Symbolic Raven Meanings
for Celtic Tattoo Ideas
Raven meaning for Celtic tattoos is based on Celtic myth and legend. Tales of the heroic Chuhulian, Bendegeit Bran, Lugh all speak of the raven in a prophetic capacity as well as power and protection. Meanings of retribution come into play with female Celtic figures of power such as the raven goddesses Morrigan, Macha and Badbh.
When considering raven meanings in connection to Celtic wisdom, there area few potent themes to contemplate...
Legend conveys the powerful Celtic goddess, Morrigan descending upon battlefields in the shape of 100s of ravens. Morrigan, in the form of these shimmery black winged legions, would consume the souls of fallen warriors in battle and carry their souls appropriate spiritual realms.
Raven meanings of wisdom, prophecy and knowledge-keeping is connected with the Welsh hero Bran, the Blessed whose name means raven.
Bran was the holder of ancestral memories, and his wisdom was legendary. So much so, that he had his head (the vessel of his powerful wisdom) removed and interred in the sacred White Mount in London.
Ravens are still roosting there (in the Tower of London), and they're thought to keep Bran's wisdom protected and alive by their presence. This plays in nicely with symbolism of protection the raven has in Celtic symbolism.
Raven meanings are also associated with the Celtic high king, Lugh who is considered a masterfully skilled in smithing, crafting, prophecy, swordsmanship, art and generally, an all-wise king.
In their association with the mighty Lugh, ravens take on a prophetic capacity. Ravens were an oracle for Lugh, forewarning him of invasions and other information that allowed him to lay clever military strategy.
To be sure, raven meanings speaking of keeping and protecting sacred wisdom and mystic law. It is thought ravens consume the soul upon physical death so that soul-knowledge will not die with the body - but rather lives on while carried aloft raven wings.
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!