Raven Symbol


Raven Symbol picture  

Raven Symbol: The Bird has a deep symbolic significance to many different cultures and religions. The Raven is generally thought to be a symbol of sadness, loss and death in most European countries. However, the Raven bird has a completely different symbolic meaning in other cultures; the ancient Greeks believed that the raven was a messenger bird of the god Apollo and the Inuit's (Eskimo's) have a creator god called the Raven Father -  Raven Symbol Traits

The bird is generally thought to be a symbol of freedom. They can walk on the earth and swim in the sea as humans do but they also have the ability to soar into the sky. Birds are free to roam to earth and the sky. Many cultures believe that they are a symbol of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth. A comprehensive guide to Raven Symbol:

  • Meaning of Raven symbol
  • Raven symbol - Facts
  • Dream explanation, what is the significance of seeing a Raven in a dream?

Signology | Signs & Symbols

Raven Symbol
There is no exact definition for any symbol; each symbol is open to interpretation and birds are no exception to this. Their symbolism can vary greatly depending on different cultures and religion. The Raven is generally thought to be a symbol of sadness, loss and death in most European countries. However, the Raven bird has a completely different symbolic meaning in other cultures; the ancient Greeks believed that the raven was a messenger bird of the god Apollo and the Inuit's (Eskimo's) have a creator god called the Raven Father. The Raven is large black bird with a straight bill and long wedge-shaped tail. They are scavengers and often feed off the eggs in other birds nests. Ravens are opportunistic feeders and will live near roads in order to feed off road kill and discarded food.

Raven Symbol - Meaning
The raven is mentioned several times in the bible and the following quotes come from the Easton Bible Dictionary and relate to the Raven Symbol

Raven: It is derived from Heb. 'orebh, from a root meaning "to be black" (comp. Cant. 5:11); first mentioned as "sent forth" by Noah from the ark (Gen. 8:7)

"Every raven after his kind" was forbidden as food
(Lev. 11:15; Deut. 14:14).

Ravens feed mostly on carrion, and hence their food is procured with difficulty
(Job 38:41; Ps. 147:9).

When they attack kids or lambs or weak animals, it is said that they first pick out the eyes of their victims
(Prov. 30:17).

When Elijah was concealed by the brook Cherith, God commanded the ravens to bring him "bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening"
(1 Kings 17:3-6)

Raven Symbol - Eskimo Fairy Tale
The following short story 'The Raven and the Goose' is taken from the book, Eskimo Folk Tales, by Knud Rasmussen which was published in 1921:

The Raven and The Goose

Do you know why the raven is so black, so dull and black in colour? It is all because of its own obstinacy. Now listen.
 It happened in the days when all the birds were getting their colours and the pattern in their coats. And the raven and the goose happened to meet, and they agreed to paint each other.
 The raven began, and painted the other black, with a nice white pattern showing between.
 The goose thought that very fine indeed, and began to do the same by the raven, painting it a coat exactly like its own.
 But then the raven fell into a rage, and declared the pattern was frightfully ugly, and the goose, offended at all the fuss, simply splashed it black all over.
 And now you know why the raven is black.

Raven Symbol - Facts

  • Native Americans consider the Raven to be a magical symbol. Native American mythology tells us that the earth was created by a raven that dropped stones into the sea which created the islands

  • In Africa, the Raven is considered to be a guide

  • In China and Japan, the raven is a symbol of the sun and is also seen as a messenger of the gods

  • The raven is featured in the folklore of the Isle of Man and it features as a symbol on their coat of arms

  • The Inuits are an indigenous people who inhabit the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, the United States as well as eastern Siberia worship a god called the Raven Father, they believe that killing a raven will bring bad weather

  • Native Aborigines believed that birds carried stories

  • The raven is the state bird of the Kingdom of Bhutan which is boarded to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India

  • It is believed by some cultures to be a symbol of impending death! It is believed to be able to smell death before it occurs

  • Although ravens are always portrayed as being black in color, there are white ravens but they are extremely rare

  • Saint Benedict of Nursia (480547) is the Christian patron saint of students and Europe and is worshipped by both the Anglican and Catholic Church St Benedict is believed to have been saved by a raven who stole bread just before he could eat it. The bread had been blessed by him but poisoned by monks who were trying to kill him

  • In Norse folklore, the god Odin is followed by two ravens

  • The name of the Irish mythical god Lugh is derived from the Celtic word for raven

  • One of Edgar Allen Poe's most famous works, 'The Raven' was first published in 1845 and is considered by some to be the best poem of all time! It is about a talking raven's visit to an upset lover

  • Ravens have resided in the Tower of London for centuries. English legend tells us that the Kingdom of England will fall if the ravens are removed from the tower

  • Christians believe that the raven is a symbol of Satan and the bearer of bad luck

  • The Raven was sacred to the Greek god Apollo

  • It is the largest perching bird and can kill animals as large as a rabbit, more often however they prefer to scavenge on dead animals


Raven Symbol - Dream Explanation
It is considered very unlucky to dream of a Raven!

  • Seeing a raven in your dream, is a symbol of betrayal, disharmony, misfortune, and death


Dream Interpretation - Significance of Bird Symbol
The following explanation of dreams involving birds in general is taken from the book entitled 'Dream Dictionary (10,000 Dreams Interpreted - by Gustavus Hindman Miller)':

  • It is a favorable symbol in a dream to see birds of beautiful plumage. A wealthy and happy partner is near if a woman has dreams of this nature

  • Moulting and song less birds, could denote merciless and inhuman treatment of the outcast and fallen by people of wealth

  • To see a wounded bird, is a symbol of fateful of deep sadness caused by erring offspring

  • To see flying birds, is a symbol of prosperity to the dreamer. All disagreeable environments will vanish before the wave of prospective good

  • To catch birds, is not at all bad. To hear them speak, is owning one's inability to perform tasks that demand great clearness of perception.

Raven Symbol

Raven Symbol

  • Raven Symbol

  • Meaning of Raven Symbol

  • Origin and History of Raven Symbol

  • Raven Symbol - Facts

  • Raven Symbol - Dream Explanation

Raven Symbol Image


Pictures and Videos of Raven Symbol
Discover the vast selection of pictures and information which relate to Raven Symbol and illustrate the many individual symbols that we see in everyday life, each with their own unique meaning. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Signology Index - a great educational resource for everyone!


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