If you have ever met a crow who insists on getting your attention, you’ve probably wondered why. Large, black, and with a unique gift for communication, these birds don’t attempt to interact with just anyone. Crow symbolism across cultural myths, as well as what we know from modern zoological studies, shows that crows are intelligent, insightful creatures that have much to teach us.
Crows are Remarkable Birds
Crows are highly adaptable creatures who can walk, swim, and fly. Therefore, they have full access to the world and its many dimensions. That is why a crow sighting has a connection to eternal life and the spirit world.
Crows have also long been a symbol of ancient prophecy, second sight or clairvoyance, and a messenger from the spirit world. Because crows teach their young all they know, each crow that you see is a bird with the wisdom of the ancients.
If you have a crow sighting, it’s likely you’ll also hear his call. The crow’s call is just part of a very intricate language system, and if he recognizes you, he may have given you your own special call—kind of like a name. He’s adaptable, intelligent, and he can even turn sticks into tools in order to get what he wants.
TED Talk: Crows
These winged wonders got their own presentation when Joshua Klein gave a TED Talk on the intelligence of crows. How many animals get to be the subject of a TED Talk? It’s no wonder that one of the crow’s spiritual messages to us is to never underestimate the power of others as well as our own power.
What do Crows and Ravens Symbolize?
Crows and ravens have a somewhat bad rap in our history, often used to represent evil, and things of a dark nature. But the lesson in that is to not judge a book by its cover. The crow teaches us to be mindful of judging others (and crows) and to stand out in thought and action—even if it goes against popular opinion.
Both mysterious and misunderstood, the crow is often associated with death and darkness, yet some cultures have revered him as the creator of the world. Much like the coyote, the crow has the reputation of being a trickster and a shapeshifter because he fools us into thinking he is a mere scavenger when he is actually quite intelligent.
Science has even proven that the crow’s brain/body size is proportionate to that of a chimpanzee, and in some studies, he has exhibited nearly human-like thinking and tenacity in solving problems. Tests have also proven that the crow recognizes faces, and he has a long memory for them.
Much like human beings, the crow shows a sense of community and he is a skillful watchman. He observes quietly and warns other animals of impending dangers, such as hunters in the area.
In many traditions, crows are also said to be timeless birds who can know and experience the past, present, and future. As a result, crow symbolism often points to clairvoyance and psychic ability.
Crows also have good memories: they can remember faces and will recall whether an encounter with a human or other animal was a positive or negative one. Many people report developing strong relationships with neighborhood crows.
Gratitude is also expressed by crows. There are many reports of crows bringing gifts, such as jewelry that the crow finds on the ground, to people who have been kind to them.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of Seeing Crows?
A crow encounter is something special and should be considered deeply. Given what we already know about crows, there are several ways to interpret your encounters with them.
Because of the crow’s ability to fly and move into many realms, it may be asking you to see beyond the limitations of physical sigh; he’s asking you to tap into your intuitive second sight and the wisdom of the Universe.
A crow’s memory is a most remarkable thing. Your crow encounter may be asking you to deeply consider something from your past. It may be that you are asked to recall a life lesson, or there may be someone with whom you need to reconnect.
Finally, the gratitude expressed by crows should not be overlooked. Have you been practicing gratitude in your life? Showing your appreciation for others and giving back is often critical for forming good relationships and connecting with your community.
The Crow as Your Totem or Power Animal
As a totem of the Great Spirit, the crow represents creation and spiritual strength. He gets the utmost respect. To have a crow as a power animal is powerful. The crow represents wisdom, and if you have a crow sighting, you are connecting with his spirit. Together, you can travel beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and laws.
If you identify with the crow you can identify with many dimensions of reality and trust in your intuition. You may even have the gift of “second sight” or clairvoyance. As an air totem symbol, the crow is a direct connection between the conscious and subconscious minds.
What do Crows Symbolize in Native Cultures?
Many Native American cultures consider crows to be the keepers of the spiritual law because nothing escapes their keen sight. They hold the knowledge of all things, including ancient magic.
The crow and the raven (his cousin) are sometimes interchangeable in some Native American cultures, but others treat them separately. In most legends, however, both are symbols of wisdom and intelligence. They can also be symbols of change, as many totems are.
The Crow tribe, whose name in their own language means, “children of the big beaked bird,” adopted their name through their friendly interaction with white settlers and their rough translation of their native name. Lewis and Clark were welcomed by the Crows. Some tribes believe that the crow has the power to talk and they consider them to be one of the wisest birds.
In the Hopi nation, there are Kachinas that represent anything in the natural world or cosmos. One of their Kachinas is the “Crow Mother,” who looks after the welfare of children and to some, she’s the mother of all the Kachinas. There are more than 400 different Kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture.
If you’re interested in our other animal sighting articles, you can find them here.
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