Ravens, more ravens, and what is the deal with all the ravens already? I get this question often. The Raven people understand, but alas if you do not have a spirit or totem animal that bespeaks to your soul, the concept must seem quite abstract and better yet.. weird.
I love a beautiful unkindness, that is to say, a flock of ravens. No doubt, quite evident just by the artwork on this blog. The term unkindness was used to describe a group of ravens and the term unkindness bares much of the Christianized view of ravens that came to pass in the English speaking culture it was born from, similar that of crows with which they are often conflated. This was not borne of a biblical understanding of view, but only a view to weed out the neighboring solar and sovereignty deities that are represented by the raven. Particularly Bran the blessed, Lugh, and Morrigan.
Ravens are related to solar and sovereignty deities throughout the world not just in Celtic lands, but also mythical creatures that symbolize prophecy and the will of the heavens. From those in Celtic lands northward to Odin of the Norse, south to Africa, east to Amaterasu in Japan, and then sailing over to the Indigenous American tribes.
Over and over again the raven is associated with solar and sovereignty deities and creatures, as well as being symbols of the sun, kingship, protection, prophecy, victory, and the will of a divine will. Surprising to many Christians, but not bible scholars, is the use of Ravens as a means of God’s mercy and protective love and goodness in the Bible as exemplified in Genesis 8:7 and I Kings 17:4-6.
Naturally, as carrion, they are also associated with death, warriors, death from battle, and as omens of death and destruction, these exemplifying the flip side of the life-giving and life-bearing symbol of the sun and the dark side of protection and victory. In this way, the raven comes full round as a symbol of the mysteries of life, death, the journey through the otherworlds, and thus rebirth and transformation.
The Raven is light-bearer, truth speaker, knowledge seeker, protector, communicator, shape-shifter, and represents the great mystery. I find them to be evocative, enigmatic, and like a personal key that unlocks and unites my creative and spiritual passions. They are about knowing yourself, every aspect, and taking up the never-ending cycle of birth, life, and death to fully realize the self.