Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Raven's Visit

Today I was stricken by the beauty and majesty of a large black raven.  Although these birds are seen as predators and a nuisance by most people, I got a different feeling when I saw this one.  As I was about to get out of my car, a big black raven sat on the fence directly in front of me.  It walked about eight feet along the fence, all the while looking all around, including looking at me.  At one point it called out, “Cra, Cra, Cra” in a very loud, deliberate way, facing East.  It was as if she was telling me something important.  I witnessed its size and beauty.  Pitch black, with hints of blues as the sunlight hit its feathers.  I was mesmerized by its presence.  I was on the phone with my mom at the time, and she said that a raven is a bad sign – a sign of death.  I didn’t get that feeling at all as I watched this bird grace me with its presence.  My gut feeling was that it had a message for me.  An important, wise and timely message.  I didn’t quite understand at the time what it meant.  It was such a powerful moment that lasted only about 30 seconds, but it was very impressive. 

I did some research on what the raven’s symbolism is.  The words magic and wisdom kept popping up for me.  Although some of the literature (mainly Christian) said that a raven is a symbol of death and destruction, I didn’t feel that this was the message that this particular bird was delivering.

What follows below was taken from (2011):

"To have a raven's knowledge" is an Irish proverb meaning to have a seer's supernatural powers.  Raven is considered one of the oldest and wisest of animals.  A seer is also described as a visionary: a person with unusual powers of foresight.

Raven is a contrary spirit.  On the negative side, Raven represents the profane, the devil, evil spirits, the trickster and thief, war and destruction, death and doom, the void.

Yet in many cultures Raven also represents deep magic, the mystery of the unknown, death and transformation, creation, healing, wisdom, protection, and prophecy. 

Raven is both the symbol of the sun, and the symbol of a moonless night.  She is the birth giving light in the center of our galaxy, and the black hole in the center of the universe, to which we are all traveling to our eventual extinction.

What follows below was found on this site:

I also found this interesting information on a website called Everday Magics.  The author talks about the Druid Animals Tarot Deck having the loveliest card for Raven, and the author's Animal Guides book has this to say about the Raven Totem:

Raven represents the ability to go into the Darkness and bring forth the Light.  Northwestern American Indians believe that Raven stole the Sunlight from one who would keep the world in Darkness, therefore Raven is symbolic of the Eternal Cycle of Life and Death.

In Norse mythology Odin had two Ravens that served as his Messengers, their names were Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory).

Because of their ability to mimic other animals’ sounds, Raven is associated with the ability to communicate, and is an extremely powerful creative Totem.

All in all, I feel that this raven brought me some important messages and reminders about wisdom, knowledge, communication and creativity, and I am thankful for this visit. It was a very empowering and inspirational moment for me.

What animal guide or totem are you connected to?  What animal, bird, fish or other creature is making an impression on you?  What messages are you getting from the universe?

Have a great day!

~ Angela Gentile, BSW, MSW

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Petter Larsgaard said...

I came across your site as I was searching for pictures of ravens. My mixed choir, Giske/Norway is going to Seattle this summer, presenting 10 songs with content from Norse mythology, unfortunately only norwegian text, therefore I'm gonna make a short introduction to this teme.

Angela Gentile said...

Hi Petter! I checked out your music video, and I love the choir music. Very nice. Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.
Have a wonderful trip to Seattle this summer.