Last Updated on July 14, 2023 by Avia
Ravens have long been associated with deities, gods, and goddesses throughout history. As one of the most iconic birds in mythology, ravens have a wide range of associated meanings and symbolism. I get a lot of questions about ravens and crows. So, it only makes sense to publish a post about gods and goddesses associated with ravens and crows. So without further ado, let’s dive into this exciting symbolic topic about crow and raven goddesses and gods.
Table of Contents
- Why are Ravens and Crows Associated With Gods and Goddesses?
- Gods Associated with Ravens or Crows
- Goddesses Associated with Ravens and Crows
- The Raven as a Creator God in Haida and Native American Myths
- Crows and Ravens as Tricksters in Cultural Myths
- Ravens and Crows Featured in Other Cultural Myths, Legends, and Folklore
- Summary of Crow and Raven Deities
- Why Are Crows and Ravens Sacred?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Crows and Ravens Associated with Deities
Why are Ravens and Crows Associated With Gods and Goddesses?
There are many reasons why ravens and crows are associated with gods and goddesses. For one, these birds are often seen as messengers of the afterlife or symbols of the underworld. They are also often believed to see things that are unseeable to humans – making them supernatural oracles and divine wisdom-keepers.
Ravens and crows are also associated with magic and transformation due to their ability to change their appearance. In some cultures, ravens and crows are also seen as messengers of the gods. As they can travel great distances quickly – they are often relied upon by deities to deliver vital news and information.
Gods Associated with Ravens or Crows
Most cultures have one or more gods or goddesses associated with ravens or crows. In many cases, these deities are either associated with death or the underworld, or they are tricksters who enjoy playing pranks on humans.
Chief Norse God Odin and His Ravens – Hugin and Munin
Odin, the chief Norse god, had two ravens named Hugin and Munin (“thought” and “memory”, respectively). These ravens would fly around the world and report back to Odin what they had seen and heard. In some depictions, Odin is even shown with these two ravens perched on his shoulders. They were said to fly off and observe the realm then return to Odin, filling him in on all the details they had seen and heard.
Greek God Apollo and His Ravens
Apollo is the Greek god of the sun, music, and prophecy. He is often depicted with a raven or crow perched on his shoulder. These birds are associated with Apollo because they are thought to be able to see into the future. Ravens are also considered to be messengers of the gods, and that is true with Apollo. In some stories, Apollo sends his ravens to carry messages to mortals.
Bran the Blessed – The Welsh Raven God
Bran the Blessed is one of the most important Welsh deities. He is often associated with ravens, which are said to be his sacred animals. In some stories, Bran is said to have turned himself into a raven in order to escape an enemy.
Bran is also known as the god of prophecy and wisdom. He is said to have given the gift of prophecy to his son, Taliesin. Bran is also believed to protect Wales from invaders.
Goddesses Associated with Ravens and Crows
There are many legends, gods and goddesses associated with ravens and crows. In Celtic mythology, the Morrigan is a goddess of war who takes the form of a raven. For instance, in Japanese mythology, the Yatagarasu is a three-legged crow who is said to represent the sun.
In Greek mythology, Ravens are associated with the goddess Athena. She is often depicted with a raven on her shoulder, which is said to represent her wisdom and knowledge. Ravens are also associated with the goddess Hecate. She is often portrayed as a crone or witch, and is said to be able to transform into a raven.
Crows are also associated with several goddesses. In Hindu mythology, Crow Goddesses known as Kalavinka are said to live in trees and bring good luck. In Egyptian mythology, Isis is sometimes depicted as a woman with the head of a crow. She represents fertility, magic, and motherhood.
Chinese Faerie Queen Hsi-Wang-Mu and Crows
In Chinese mythology, Hsi-Wang-Mu is the Faerie Queen of the West and one of the most powerful deities in the pantheon. She is often portrayed riding on a black tiger or dragon, and is sometimes accompanied by crows. Hsi-Wang-Mu is associated with fertility, longevity, and wisdom, and is said to be able to grant immortality.
Crows play an important role in Chinese mythology as well. They are seen as messengers of the gods, and are often used to convey messages between the mortal world and the spirit world. In some stories, crows also help humans achieve immortality.
Nephthys: Egyptian Goddess of Death and Crows
Nephthys was an Egyptian goddess of death and crows. She was the sister of Isis and Osiris, and the wife of Set. Nephthys was often depicted as a black-winged creature or a woman with the head of a crow. She was also associated with the underworld and the afterlife. Nephthys was sometimes considered to be the mother of Anubis, the god of mummification and the dead.
Ravens have long been associated with the afterlife and darkness, so it is no surprise that Nephthys, an Egyptian goddess of death, would be associated with them as well. In some artwork, she is even depicted as part-raven. Crows are often depicted with Nephthys as they aptly reflect her role as a goddess of the afterlife.
Celtic Triple Goddess Morrigan and Ravens
The Celtic Triple Goddess Morrigan is often associated with ravens. In Celtic mythology, the Morrigan is a goddess of war who sometimes takes the form of a raven. She is also said to have two sisters, Badb and Macha, who are also sometimes depicted as ravens. The Morrigan is often seen as a dark and fearsome goddess, but she can also be protective and helpful. Ravens are thought to be her sacred animals, and she is sometimes said to send them to warn her people of danger or to guide them in battle.
The Raven as a Creator God in Haida and Native American Myths
In Haida and Pacific Northwest Native American myths, the raven is often portrayed as a creator god. He is called “Raven” and is one of the most important figures in Haida mythology. According to legend, Raven was the creator of the world and all its inhabitants. He is also said to be responsible for bringing the sun and moon into the sky, and for teaching humans how to fish and hunt. Raven is also sometimes associated with death and the afterlife.
However, Raven is also a trickster god, and he often plays tricks on humans that can lead to disaster. For example, in one story he steals the sun from another god, causing an eternal winter to blanket the land. In another story, he tries to trick a human into giving him food by taking on the form of a beggar woman. When the human gives him some food, Raven promptly turns back into his true form and flies away with his prize.
Ravens are often seen as tricksters in other Native American myths, and they are known for their cunning and mischievous nature. In some stories, the raven uses his tricks to help humans; in others, he causes trouble just for fun. But whether he is helping or hindering humans, the raven always has his own agenda.
Native Americans have long revered the raven as a powerful spirit animal. Many Native American communities have claimed the raven or crow as their core clan name. Additionally, the raven is a sacred being that embodies both good and evil in many Native perspectives. He is a symbol of wisdom and change, and his presence is both feared and respected.
Crows and Ravens as Tricksters in Cultural Myths
Crows and ravens are often associated with trickster gods and goddesses in various cultural myths. In some stories, they are the tricksy beings who steal fire from the gods or help humans outwit their enemies. In others, they are the messengers of death, carrying souls to the underworld.
Raven and crow deities can be found in cultures all around the world, from Europe to Asia to Africa. In many cases, deities share similar characteristics with crows and ravens as they are often tricksters who enjoy playing pranks on humans or other creatures in folktales.
But regardless of their role in any particular story, crows and ravens are always fascinating creatures, full of mischief and magic.
Ravens and Crows Featured in Other Cultural Myths, Legends, and Folklore
In many cultures, ravens and crows are featured in myths, legends, and folklore. In some cultures, they are seen as dark omens, while in others, they are seen as good luck charms.
Some of the most popular raven and crow myths come from the Native American culture. In many Native American myths, Ravens are seen as tricksters who are always up to no good. They are also said to be able to shape-shift into other animals or humans.
In Slavic folklore, the crow is sometimes depicted with a character in a well-known fable called Baba Yaga. This is a crone-type character; crows were her companions to keep watch around her hut, which was hidden in the wilderness. Here we see the crow as a confidant, protector, and lookout for Baba Yaga.
Crows are often seen alongside wise old women who have the ability to see into the future. In some legends, they are also said to be able to bring people back from the dead.
In many legends, crows and ravens are known to represent birth and regeneration. They are said to be able to guide lost souls back to the world of the living.
Japanese mythology also features both ravens and crows prominently. In Japanese mythology, ravens are usually associated with rain and thunderstorms. They are also said to be able to transform into human beings.
In many ancient agricultural communities, crows and ravens represent autumn and harvest time. In this light, crows and ravens are associated with deities of harvest, fertility, abundance, and plenty.
Summary of Crow and Raven Deities
1. The Norse god Odin had two ravens named Hugin and Munin (meaning “thought” and “memory”) who would fly around the world and report back to him everything they saw and heard.
2. The Celtic goddess Morgan le Fay was sometimes depicted as a crow or raven, and was known for her magical powers and ability to transform into other animals.
3. In Japanese folklore, the crow is a symbol of good luck, but there is also a mischievous fox-spirit called a kitsune which often takes the form of a crow or raven.
4. In Native American myths, the Raven is often portrayed as a cunning trickster, but also as a creator god who brings light and life into the world.
Why Are Crows and Ravens Sacred?
There are many reasons why crows and ravens are considered sacred animals. For one, they are among the most intelligent of all birds. They are also known for their ability to adapt to different environments and for their scavenging habits.
Crows and ravens have long been considered symbols of the afterlife and darkness. But they also represent transformation and new beginnings. In many cultures, they are seen as bringers of good luck and omens of good fortune. Therefore, crows and ravens are often considered sacred.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crows and Ravens Associated with Deities
Crows and ravens are both members of the Corvidae family, which includes other birds such as jays, magpies, and nutcrackers. Ravens are generally larger than crows, with longer beaks, wingspans, and tails.
There are many deities around the world that are associated with crows and ravens. In Greek mythology, for example, ravens were associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy. In Norse mythology, Odin had two ravens named Huginn and Muninn, who would fly around the world and report back to him what they saw. In Native American mythology, Raven is a trickster god who is responsible for bringing light into the world.
Crows and ravens have been seen as both positive and negative symbols in different cultures. In some cultures, they are seen as messengers of the afterlife, while in others, they are seen as symbols of wisdom or good fortune.
Ravens have been seen as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom and mystery in many cultures over the centuries. The gods and goddesses associated with them vary from culture to culture but they all share one thing in common: an appreciation for the powerful bird that is revered by so many. Whether you are looking for inspiration or simply appreciate the power of these majestic creatures, learning about their connections to various gods and goddesses can be a fascinating journey into our past.
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