Ravens Represent The Magic in Life and Nature to Us!
They occur throughout legend and history as guides and messengers. Since the dawn of human memory, they have been associated with healing, magic and successful hunting. Although, in recent times, they have been given a negative image by movies, stories and as tricksters in some cultures, it is clear to us that the raven has been very powerful and positive in the world. Many cultures have revered them as the giver of knowledge and light. (See The Box of Daylight legend below)
There was a time when ravens and crows were held sacred by almost all native peoples of the Americas. Celtic Europeans associated these birds with many forms of the Earth Mother. Odin, father of the Norse and Teutonic gods was accompanied in his travels by two ravens, Thought and Memory. Each morning, they brought him news of the world around him. One of the earliest cave paintings in Lascaux, France details the life story of a Raven priest. In Ravens world, gods and humans meet in many ways that we are only beginning to relearn and relive.
The ravens that we have encountered in the last few years have been our guides, have given us signs and have been present at significant locations in our travels.
The first time we encountered their energy and knew that we needed to pay attention to their presence was in Sedona Arizona in March 2007. As we traveled throughout the world, ravens and crows were always present to guide us and help us see things we might have missed without their presence.
In England, 11 ravens came to us in a downpour of rain as we were leaving Stonehenge. We felt like they were talking to us in a different language. Giving us a message, Later in our trip, as we traveled through France, when we were lost and looking for a place to stay in the small resort village of Hendaye, a raven led us down a street and around a corner where we found one of the few open hotels in the off season.
As we traveled though out the Southwest in the last few years, we have been greeted by other ravens.
One of our favorite encounters was with a raven who was waiting for us at an overlook parking lot at the Grand Canyon. He posed for many pictures, including this one and we talked and shared our lunch with him. He never left us, even though there were others in the area wanting his attention.
There are many ravens in the Pacific Northwest. They occur in many of the art, rituals and stories of the Native Peoples of Washington, Alaska and Canada. On one of Carols trips to Seattle, she discovered that they are depicted in a display in the newer wing of the University Library at the University of Washington. Many ravens hang from the ceiling of this two story rotunda, with the phrase Raven Brings Light to this House of Stories stenciled on the wall. There is also a book in the center with dedications and drawings of the story of how raven brought Knowledge and Light to the World.
Carol also connects with ravens on a more personal level. She IS like a raven, finding shiny objects and other treasures on her walks. She collects these items and often finds that they give her messages. The story of finding the peace dove charm at the Peace Pagota in London is an example of this.
In the last few years we have been drawn to collect many images of ravens in photographs, art and jewelry.
It is our belief that the power of raven and crow is with us each day. Crows nest in our trees and often call out to us during the day. We find them clever, wise and helpful and they connect us with nature on a level that we have not felt before. Next time you see a raven or a crow, think about how they have impacted the world.
If you want to read more about them, one of the best books we have found is Ravensong: A Natural and Fabulous History of Ravens and Crows by Catherine Feher-Elston 2005