10 Raven Symbolism, Myths & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

To lovers of literature, the Raven portends bad news. It has been immortalized by Edgar Allan Poe as a symbol of despair. But the Raven has been a part of many cultures long before Poe’s time. In fact, it has gathered quite a milieu of meanings, and it can be confusing at times.

But generally, the Raven is a symbol of magic, the otherworldly force that can affect our reality. He is a messenger, one that is impossible to ignore due to its loud voice. This is also why many cultures consider it an omen, a guide, often from the otherworld.

Raven Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

Raven Symbolism & Meaning

The Raven is a very intelligent bird, quite like the crow to which it is scientifically related. Wherein, one of the long-standing meanings of the Raven symbol, similar to the crow, is intelligence and the ability to learn quickly. Being a crafty bird, the Raven can be inventive when faced with problems that need solving.

The Raven also has a perpetual aura of intimidation, thanks to its color and its size. It is a commanding presence, making it a good symbol for lessons that need to be learned — or else.

Raven Spirit Animal

When the Raven lands upon that bust on your door, it is important to focus on the change that comes in your life. The Raven is an omen, but there is no consensus on just what it is an omen for. Just one thing is sure — change is on the horizon, and you must embrace it, prepare for it, and roll with it.

The Raven is also a symbol of the intermingling of the human and animal worlds. Its appearance means that you are on the verge of something primal, something pure that you have forgotten long ago. In this case, it is important to look inward and find out what this means for you and your affairs. You may be going back to your roots, and you need to adapt to this change.

Raven Power Animal

When you need to be imposing, especially when you have an important message to deliver, then the Raven can be a powerful spirit animal. With it behind you, you can dare to break the mold, be unconventional, and be a disruptor. People will have their eyes on you.

Note that this does not necessarily mean that people will understand your message. This does, however, mean that you can entice them to think and consider what you are saying first.

Raven Totem Animal

People born under the Raven totem may be dark and gloomy, but they make a lot of sense. They are often the ones saying the inconvenient truths that people around them choose to ignore. They are really good with words, though this does not necessarily mean that tact is their strong point.

Raven people also find strength in solitude, and are very comfortable being on their own. This is when they often show their brighter side, where they can be quite fun and playful. They are natural introverts, and while they may have very strong people skills, they also need some time to recover by their lonesome.

Raven Native American Symbolism

To the Native Americans of the Northwest, the Raven is a hero. He is a powerful clan animal, and is among the beings who help shape the world. In contrast, the Raven is also portrayed in some stories as a trickster, one that can make trouble due to his lack of foresight. This can be seen as the Raven’s “other” facet, considering he isn’t very good when dealing with other people or creatures.

Raven Celtic Symbolism

The Raven, to the Celtic people, has been associated with legendary figures such as Mórrígan (a goddess), Lugh (a sun god), and Brân (a protector of the people). Its dark plumage has lent it a foreboding meaning of war and death in some other Celtic interpretations.

Raven Far Eastern Symbolism

To the people of the Far East, the Raven shares pretty much the same symbolisms as the crow. It is considered a creature powerful enough to move the sun and cleanse the earth. It is also considered a guide from the spirit world.

Raven in Dreams

When a Raven enters your dreams, you can be sure that something big is about to happen. By “big”, we don’t mean that it is something earth-shattering. It just means this change has the potential to steer your life in whole new directions, though this might not be apparent until some time down the road.

A special case is when you see a Raven feeding, as it does on carrion. This means that something bad may befall you, and that someone might benefit from it. You have to take care — even if you can’t totally prevent your bad luck, you can still position yourself in such a way that no one can take advantage of it.

Raven Encounters / Raven Omens

When the Raven shows itself to you, it is time to look inside and see what is missing. There may be something important that you have forgotten about yourself as you navigate the straits of life. There may be a trait, a goal, a conviction, or a dream that has been lost, and over time it has negatively affected you. The Raven is telling you to take some time off, and go on a journey of introspection.

In another interpretation, the appearance of a Raven might mean that magic is afoot in your life, and things may not react in a way that you expect them to. Be careful, but always open your eyes to the wonders of new possibilities.

Raven Mythology and Folklore

Ravens consistently charm people with their excellence, cleverness, and discrete nature. The Raven has frequently been portrayed as an image of intelligence, deception, and transformation in numerous religions and legends across the world. Ravens have played key roles in forming the stories and beliefs of various civilizations, from the trickster gods of Native American and Inuit mythology to Odin’s educated companions in Norse mythology.

We investigated Raven myths, folklore, and legendary stories from throughout the world, including Egyptian, Hindu, Inuit, Aztec, Celtic, Norse, Pacific Northwest, Welsh, Greek, Chinese, and North American mythology. The order in which they are presented below does not indicate any specific ranking or preference. Each of these nations has its own myths and beliefs about the Raven.

The Raven has historically been a source of inspiration and curiosity for people, and its importance in mythology and folklore continues to change and be studied. As we explore the Raven’s enormously complex legends, we become mindful of the importance of narrative in linking the present to our past and future.

Horus, as a Raven
Vishnu, and the Raven
A Trickster Deity
Huitzilopochtli, Protector of the Aztec People
Morrigan, the Goddess of War and Battle
Huginn and Muninn
Branwen, A Welsh Deity
Apollo and the Raven
The Sun Raven
A Cultural Hero

To summarize, the Raven serves a vital role in many myths throughout the world. Death, rebirth, sovereignty, wisdom, and understanding are all symbolized by a god or goddess linked with the bird. The Raven is frequently portrayed as a trickster, cultural hero, or converter who provides humanity with light as well as important gifts. Although the Raven is depicted negatively in some mythologies, it is primarily regarded as a representation of competence, understanding, and negotiation within the mortal and heavenly worlds.

The symbolism of the Raven demonstrates its connection to the biological processes of life, death, and rebirth, emphasizing the commonality of the human condition. The Raven is a powerful emblem on the way narrative and mythology have influenced our understanding of our surroundings and ourselves. The Raven embodies the splendor and enigma of life, as well as our relationship to nature and the realm of the supernatural. As a consequence, the relevance of the Raven in various stories all throughout the world underscores the need to safeguard our cultural legacy and customs.

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