Crow is a member of the corvid family which includes ravens, magpies and blue jays. They are found worldwide. These birds are highly intelligent, adaptable and omnivorous. They can be taught to communicate with people and to count. Crows are mischievous and like to steal shiny items, but are suspicious and shy. They are territorial and won't give up an area without a fight. They are loners, seeming to like to spend time to themselves.
Some crows live in flocks called murders and musters, nesting in tree tops. There are sentinels that warn of danger. These animals have a complex language. Other crows are solitary or live in pairs. They will kill sick animals and eat carcasses they find, which is beneficial to the environment. They are called by different names in Great Britain such as carrion crows, rooks and jack daws. While it is rare, white crows have been found.
Most European traditions view crow as bad omens, problems and death. Many AmerIndian tribes believed Crow was both keeper of the sacred law and trickster.
The Celts believed that Crow was an omen of death and conflict. She was associated with death transitions. Another belief was that the birds were faeries who shape-shifted to cause troubles. Magickal qualities included bringing knowledge, shape-shifting, eloquence, prophecy, boldness, skill, knowledge, cunning, trickery and thievery. In the Middle Ages, people believed that sorcerers and witches used the symbol of Crow’s foot to cast death spells.
This bird is to be treated with care. Along with the raven, the crow is a symbol of conflict and death, an ill-omen associated with such Goddess as Macha, Badb, and Morrigan. The Irish word for crow is badb, which is also the name of a Celtic war Goddess. Although the crow was ill-omened, it was also considered to be skillfull, cunning, and a bringer of knowledge. It teaches you to learn from the past, but not to hold onto it. It is of most value when trickery is in need.
In most of England, seeing a solitary crow meant anger, but in Northamptonshire, it meant ill fortune. Crow, cawing in a hoarse voice, meant bad weather. A death omen was a crow cawing thrice as it flew over a house. The Irish believed that Crow flocking in trees, but not nesting were souls from Purgatory. Finding a dead crow was a sign of good fortune. Russians believed that witches took the shape of Crow.
Some AmerIndian tribes believed Crow was the keeper of the sacred law and could shape-shift. He protected the sacred writings of Great Spirit. Crow is an omen of transformation. The bird has been associated with the Ghost Dance movement of 1890. Crow has no sense of time and lives in the Void, having the ability to the past, present and future at the same time.
The Alaskan Athapaskan tribe believed crow created the world. Crow is considered to be the entrance to the supernatural and is associated with illusion. Along with Coyote and Raven, Crow is considered trickster. According to the Alaskan Tanaina Tribe, Chuylen, Crow, can shape-shift into a young handsome man. In this shape, he can trick people into getting what he desires. When he is in the shape of a crow, he does the same to animals.
Crow has been likened to the trickster of Native American power animals, (Coyote). There was a man who hated crows because he thought they prevented him from trapping rabbits. He decided to try to frighten them by putting mirrors on the ground facing skyward so the birds would see their reflections and be scared away. Crow, a curious bird, was fascinated by the mirrors and decided to explore them. One by one, they desecrated the mirrors’ surfaces, then flew into a tree and cackled at what they had done.
CROW - integrity and doing unto others as we would like them to do to us.
Crow teaches us to know ourselves beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and laws. It is about bringing magic into our lives. This animal teaches to appreciate the many dimensions both of reality and ourselves, and to learn to trust our intuition and personal integrity. There is magic wherever crows are. They give us the message that there is magic alive in our world and this magic is ours to use and create a new world for ourselves with.
Crow is the left-handed guardian. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and is the keeper of all sacred law. There are several species of crow. Raven is one of these and magpies are another. Crow medicine people are masters of illusion. Do not try to figure crow out. It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen.
Crow is also the guardian of ceremonial magic and healing. In any healing circle, Crow is present. Crow guides the magic of healing and the change in consciousness that will bring about a new reality and dispel "dis-ease" or illness. You can rest assure when ever crows are around, magic is near by and you are about to experience a change in consciousness. Crow can give you the courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that is not yet in form.
If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and "caw" the shots as you see them. Crow is an omen of change. If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that they are out of balance.
Crows are the bringer of messages from the spirit world, and is thought to dwell beyond the realm of time and space.
When you meet crow, he could be telling you that there will be changes in your life and that possibly you should step by the usual way you view reality and look into the inner realms …walk your talk… be prepared to let go of your old thinking and embrace a new way of viewing yourself and the world.
Crow is the sacred keeper of the law. Crow medicine signifies a firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust.
When you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.
More About Crows:
Crows are very vocal birds. They are sly and often deceptive in their actions. Crows have been known to build false nests high in treetops to confuse predators. The height of their nests give them the opportunity to watch everything that is going on around them. Many cultures think of crow as the keeper of knowledge for nothing escapes their keen sight.
Crows travel in groups and make mischief in teams. As one crow explores something new, others will watch closely to see what happens and then learn from it. In this way they seem to always be in council with each other. They often raise a ruckus when hunters are around, warning deer and other birds. Crows recognize possible danger and always post lookouts when feeding---thier most vulnerable time.
Their language is complex and they have a remarkable voice range. Each caw has its own meaning. Sometimes crow warns of impending danger. Other times it signals a time to join in council and make decisions. Listening to crow can teach those with this medicine how to hear the truth of what is being said.
The striking black color of crow represents the color of creation. It is the womb out of which the new is born. Black the color of night gives birth to the light of a new day. Crow is a daytime bird reminding us that magic and creation are present in both. Their ability to shift between the known and unknown world indicates new journeys.
Because crow is adaptable to all environments and will eat almost anything they can survive in almost any situation. Crow is associated with magic, unseen forces and spiritual strength. If crow flies into your life, get out of your familiar nest, look beyond your present range of vision, listen to its caw and act accordingly.
Collected from various sources including: Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.
Read more about crows and crow magic here.