what is the meaning of a crow

what is the meaning of a crow

Crow symbolism, meaning, and spirit animal

Crow that means and symbolism embrace adaptability, cleverness and that intelligence, teamwork and reciprocity, transformation, and psychic skills. Crows stay on each continent besides Antarctica. (And their shut chook cousins, jays, exist in South America.) So, crow symbolism, meanings, and mythology exist in lots of cultures all over the world. As well as, the crow spirit animal is a sacred energy animal to those that really feel a kinship with these very smart birds. On this publish, you’ll find out about crow symbols and meanings and what they could imply in your life. Plus, you’ll find out about crow spirit animal, crow mythology, and extra.

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Crows in the Snow

What do crows symbolize?

Crow symbolism varies from tradition to tradition, however listed here are some generally shared crow meanings, with particulars on every beneath:

  • Cleverness
  • Intelligence
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork and Reciprocity
  • Transformation
  • Psychic Skills

Distinction Between Crows and Ravens

Earlier than we kick issues off, I believed it could be essential to differentiate between crows and ravens. These two birds look very a lot alike and are sometimes seen collectively, however they’re totally different, nonetheless. To start, these two birds, together with their cousins – rooks, jackdaws, jays, nutcrackers, magpies, treepies, and choughs – are all from the identical household of birds known as Corvidae. They’re additionally known as corvids.

Crows and ravens are two species of corvids. Ravens are typically bigger than crows and have a tendency to journey in as a pair with their mate. Whereas crows are smaller and prefer to congregate in massive teams.

Tail Feathers

When you see these birds in flight, a crow’s tail will seem like a fan, as a result of all the tail feathers are about the identical size. Ravens, then again, have longer center tail feathers, so their tails look extra like a wedge when they’re in flight.


The 2 birds additionally make totally different sounds. Crows make a cawing sound, whereas ravens make a deeper croaking sound.

Crows and ravens share some comparable meanings in cultural mythology. Nonetheless, there are additionally some variations. If you’re inquisitive about raven symbols and meanings and the raven spirit animal, you possibly can learn that publish right here.

Detailed Crow Symbols and Meanings

Two Crows

Crow Symbolism: Intelligence and Cleverness

Whereas the crow might not have the unique aptitude of the flamingo or the colorfulness of the hummingbird, beneath the onyx depths of these shiny black feathers is a chook mind past examine.

Crows demolish the insult that calling somebody a “chook mind” imply’s they’re not very intelligent. The truth is, crows are thought of to be among the many most clever animals on the planet, together with primates, elephants, and cetaceans.

What makes crows so good? For one, their brains possess a excessive numbers of neurons. These additional neurons are discovered within the crows’ forebrains, the realm of the mind the governs complicated cognitive capabilities.

Crows additionally exhibit behaviors which are demonstrative of excessive intelligence, comparable to making instruments, having robust reminiscences (as within the skill to acknowledge human faces), and utilizing non-verbal types of communication.

The Crow and the Pitcher

The Crow and the Pitcher
The Crow and the Pitcher. Illustration: Milo Winter.

There’s a preferred Aesop’s fable known as “The Crow and the Pitcher” a couple of crow within the desert who’s thirsty. He comes upon a pitcher of water, however his beak just isn’t lengthy sufficient to entry the water within the pitcher. He realizes that if he suggestions the pitcher over, he would possibly lose all the water in it. So, he decides to innovate and begins placing pebbles within the pitcher of water. Ultimately, the pebbles displace the water on the backside of the pitcher, pushing the liquid as much as a stage the place he can drink.

Enviable Drawback-Fixing Abilities

The spirit of the crow ought to remind us all to leverage our wits so remedy our issues. It’s straightforward to get emotional once we face challenges in life. The crow reminds us to step again, take a deep breath, cock our heads, and have a look at the problem from a distinct perspective.

Crow Symbolism: Adaptability

Crow eating out of a dog dish

Whereas many people see crows frequently, it’s essential that we not take these intelligent creatures with no consideration. In spite of everything, they’ve proven an uncanny skill to outlive within the human-dominated world, in order that they have to be doing one thing proper. The crow is the embodiment of adaptability and embracing change.

If a crow crosses your path, it may very well be signal that you’ve got the flexibility to deal with your self in any state of affairs – even in case you don’t at all times really feel that approach. Don’t let sudden upheavals in your life or different folks’s drama’s ruffle your feathers. The crow spirit animal lets you adapt and to soar above the fray, discover a protected place to perch, and watch all of it unfold.

Be versatile and open to new conditions.

Undoubtedly, one of many keys to crows’ survival in environments which are difficult for different animals is that, like coyotes and raccoons, crows are omnivores. Crows will eat something – from different birds to fruit, greens, seeds, nuts, mice, fish, frogs, carrion, and canine treats. (When you go to canine parks, undoubtedly you’ve seen crows hanging round on the lookout for spare treats.)

This too shall go.

If the crow was a Sufi poet, he would say to you, “This too shall go.” The crow reminds you that the one factor we are able to all make sure about is that issues change. Resisting change is like dwelling in a state of denial.

The crow spirit reminds you to be versatile as a substitute of inflexible. Be open to new experiences, whether or not they’re so simple as a culinary expertise, making an attempt to study a brand new ability, or inviting new folks into your life. Typically change that you simply concern or dread can change into the most effective issues that ever occurred to you.

Teamwork and Reciprocity

Flock of crows

Whereas ravens have a tendency to stay with their vital different, crows like to collect in giant teams, generally within the tons of and even hundreds of birds. The time period a “homicide of crows” is commonly used to explain these giant groupings, probably as a result of these intelligent and social birds seem to be they’re plotting one thing after they’re all collectively.

It’s not by coincidence that Alfred Hitchcock selected giant teams of crows to be his foremost perpetrators within the traditional movie The Birds. Nonetheless, in actuality, crows are social and playful birds who use over 250 totally different calls after they’re speaking with one another.

Crows collaborate with one another to drive different birds, comparable to hawks and owls, away from their territory. As well as, they’re identified to hunt out different crows to inform them about good meals sources.

Loyalty and Lifetime Mates

But regardless that they’re extremely social and flock collectively in giant teams, crows are monogamous and mate for all times.

Certainly one of my favourite tales about crows that demonstrates their understanding of teamwork and the idea of give and take is the BBC video “Reward Giving Crows.”

On this documentary, a bunch of crows commonly deliver presents to somewhat woman who feeds them:

When the crow is your energy animal, you might be almost certainly an individual who values relationships. You perceive that relationships are the best “forex” in life. Because the saying goes – It’s not what you already know however who you already know.

Crows additionally embody the Japanese proverb that goes, “All of us are smarter than one in every of us.”


The crow spirit reminds you to nurture your relationships – with your loved ones, your folks, your colleagues, and above all – your vital different.

If you’re very impartial and/or single, and a crow crosses your path, it may very well be an indication that one in every of your soul mates is looking for you. Whereas soul mates could be romantic companions, they may also be shut buddies, enterprise companions, and relations. The crow spirit animal reminds that you simply that we aren’t meant to go it alone.

Crow That means: Transformation

Crow in Flight

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All through the world, the crow has been seen as an middleman between the fabric and spirit worlds. As carrion-eating birds, they’re typically current in occasions of dying, which is the seemingly cause they’re related to dying. Loss of life is a daunting idea to many people. And therefore, crows are sometimes see as “scary” birds. Nonetheless, dying is definitely a change as a substitute of an ending.

This depiction of crows as scary, which has been handed down from era to era, is why they’re so carefully affiliate with Halloween, graveyards, and the like. The truth is, in Swedish folklore, crows had been considered the ghosts of murdered individuals who didn’t have a Christian burial. And in Germany, they had been thought to comprise the souls of the damned.

The Cycle of Life

Nonetheless, this detrimental affiliation of crows is deceptive. As carrion-eating birds, crows are an intrinsic a part of a wholesome ecosystem and the continuum of the cycle of life. For that reason, crows are highly effective symbols of transformation.

Whenever you see a crow, take into consideration your life and the optimistic modifications that you simply wish to set into movement. For each problem you face, take into account it a chance to evolve as a human being and as a soul. The crow generally is a useful image that serves as a catalyst for optimistic change in your life.

Psychic Skills

Moon Crow by Deep Coloured Water
Moon Crow by Tamara Philips, Deep Colored Water.

Just like the owl and the raven, the crow additionally symbolizes psychic skills. The crow is claimed to have the ability to see the previous, the current, and the long run. If the crow is your energy animal, you almost certainly possess particular insights into conditions the place others might not. It’s essential to at all times use these presents as a drive for good on this planet.

Crow Spirit Animal

Crow spirit animal

Your spirit animal serves as a information in your life, bringing you teachings and messages out of your spirit guides that can assist you as you navigate your life path right here on Earth and all through your soul’s journey.

In Native American cultures, your spirit animal chooses you throughout a imaginative and prescient quest, a meditation, or one other highly effective expertise that impacts the course of your life. It’s possible you’ll already know that the crow is one in every of your spirit guides. Or maybe a crow has immediately made themselves identified to you in a approach that riveted your consideration. Both approach, it’s essential to study all you possibly can about these deeply clever birds. It will aid you to really feel your interconnectedness with the Universe extra deeply and increase your stage of consciousness.

If you’re inquisitive about different animals who is perhaps your spirit guides, you possibly can take UniGuide’s spirit animal quiz and skim the detailed spirit animal information.

Crow Energy Animal

Raven spirit animal

Because the title implies, an influence animal can encourage you with their most dynamic traits. So, if you wish to rework an space of your life, mediate on the attributes that the ability animal represents. For instance, you possibly can summon the crow energy animal if you:

  • Are dealing with an issue in your life and you may’t appear to return to a decision. The crow energy animal reminds you to not get overly emotion and to you utilize your wits!
  • Really feel alone and wish to entice your soul mate or a workforce of people that can assist to complement your life.
  • Wish to hone your instinct and increase your psychic skills.

Crow Totem

In Native American cultures, animal totems maintain the protecting powers of the animal they characterize. Thus, the crow totem is a useful image sharpening your wits and utilizing your mind energy to unravel issues and make life higher. As well as, the crow totem is an effective luck image for attracting supportive, like-minded folks in your life and for gaining deeper intuitive insights.

Crow Symbolism in Cultural Mythology

Crows seem within the mythology and folklore of many cultures. What’s fascinating is that in cultures the place folks had been primarily nomadic and relied on looking and gathering, crows had been seen as optimistic symbols. Nonetheless, in cultures that had been extra agrarian, crows had been seen extra negatively, probably as a result of they had been disruptive to crops. Listed below are a few of the tales and meanings utilized to crows in several cultures:

Native American Crow Meanings

Spirit of the Black Crow
Native American paintings “Spirit of the Black Crow.” Art work: Ampel. Picture: Properties with Historical past.

Each Native American tribe has their very own distinctive traditions and beliefs, however one factor all of them have in widespread is a deep reverence for animals and the pure world. Whereas crow meanings and legends fluctuate from tribe to tribe, crows are typically seen as highly effective beings who’re worthy of respect in each tribe.

For instance, many plains tribes, together with the Pawnee, Lakota, and Sioux, in addition to different tribes, put on crow feathers after they do the Ghost Dance. The ghost dance is a religious dance of safety and resistance in opposition to oppression that’s shared by many tribes.

Tlingit and Haida Folks

The Tlingit Folks, who hail from the Pacific Northwest, consider the crow helped the Creator to prepare the construction of the world and that he possesses the ability to free the solar.

The Haida Folks, additionally from the Pacific Northwest, mentioned the crow may steal the solar from the sky and provides it to the Earth’s folks.

There are different legends, which I’ll describe beneath, which are much like this idea of the crow accessing the warmth of the solar.

The tribes of the Northwest additionally seen the crow as a trickster as a result of he possessed nice powers associated to creation and will affect outcomes.

The Rainbow Crow

Rainbow Crow

Certainly one of my favourite Native American tales is the Rainbow Crow, which is informed by the Lenape Folks, who’re from the realm that’s now the state of Delaware. Certainly, this is without doubt one of the most lovely tales I’ve ever heard.

When the land grew chilly…

A very long time in the past, when the Snow Spirit appeared, the land made all the animals very chilly. Snow continued to fall on the lands and shortly it began to cowl the animals, first the mouse, then the rabbit, the deer, and so forth. All the animals held a council assembly to determine who would ask the Creator, who lived within the Heaven far above the Solar, to make the Earth heat once more.

Collectively the animals went one after the other as they tried to determine which animal ought to make the journey. Nonetheless, with every animal they thought of, they realized there can be one downside or one other. As an illustration, they dominated out the owl for concern she would possibly get misplaced within the gentle of day. They usually dominated out the coyote for concern he would possibly play too many methods, comparable to chasing the wind or swallowing the clouds, which might delay his journey.

A Lovely, Colourful Fowl

Lastly, a wonderful, colourful chook with a soothing track volunteered to fly to the Creator. This chook was the Rainbow Crow. The animals determined the Rainbow Crow was the right animal to fly to the Creator and ask for heat.

The Rainbow Crow flew and flew and when he obtained to the heavenly place the place the Creator lived, he begged the Creator for heat for the Earth. Impressed by the crow, the Creator relented and touched a protracted department to the Solar, which caught fireplace. He then put it within the Rainbow Crow’s break.

The Descent Again to Earth

Because the Rainbow Crow made his descent again to Earth, the department continued to burn. The flame grew within the wind, and the department grew to become shorter. Ultimately, the hearth singed the Rainbow Crow’s feathers and blackened them with soot. And the smoke from the hearth prompted his voice to develop hoarse.

When the Rainbow Crow lastly obtained to Earth, he delivered the warmth to the animals. Now exhausted, he flew as much as a tree and perched on a department. Whereas the Rainbow Crow was relieved he may heat the opposite animals, he was disheartened as a result of he thought he was now not lovely and will now not sing. He was now simply the Crow.

Taking pity on him, the Creator informed the Crow that he would endlessly be shielded from males. His robust wings would give him the means to fly away and his sharp mind may outwit depraved males who wished to hurt him. The Creator additionally informed the Crow to have a look at his feathers within the daylight. There he can be see thousands and thousands of tiny rainbows.

Crow Clans

Native American tribes have a clan system that’s organized round household teams, that are primarily based on the maternal line. Clans function a system of neighborhood group, division of labor, and, some historians surmise, they helped to maintain gene swimming pools wholesome by stopping shut relations from marrying.

Clans even have animals which are related to them, such because the bear, wolf, or hummingbird, and plenty of Native American tribes have crow clans. Tribes with crow clans embrace the Chippewa, Hopi, Menominee, Caddo, Tlingit, and Pueblo.

The Crow Nation

The Crow Persons are a whole Native American tribe who hail from the realm that’s now the Yellowstone River Valley, which extends from Wyoming to Montana and North Dakota. In their very own language, the Crow Persons are Absaroka, which suggests “youngsters of the large-beaked chook.”

It’s unclear why the Crow Folks affiliate themselves with this specific chook vs. one other animal. Nonetheless, what is evident is that they named their folks for a chook, probably a magpie or jay, which was native of their space way back, and which is almost certainly extinct as we speak. Nonetheless, this chook is of the identical household as modern-day crows, which is Corvidae.

Crow Medication

Vintage photo of Crow Native Americans
Classic picture of Crow Native Individuals known as “Watching the Sign” by Edward S. Curtis, 1905, Montana.

As a result of crows are related to the Creator and thus the conception of the Universe, they’re thought of by many tribes to be the holders of Common Knowledge and Common Legal guidelines. This implies they’ve data and insights concerning the bodily earthly airplane, in addition to the religious world. It additionally means they possess the aptitude to vary these legal guidelines, and thus impact outcomes.

Due to this knowledge and these particular powers, the Native Individuals affiliate crows with therapeutic. That is the basis of crow medication. The crow spirit animal could be summoned if you want a miracle – if you really feel the chances are in opposition to you, however you possibly can nonetheless discover the religion to consider in a optimistic final result.

Australian Aboriginal Crow Meanings

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The Aboriginal Folks of Australia additionally revere the crow. Curiously, as in Native American legends and others you’ll examine beneath, the Aborigines have tales concerning the crow possessing the ability to entry fireplace. The crow can be thought of a intelligent trickster in Aboriginal tradition.

There’s one Aboriginal crow legend informed by the Wurundjeri Folks. On this story, there are seven sisters. These sisters may very well be seen within the constellation Pleiades.

Within the winter, meals was scarce and the folks didn’t have fireplace. So, they had been compelled to eat solely uncooked meals. Because of this, lots of the folks obtained sick. Nonetheless, the seven sisters had been well-fed. So, Waa, the crow started to watch them.

He seen that the sisters used sticks to dig for honey ants to eat. When Waa appeared extra carefully, he noticed that that sticks had been glowing crimson with fireplace, so the sisters had been in a position to cook dinner the meals they ate.

Now Waa knew that the seven sisters had been afraid of snakes. So, he discovered some child snakes and positioned them in a log and sealed it up. Waa then informed the sisters that honey ants had been within the log.

The sisters used their digging sticks to open the log. However after they did, the snakes sprang out and the sisters jumped, dropping their sticks. Waa then swooped in and grabbed the sticks and flew off. Nonetheless, when he did, the sticks charred his feathers and blackened them with soot.

Crows in Greek Mythology

The god Apollo and his crow.
Apollo and his crow. Picture: Archaeological Museum of Delphi.

Apollo and Crows

In historical Greece, the crow was sacred to the god Apollo. In line with one fantasy, Apollo had a white crow whom he left along with his lover Coronis. In reality, Apollo wished his crow to control her. As luck would have it, Coronis fell in love with a person named Ischys.

The crow informed Apollo of the affair between Coronis and Ischys. Enraged, Apollo first directed his anger on the crow as a result of he had anticipated the crow to peck out the eyes of Ischys. Apollo was so enraged that he threw a fiery curse at Coronis, which singed the crow and turned his feathers black.

Right here and Crows

The Greeks additionally related crows with the goddess Hera. Not solely had been crows identified to be monogamous, they had been additionally seen on battlefields. Thus, it was becoming that the Greeks paired them with their goddess of struggle and marriage.


At one time the goddess Athena was additionally related to crows. Nonetheless, she discovered them to be too mischievous and crafty. So, as a substitute she selected the solemn owl to be her companion.


The Romans took half in a religious observe known as augury, which interpreted omens by the habits or birds. The truth is, the time period relies on the phrase “auspices,” which comes from Latin phrase auspicium, which suggests “one who appears to be like at birds.” Thus, the Romans watched the habits of crows carefully. Particularly, they believed that the route that crows flew had symbolic that means.

Crow Symbolism within the Bible

Crows seem within the Bible incessantly. Within the story the Nice Flood, after 40 days, Noah sends a crow (or raven or, extra seemingly, an ancestor of modern-day corvids) to seek out dry land after the flood. The crow doesn’t return, so Noah assumes that appropriate dry land has not been discovered, because the crow is ready of consuming carrion from the ocean.

After the crow, Noah sends a dove to see if there’s dry land. At first the dove returns and Noah thinks there’s nonetheless most likely no appropriate land on which to dock the ark. However per week later, when he sends the dove out once more, she returns with a freshly plucked olive department, and Noah realizes that the Earth is lastly liveable once more. Nonetheless, the crow is endlessly thought of to be egocentric for not flying again and telling Noah the state of issues.

Crows are given a foul rap in different elements of the Bible as nicely, notably when they’re depicted as unclean as a result of they eat carrion. This irrational concern was undoubtedly one of many the reason why crows got here to be related to the occult and dying.

Crow Meanings in Celtic Mythology

Celtic Goddess Morrigan with crows
The Celtic Goddess Morrigan with crows. Art work: Amelia Leonards of Ameluria.

For the Celts, crows had been sacred. They had been related to the god Lugh, who was a warrior deity, a craftsman, and a protector.

The Celts additionally related crows with the goddess Morrigan, who was believed to shapeshift right into a crow. Because the goddess of struggle and dying, Morrigan was mentioned to fly over battlefields whereas screeching to encourage her warriors and strike concern into the hearts of their enemies.

Crows in Norse Mythology

In line with Scandinavian folklore, the god Odin had two companions, Hugi and Munnin, which interprets to Thought and Reminiscence. Hugi and Munnin had been crows (or ravens) who flew over the Earth and introduced tales of the world again to Odin.

Crow That means in Asian Cultures

Weaving maiden with crows
The Chinese language fairy story The Weaving Maiden along with her crow bridge. Art work: Artist George W. Hood.

Crows didn’t fare very nicely in Chinese language mythology. As with many different cultures, the Chinese language related crows with the solar and fireplace. In a single story, the Earth initially had 10 suns, which had been embodied by 10 crows. Someday, all 10 of the suns determined to rise without delay, they usually started to scorch the Earth. So, the gods despatched their most expertise archer, Houyi, who photographs down all the crow suns besides one.

One Chinese language fairy story that portrays crows positively, nevertheless. The story explains why there are some days you possibly can see crows within the sky and different days that you simply don’t. Within the story of the Weaving Maiden, you don’t see crows within the sky when they’re busy forming a magical bridge that enables the Weaving Maiden to satisfy her lover.

The Japanese view crows as messengers from the spirit world. In addition they see them as optimistic symbols of transformation and rebirth.

Crows in Hinduism

Crows are seen positively in Hindu tradition. As a result of they’ve highly effective reminiscences, they’re seen as messengers from one’s ancestors. Some consider that crows carry the souls of the not too long ago deceased. Due to this, when Hindu practitioners carry out the act of Shraaddha (giving thanks) in the course of the interval of Pitru Paksha, which is a interval of honoring one’s ancestors, they may typically feed the crows.

Crows are additionally related to Hindu gods and goddesses, together with the Sani, who guidelines the planet Saturn. Sani is a hot-tempered however very smart deity. And the mom goddess Dhumavati, who’s portrayed as a crone, or outdated girl, is related to crows and is usually depicted as using on a crow.

Crow Symbols in Buddhism

Buddhist monk and crows
A Buddhist monk with crows at dawn, Mandaly, Myanmar. Photograph: Manuel Oka.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the crow is related to the deity Mahakala, which suggests the Nice Black One.” Mahakala is seen as a protector, significantly of knowledge.

In a single Buddhist story, a fifteenth century monk named Ngawang Drakpa traveled to what’s now the Gyalrong district of jap Tibet. His intention was to construct a monastery there, however he was having hassle deciding on the situation. As he was pondering, a crow flew down and grabbed the headscarf from round his neck. The monk adopted the crow to a juniper tree, the place the crow positioned the headscarf on one of many branches. The monk noticed this as an auspicious signal that this was the proper place for the monastery.

Crow Dream Meanings

Crow Dream

Goals are private to each dreamer, so I by no means attempt to apply particular meanings to each dream about crows. Nonetheless, when analyzing your dream, it’s essential is to contemplate the feelings you felt within the dream, whether or not it was surprise, concern, anger, or another emotion. Your emotions will aid you to know the character of a matter that you must deal with in your acutely aware state.

As well as, take into account your individual private emotions about crows. To some, crows are disturbing, whereas to others, they’re fascinating. From there, you possibly can layer in a few of the generally shared meanings and symbols utilized to crows and see it something resonates. For instance, crows as symbols of transformation may imply {that a} change is about to occur in your life, or an indication that you’re in a means of self-transformation.

Crow Tattoo

Crow Tattoo

A crow tattoo is a strong image that exhibits you might be in tune together with your intuitive powers. It might probably additionally meant worth cleverness and prefer to indulge your sense of curiosity. Tattoos are private to every particular person. Nonetheless, higher understanding crow symbolism and mythology can hopefully imbue your tattoo with deeper that means.

Organizations that Defend Crows

When you would possibly take into account crows to be plentiful, particularly in case you stay in an city setting, just like the overwhelming majority of untamed animals on our planet, crows face threats. The truth is, two species of crows are on the Endangered Species Record: the Hawaiian crow and the Mariana crow. When you care about crows and different birds, please do what you possibly can to assist defend them. Listed below are some organizations that look out for crows and different birds:

Audubon Society

Defenders of Wildlife

The Alalā Venture

San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Analysis

Institute for Wildlife Research

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