Crows, Ravens, Jackdaws, and Me

Crows, Ravens, Jackdaws and Me

Crows, ravens, jackdaws…I have loved them since I was a child.  I cannot explain why.  I do not know when I first felt a connection to them.  All I can remember for sure was that when I was say 5 or 6, my friends were wanting to be princesses, and I wanted to play with the crows, ravens and the jackdaws.  Rooks also felt special to me, though not to the same extent.

When I was about 8 or 9, I came across a book in the school library called ‘The Three Ravens’.  It was about the Celts and the Roman invasion of Britain.  I was mesmerised by this book, indeed it had a big impact on me, mainly due to the perception the Celts had of ravens, and the signs and omens that were linked to them.  I dearly wish I could find a copy of it, but so far, I have had no such luck.

A few years ago, my partner and I rescued an injured raven from the garden after realising that it had a damaged wing and was in a lot of distress. A few phonecalls later to the RSPB, and a few hours of watching the raven hop around the garden (as they do), the bird was on the road to recovery.

These are just a few of the tales I have to tell about the crows, ravens, jackdaws and me.

So, why am I writing about this now?  Since last year, the importance of these birds has returned to my life.  They have again become more prominent.  Back in the autumn, I was sitting at my desk, writing (as usual!) when I looked into the garden and saw one crow sitting on my garden table looking at the house.  I thought wow and I sat and watched it for a while, while it in turn watched the house.  The strange thing about the whole experience was that on the same day, for the next couple of weeks, the same thing happened. Coincidence?  Perhaps the bird had returned on other days when I was out or had just failed to notice?  Sure, that’s a possibility…and yet, whatever the truth, the birds had captured my attention.  It felt noteworthy.

A friend asked me if it worried me, after all, crows, ravens and jackdaws have a bad reputation.  But I wasn’t in the least bit concerned.  I was intrigued and had a sense of being protected.  After the third visit, the bird did not return again.  However, recently, the tree at the bottom of my garden is now full of them, and they chatter incessantly.  I don’t mind though.  I like listening to them.  It’s nice to know they are there.

I began to look back through all my crafty notes and research, trying to find all that I could about the birds, what they mean and represent, and why perhaps there was this connection with them.  I found notes on animal spirit guides and found that the animals choose you; they come to you when you need them and when you are ready to have them in your life.  Of course, those who walk a Celtic path will know that the crow / raven is the symbol of the Morrigan, a goddess of transition and perhaps in her most negative aspect, a goddess of death.  Indeed, there are many myths that associate these birds with death and the otherworld, knowledge of the future, magic, guardianship and intelligence.

However, it is surprising that all three of these birds feel special to me, especially as they can also represent opposite characteristics such as solitary and social (which on a purely witchy level could represent a solitary pathway and coven-based practice), as well as stupidity and wisdom.

So, what do you think about my connection to these birds?  Do you even think there is one?  If yes, what do you think it could mean?  I would be interested to hear anyone’s view on this because it fascinates me.

Brightest Blessings ~*~)O(~*~

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About sammi witch

writer and witch...
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28 Responses to Crows, Ravens, Jackdaws, and Me

  1. Wow this post is a year old. As I was reading it, I was like, OMG just days ago I watched a video, as I asked a friend, “how do you tell the difference between crows and ravens?” I have a few of them in my garden, not a whole murder mind you. I love to watch their mating rituals this time of year. Funny that I should come by this post today, and how much I relate to it. So yes of course I think it meant something, these deeply magical connections we have with nature just shows our closeness with the Oneness. Protected, yes!

    Namaste sister~
    Sindy

  2. Billie says:

    I have not been having much luck in finding the difference in meaning behind the Raven and Crow.. would you be able to shed some light on that? Also, I was wondering.. my husband killed a crow. What is the significance behind that, if any? I am a new witch, and still learning.

    • sammi witch says:

      Hi there. Sorry for the delay in the replying. What I have found is that the birds in this group tend to have overlapping characteristics and are symbolic of similar themes, in general. To me, at this moment, I see the raven as a messenger whilst the crow is a symbol of transition and transformation (again, in general).
      I suppose the significance of that would depend on whether it was an accident, after all, accidents do happen…what does your intuition tell you?
      We are all still learning 🙂
      Bright Imbolg Blessings to you.

  3. Hello Sammi, I find all this so interesting as I am also drawn to crows and ravens. As I look out of my window where I write I see so many of them nesting next to the church. When I walk across the fields, they are there and I find them so comforting. I think that yours are there may be to spur you on with the writing and the studying as they truly are inspirational birds. Brightest Blessings.

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  6. Marie says:

    Thank You All some much for your input. You have all helped me so much. It was such a devastating shock for me I was unable to make sense of it at that moment, but now with your help I’m now able to see some means for a reason.
    Blessings to you all, Marie.

  7. MARIE says:

    I was hoping someone might be able to shed some light on something that happened in my yard. I love ravens and have all my life, I’m a practicing witch for a very long time and have read much on the subject of ravens , in fact the raven is in my totem. I have fed them in my yard forever, but last Friday I noticed something dark in the back when I when out to see what it was , sadly it turned out to me one of my raven friends, it was spread eagle on its belly dead. I couldn’t find and wounds or problem with it ,it looked like it just flew down to eat and died. Needless to say my heart broke for it, so I dug a grave in the place where it came to eat, did a crossing ritual and buried my friend in my yard. I can’t for the life of me understand what if anything this might signify.

    • sammiwitch says:

      Hi Marie, thanks for stopping by and commenting. What a sad tale you have to tell! To me this signifies a few things.

      The first is that the raven must have felt very safe in your garden and no one could have offered more to it than you have. Whatever it needed, in both life and death, you were able to provide for it. Take comfort from the fact that although it must have been very sad and traumatic to find a bird that you obviously cared much for dead in your yard, you know exactly what had happened to it. There is no question hanging over whether it is alive and keeping away from your garden for some unknown reason, or has died somewhere else, and you know that its passing appears to have been painless. Perhaps one explanation for why this happened as it did is that your heart can rest.

      From a metaphysical point of view, ravens represent transformation and transcendence; something that this raven even more poignantly symbolises now that it has passed on. Perhaps the death of this raven indicates that soon some aspect of yourself will be changing, probably something to do with your witchcraft. It might mean exploring a new pathway or aspect of the craft; you may be being called to practice in a different way. It might mean that the next stage of your spiritual journey is approaching and that barriers that prevented you from moving forward in the past have now disappeared, or that you are metamorphosing into a teacher (of course, not knowing you, these are only generalisations; you may already be a teacher 🙂 ).

      These are only my opinions, but I hope they have helped. Brightest Blessings ~*~)O(~*~

  8. jmalzone says:

    Ravens can also be viewed as a time of transmutation or new beginnings. Yes, they represent death; but death must happen in order for a rebirth. Perhaps one chapter of your life or current situation is about to end and new one to begin. At least that’s my Druidic view.

    • sammiwitch says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge. As a witch, I also believe in the cycles of life, death and rebirth, but when I start thinking about endings and new beginnings in my life…Well, change can happen so quickly and without warning and it can sometimes be an uncomfortable feeling just thinking about it. I suppose its comes down to lack of control and fear of the unknown…I better keep an eye out for a sign or two… 🙂 Thanks again for joining in the discussion. Brightest Blessings ~*~)O(~*~

  9. Great post. ^.^
    I used to see crows too. This was a time I was really starting to explore Celtic wisdom, and the old stories of the Mabinogion which feature Branwen and Bendigeudfran (whose names in English would be White Crow and Splendid Crow). 🙂 I don’t see them as much any more though. 😦
    I hope they stay in your life. ^.^
    Rowan
    x~x

    • sammiwitch says:

      Me too. I know I will probably be sad if and when they leave but there is not much that I can do about it. They will stay for as long as they are needed, one supposes. 😦 On a happier side, I shall just have to try and work as much as I can with them while they are here! 🙂 Brightest Blessings ~*~)O(~*~

  10. batgurrl says:

    Crows and Ravens are so misunderstood and you are beginning to understand that they can be your luck as much as they can be your sorrow. They recognize those that do them bad but more important those that treat them well. They mate for life and have extended families. They live in the same area year after year and know their humans.

    You are now accepted into your local crow family. That is an honor to not be diminished. It is time for crow babies. They are rather secretive to protect their young but soon look for crows with blue eyes. Those are the young ones. Make friends with them by giving the family peanuts.

    Be happy your special to have a crow family watching over you.

    • sammiwitch says:

      Thanks for joining in the discussion. I am pleased to say that I have never thought these beautiful birds were unlucky – it’s just a shame that not many others see this side to them 😦 Your knowledge of these birds is amazing. And I do feel very honoured and privileged. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise.
      Brightest Blessings ~*~)O(~*~

  11. Thinking of the symbolism and circumstances in which they appeared and how they act, my best guess would be that they’re somehow pulling you towards a more shamanistic type of practice – Lifting the Veil/Hedge Crossing/Walking between the Worlds or perhaps they’re drawing your attention towards the Mysteries of the Underworld.
    May I suggest you call to each Spirit at a time and commune with Them and meditate. Answers will surely come 🙂

    • sammiwitch says:

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I must admit that I did wonder about the connections to shamanism, although as a practice it is not something that I have thought about until relatively recently. So, I think you may have hit the nail on the head there! And I will spend some time meditating, and see what happens 🙂 Brightest Blessings ~*~)O(~*~

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