Crow: Justice, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, energy, community sharing, and balance.
Raven: Introspection, courage, self-knowledge, magic.
Wolf: Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, and spirit.
Crows are very vocal birds. They are sly and often deceptive in their actions. Crows have been known to build false nests high in treetops to confuse predators. The height of their nests give them the opportunity to watch everything that is going on around them. Many cultures think of crow as the keeper of knowledge for nothing escapes their keen sight.
Crows travel in groups and make mischief in teams. As one crow explores something new, others will watch closely to see what happens and then learn from it. In this way they seem to always be in council with each other. They often raise a ruckus when hunters are around, warning deer and other birds. Crows recognize possible danger and always post lookouts when feeding---thier most vulnerable time.
Their language is complex and they have a remarkable voice range. Each caw has its own meaning. Sometimes crow warns of impending danger. Other times it signals a time to join in council and make decisions. Listening to crow can teach those with this medicine how to hear the truth of what is being said.
The striking black color of crow represents the color of creation. It is the womb out of which the new is born. Black the color of night gives birth to the light of a new day. Crow is a daytime bird reminding us that magic and creation are present in both. Their ability to shift between the known and unknown world indicates new journeys.
Because crow is adaptable to all environments and will eat almost anything they can survive in almost any situation. Crow is associated with magic, unseen forces and spiritual strength. If crow flies into your life, get out of your familiar nest, look beyond your present range of vision, listen to its caw and act accordingly.
Ravens have a long history of myth and lore associated with them. In some native tribes they are known as the "keeper of secrets." They hold the teachings of mysticism and magic. Ravens are linked to the void, where universal secrets are stored. Their inky black color is the color associated with darkness. The darkness is a place where unconscious fears live. Raven, a master magician, embodies the energy of transformation and shows us how to eliminate our inner demons.
Ravens are the largest songbirds in North America. They are extremely intelligent and are clever mimics. They incorporate and mimic calls of other species and can teach us how to understand the language of animals. They have also been known to learn some human words.
The raven knows the mystery of life. They have an intimate association with death and rebirth. Because raven would feed on the corpses of the dead hanging on the gallons, early European settlers feared this bird and considered it to be an ill omen. In truth, however, raven should be respected not feared.
There are many stories in native cultures about this illusive black bird. Shamans know the power of an unexpected piercing sound in altering consciousness. Ravens exercise this power, emitting a variety of sounds and can aid us in shifting our consciousness into various dimensional realms. This is one reason why the raven is known as a shape shifter with magical powers. Anyone with raven as a totem can expect continual changes and spiritual awakenings throughout their life.
Raven picks its students according to their accumulated wisdom. It flies into a persons life carrying the energy of magic and healing. If it decides to settle in and take up residence, it will stay as long as necessary to aid you in transmuting your karma then return you to the light. It will push, prod, and lead you into the discovery of your multidimensional self and reunite you with the secrets of the multidimensional universe. Those with this totem should remember to meet raven, not with fear, but rather with an appreciation for the teachings that it holds.
When a lone wolf is spotted in the wilderness it embodies the energy of freedom. When seen in a pack it embodies a sense of community. If wolf appears to you alone or in a pack it is asking you to acquire the same within your own life. In spite of their negative press wolves are actually friendly, social and highly intelligent.
The wolf's senses are highly developed. Their intelligence is marked with excellent hearing, sense of smell and strong feeling. They are determined as well as cunning and use these skills for the benefit of the pack. The howl of the wolf is primal and penetrating. They howl to find other pack members or to let wolves from outside of the pack know their territory boundaries. If you hear a wolf howl it might be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries.
Wolf teaches you to have a balance between the needs your family has of you and the needs you have for yourself. They are totally loyal to the pack but do not give up their identity to the pack. If wolf appears in your life you are being asked to look at where you are being too dependent and where you may be too independent. In both family and community there needs to be a balance.
Wolves convey much with their bodies. If they are angry, they may stick their ears straight up and bare their teeth. A wolf who is suspicious pulls its ears back and squints. Fear is often shown by flattening the ears against the head. A wolf who wants to play dances and bows playfully. Their body language is symbolic for those with this medicine. Man also uses body language to convey messages. The study of this art can increase perception in those with this totem.
Wolves hunt in packs, relying on endurance to run down weak and older animals. They have been known to run 35 miles a day in pursuit. They are the epitome of stamina and strength. With an extremely well developed societal organization, they act together to hunt and raise their young. They do not fight unnecessarily and often go out of their way to avoid fighting.
Sometimes a growl, a glance, a posture is all that is necessary to determine dominance. Wolf teaches those with this medicine to know who you are and to develop strength and confidence in what you do.