Raven Symbolism & Meaning

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Are you studying the Mysteries and need help understanding certain lessons?

Do you want to find your own, true voice and be confident announcing it to the world?

Raven energy can be a powerful ally on your journey to success!

Raven Table of Contents

Raven Symbolism & Meaning

When Raven as a spirit animal guide comes cawing loudly into your life, it marks a moment to pause and give serious consideration to the messages coming your way.

Black as midnight, it’s not surprising to discover that, in many cultures, Raven symbolism and meaning is connected with death and the underworld.

At first this meaning may seem dire, but the representation need not be literal.

Rather, it’s most likely that something is about to transform your life. Whether positive or negative, total transformation is usually dramatic. And, so, Raven spirit can help guide you safely through the fray.

Remember that Raven consumes the remains of other creatures, giving this bird the additional symbolic value of cleansing.

Perhaps there is something old and unhealthy that you need to purge?

Raven is a great helpmate for that. Raven is also an excellent teacher, guide, and partner for magical studies and efforts.

Let this sage master “call” to the quarters of creation with your intention.

Raven has been called a master of time. Procrastinators out there get ready.

If Raven wings his way into your awareness you are about to get a lesson in using time wisely. You need to be in the right space at the right moment, and Raven encourages that change in movement in your life.

Effectively this animal spirit is one that presages a kind of rebirth or renewal when your life may have seemed stagnant.

The ancient Greeks trusted in Raven to carry messages from the Divine, particularly Apollo. This means that while Raven spirit is tied closely to the night, it also has solar qualities.

Working with Raven is a way of boosting your powers of observation and bringing anything that lingers in the shadows into a healthy light.

Ravens have a very distinctive voice and a vast vocabulary. They are among the smartest birds in nature, so don’t be surprised if you start finding that your communication skills improve.

Raven reminds us to stay true to our voice.

You might find yourself feeling a little nervous when Raven decides to speak to your life. That’s natural.

Remember, however, that Raven is a fierce protector sacred to Morrigan. Raven also was the totem to the Queen of the Fairies.

One thing is for certain, with Raven around your life will not want for mystical adventures and spiritual surprises.

Raven Spirit Animal

Some Native American tribes call the Raven a ‘secret keeper’. When you have a Raven spirit animal you must not give your promises of confidentiality lightly, nor give away information given to you in trust.

Raven has no patience for two-faced dishonesty and calls those with whom it interacts to rise to new levels of honor.

People walking the path of the Mysteries are often sought out by Raven spirit. This being prefers to share its knowledge with someone who appreciates the depth and breadth of the Adept, including the challenges that await along that Path.

In the sunlight the color of Raven isn’t simply black, but appears to transform into various shades of blue. Raven can also mimic the sounds of other birds. This means that seekers interested in learning the art of shape shifting would do well to seek out Raven for his teachings.

No matter what, if Raven is your Spirit animal always listen to her warnings respectfully. She is there to protect and guide.

Raven Totem Animal

People drawn to the Raven as a totem have a naturally inventive and mischievous air about them. You will never be afraid of darkness… in fact you embrace it with a passion. You can walk, swim, or fly while remaining totally quiet, which is also the time during which you really connect with the Divine and Higher Self.

A Raven totem means that you are often the human version of Mercury, delivering information to others. This may be something mundane like guidance in their protection or something deeply spiritual. Raven people often walk the line between the worlds, acting as a bridge.

There is no doubt that you will dabble with magic when you walk with Raven. You’ll also find your ability to transform your life in meaningful ways expanding.

Raven spirit challenges you, however, to look honestly at yourself and ask “Never more?” – what hides in the shadows of your being that’s holding you back?

Bring that negativity into the light and cry with the Raven, NEVER MORE.

Raven Power Animal

Having the Raven as a power animal is one way to begin learning the language of animals. Raven knows how to change his song, and by listening you can learn much about Nature’s symbols and signs.

Raven Spirit asks for your respect, not your fear. This Being awakens your inner Shaman, and helps stimulate karmic memories. As these memories emerge they will help you deal with something important in the real world or on your spiritual path.

When you walk with raven anticipate change and new perspectives. Be ready to delve into the realms of the unconscious and reaching for your true Be-ing. This is a hard process, but it brings long-lasting healing in mind, body and soul. This is your moment of rebirth.

Native American Raven Symbolic Meanings

Various Native American tribes tell stories of Raven as the creator of the world including the Inuit and Salish tribes. Nonetheless, Raven is also a trickster who paired humans together and acted as a protector and provider.

In some stories it is Raven that steals and releases the sun similarly to Prometheus.


Raven as a Celtic Animal Symbol

Celtic tradition associated the Raven with numerous bigger-than-life figures including the goddess Morriigan, Bran the Blessed (who was thought to have the power to protect a whole city), and the sun god Lugh, just to name a few. Throughout the Celtic regions Raven represented war and death as well as magical mysteries and prophetic abilities.

Raven Dreams

Dreams about Ravens symbolize transformation and dreaming of a Raven or Ravens is letting you know that change is right around the corner – particularly in your perspectives.

Raven may be calling to you to take your magic to new levels, or reminding you of an important lesson. In either case, there’s about to be a LOT of activity in your life, so prepare accordingly.

Raven in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

Raven is one of the 12 Native American Zodiac Signs.

People born under the sign of the Raven have high energy levels and a passion for success. Raven people will not give up easily. You are here to beat the odds turning disadvantages into benefits.

The Raven corresponds to the Western Astrological sign of Scorpio and the Monkey in the Chinese Astrological calendar. In these associations we see the playfulness inherent in Raven as well as the “fire” of the Scorpio.

When Raven souls manifest their personal power its quite a spectacle to behold. Their quick minds and cunning rarely let them down. However, in their youth Ravens must learn how to respect their animal traits and not use them for harm or selfishness.

Far Eastern Raven Symbolic Meanings

China, Japan and Korea have overlapping imagery for Raven and Crow, with stories referring to a solar creature that moved the sun, cleansed the land after terrible battles, and acted as a guide for sacred journeys. In this respect, if you are pondering a pilgrimage call upon Raven for company and advice.

29 Responses

  1. Allison

    I just went to the Grand Canyon North rim for a family hiking vacation with my mom and brother. Ive been heartbroken and a mess for a month over a relationship gone away. The raven greeted me the first day with beautiful songs, called out to me when I felt dispair, flew over me when I was exhausted, and guided me when I was lost. He even sat with me for a brief moment at Cape Final… thank you for thos information. I will continue to love and seek God in all things.

    • Hello, Allison;

      I’m so sorry you are hurting. Raven energy is a wonderful healer – especially when we feel spiritually broken, when we’ve lost faith. Raven can help you find your smile again so just follow where it leads. All the Wild Ones here at WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com are sending you tons of love!

      Stay wild,

  2. Christina

    After leaving the movies today with my fiancé, I found a dead Raven ! It had struck the side of truck and was smeared down the side of it .
    I’m extremely worried.:.. Is this a bad omen or a good omen?!
    Please help!!!!
    Thank you,

  3. Kim W.

    I recently saw a small flock of ravens near my local transportation hub here on Long Island. A few were perched close to me, one was just steps away from me and turned its head all the way around like it was curious. And then the weird things was, they were playing with the seagulls nearby…and none of the birds were squawking. Not one sound. I’ve been going through some serious health issues and personal problems. I saw Ravens a few times last year, but never ravens and seagulls at the same time. I’m an Empath and always been spiritual. I believe the ravens and seagulls are a sign that things are about to change for me in a dramatic way but I’m not entirely certain about that.

  4. Sarah

    I’m not sure if it’s just black birds, ravens, or hawks. I just know they are literally everywhere I go. To make things really spooky, I decided to go on a local trail nearby, and when I was finished meditate. I had already seen a bunch of birds before I went up this hill. Its not crazy to believe they could of seen me and was curious to what I was. Well I had a decent meditation and when I looked up I saw a swarm of black birds and to me it looked like hawks. I kept looking at them and they begin to go their own way. I had ran down this hill and one big bird flew right in front of me that looked like it had a white stripe on its tail. I’ve seen over my school and more come from what seems like out of nowhere to join it. I went on another walk today and the birds I saw looked like raven, and that is what lead me to this cite.

    • Hi, Sarah;

      Where you see spooky, I see magical! When we meditate, we connect with the Universe is a very powerful way. This sends out all kinds of magical/magickal energy and animals can feel that. So, likely what happened is the Birds reacted to the energy being created by your meditation! LOVE this! And, it IS almost Halloween so Raven energy (magical/magickal energy) would definitely be attracted to meditative energy at this time.

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

      • Bernadette

        I went to the hospital one day to visit my momma and at that time she was put on a ventilator and I was so upset and so scared that my mother was going to die!! She made it through that and is here with me and is well. But my question is when I left the hospital that day I heard what I thought was somebody calling my name but I looked around and nobody was there so I proceeded to my friends truck and heard my name again and I looked again with the same results! So I turned to my friend and said please tell me you heard that and he replied “yes I did”! And one more time I heard my name so I turned and looked up and there was a raven on a power pole looking down at me and I ask someone today who knows about things like that and they wouldn’t tell me what it meant and was ready to get away from me quick. I’m scared more so now than before. This happened 4 yr ago but please tell me you know what the meaning of a raven calling somebody’s name 3 times?

        • Z

          I wouldn’t consider it a negative, I would not be scared by it. Raven’s come to offer comfort, they also come bearing messages; often the truth.
          Three is a spiritual number, when you say/do something three times it actualises it.
          You fear of it may be closing you off to the message and comfort it has to offer you. Perhaps know that its presence not a negative and he means you no harm will help.
          Hope you feel the comfort and get the message he is bringing you. 🙂

      • Bernadette

        I went to the hospital one day to visit my momma and at that time she was put on a ventilator and I was so upset and so scared that my mother was going to die!! She made it through that and is here with me and is well. But my question is when I left the hospital that day I heard what I thought was somebody calling my name but I looked around and nobody was there so I proceeded to my friends truck and heard my name again and I looked again with the same results! So I turned to my friend and said please tell me you heard that and he replied “yes I did”! And one more time I heard my name so I turned and looked up and there was a raven on a power pole looking down at me and I ask someone today who knows about things like that and they wouldn’t tell me what it meant and was ready to get away from me quick. I’m scared more so now than before. This happened 4 yr ago but please tell me you know what the meaning of a raven calling somebody’s name 3 times? Thank you! Signed Connie K

    • Andrea

      Sounds me it might be magpie.

  5. Heidi

    This explains so much.

    • Hi, Heidi;

      Thank you for visiting and commenting on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com.

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

      • Cheryl

        I also went through a relationship breakup. My husband of 32 years left. I had been reading spiritual books before hand. So I know I was being prepared ahead of time. Conciderimg I had no idea how the first book even got into my books I bought. But decided since I bought it I might as well read it. That was the start. Then when he left it was like I was surrounded by ravens they were on my deck. I admitt it was a little scary to almost touch them. Then on my roof. And I’m the trees around my home. They stayed for a month or so. Well know they are back on my roof, eye level to me in a tree. Let’s just say they have my attention. So my thought is that I’m in for another change in my life. Possibly a big change.

  6. Axel

    Raven has been coming to me for over a year and has helped me thru a recovery process of great personal change. I rely on her mirth and sacred creation connections to magic and walk the spiritual path with her guidance! Thank you, CREATOR/RAVEN!

    • Hello, Axel;

      So happy to know you’re on the path to healing! Thank you for visiting and commenting on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com!

      Stay wild,

  7. Cath

    Interesting article. “Lugh” corresponds to the Welsh god of the Underworld(Annwn) and King of the Fairy, “Gwynn ap Nudd”. Today, people would not recognise a fairy if it stabbed them in the face. Silly fluttery things hanging about flowers are not fairies at all, look up “Wild Hunt”, “Cwn Annwn”, “Gwynn ap Nudd” to get a basic understanding of what a fairy really is. Welsh rule Number 1: “Don’t f*ck with the Faerie.”
    …To the Raven. Ravens have been around me all of my life, bold as brass, talkative and downright friendly. The largest Raven in the world is the Australian Raven and oh, they are gorgeous birds. One that showed up a lot usually in company was rather unusual as he, he gave a very strong sense of “male” and “otherworldly” had startling brilliant emerald eyes.
    A small “murder” of ravens decided to move onto our farm here in Central Illinois during the beginning of last year’s (2015) Spring. They are playful, noisy, talkative and content to come to the ground and run around just being totally silly nearby. One of them is very good at imitating my extremely talkative red Arabian stallion.
    On the wheel, I was born under the sign of the Raven which interested me since I have never been anywhere that ravens were not present.

  8. Judy

    For all of October, a huge raven pounded on a vertical skylight over my bathtub, a location where I couldn’t actually see him. When I went up into the driveway to look, at least two ravens scolded me vociferously. The window/window frame shook when the raven’s pounded, and there was the sound of debris falling, which made me afraid that the window frame was loose, etc. I’ve since learned the debris falling was just pine needles and other tree debris sliding off the roof, and that the window frame is solid. The raven pounded between 7 – 7:30 each morning, except the one morning I wanted to get up then and overslept! Following the pounding on the skylight, he flew around to a decorative frame outside my bedroom window where he would sometimes briefly attack one of a series of six windows. A week ago, we put a protective barrier over the vertical window and reflective tape hanging on the lateral frame. While the raven returned to the frame this morning, s/he did not attack the bedroom windows, but I can hear him occasionally attacking a downstairs window. A couple of week ago, he was so aggressive and persistent, I became concerned that he might be diseased. A “Wildcare” advisor said that s/he was staking out his territory for a nest and that if I didn’t do something to discourage him/her soon, I’d have to live with these attacks until next summer. My initial reaction to the pounding and then bedroom window visit at about the time I should get up in the morning was that someone from my past had returned in the form of the raven to get me going earlier in the morning, but then I heard him pounding in the afternoon, too. So, is the raven(s) visits symbolic in my life or just “business as usual” for a bird seeking a safe nesting place. I should add that a resident raccoon has also become more aggressive, consistently dragging things down from shelves in my carport and leaving them strewn around the driveway — unless this is the raven at work, too.

    • Bernadette King

      Hello, Judy;

      The Raven (and Raccoon) may be going about ‘business as usual’ – doing what comes naturally to them. BUT – they are choosing to do this at your home. In my opinion, nothing is coincidence. The Universe is not random and is never in chaos. So, pay attention to the actions of Raven. What is it telling you? Do you need to stake out your claim? Do you need to keep ‘pecking’ at a project? Are the messages you’re sending to the world being heard and respected? Do you need to bring some magic and mirth to your life?

      Maybe do a meditation and ask Raven spirit to tell you why it’s come knocking on your world.

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

  9. Nell

    During a meditation months ago a raven appeared and told me he was my animal guide (I often go flying in my meditation and dream time so this seemed OK to me although I spoke with someone who told me everything bad about having this bird as a guide. But I don’t feel this way at all I feel lucky I hear this bird every morning outside my bedroom window before I even get up. Yesterday I was really tired I had been looking after my new born grandson as his mummy was poorly so I took him for a walk (they live at the top of a huge hill) I didn’t realise as I walked down it that I would have to get back up it at some point !!!!. As soon as I stood at the bottom a large raven stood 2 feet away from us and stayed there the whole walk up willing use on I could hear him talking to me, I stopped once or twice and he stopped too can’t tell you how it felt I was so emotional by the time I reached the top. He led the way right to the door and at which point I thanked him for his service. I now know for sure he is meant to be in my life. By the way I will just mention I am a empath, a reiki healer, and I work with the angels guidance and cards. I also believe in magic the good kind. I feel blessed to have such a spiritual life blessed with all things good.
    Fly high everyone. Blessings

  10. Amy

    Can we have more than one spirit animal? And can they change over time? I used to be drawn to the Dragonfly for many years. Lately, it’s been the crow/raven, owls and hawks. I have had a tough personal run for it these last two years and am trying to heal. My husband of 21 years has been lying to me for two years and has broken my trust and heart. We are still together, but it’s been really hard for me to figure out my path right now. I will look to these animals right now for guidance.

    • Bernadette King

      Hi, Amy;

      Apologies for delay in response – was on vaca! With your permission, I’ll send you tons of healing Spirit Animal energy! We definitely can have more than one Spirit Animal. Over the years, as our needs change so can our Spirit Animal. And, just like humans work in ‘teams’ so can and does Spirit Animals. Perhaps take a look at Dolphin energy. The Dophin Spirit Animal teaches us to reconnect with hope, happiness and playfulness. Momma Ocean can help heal the soul and make us more comfortable traveling to the very depths of our spirit to find the pearls we thought were lost. You’ll get through all this. I have faith in you!

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

  11. Jake

    I remember being told 10 years ago that the raven was my spirit animal, before I could say that I had any understanding of spirituality, the universe or its depth. Its qualities have surely represented what I exist to be today. I have been on quite a spiritual journey since, unique to my path. I began sharing my findings; speculative yet holding a firm belief to them, with my friends today. A great deal of study into ancients, our distant past, and trying to call upon deeper meanings and messages has been a non-stop quest for me. I have found more and more evidence recently to suggest a huge global shift was to be imminent. I was discussing these findings over the phone, overlooking my bedroom window. An obnoxiously large black bird could be seen between two houses beyond my backyard, close enough to see it doing something, but could not tell what it was. It caught my attention, considering its the middle of winter, cold, and no other birds in sight, yet this massive black bird I haven’t seen had appeared. It disappeared beyond the front of the house to where I could not see. I began to wonder what it was, and wish I could have got a closer look. It had only been seconds since it vanished, but it re-appeared immediately, right in front of my face just beyond my window. It was fast but it was like time slowed so I could gaze every detail. It was surely not a crow, as it was huge! The wingspan could have been almost as tall as I am ( 6″1′). I guessed it to be a raven, looking at images on the internet to confirm my thought. I have never seen a raven before, at least within memory, and this was surely an instance to recall. It was massive, and I definitely remark this moment as a sign of what is to come. There is no denying that my understanding of my findings is likely at the cusp of some great discovery, or it can be a message to say that my knowledge is true, and will offer guidance…

    either or, this is a sign of importance, and if this had anything to do with my research, then there is not much time left. I hope I can count on the Raven to stick by my side. I wish it to be so. Thank you for the message, and the insight to allow me to understand the significance of the Raven.

    • Bernadette King

      Hi, Jake;

      Apologies for delay in response – was on vaca!

      Wow. With all the research you do into the world’s mysteries it makes complete sense that Raven is your Totem Animal. It also sounds like Raven is your Spirit Animal as well. During these times of great change in the world, Raven and Crow sightings are really ramping up. If I may offer a piece of advice – Ravens (and Crows) are jesters. These incredibly intelligent Birds demonstrate a terrific sense of humor, time and again. So, while you’re delving into the past so as to be able to peek into the future – don’t forget there is much wisdom to be found in levity.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com!

      Stay wild,

  12. Erika

    Beginning around nine months ago, I began seeing ravens. The first encounter was a playground my daughter and I occasionally frequent. The bird sat atop the play structure and just looked at me. I was able to get close–within a few feet–and we just looked at each other. I was the one who broke the stare. I later noticed that it was injured so I didn’t think much more about it until we were at the same playground and I saw another, different, raven exhibiting the same behavior–seemingly unafraid. Another face off ensued. Then my curiosity was piqued a little bit. Since then, I have begun seeing them regularly in my neighborhood, they seemed to have moved into the tree in my yard and caw loudly to one another all the time. What really got me was that I had another stare down with a raven on my very street and could no longer deny that there is a larger spiritual significance to this. I’ve never been much of a bird person, and never have noticed ravens or other common birds all that much, let alone actually look one in the eye. When talking to my therapist today, she brought up the symbolism of the raven and the light bulb when off in my head. For the past four years I have been going through a number of major personal and professional issues, and I’m wondering if the raven has arrived, quite literally, to guide me through the healing transformation portion of this journey. There’s also been other elements and synchronicities that lead me to believe that I’m going through a full scale spiritual awakening, but I haven’t been able to fit all the pieces together quite yet. I’m waking up, but don’t have all the words.

    • Erika

      On top of it, I have been seeing repeating numbers in the vein of 11:11, et al., for the last year and half. Something blows my way…

      • Bernadette King

        Hi again, Erika;

        Double numbers are big omens in the world of spirituality. Double numbers speak of synchronicity and the divine flow of energy ‘supercharging’ those synchronicities for the highest and best good at this time. Some folks see double number (11:11, 22:22, 33:33) as angel numbers.

        Hope that helps.

        Stay wild,

    • Bernadette King

      Hello, Erika;

      The Raven encounters you describe are quite powerful. It’s very possible that Raven is coming to you as both a Spirit Animal and Power Animal. Because Raven’s are black, and because they have stared you directly in the eyes on numerous occasions, perhaps Raven is acting a a “mirror teacher”. Meaning, maybe Raven is using its medicine and energy to get you to ‘look into a mirror’ and face your shadow self. When we are called upon to face our shadow self, great upheaval generally surrounds this time in our life. It’s so wonderful to know that your therapist is open enough to include Raven symbolism in your sessions. Ask her about the shadow self – she’ll likely have an understanding of what it is and be able to determine if facing it at this time is the best course of action for you.

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

  13. Deirdre

    Made a post earlier, don’t see it but maybe it needs to be approved by you first but I messed up. I wish I could meet a medicine man or medicine woman. Shaman is not the accurate or accepted name for them. Oops.

  14. Ebenezer Hadebe

    The past few days I couldn’t sleep due to a Raven calling right on top of a three that Is next to my window… I don’t know why does it have to do that for so long…but I really need a strategy to make it quite cause it really disturbs my snap…it even do sounds in the afternoons and I’m the only one that would get irritated by it. Please help!!!

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