been a raven watching me.

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on November 19, 2012:

When i see a raven it remembers me of two things: Edgar Allan Poe's poem and Arto Paasilinna' book. One is scary and second is great fun. Thanks for interesting reading.

anonymous on October 24, 2012:

My son born the month of the Crow. The Crow has been a messenger to forewarn me of a challenge (I remember that I'm a subject to the energies I create, and the law of Life), and to assure me of my faith and progress and teach me wisdom (reminding me it is my purpose to bring light back to the world). My favourate Crow was one that came to me at the top of the Tor and spread it's wings showing a white crescent moon on each! I love Crows, as I love Life :-) Thank you Miss Mer Faery for sharing your knowledge of the Raven.

FreakyV from Canada on October 18, 2012:

I've always like Ravens but I never realized there was so much lore involved in them. Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

SilmarwenLinwelin on October 03, 2012:

Great lens, very informative.

Tony Bonura from Tickfaw, Louisiana on September 21, 2012:

Very interesting lens. Thank you for your insights.

TonyB

anonymous on September 18, 2012:

Stopped by again, thought it would be good to let you know that I did. :)

anonymous on September 04, 2012:

I did not know that Ravens were in so many myths and so symbolic in many cultures. I always think of the Edgar Allen Poe when I hear of Ravens, so to me they are bringers of bad news. Great pictures and information - pinned and Blessed.

anonymous on August 11, 2012:

My roommate and I rescued a raven with a broken left wing yesterday. It happened a day after she had had to put her beloved dog down at our home in Laurel Canyon. We discovered the bird had been spotted by some security guy who decided to do absolutely nothing about it the day we put the dog down. Poor thing was wabbling about for at least a day and a half with its beak open in hot weather. Luckily, this beautiful black bird hobbled onto our driveway and we were not about to just pray that the coyotes get to it soon. It is now in the care of a wildlife rescue in Malibu. Really enjoyed reading about raven lore after this experience!

anonymous on August 05, 2012:

@anonymous: Jeffrsonou are welcome to come by our place we have a raven that visits our back deck and wil be out there for up to 20 minutes he or she will alsocome right up to the back glass door looking in...There is negtive and positive superstitions to this ...I guess we'll have to wait and see!

steph-naylor on July 20, 2012:

This Lens was just what I was looking for! Thanks for the useful info!

anonymous on July 11, 2012:

Hello there! How are you all? I am a bit freaked out as I was sitting on a sofa this morning and felt uneasy and then saw a Raven staring right at me outside of the window! I started reading prayer and it left! This bird is not common to appear in this area, in the city and I have never seen one before! I know 100% it was a Raven though! I still have no idea what it meant for me as it has too many symbolisms!! Can anyone help?

anonymous on June 21, 2012:

I can't stop seeing ravens. It is the Winter Solstice here in Australia tonight and so I guess it is fitting. For the past two weeks they have been turning up all over the place - passing reference in *three* separate blog posts, people I know mentioning they are really into Morrigan at the moment, an Ace of Cakes episode where they were making a cake for an Edgar Allen Poe themed restaurant (!) with of course a raven on the top. And then yesterday morning I was watching a video for an online art journalling course, and of course at the end of her page she draws a raven! The crow is a smaller relative of the raven, and there is one that comes around our house occasionally. He showed up last week. It's so very cool when this happens, even though I'm not quite sure of what it means for me personally (I am putting to death - or trying - some ancient worn fears and terrors at the moment, so I hope the raven is a harbinger of that :)

anonymous on June 08, 2012:

i saw 6 ravens this morning as i walked thru the park.( a half mile from my place) they were flying together and landed in a tree. later that day, one of them was in a pine tree outside my apt. it flew away before i could get outside to get a closer look. they have appeared before outside in the pine trees right outside my apt. it always amazes me.

prairierprincess on May 29, 2012:

This is a very interesting lens. I have always been fascinated by ravens, because they are such a big and intelligent bird. I had not seen very many of them until I lived up in Northern Canada, where they are very common.

I had known there was some mythology surrounding the raven but wasn't sure what it was. This was very thoroughly written. Thank you so much!

anonymous on May 24, 2012:

@Missmerfaery444: thank you very much!

Missmerfaery444 (author) on May 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Amy! Sounds like Raven is trying to get your attention. Here is a great piece on crows and ravens as totems, and their meaning in animal medicine. http://morningstar.netfirms.com/crow.html. The fact that they are swooping at you could mean they are warning you of something or trying to bring your attention to a pressing matter.

anonymous on May 23, 2012:

I was wondering if anyone has had raven swoop at them? I have had this happen a couple times now and there is no nest in the area that we can find. It was close enough that it's wing tip went threw my hair. Please, I am looking for all info possible. thank you

anonymous on May 23, 2012:

Very interesting! thank you for compiling this. I always nod to them when greet the them: "Good day, Old One(s)."

anonymous on May 07, 2012:

I call ravens "servant of the Lord" and admire and love them. They will not hold still for me to take their picture though. They are awesome creatures.

anonymous on May 05, 2012:

Raven black as pitch mystical as the moon speak to me of magic I will fly with you soon!!

Diane Cass from New York on April 13, 2012:

Very enjoyable lens. I got an award for commenting on it too. Whoopee! I'm Squidliking this for the Friday the 13th quest. It seemed appropriate. Thanks for an enjoyable read.

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on April 08, 2012:

Ravens are smart, much smarter than man people think. I can't say I love them, but they are fascinating creatures and they certainly deserve my respect!

anonymous on April 02, 2012:

I love ravens. I had one for two years, and I loved it. They are so intelligent and therefor so fascinating to train with!

I would love to know how you can find out what's your totem animal, 'cause I guess mine is a raven.

Budeni on April 02, 2012:

Ravens are by far the most faszinating birds I know. Thank you for creating this lens, it was fun to read it!

anonymous on April 02, 2012:

Thank you for creating this inspiring lens. You did great work, indeed.

Ravens are my "favorite" birds and I feel a strong connection between them and me. I can clearly see that you enjoyed writing this lens and I - for sure - enjoyed reading it.

MillBucks on April 01, 2012:

Ravens are very fascinating to watch and learn from, I have seen them use some very unique ways to crack open pecans and walnuts.

SteveKaye on March 28, 2012:

I like Ravens. They're fun to watch. It's always a happy surprise to find one.

AlleyCatLane on March 17, 2012:

Wonderful lens with so much information. The folklore is very interesting. Blessed!

Chazz from New York on March 17, 2012:

Great lens! I will return evermore for those updates you promise too. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," my tribute to the best I've found since donning my wings.

Thrinsdream on March 12, 2012:

Superb collection of information. I truly love ravens and they must like me as they are always in my garden. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

TriciaLymeMom on March 08, 2012:

fascinating birds! thanks :)

Lisa-Marie Kavanagh from Lincolnshire on February 16, 2012:

I love them and magpies

Edutopia on February 15, 2012:

I've always liked Ravens but we assign far too much meaning to their presence than they warrant.

Linda Hahn from California on January 10, 2012:

I love ravens and other black birds. Actually I like birds period.

OldStones LM on October 29, 2011:

Fascinating article on Raven lore and symbolism. Good or bad omen I don't know, but I do love to see Ravens. I think the Raven may have gotten some bad press throughout history.

GoddessGirl on October 27, 2011:

Wonderful Lens!

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on October 22, 2011:

I love ravens and this is a great article! Very thorough and I learned more about them. :)

Angela F from Seattle, WA on October 02, 2011:

Ravens show up in my totem and oracle card readings all the time... great lens!

NevermoreShirts on September 20, 2011:

Absolutely fantastic lens - if you can't tell, the Raven is one of my favorites. :)

Lisa Marie Gabriel from United Kingdom on September 14, 2011:

Raven brings you a blessing today :)

pickled_cabbage on September 09, 2011:

Great lens! Ravens are one of my favourite animals! Very informative - great mythologies!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on August 10, 2011:

I love ravens regardless of any symbolism or lore. For me, they are just stately, beautiful birds who have a real look of knowing and intelligence. Perhaps that is the way our ancestors saw them too and why there are so many ideas about them. They do look like they know something and they do seem to stare right into your heart. Blessings for this extremely well written and enjoyable lens.

WhiteOak50 on July 27, 2011:

I just featured this page on Animal Spirit Totems You did a fantastic job putting this page together. Raven is without a doubt a bird of magic and wisdom. *Blessed*

anonymous on June 21, 2011:

I agree jerrad28. We have plenty of them here and they flock around my house in the surrounding fields. I'm not particularly sure as to why,but very few things around here are the size of what Ravens would normally take down.

Jerrad28 on June 14, 2011:

Very interesting, I never realized how involved the raven has been in mythology and lore

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on May 19, 2011:

Ravens have always intrigued me. Just yesterday I was watching a group of ravens here on the mountain. The sound of their wings is astonishing! Really enjoyed learning much more about them here. Thank you.

NYThroughTheLens on April 22, 2011:

Awesome lens.

Vintervarg LM on April 04, 2011:

Just read another lense on ravens. This one is even more informative. Good job!

Michey LM on February 19, 2011:

I like the history facts associated with raven... Thanks of an informative lens...

ulla_hennig on February 16, 2011:

A great lens full of information and lovely pictures!

happynutritionist on February 16, 2011:

Even though I'm not at all superstitious, and pretty much avoid such things, most of the pictures here are so beautiful! I remember when I was a girl reading about a man who raised a crow and kept it as a pet, trained it, etc., very smart animals. I love animals and see them simply as part of God's creation which was originally intended to be perfect...but...well that's a story for another day:-)

Jhangora LM on February 16, 2011:

I don't really believe in the raven being a symbol of bad luck. I think all birds are useful to humans, even if some of them may not be attractive to look at. Real comprehensive lens. Nice job!

Elizabeth Sheppard from Bowling Green, Kentucky on February 15, 2011:

I am also interested in this subject. How fun to read so many different stories about Raven Symbolism. I enjoyed this lens so much. Thank you for writing it!

anonymous on February 15, 2011:

These are truly beautiful creatures. I love the photos and drawings you have included. Although I personally don't believe they have any "magic" or good vs. back luck associated with them, I do enjoy seeing them.

Lemming13 on February 15, 2011:

What a terrific lens! So much time must have gone into this one. Fascinating. Blessing it.

Mona from Iowa on February 14, 2011:

I love both Ravens & Crows. They are fabulous birds. Have lensrolled this to my totem animal series lens. This is an extremely thorough look at the bird.