Raven Symbolism & Meaning & the Raven Spirit Animal

Raven Symbolism and Meanings
Raven symbolism and meanings include intelligence, adaptability, partnerships, guidance, transformation, and prophecy. Insightful and mysterious, the raven has fascinated people from cultures around the world for centuries.

In this post, we’ll explore all facets of raven meaning and symbolism, including raven spiritual meaning, the raven spirit animal, and what a raven appearing in your life might mean. We’ll also delve into the raven mythology and folklore.

What does a raven symbolize?

Raven Symbolism

Here are some high-level raven meanings. We’ll go into detail on these throughout this post:

  • Intelligence and Cunning
  • Survival and Adaptability
  • Partnerships and Guidance
  • Transformation and Opportunity
  • Third Eye, Prophecy, and Insights
"Ravens, Crows, and Magpies" by Wenceslaus Hollar
“Ravens, Crows, and Magpies” by Wenceslaus Hollar. Image: University of Toronto.

But first, what’s the difference between a raven and a crow?

Before we get started, you might be wondering what the difference is between a raven and a crow. Indeed, the two birds are closely related and they do share some symbolic meanings.

Indeed, in some stories, such as some Native American legends and the story of Noah’s Ark, it’s difficult to determine whether the story is depicting a raven or a crow –  or a common ancestor of both species. And in most cases, it’s ok if it’s either one! But from a biological viewpoint, there are some differences between the two.

Both of these black birds are from a family of birds called Corvidae, or corvids. This family also includes magpies, jays, rooks, jackdaws, nutcrackers, treepies, and choughs.1 However, even though the raven and the crow look a lot alike, especially with their shiny black feathers, there are differences between the two.

One of the main differences is that ravens are generally larger than crows. In addition, ravens tend to hang out in pairs, sticking with their mate. While crows prefer to congregate in large groups. However, whether they spend time in large groups or with their significant other, both of these birds are monogamous and believed to mate for life.

In addition to size and social behavior, another key difference between the raven and the crow is the shape of their tail feathers. Ravens have longer middle tail feathers, while crows’ are all the same length. So, if you see the two black birds in flight, the raven’s feathers will look like a pointed wedge, while the crow’s will look more like a fan.

The noises that ravens and crows make are also different. The raven will make a deep croaking sound, while the crow makes a cawing sound.2

Detailed Raven Symbolism and Meanings

Now that we have that settled, here are some meanings and symbols that are applied to ravens and what they might signify in your life:

Intelligence and Cunning

Raven intelligence

The raven is considered one of the smartest birds. In fact, the raven’s brain is among the largest of any bird species. Ravens also happen to possess an extraordinary number of brain cells compared to the brains of other birds.3

In fact, the raven, along with their cousin the crow, is considered to be, not only one of the smartest birds, but also one the most intelligent animals on the planet, on par with wolves, coyotes, and primates.

The biologist Bernd Heinrich and linguist Derek Bickerton theorize that ravens are one of only four animals (which includes humans, bees, and ants) that demonstrate the capacity to communicate about objects and events that are distant in space or time.

For example, when a raven leaves his roost and finds a food source, he will return to his nest to tell his mate about the find. Then both will return to the place to eat.4

Hence, the raven is a powerful symbol for using the gift of your intellect!

Raven Symbolism: The Art of Invention

Like the chimpanzee, the raven can also create and manipulate tools. Thus, they are sometimes described as “inventors” by animal behaviorists.

For example, in one study, researchers tied food to the end of a string, which they then tied to a perch. In order to access the treat, the raven had to figure out how to pull up the string without it dropping when he grabbed the reward with his beak.

So, the raven figured out how to pull the string up in bits. Then, she would stand on the string after each section was pulled to hold it in place. Finally, the string was short enough for her to access the treat.

Ravens are also known to be quite cunning. In fact, they’re opportunists. Young ravens are especially curious, and they are attracted to shiny objects.

Like dogs who love to play chase when one who has a toy, ravens like to collect the shiny objects they find, even taunting other ravens when they have one. Some biologists believe this is to show off to other ravens.

Clever Tricksters

Raven will also hoard objects in a cache. Like a baboon who caches food, the raven will bury food they don’t eat, so other ravens don’t take it.

However, ravens aren’t above stealing other ravens’ buried treasures. Yet, clever ravens are on to this kind of trickery. So, they will pretend to bury an item in one spot. Then, they will sneak away and bury it somewhere else.5

Use your wits.

Because the raven symbolizes intelligence and cleverness, they remind us to use our wits.

When the raven is your spirit animal, you are being called upon to rely on your wits in a given situation or when you are faced with a challenge in your life. Often in life, we can go on automatic pilot, accepting things the way they are, or thinking we don’t have the capacity to change them.

The raven spirit animal tells you that with innovation and creative thinking, you can influence outcomes that affect the course of your life. Even if you feel emotional about a situation, remember to rely on the gift of your intellect to solve your problems. This is how you gain deeper intelligence and wisdom.

The raven is also a reminder to protect your ideas and intellectual property, whatever form they take. Whether it’s your creativity, your work product, or even your aspirations, you are under no obligation to share them! You are entitled to protect your “cache” of dreams and ideas until the time when you’re ready to share them with the world.

Raven Meaning: Survival and Adaptability

Corvus corax, raven

The shiny black raven can survive and thrive in a wide range of habitats, from the tundra above the Arctic Circle to the hot dry deserts of the American Southwest. The raven also thrives in forests, mountains, on the coast, and in the urban jungle.

The raven has shown an uncanny ability to adapt, survive, and even thrive in a wide range of conditions.6 In a world where so many species have died out or are endangered, ravens, like raccoons and coyotes, have managed to thrive in our human-dominated world.

Therefore, ravens are powerful totems for dealing with an unusually challenging environment, whether it’s your home or work environment or even unfamiliar territory.

Masters at Acrobatics

In addition to their impressive brainpower, the raven is quite an agile flier. They can perform complex aerobatics in the air, including rolling, tucking their wings and diving, and playing with objects by throwing them into the air then swooping down to the catch them.7

Thus, when the raven is your totem animal, you should have the confidence that you can handle whatever life throws your way. Even if it’s a painful or less-than-ideal situation, by being agile and using your wits, you have the capacity to push through any challenges so you can come out ahead.

Be open to new experiences.

In addition to being intelligent and agile, another reason that ravens are so enduring is that they’re omnivores. Like their blue corvid cousin, the blue jay, a raven will eat anything, from carrion to human garbage, frogs, insects, fruits, and vegetables – even other birds and their eggs.

Thus, ravens symbolize the idea of open-mindedness and embracing new experiences.

The raven spirit animal teaches you that every experience you have in life, whether good or bad, can be used to enrich your life and create a better future.

No one enjoys bad experiences, whether heartbreaking, stressful, abusive, or disappointing. But it’s up to you to decide if those experiences will poison the rest of your life or be used to nurture your growth.

The raven says that you can find nourishment in every situation and use any challenge to evolve and become the person you want to be.

Partnerships and Guidance

Running Wolf with Raven
“Running Wolf with Raven.” Artwork: Evgeny Hontor, Demiurgus Dreams.

Unlike crows, ravens don’t generally congregate in large groups with other ravens, except when they’re juveniles seeking a mate. In general, they spend most of their time with their mate, as ravens are monogamous and mate for life.

A pair of ravens will work together to set up their nest and raise their young chicks until they’re ready to go off on their own.

Ravens also interact with other species in symbiotic relationships. For example, a raven will alert a pack of wolves or coyotes if they see a carcass of another dead animal. When the canines tear open the carcass, it makes it easier for the raven to access the meat.

(Similarly, as you’ll read about in the section on ravens in Native American culture below, ravens also helped people to hunt in the same way by alerting them to herds of bison and elk.)

For these reasons, the raven is a symbol of partnership. This could be a romantic partnership or some other collaboration, such as a creative or business partnership.

The raven spirit animal says to seek out partners who complement you. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and the partner who balances you is worthy of your time and energy! After all, this is how you create 1 + 1 = 3 scenarios. Furthermore, the raven understands the concept of reciprocity, or give and take.

What does it mean if you see two ravens?

If you see two ravens together, they are likely a bonded pair. Thus, seeing two ravens is always a good omen for a romantic relationship or other long-term partnerships.

If you are single and feel like you are missing your soulmate in this lifetime, seeing two ravens is good luck for connecting with your lifetime partner. Indeed, seeing two ravens can mean your soulmate is looking for you.

Raven Meaning: Transformation and Opportunity

In folklore throughout the world, the raven is a symbol of change and opportunity. They are also seen as intermediaries between the material and spirit worlds.

Because they eat carrion, ravens have long been associated with death and even bad luck. Indeed, ancient people saw carrion birds as scary.

However, on a spiritual level, death is not an end but a transformation to another state of existence and consciousness.

While death is one of the ultimate transformations that occurs on our soul’s journey to enlightenment, there are smaller transformations that occur throughout one’s lifetime.

So, if a raven appears to you, consider the areas in your life that you want to transform and improve. This could be something small, like changing a habit, or it could be something greater, such as your career, moving, getting out of an unhealthy relationship, or overcoming an addiction. The raven symbol can serve as a catalyst for positive change in your life.

Third Eye, Prophecy, and Insights

Three-Eyed Raven
Three-Eyed Raven. Artwork: Alice Tams, Birds in Hats.

In the TV series Game of Thrones, ravens are central to the plot. In fact, the name of the main character Bran means “raven” in Welsh. Author George R. R. Martin is an expert on mythology. Thus, he is familiar with the fact that in many cultural traditions, the raven is seen as a source of insight and knowledge.

The Three-Eyed Raven

In the Game of Thrones, the three-eyed raven is a central character and concept. Indeed, a three-eyed raven represents the idea that ravens have supernatural powers, including the gift of foresight.

The third eye is the instrument for taking in extra-sensory perceptions. In fact, the Irish say that a person who possesses a “raven’s knowledge” has “the sight” or the gift of prophecy.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The famous poem The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, was inspired by another acclaimed piece of literature – Charles Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty. In both tales, the raven is at first disturbing to the character who interacts with him. But then he provides important insights. Indeed, the raven expands both of the main characters’ level of consciousness.

If the raven is your spirit animal, you have the gift of insight into situations where others may be in the dark. When you have this kind of heightened awareness, including psychic abilities, it’s imperative that you use these gifts to be a force for good in the world. Always ask God, or your Higher Power, to walk in their light, so that you can use your gifts as a healing and loving force in the world.

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Raven Mythology and Folklore

Because ravens live in a wide range of environments, they appear in the mythology and folklore of many cultural traditions. Here are some of those stories:

Native American Raven Meanings

Raven, Native American Artwork
“Raven Quest.” Artwork: Karen Clarkson, Choctaw.

Every Native American tribe has their own set of creation stories and traditions. But one set of beliefs they all share is a reverence for animals and the natural world.

Throughout Native American culture, the raven is seen as a powerful spiritual entity. Indeed, many tribes see the raven as a shapeshifter who can transition from bird to human and back.

In many Native American legends, the raven is the wisest of birds, even possessing the ability to speak.8 (In fact, this is an interesting parallel between Native American legends and stories from other cultures, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, in which the intelligent black bird is capable of human speech.)

Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest, such as the Tlingit, Tahltan, and the Haida depict the raven as a smart trickster who protects good people and who outsmarts his enemies.

Raven in Tlingit and Haida Culture

The Tlingit People of the Pacific Northwest have numerous raven legends. And the raven totem animal is an important spiritual guardian in their culture. Indeed, the shiny black raven is one of their creator spirits, who was present during the creation of everything – including daylight, fresh water, and the oceans’ tides.

For the Haida People of British Columbia, the raven is a creator spirit as well as a healer and a magician. In fact, according to Haida legends, the raven brought the sun, moon, stars, fire, and fresh water to the world.9

Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni

For the tribes of the American Southwest, including the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni, the raven is a protector spirit and a sacred being in the Ghost Dance. The Ghost Dance is a spiritual ritual for protection and resistance against oppression. It is shared by many tribes.


For the Sioux People of the Great Plains, the raven is a savior who can lift ghost dancers up to heaven when there are floods.10

The Pathfinder

Just as they help wolves and coyotes find food, ravens helped Native American hunting parties to find bison and other animals. For this reason, the raven is also seen as a pathfinder in Native American Culture.

Cherokee Raven Legend

The Cherokee have a number of creation stories about the raven. One popular story is the Raven Mocker.

In Cherokee culture, if a person falls sick, their illness can attract bad spirits who will come and try to hasten the person’s death. One of these evil spirits is the Raven Mocker (Kâ’lanû Ahkyeli’skï), who tries to rob people of their life.

While the family and friends of the sick person may not see these evil spirits (and there can be more than one), they won’t know why their loved one is getting sicker. Meanwhile, the Raven Mocker will try to steal the heart from the ill person’s chest. And if they’re successful, they will sew up the wound so the family doesn’t know what happened.

Only a medicine man can drive the Raven Mockers away. The medicine man must watch over the ill person. And if they do die, the medicine man must oversee the person until they are buried to ensure the Raven Mockers don’t steal the heart.

The medicine man also puts four stakes in the ground around the ill person’s home. He then puts sacred tobacco in his pipe and walks around the home blowing protective smoke. Then he waits. If a Raven Mocker comes, one of the stakes will fly up like an arrow and destroy it.11

Ravens in Greek and Roman Mythology

The ancient Greeks associated the raven with the god Apollo. Naturally, Apollo was the god of prophecy.

In the story of Coronis, who is Apollo’s lover, Coronis falls in love with a man named Ischys. Feeling suspicious, Apollo sent his white raven to spy on Coronis.

The raven notified Apollo that Coronis was romantically involved with Ischys, which enraged Apollo. So, the sun god threw a fiery curse at Coronis, which also happened to singe the feathers of his raven, turning them black. Thus, this is why the raven has black feathers.

Raven Omen

Both the ancients Greeks and Romans believed that seeing a black raven was a bad omen and a sign of bad luck. Like so many other cultures, the Greeks and Romans associated the raven with death.

However, although they considered them to be bad luck, the ancient Romans monitored the behavior of ravens because they thought they could tell them about the future.

The Romans used a divining method called augury, which interpreted omens by the behavior of birds. The term “augury” is loosely derived from Latin word auspicium, which means “one who looks at birds.”12

The Raven in Egyptian Mythology

The ancient Egyptians revered their animal companions. In fact, in many Egyptian tombs, the mummies of animal companions are found alongside the mummies of humans. The Egyptians regularly connected their deities with animals, and many were part animal and part human.

The Egyptian goddess Nepthys, who is the sister of Isis, was the goddess of the dead.13 It’s clear that the ancient Egyptians also connected the raven with death, as they associated Nepthys with this intelligence black bird.

Raven Meanings in the Bible

Raven (or crow) symbolism appears throughout the Bible. In fact, the raven is the first bird mentioned in the Book of Genesis.

In the story of the Great Flood, after 40 days, Noah sends a raven (or crow or, more likely, an ancestor of modern-day corvids) to find dry land after the flood. The raven does not return. So Noah assumes that suitable dry land has not been found, as he knows the raven is able to eat carrion from the sea.

After the raven, Noah sends a dove to see if there’s dry land. At first, the dove returns. So, Noah realizes there is still no suitable land on which to dock the ark. But a week later, he sends the dove out again and she returns with a freshly plucked olive branch, so Noah realizes that the Earth is finally habitable again.

Elsewhere in the Bible, in the Book of Kings 17:4, God tells the prophet Elijah that the ravens will feed him: “You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”14

And in the story of Cain and Abel, it is the raven who teaches Abel how to bury his brother Cain after he kills him.15

The Raven in Celtic Mythology

Ravens in the Tower of London
Jubilee and Munin, two ravens who live in the Tower of London. Photo: Colin.

The raven also figures prominently throughout Celtic and English mythology. For example, Brân the Blessed, or King Brân, is a character in Welsh mythology whose name means “raven.” He is also sometimes referred to as a raven god. (Notably, he shares his first name with Bran Stark, the character in Game of Thrones.)

According to the ancient tale, Brân the Blessed was a fierce warrior who was beheaded. Legend has it that his head is buried beneath what is now the Tower of London, facing France. Brân’s head is thought to protect the city of London.

To this day, ravens roost in the Tower of London. Indeed, Londoners believe that if the ravens leave, the city of London will be unprotected. In fact, the ravens did leave the Tower during WWII. So, Winston Churchill ensured ravens were put back in the Tower to allay Londoners’ concerns.16

In the King Arthur legends, there is much mystery around how and where King Arthur died and was buried. One legend has it that he died at Avalon and was turned into a raven.

In the 13th century Welsh story The Dream of Rhonabwy, Rhonabwy dreams that King Arthur talks to him and he mentions ravens being used in battles.17

Celtic Gods and Goddesses

For the ancient Celts, the raven was associated with battle. Undoubtedly because, as carrion-eating birds, ravens were often present at battle scenes.

The Celtic goddess Morrigan, who was the goddess of both war and death, is associated with ravens. The Celts believed the ravens assisted the warrior goddess as she helped them defeat their enemies.

The Celts also associated the Scottish goddess Cailleach Bheure, who was the goddess of rebirth and fertility, with ravens.18

Furthermore, they connected their god Lugh, who was a sun god and a master of artisans, skills, and warfare, with ravens.19

Ravens in Norse Mythology

Odin with Ravens
Odin with his weapons, wolves, and ravens by Wilhelm Wägner, 1882. Image: Carl Emil Doepler.

In Norse mythology, the god Odin had two raven companions whom he called Munnin and Hugi. These names translate to “Memory” and “Thought.”

According to Nordic legends, Munnin and Hugi served as Odin’s spies, bringing him news and information about what was happening on Earth.20

Three-Legged Raven in Asian Mythology

A number of Asian cultures, including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, have myths about a three-legged raven whom they associated with the sun. According to these myths, the three-legged raven played a role in divine intervention in activities that took place on Earth.

Notably, in Japanese mythology, seeing a raven, whom they called Yatagarasu, was confirmation of the will of the divine in a particular matter. Hence, the mascot for the Japanese national soccer team is a raven (or crow.)21

Ravens in Hinduism

In Hinduism, the raven can transcend the land of the living and the dead. In fact, in the Hindu practice of Shradh, Hindus feed ravens and crows. They do so because they believe the birds will then bring food to their ancestors who have passed.

Hindus view the raven as a messenger between Earth and the Pitruloka, which is like Heaven in Judeo-Christian beliefs. In fact, the Hindus consider it good luck if a raven eats offerings given to their ancestors first, before a group of crows partakes.22

The Raven in Tibetan Buddhism

Raven artwork in a Tibetan banner
“Attributes of the six-handed Yeshe Gonpo.” Raven artwork in a Tibetan banner. Image: Wellcome Collection Gallery.

Tibetans view the raven as an auspicious bird and a protector of wisdom.

In fact, in a Tibetan Buddhist story from the 15th century, a monk named Ngawang Drakpa traveled to what is now the Gyalrong district of eastern Tibet.

Ngawang Drakpa planned to build a monastery there, but he was unsure of where to place it.

As he was scouting around, a raven flew down and grabbed his scarf. Ngawang followed the raven to a juniper tree, where the raven placed the scarf on one of the branches.

So, the monk saw this as an auspicious sign that this was the right place to build the monastery.23

3 Raven Spiritual Meanings

In conjunction with what has been referenced above, here are some raven spiritual meanings:

  1. Intuition – Because the raven is so closely associated with clairvoyance and prophecy, on a spiritual level, they remind us of our own ability to connect with our Higher Power and higher spiritual entities through our own minds.
  2. Spiritual Guidance – As they are associated with insight and guidance, the raven is also a symbol for spiritual education. We are all works in progress. Learning about spirituality from more enlightened souls can lead to our own spiritual growth.
  3. Spiritual Transformation – As a powerful symbol of transformation, the raven also embodies the idea of shifting consciousness and opening our minds to greater awareness as we navigate our spiritual journey.

Raven Spirit Animal

Raven Spirit

Like their close cousin the crow, the raven is a deeply intelligent being. When the raven is your spirit guide, you are blessed with the capacity for powerful insights. If you are fascinated with ravens, by all means explore that sense of wonder.

The raven spirit animal can be a helpful guide as you navigate your soul’s journey. According to Native American traditions, you don’t necessarily choose your spirit animal; instead, they choose you. And you can have more than one. For Native Americans, a spirit animal will choose you when you are on a vision quest or in another powerful experience that affects the course or your life.

In addition, for many of us, we simply feel a powerful kinship with certain animals. Some of us have felt this our entire lives. Or we have an encounter with a particular animal who has an indelible impact on us.

As mentioned above, raven people are deeply insightful. People who know you well will probably describe you as intelligent and innovative. They might even claim you are intuitive, even psychic.

Additionally, when the raven is your spirit animal, you are likely a person who is extremely devoted to your mate, or, as Nat King Cole sang, when you fall in love, it will be forever.

If you’re curious about other animals who might be your spirit guides, you can take the spirit animal test on UniGuide.

Raven Power Animal

As the name implies, a power animal can inspire you with their most dynamic traits. So, if you want to transform an area of your life, meditate on the attributes that the power animal represents. For example, you can summon the raven power animal when you:

  • Are facing a problem in your life and you can’t seem to figure out how to tackle it. The raven power animal reminds you to not get overly emotional. Take a step back, re-analyzes, and to use your wits!
  • Are looking for your romantic soulmate or want your existing relationship to withstand the test of time. The raven power animal is good luck for long-term relationships!
  • Want to hone your intuition and expand your psychic awareness.

Raven Totem Animal

Raven Totem
Tlingit-Haida raven atop a totem pole, Totem Bight State Historic Site, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska. Photo: Leonard Kaplan

Animal totems embody the protective powers of the animal they represent. Thus, the raven totem animal is a helpful symbol for when you’re going into a situation where you will be challenged intellectually. The raven is good luck for being sharp-minded!

In addition, the raven totem is also a good luck symbol for romantic relationships and other partnerships that you want to withstand the test of time.

Finally, the raven totem animal is a helpful talisman for transformation, intelligence, and fine tuning your third eye.

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Raven Dream Meaning

If you dream of a raven, it’s important to analyze the emotions you felt in the dream. These feelings will give you insights into what the raven may symbolize for you. For example, did you feel fear or joy? Anxiety or wonder? Dreams can reveal things that we’re not actively addressing in our conscious, awake state – but which we should address.

Consider some of the common raven meanings and symbols described in this post. Then,  reflect on the areas of your life that they might relate to. Even an anxious raven dream can be a gift. It can prompt you to take the time to be an objective observer of your own thoughts. Then, you can improve situations without getting pulled in every direction your thoughts might take.

In addition, many psychics and mediums say that you should pay particular attention to your vivid dreams. If you dream of people you know or a pet (living or who have passed) and the dream is particularly vivid and memorable, it can mean that you connected with the spirit of that loved one. Ravens, in particular, are closely associated with the metaphysical. So, raven dreams can signify that you connected with others on the astral, or another spiritual, plane.

Raven Tattoo Meaning

Raven Tattoo

A raven tattoo tells the world that you believe in the magic and mystery of life, and that you are also deeply connected to the metaphysical realm.

It can also demonstrate that you are a person who embraces change. Or that you are undergoing your own personal transformations.

Tattoos are obviously deeply personal. But hopefully learning more about the symbolic meaning of ravens and delving into the multi-faceted cultural beliefs about these deeply intelligent birds will imbue your tattoo with extra meaning.

How You Can Help Ravens

In the United States, the raven is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This means that you cannot legally kill, possess, sell, purchase, barter, transport, or export these birds, their parts, eggs, or nests, except under the terms of a valid Federal permit. It also means that you cannot possess raven feathers unless you are a Native American and use them in religious ceremonies.24

Thankfully, ravens are federally protected and their numbers are plentiful. However, like the vast majority of wild animals on our planet, ravens still face threats. These include being shot at, poisoned, and from ingesting toxins in the environment. In addition, both pet and feral dogs and cats threaten raves. If you love ravens, please do what you can to protect them. Here are some organizations that are working to protect ravens and other birds:

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28 Responses

  1. This was fascinating!!! I don’t know what’s going on with me. I’m confused and think or feel like I’ve been having a spiritual awakening because I have constantly, for months now, been seeing numbers in synchronized orders, like CONSTANTLY. I’m not trying to see them. But every time I look at a clock or pick up my cellphone, BOOM, there they are again.

    Also about two and a half months ago, while I was visiting my boyfriend at the time, who didn’t really give me the comfort I needed and craved in real life I might add, I had a dream he and I were in this ocean water. But the water was absolutely clear, like glass, and it was VERY still. Only my perspective was from my then boyfriend’s point of view. But I could only see me swimming just under the surface of the water, right near the top.

    I’m swimming the breast stroke just under the surface, but this really bright sun, or life, is shining thru the water down on me at I feel so happy and so good like I didn’t even want to ever wake up from the dream.

    In this person’s perspective I could also see from the elbow down to a hand reaching up for me. But I’m not really noticing this person reaching up for me. I’m swimming in bliss and peace and light and, I don’t know, I was guessing maybe I was on vacation. In the dream all I can remember is it was not from not my own perspective or from the person’s hand who’s reaching up for me. I’m just swimming under this water that I can actually breathe in. I never had to come up for air at all. I felt the water and was so happy underneath it. And I noticed I don’t think I was even holding my breath. And that’s all I can remember.

    Fast forward till just yesterday, I was upstairs in my friend’s room, we roommate together. I’m always watching the sky during the day and night. I always have. But I’m looking out her window. The upstairs windows of the apartment complex overlook the rooftops over the detached garage. And the top, I would guess, are about 20ft from the window. I had looked out a couple times already, then I walked back over to the window and it was a gorgeous day, I would say 3:30 afternoon, give or take. And a very large RAVEN flis toward me, not making any noise as birds do. It was flying gently, and his wings got wide as he got to the top of the garage. He landed facing directly at me, looking at me for what seemed like 2 minutes. Then he turned to his right facing towards an open field. Then he looked back at me never having made one noise. Then he began to gently fly off but he flew in a circle while still at my eye level. Then he flew back around in front of me, towards me and the window, and turned again completing the circle. Then, he finally flew up higher and was gone. This was NOT a dream, I promise.

    What does all of this mean? I’m obsessing about all of it. I can’t stop thinking about all of it. It’s consuming me but NOT in a bad way. It’s like a craving and I can’t and won’t be fulfilled or complete until I find out more answers and clarity. I NEED to understand. I’m constantly trying to research Google but we all know Google can be quite discouraging and you have to be careful.

    1. Hi Alicia, Thanks for sharing this detailed story – of your dream and your real-life encounter with the raven. I have to say, your story is like a big nudge for me. And I’ll tell you why in a sec. But what is clear to me is that, yes, you are having a spiritual awakening. All of us humans are in a process of evolving spiritually. Though some choose, for various reasons, not to be receptive to divine energy. However, there are some of us who are seekers, and some who get awakenings even when they are not seeking.

      We are all here to learn and evolve, to do our work on Earth, to evolve spiritually, and to become more enlightened beings – becoming closer to God, or Source, or the Higher Power of Universal Wisdom (I say it like this because people have different views, but this Higher Power is Love.)

      Some of us notice these signs and interpret them as reminders of our path and our powers. You’ve had this experience. Water symbolizes the subconscious. You were in this very clear water and you were comfortable in it. I feel that it means you are very comfortable with your intuitive gifts, messages can come to you very clearly, and you are receptive and willing to connect with divine energy.

      Also, of their many wonderful qualities, ravens are symbols of psychic awareness and insight! It’s like your raven is saying, “HELLO!!!”

      We all have to make our way on Earth and Earth is a wonderful place, but it can be hard and we have responsibilities. It can be easy to get caught up in those responsibilities and not take time out to pray, to meditate, and to tune into our intuitive gifts. But for those of us who are sensitive, it is REALLY important to do that. You have gifts. Take the time to hone in on them. Explore, read, study, pray, meditate. You are reminding me that I have been neglectful of doing this kind of work lately myself, of taking the time out of my busy day to do that. I hope this is helpful to you. Please keep exploring and refining your gifts! Take care!

      1. Thank you so much for sharing that insight, it was well received and much needed. You are so appreciated and I will absolutely keep digging and diving deep.🙏🏽 God Bless you beautiful!

  2. I have had some encounters with corvids before, but the one that stood out to me the most was at a conference when I left early because I was just too stressed out and could not handle all of the people there and the social pressure anymore. I had observed this lonesome raven in a tree during the first days of the conference… It caught my attention and I tried to get close to it, but it flew away. When I left the building, I looked to my right and there he was. Just walking next to me, just two meters away. I stopped and looked at him and he looked back in this curious way they usually look. I kept walking to my car and he accompanied me for a bit, before he flew off. I think back to this quite frequently. I wonder what he would have said if he could have talked.

    1. Thanks for sharing this. I think he was validating your extra-sensory powers. People who are sensitive and pick up on a lot of information, can read people easily, etc. are often overwhelmed by large crowds, especially those with agendas that might seem a bit trivial for your higher purpose. Some conferences can be great, but even for sensitive people, they can be too much. Honor your intuitive gifts. You have them!

  3. Wen I close my eyes,but I’m still awake I see a raven circle me a few times,I’m not scared,very happy to see this raven,it’s done this 2 nights in a row,I was just wondering what it means,I’ve never had a animal come to me like this before

  4. My husband was walking home from work and he found a raven that was hit by a car and he tried to save it but it still passed he buried the bird .

    1. I am sorry to hear about the raven. I feel that when a person finds an injured or dead animal, it is because they have been chosen to honor their life and show respect for their earthly body – just as you husband did. I believe the raven’s spirit knows. Take care!

  5. Last night I dreamed of a raven. Before I went to sleep, I had a 3 wya phone call with my best friend and my high school boyfriend (we all grew up together and have remained friends, we’re 35 now). Before falling asleep, I did say in my head… I need some comfort, or another visit from a spirit guide. I once had a dream about a big brown bear laying on my couch and getting up to hug me. It was beautiful! It took me forever to fall asleep because I have a cold.

    Anyways, I finally did go to sleep and dreamed I was in my high school boyfriends house (but it wasn’t actually that house, it was different) and I went into his room to nap. I laid on the bed, and a giant raven came in the window and landed on top of me. I was so excited because I’ve always wanted a raven friend. I pet it’s back, and noticed a bloody spot on, he/she was injured. Next thing I remember, my grandmother (still alive and love her!) came into the room to ask me something, and I said look, a raven came to visit me! It was on the dresser in the corner of the room, kinda like watching over me.

    That’s all I remember. I am struggling to find a good meaning that resonates. But wow… it was so real!

    1. That’s a fascinating dream. My initial take on this is that your grandmother and the raven represent wisdom. And wisdom can sometimes come from painful experiences (like the wound on the raven) or from life experience (your grandmother.) It can also come from happy experiences too, by the way. Also, our soulmates – often family members and long-term friends and family. including former boyfriends – learn along with us. It sounds like your old boyfriend’s house in the dream was, symbolically, a safe place for you to be when you went into the astral, or the spiritual realm (taking a nap.) So, there was some spiritual protection there. The wound on the raven could be the pain and vulnerability of spiritual growth. This could be your own spiritual growth or that of those around you, or both. You were also a protector in the dream – the raven came to you for comfort. It sounds to me like it was validation for you of these soul connections. Also, that you need to be protective of each other – checking in with your friend, your grandmother, and old boyfriend. I hope this helps! Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Hello,
    I recently returned from Yellowstone. While at Old Faithful, i looked up and noted a few ravens towards me. What struck me was one raven stared at me and I stared back. It actually looked me in the eye and as it flew past me I heard it warble not caw.
    I found it to be a unique experience and i should have thanked this raven but I was awe struck that we looked into each other’s eye.
    Is there a meaning to this?

    1. My response to this experience is similar to one that another visitor was asking about mountain lion meaning. When you look into the eyes of a wild animal, and they into yours, and there is a feeling of calm and peace, it’s a soul connection. They understand that you are a kindred spirit. To me, it’s the mark of enlightened souls. You understand that everything and all living beings are connected.

  7. One early September morning 3 or 4 years ago there was a single raven in my very urban neighborhood. It seemed distressed, emotionally, not physically. Moving from high spot to high spot cawing repeatedly. I had the sense it was looking for it’s mate. This morning the exact thing happened again. Thoughts?

  8. While walking through a parking lot to my job I saw something incredible. There were a group of seagulls and crows/Ravens standing directly across from each over. What was even more odd was they formed a circle with how they stood. There was something white in between them. The all black across from all white was stunning.

  9. I had a dream of a white raven approaching me, walking towards me, and I felt a strong feeling not to shew him away. He pecked at my feet a few times and when I thought he was flying up to attack me he started to transform and spoke saying, “I thought you wanted to see me”. It startled me so much I woke up. His beak was yellow tho. I’ve been searching for possibilities of meanings. When he was transformingoing everything was white.

    1. Hi Heidi, Very interesting that you knew he was a raven but he was white! White does seem like it symbolizes a spirit – the raven (or the person or being whom the raven represents) is now in the spirit world. It might also be a spirit who wants to connect with you but you have some resistance to that connection for whatever reason. I went through a period when there was a person (a lesser-known celebrity) who had committed suicide. (I was a huge fan.) And he kept coming to me in dreams. He was confused. And I knew I had to clarify to him and tell him to move on. So, I had to resist that connection, so he would. I am not sure if this has anything to do with your experience, but this was my impression when I read your comment. I hope this is helpful!

    2. When a raven come to me it comes as one or two and then more show up like a family the more that come the more power they have I call them when I need a vision or seek my next move in my life they look out for me and protect me

  10. The other day, as I was mowing my field, a raven flew in a circle high above me, then directly above me. He was carrying a big, twisted stick as big as he was. He circled once more, then dropped the stick directly in front of my path before flying away. I was listening to an Old Testament chapter where Moses was proclaiming the laws passed down to him. Thoughts?

    1. That’s fascinating! I immediately thought of the staff of Moses when you mentioned the stick. Since you study the Bible, you are probably aware of the symbolism of the staff. I wrote a little about that in my post on snake symbolism.

      But in general, God uses the staff to represent his power – over the authority of the pharaohs, etc. So, the stick right in front of you seems a lot like that – a symbol of the presence of your higher power – especially given what you were listening to.

      Where your story gets even more interesting to me is the story of Noah in the Old Testament. As I wrote about in this post above – Noah sends out a raven (or crow) to find land, and then a dove. It’s the dove who returns with the olive branch to confirm the Earth is habitable again.

      In your case, it’s the raven with the stick and he’s being super obvious – dropping it in front of you – like Hello!…

      Ok, how do I write this part without it sounding silly? But it’s almost like this big, loud acknowledgement from God. ‘I see you! I like what you’re doing – expanding your spiritual wisdom and caring for the land.’

      Here’s another thing – ravens and crows are known to give people gifts in return for something. So, you could also read into this that the raven was granting you the stick, also acknowledging what you’re doing. And the best thing – both of these could be true. Either way, it sounds like some kind of acknowledgment to me.I really enjoyed this story and wondering about it. Thank you.

      1. That’s a really interesting perspective! I didn’t consider the staff but that is a powerful thought given the speech to the entire nation being given by Moses that I was listening to. The way the raven dropped the stick was telling, he stopped in midair and hovered still for a few seconds directly in my path before dropping it. He didn’t try to dive and get it back, just took off. I’m just now getting into going through the Testaments front to back and I’ve started noticing more synchronicities around me, and little pieces starting to come together that shouldn’t have.

        The timing is impeccable, many of the traits as a Spirit animal that you listed are happening my life. Beginning new business partnerships, preserving intellectual property during a legal battle, planning for a new chapter in my life, etc. The next day, I watched The Northman and the symbolism with the ravens was so relevant, spooky!

        I’ve watched ravens a bit more after this event and realized they’re pretty slick in regard to freshly cut grass. They know bugs will come out and you can see them pick where to hunt more methodically than the other birds. I’m glad you liked the story and I appreciate the feedback!!

  11. Another good thing to note that ravens are invasive in some places and damage the population of other bird species. Fantastic article though, just wanted to voice a reason why some places might not protect them as much.

    1. Ravens may be a nuisance in some environments, but they are not invasive. They are a native species. Ravens are Federally protected by the migratory bird treaty act. You may not kill, trap, poison or possess a raven without a federal permit. State and local permits may also be necessary.

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Kristen M. Stanton

Hello. Thanks for visiting UniGuide. My name is Kristen and I started UniGuide as a tribute to nature, animals, and spiritual exploration. I hope you enjoy your experience here!