Raven symbolism can be found in a number of different cultures and often symbolizes bad luck, destruction, and death. This bird has appeared in art, folklore, and literature.
What is a Raven?
A raven is a black, larger-bodied bird that is considered to be very intelligent. In fact, studies have shown that these birds are able to solve problems and imitate. Ravens have been seen to spy on other birds. Ravens might do these to see where another bird has a stash of food.
This bird can be found in the Northern Hemisphere in a number of different habitats, such as evergreen forests, grasslands, and more. They tend to gravitate towards rural settlements but can also be found in some towns and cities.
What Does a Raven Symbolize?
Ravens symbolize wisdom, the afterlife, trickery, intelligence, longevity, and more. The bird is also considered an excellent teacher and guide. One of a raven’s defining qualities is its intelligence.
Raven Totem Animal
The raven can be someone’s totem animal if an individual recognizes this animal within themself. Your totem animal is connected to your subconscious and inner thoughts. If the raven is your totem animal, the raven serves to be a guide and a protector. Ravens also emphasize the significance of self-awareness, self-reflection, and the power of thinking.
For those guided by the raven, it means that they are creators and magicians of their own life. They take their thoughts to meet their desired goals. They can also transform their mind and use logic.
The raven totem animal asks that you reflect on your actions.
Raven Spirit Animal
When you see a raven in real life or in a dream, this can mean the raven is your spirit animal. If you are someone whose spirit animal is the raven, you’re a good advisor and known for craftiness, resourcefulness, and dignity.
Earning the respect of those with the raven as their spirit animal isn’t the easiest, but if you do, there’s a long-lasting bond established. One of their prominent traits is that they aren’t likely to forget those that wronged them, and they don’t forgive easily. They also aren’t willing to deal with dishonesty or hypocrites.
Pros of a Raven Spirit Animal
- You are considered creative, strong, and fearless.
- You have a happy medium between light and dark or good and evil
- You prefer solitude and have no problem doing your thing
- It’s important for you to disconnect and remain in tune with yourself and others.
- Because you are viewed as wise, people might come to you for advice. They also know they can trust you with their secrets.
Cons of a Raven Spirit Animal
- You can be a bit mischievous. You enjoy having fun, but you also need to know when to be focused on a task.
- You can be viewed as inconsiderate as you can be insensitive towards other people’s feelings or tough situations.
Ravens in Mythology and Cultures
Raven Symbolism in Celtic Culture
Celtics believed that ravens symbolized battle. Ravens were considered to symbolize battle because they were scavengers that eat just about anything and could be found on the battlefield.
Native American Raven Symbolism
In Native American culture, if you encounter a raven it means a change is coming. This change would often be perceived as positive.
Norse Culture and Raven Symbolism
There is a principal pagan god called Odin, who’s the god of war, poetry, and wisdom in Norse mythology. According to the legend in Norse mythology, Odin had two ravens on his shoulders that served as his advisors and spies. Ravens are thought to symbolize wisdom, prophecy, and cunning. These two ravens would follow him as his shadow.
Raven Symbolism in Japanese Mythology
Ravens are considered an important part of Japanese Mythology as the bird could be found in numerous folktales.
The legend of Yatagarasu says that the bird was sent from heaven to serve as a guide to Emperor Jimmu. Emperor Jimmu was embarking on a journey from the region of Kumano to Yamato. The raven was thought to symbolize a divine intervention in human affairs.
Ancient Greeks and Raven Symbolism
In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with the god of prophecy, or Apollo. Ravens are considered a sign of bad luck and were considered a messenger to those in the mortal world.
Raven Symbolism in Appalachia
In parts of the Appalachian mountains, ravens mean that illness is coming or that there is impending death in the family.
What Does a Raven Symbolize in the Bible?
In the Bible, the raven symbolizes several ideas, such as uncleanliness, provision, resilience, survival, and god’s provision.
The raven symbolizes a provider and a teacher in the story of Cain and Abel. On the other hand, in the story of the Great Flood, a raven was sent out by Noah to find dry land.
There are many other stories in the bible that showed a raven being a valuable messenger and scout that was known for its agility, adaptability, and stamina.
The Bible also indicates that these birds should not be consumed.
What Does Seeing a Raven in Your Dream Mean?
If you see a raven in your dream, you might view it as a warning about the impending death of someone close to you. They can also appear in your dream to warn you about a soon-to-be problem and how to deal with it.
A raven can also symbolize transformation if you see it in your dream. It’s important to keep an open mind and to take a moment to pause. A change is about to come.
When you see a raven in your dream, pay close attention to what the raven is doing.
How to Interpret a Raven Encounter
If you see two ravens together, this is considered a good omen. It can symbolize a romantic relationship or a different kind of long-term relationship.
You should take a minute for quiet contemplation as you might better understand the situation you are facing. You can take a second to figure out how you want to respond. Seeing a raven can mean that a dramatic change is coming your way, and you might need to take action.
Raven Symbolism and Spiritual Meanings
Intelligence and Cunning
Ravens are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds. Biologists have found that ravens can communicate about objects and events.
For example, if a raven leaves its nest and finds another food source, the raven will return to the nest and tell its mate so that it can return to the food source.
Ravens can also be clever tricksters. If they find another raven’s stash of food, they aren’t opposed to stealing it for themselves. Because other ravens are aware of this, some will pretend to bury their food in one place, just to go and bury it somewhere else.
These birds remind us to rely on our wits in any situation or when dealing with a challenging situation. If a raven is your spirit animal, innovation and creative thinking is important. Rather than feeling emotional about a situation, you should use logic or your intellect to solve a problem you are facing.
Survival and Adaptability
Ravens have shown that they can adapt and survive in a range of conditions. This bird is a powerful totem for dealing with challenging environments.
Ravens symbolize being open-minded and embracing new experiences you come across, as easy experiences can be a learning opportunities.
Partnerships and Guidance
Ravens don’t tend to stick together in large groups, but rather have a mate or a partner they spend their time with. The pair will work together when putting together a nest, for example.
Ravens will also help other species. For example, if a raven sees the carcass of another dead animal, the bird might alert a pack of wolves or coyotes.
Because of how ravens work together, ravens symbolize partnership and seeking out someone who compliments you.
Transformation and Opportunity
Throughout cultures, ravens are viewed as a symbol of change and opportunity. While ravens are thought to symbolize death or bad luck for some, on a spiritual level, death is considered a transformation to a different state of existence and consciousness.
If you encounter a raven, it can mean that you need to consider if there is something in your life that you want to transform and improve. Ravens can symbolize positive change.