Raven Symbolism & Meaning (+ Spirit, Totem & Omens)

Are you interested in the Raven Spirit Animal? Then this guide is for you!

A good number of people don’t know the clear distinction between ravens and crows.

Ravens are bulkier and larger. Actually, they are almost as big as their cousins, the hawks. Unlike the crows, ravens have shiny black feathers.

Crows’ feathers are dull and lackluster.

Having the raven as your spirit guide can be a fascinating experience. This is more so because these birds are known for their intelligence.

With their vast repertoire of vocalizations, ravens can actually mimic humans. These birds are thought to be more intelligent than some apes.

With all their stellar qualities, ravens have a negative reputation because they are carrion birds. They feed on the decaying meat of dead animals.

When this bird flies into your life, it could be a message that someone or something is threatening to devour your achievements.


What’s the Raven Meaning and Symbolism?

Symbol of Psychic Powers

Some artistic impressions of the raven indicate it has a third eye. This is in reference to its psychic and occult powers.

Some people believe that the raven spirit animal enables one to predict the future. What this bird is saying is that you need to see beyond your immediate material world.

Symbol of Loss and Death

The raven is covered in a shiny black cover that makes it resemble an evil undertaker. It is the raven’s association with the color black that links it to darkness, loss, and death.

Across many cultures, the raven is regarded as a sign of evil. It is said to be the bringer of bad news.

Symbol of Strength and Protection

In ancient cultures from across the globe, ravens were seen as special messengers of the deities. They had the ability to crisscross the physical and spiritual realm with ease.

They carried your prayers from this world to the other and brought back the answers you needed to move on with your life.

Symbol of Intellect and Wisdom

Ravens are some of the most intelligent birds in the animal kingdom. With a range of well over 100 vocalizations, this bird can imitate just about any speech that takes its fancy.

Ravens are symbolic of mental acuity. Having the raven as your spirit animal guide enables you to learn new things with ease.

Symbol of Resilience and Adaptability

Ravens can survive just about everywhere in the world. They are found in mountains, forests, hot deserts, and even in the Arctic wilderness.

They thrive in rural areas as well as in towns. As such, the raven spirit animal reminds us to be versatile and adaptable.

Whenever you are faced with a problem, step back and look at the best way of handling it. Don’t rely on the same tired methods day in, day out.

Symbolic Meaning of Raven Totem Animal in Various Cultures

Raven Symbolism in Christian Culture

In Christianity, the raven is closely linked to the story of Noah’s Ark. It is said that ravens made a feast of the bodies of all those who perished in the flood.

Christians see this as a reminder that failure to listen to God leads to death.

Some versions of the story of Noah’s Ark indicate that the ravens were banished from Ark. In Christianity, this indicates that you can’t mess up with God’s creation and hope to survive.

It is a tacit reminder that the wages of sin is death.

This myth further says that the raven came back to plead with Noah to be allowed back into the Ark. Noah would have none of it because he knew that God’s judgment was final.

In this aspect, the raven is equated to Satan, the Father of all tricksters.

Indeed, because of this bird’s association with the Devil, many early Christians saw it as a symbol of pain, suffering, and death.

This is further given credence by the fact that the raven has an affinity for dead bodies.

Raven Symbolism in African Culture

Many African tribes associated the raven with loss, death, and ill-omen. This is because the demeanor and behavior of this bird painted an intimidating picture.

Indeed, many African communities did not want to hear the croaking calls of the raven anywhere near their homes.

Children were forbidden from mentioning the raven’s name at night, as this would invite misfortune or death into the homestead.

Adults, too, spoke the name of this carrion eater in hushed tones for fear of inviting ill-omen on their families.

The raven was also closely linked to witchcraft and dark magic. It was thought that feared witches would keep ravens, owls, snakes, and bats as their companions.

However, the raven got appreciation from some communities, who felt that it was a messenger between the world of the living and that of the dead.

These communities looked at the raven as a symbol of insight and prophecy. This bird helped these people connect to their dead ancestors.

Raven Symbolism in Native American Culture

Some Native American tribes, such as the Salish and the Inuit, look at the raven in a favorable light. They contend that this spirit animal played a pivotal role in the creation of the world.

They believe that the raven has always worked with many to protect the environment and create the right balance in all living things.

This is demonstrated by how the raven cleans the land of all carrion.

In Native American culture, the raven spirit animal empowers you to move with ease through the various states of your consciousness.

It calls for the wisdom of this spirit guide to change your awareness based on the truths being revealed to you by the forces of the Universe.

Most Native American tribes respected the raven as a divine messenger between the world of the living and the spirit world.

Ravens or their images were used in spiritual rituals that needed the power of magic to pass important messages to the other world.

The raven’s black color, according to Native American tribes, symbolized the black void from which everything came.

The raven reminds us that our lives are intertwined with everything else in the Universe – whether in the past, present, or future.

Symbolism of the Raven in Celtic Culture

In Celtic mythologies, special birds acted as intercessors between the material world and the world of the gods.

The raven falls in this category. It was believed that some deities would transform themselves into ravens and visit the material world to get a closer look at their subjects.

Celtic mythology also has it that ravens were the custodians of wisdom.

It was believed that giving a newborn child a drink from a raven’s skull would make this child strong, wise, and focused.

Ravens were also thought to possess the power of prophecy.

They would go around the world collecting information from various sources, and this would help people to predict what was to follow.

Ravens set good examples to Celtic warriors on how to wage war. The cruel nature of these birds taught the warriors to obliterate their enemies and take away as much as they could from their lands.

Symbolism of the Raven in Eastern Culture

In Japan, ancient Shintoism holds that ravens were special messengers from the deities. They were closely associated with the Amaterasu-Omikami, the Sun goddess.

The ancient Samurai warriors of Japan looked to the ravens for inspiration when they set out for battle. It is no wonder that some Samurai units were feared for their pitilessness.

The Chinese believed that the ravens were given authority to rule over the crows.

The Bhutan revered the raven so much that they made it one of their national symbols.

The raven takes a sinister or ominous meaning in the Philippines. Seeing this bird near one’s compound meant misfortune for the entire household.

Urgent cleansing was required to remove the curse brought on any home by the presence of the raven.

When the Raven is Your Spirit Animal

When the raven spirit animal flies into your life, it asks you to keep your secrets to yourself. Your enemies cannot get to you if they have no information about you.

People with the raven spirit guide have no time for dishonest companions. They mingle only with people whose word is their bond.

The raven spirit animal encourages you to understand the mysteries of your life. This bird reminds you that you are in this life for a purpose.

You are meant to share your skills and talents with others in your world.

This spirit animal encourages you to associate and share knowledge with men and women of your ilk. These are the people that want to see you grow and rise to the next level of your existence.

Do not lower your standards for anything, for this will convince you to eventually settle for mediocrity.

The raven has the ability to mimic a variety of sounds. This spirit guide urges you to embrace learning new things.

Open your mind and heart to the lessons you get from your interactions with nature and other beings in the Universe.

The Raven Power Animal

How much of your childhood do you miss? The raven spirit animal knows your needs, and it will help you connect to those aspects of your childhood that you long for.

The raven power animal wants you to be happy.

By intervening in your life, it is telling you to deal with the impediments that stand in the way of your peace and progress.

It is said that this bird has the power to see the darkest places and around the tightest corners. You need this kind of skill to deal with the fear that emanates from your past.

Trust the raven power animal to help you break down the dangers that have followed you from your childhood.

The power guide is particularly close to those whose childhood has been less than satisfactory.

He flies to the other side of time and space and helps you to put right the pains you have been battling.

Few forces can detect the pain of physical, mental, and emotional abuse like the raven does.

The raven power guide will help you to find the joy that marked the innocent moments of your childhood.

The Raven Totem Animal

If you were born with the raven totem, it means you are innovative. You are not afraid of the kind of challenges that would put off an ordinary person.

The raven is known for its fearlessness. It is not afraid of dark places. When this spirit guide is your totem, you embrace these qualities.

You’ll do your things quietly without announcing your plans or intentions. People with this totem don’t speak much about what they intend to do.

They let their results speak for them.

Being born with the raven totem means you are well protected. You have the guidance you need to achieve your spiritual and material goals.

You are exactly where you’d like to be. The bridge between you and the spiritual realm is open and accessible.

This means you can freely interact with your divine minders, letting them know what you are going through and the kind of support you need.

The raven totem will expose you to the world of psychic powers and magic. This will enable you to change your life meaningfully, creating the impact you’d like to see around you.

There’s no doubt the raven totem keeps challenging you to be the best you can be. You will look at yourself in all honesty and acknowledge your strengths.

Ravens encounters and Omens

Meeting the raven does not happen as a matter of coincidence. If you listen to your intuition closely, you’ll realize that this bird is guiding you in a certain definite direction.

Seeing a raven means you need support to make a crucial decision concerning some aspects of your life.

This spirit animal comes your way because you have a mystic aura about you. The raven wants you to unleash this talent to benefit the world.

People who frequently encounter ravens have a keen sense of justice. They don’t allow their emotions to meddle when they have a critical decision to make about right and wrong.

The raven teaches you to detach yourself from conflicts that prevent you from carrying out your commission in this world.

Ravens Mythology and Folklore

In most communities, the raven was viewed in a negative light. Since it was associated with dead or dying animals, people felt it was a symbol of death, doom, and loss.

Ravens have been associated with psychic powers and the occult, often touted as the perfect companions for wizards, witches, and other practitioners of dark magic.

However, there’s a positive side to the raven story. For example, in Japan and China, this bird was associated with family loyalty and love.

Japanese and Chinese children were given raven amulets by their parents to wear as they went about their activities.

This symbolized protection and focus.

In Tibet, the raven is considered the custodian of wisdom. These birds are regarded to be both wise and lucky.

The Native American mythologies depict the raven as a co-creator with the gods.

This bird was sent into the world to help people deal with the challenges they encounter in the course of serving their purpose.

The raven is also key in passing important messages between humans and deities.

The Mohawks believed that ravens act as a guide to lost souls. This bird points one in the right direction – the direction that leads to true happiness.

Raven Tattoo Meaning

Ravens have many different meanings across the world. Getting a raven image tattooed on your skin could convey many different things.

For example, many go for the raven tattoo as an expression of their belief in the afterlife. This is particularly important to someone who has lost a loved one.

The raven tattoo reminds them of the love they once shared with this person.

Having a raven tattoo also shows one’s belief in supernatural powers. Ravens are naturally mystical, and many believe they pave the way between this world and the world of the gods.

Someone who has overcome a dark part of their life may want to have a raven tattoo as a sign of their victory.

This is particularly common with people who have battled and won against depression, addiction, abuse, and any form of prejudice.

Final Thoughts…

The dark, intimidating look of the ravens indicates darkness and everything negative that comes with it.

This is further given credence by the fact that these birds feed on dead or dying animals. Some people tend to dwell on the negative aspects of these birds.

They see it as a symbol of loneliness, rejection, despair, and even death.

However, the raven spirit animal can be a charmer. With its resourcefulness, intellect, and aggressiveness, it can be said to stand for respect and protection.

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