The raven is the largest member of the crow family as well as the largest perching bird in the world. It is often considered a bad omen by many: death, darkness, and war; however, there is much more to this mysterious and intelligent bird. Much has been written about the raven. Here are just a few of the beliefs about this bird.
In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy. They are said to be a symbol of good luck, and were Apollo’s messengers in the mortal world. It is said that Apollo sent a white raven to spy on his lover Coronis. When the raven returned with news that she had been unfaithful, Apollo scorched the raven in his fury, turning the bird’s feathers black. That’s why all ravens are black.
Norse mythology depicts Odin having two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, serving as his eyes and ears – Huginn referred to as thought and Muninn as memory. Each day the ravens would fly out from the throne and return with news of the kingdom.
The raven is an important figure in most Native American cultures. It is seen as the creator of light and as a trickster figure. It is believed that the raven brought light to a world that had been in total darkness. As a trickster figure, the raven is seen as a catalyst of mischief and mayhem.
Some believe that if a raven is facing the direction of a clouded sun that foretells hotter weather. A preening raven indicates rain is on the way.