Crow Symbolism, Meaning,Totem, Spirit & Omens – A Complete Guide


crows meaning

Crows can be found on almost every continent in the world. With such a big spread of these birds, it is no wonder they have found meaning and symbolism in many different cultures, each depicting their own reference to the crow.

Crows are complex and highly intelligent birds that symbolize many connotations of both positive and negative meanings. Apart from the common words used to describe them, they have also been described as nosy, friendly, mysterious, ominous, false, cheeky, thievish, and aggressive.

As with many other spirit animals, the crow’s symbolism and crow meanings vary depending on how it appears to you.

These are not animals to be associated only with dark arts and macabre thoughts; they have powerful spiritual meaning that can be the reverse of what people associate them with.

What Do Crows Symbolize?

Crows tend to have a bad reputation when it comes to symbolism, often associated with death, black magic, negativity, and in general bad luck. However, crows are starting to see a more open-minded view of their true meaning, perhaps because more and more people are starting to understand these birds better.

These are super intelligent animals whose brain-to-body ratio is the largest compared to other birds.

To put it more in perspective of how clever these creatures can actually be, according to the study of encephalization quotient (EQ), they are equivalent to the chimpanzee.

Crow Meaning

crows at night

Crows tend to symbolize different meanings according to how you see them and how they are acting towards you; crow meaning is often associated with;

  • Cleverness & intelligence
  • Adaptability & change
  • Teamwork & Reciprocity
  • Psychic abilities
  • Problem-solving
  • Loyalty
  • Death
  • Mischievousness

Cleverness & Intelligence Symbolism Of Crows

Proven to have excellent memories, crows have the ability to recognize faces; they can identify people according to their face recognition.

For a Crow, this is highly important as they differentiate between faces to warn off other crows of the impending dangers of a person that may have hurt them previously.

However, on the other hand, they can also remember people who have been kind to them by either nursing them back to health or feeding them.

They have been known to bring these individuals gifts as gratitude for their caring nature.

Adaptability & Change Symbolism Of Crows

This trait can have a positive or negative connotation. Crows have the ability to change and adapt to their surrounding, which is often translated as their manipulative and shrewd natures.

Associations of shapeshifting are often seen as a trait of the crow.

But thinking about how crows have adapted and survived in a human-dominated world shows their adaptability to accept change and go with the flow, so to say.

Teamwork & Reciprocity Symbolism Of Crows

Although crows can be intelligent enough to be alone and have the tendency to wander off on a solitary mission, they are often found in groups, called a murder of crows.

Working together to warn each other of impending dangers or cawing to each other about a great food source, they are great teammates and tend to look out for each other.

As a group, they can ward off other predatory birds or animals that may want to impend on their lunch or territory. These birds have a mutual ability to work as groups of up to hundreds for the benefit of all.

Psychic Ability Symbolism Of Crows

Crows are often seen as the eye that sees all, the shadow in the corner that watches you. These birds have been symbolized by being able to see into the past, present, and future.

Perhaps its psychic abilities were associated with this bird because of how a crow can stare at you as if looking deep into your soul.

But they do this because they have found an interest in you or see something in you that is not visible to others.

Problem Solving Symbolism Of Crows

Their problem-solving skills are linked to their intelligence, but these birds have a high aptitude for solving complex problems with logical solutions.

The story, and it has been proven, of the crow and the pitcher. The crow could not reach the water within the pitcher, and knowing that tipping the pitcher over would mean the loss of water, the crow started filling the pitcher with pebbles to raise the water level until it could reach it and quenches its thirst.

Loyalty Symbolism Of Crows

The fact that these birds are monogamous and mate for life shows the depth of their loyalty. Although very social and able to work in a group, these birds are fiercely loyal to their partners and to people they trust.

Death And Transformation Symbolism Of Crows

Crows are often associated with death or the imminent death of something, as they can sense or smell sick, dying animals, following them until they die before feeding on the carcass that sets the process of the circle of transformation.

Also often found at the scene of carrions, these birds are associated with death.

Breaking down the meaning, you will find that the crow is a very important part of the eco-system and breaking down of waste, they are important in the cycle of life.

Even though they may represent death, it could be the representation of the end of a cycle or the beginning of a new chapter moving forward.

Mischievous Symbolism Of Crows

Crows tend to be mischievous in a way and can be portrayed as the trickster. They are extremely playful birds and enjoy playing the fool alone or in a group.

Perhaps their inquisitive nature encourages them to play as a means of discovering things around them.

What Crows Symbolize In Different Cultures And Religions?

Each culture and religion has its own depiction of what a crow symbolizes, and crows are found in myths, folklore, beliefs, and religions all over the world. Often associated with bad omens, the crow has often been used in films representing gloomy events.

But not all beliefs have seen the crow as a bad omen. In some cultures, they view the crow as intelligent, and the fact that they have the ability to speak has projected them as soothsayers.

Primarily nomadic cultures have depicted the crow as good fortune, but people with more agrarian values would consider them bad omens.

Crow Religious And Spiritual Meaning

Crows are mostly considered as sign of dark omen in many religions around the world. However, they are also a sign of good fortune in Native American culture.

Let’s have a look at crow symbolisms in different cultures around the world. 

Crow Symbolism To Native American Cultures

In Native American culture, the crow was seen as the wisest bird due to its ability to talk, and through many different tribes, the crow has been related with wisdom, intelligence, wit, selflessness, and occasional mischief.

Crow Symbolism In Japanese Culture

Japanese culture sees the crow as a messenger of good omens. The sighting of the great bird is interpreted as the will and divine intervention of the heavens in the affairs of humans.

The crow symbolisms gratitude, love for family, and a divine messenger.

Crow Symbolism In Hinduism

crow in hindu culture

In Hinduism, the crow represents a loved one that has passed on, a link between the world of the living and that of the dead.

The Shradh is a ritual done on the anniversary of a loved one’s death, where family members scoop food offerings into a banana leaf and offer the feast to the crow to eat.

This ritual ends when the crow has started to peck at the food, which means that the ancestor is satiated and at peace.

Crow Symbolism In Norse Culture

Norse mythology of the crow can be seen with the god Odin, where his two crows, Muninn(memory) and Huginn(thought), fly over the world and bring news and information to Odin.

Icelandic folklore sees the crow as a messenger between the worlds of the living and that of the dead, often seen as a bird of prophecy, protection, and help.

Crow Symbolism In Celtic Culture

For the Celts in Ireland, the crow is sacred; seen as the messenger between gods and heroes on the battlefield, they were thought to bring messages of strategies.

Crows have also been attached to the harbinger of death, Morrigan, a powerful goddess associated with prophecy and divination.

Crow Symbolism In Africa

In African cultures, the crow is also seen positively, as they symbolize the strength and flexibility to adapt to surroundings. It is also said that the pose of the crow shows assertiveness.

Both African and Egyptian cultures see the crow as a symbol of happiness and marriage as the crow is monogamous and mates for a lifetime.

In Egypt, the crow was often linked to the goddess Hera as a symbol of faithful love.

Crow Symbolism To Native Aborigines In Australia

In Aboriginal culture, the crow is seen as a harbinger of death but not necessarily in a bad way.

Some believe that the crow’s representation of death is the ending of one cycle, a time of hardship is over, and a new start is about to come, also seen as the symbol of reincarnation.

What Do Crows Symbolize Spiritually?

spiritual meaning of crow

Spiritually crows are a powerful symbol of change and transformation. Often depicted as shapeshifters, it is not necessarily a bad omen but more of a metamorphosis of current situations on one’s spiritual or emotional states.

Symbolism Of Crows As Your Spirit Animal

Spirit animals represent the animal’s spirit that gives you what you need most at that time. Your spirit animal will come to you when you need

  • Love
  • Support
  • Guidance, and
  • Inspiration

Having a crow as your spirit animal blesses you with the ability to see beyond what is directly in front of you.

The crow’s natural talent to observe gives them the intuition that many other animals lack. As the crow is your spirit animal, you will inherit the crow’s strong memory and insight.

People with the crow as a spirit animal are gifted with a curiosity about the world around them with problem-solving tools.

They remind you that you need to look within and reassess your situation. Their guidance will show you the path that you most desire at a time when things don’t seem to be what they should be.

Symbolism Of The Crow As Your Power Animal

Power animal symbolizes the energy you call upon from your connected power animal, invoking their assistance in certain situations. Giving you

  • psychic abilities
  • intuition
  • truth

As a power animal, crows inspire you with their most vibrant traits, helping you find balance in present living or past beliefs. Their intelligence helps you solve difficult problems you are struggling with, giving insight into solutions.

Pay attention when you cross paths with a crow, they may be there to help you see the truth that is hard to see, or you don’t want to see.

Often seen as soothsayers, crows will show you the truth and lead you down the right path.

Crow Symbolism As Totem Animals

Totem animals represent who you are; these are the traits of the totem animal that is represented in you and hold protective powers of the animal.

  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Intelligence
  • Flexibility
  • Loyalty

As a totem animal, the crow evokes your sharp wittiness and problem-solving skills. You are fearless and creative with a sense of intuition that you harbor.

You are curious and playful, but you have a naughty side; however, be careful not to cross the line to manipulation with a crow totem.

What Does The Number Of Crows Symbolize?

Seeing a crow is not always a bad omen, and the number of crows you see can mean different things.

Meaning Of 1 Crow

Seeing single crow near your house is a sign of bad luck. Since they are often associated with death, this may mean that the death of a loved one may be near.

However, if you see a single crow, you may not need to take this quite so literally but rather as the death of a relationship or friendship. It could be the end of a journey.

Meaning Of 2 Crows

Seeing two crows can often be a sign of good news or good fortune is about to come your way, a positive sign that could significantly impact your life for the better.

Meaning Of 3 Crows

Seeing three crows gather together is known as a murder of crows and can indicate that someone or people are plotting against you.

Seeing three crows soaring in the sky, however, has a more positive meaning in the sense that you can be assured of steadfast relationships with people you know within your circle of friends, co-workers, or family.

What Does It Mean If A Crow Stares At You?

If you catch a crow staring at you, it is because they see something in you, and you need to pay close attention to spiritual signs conveyed around you.

What Does It Mean To See A Crow Eating?

If you see a crow eating, this is a sign telling you that you are heading in the right direction and that you should keep going.

If you have any wavering feelings regarding a project or a decision, then you should take this sign as a good sign and that you are on the right path and that you should persevere.

What Does It Mean If A Crow Caws At You?

If a crow caws at you, it is not a bad omen of impending death but a warning sign that you should take seriously. Crow caw to each other to communicate dangers.

Finding a crow caw at you should be taken as a sign to look at what you are doing and where your spiritual destiny is heading.

The universe is calling for your attention to set you back on the right track in order for you to get that which you desire.

What Does It Mean If You See A Dead Crow?

Seeing or finding a dead crow is not as ominous as it sounds; in fact, finding a dead crow is a sign of new beginnings, the end of a chapter, and the beginning of something new.

In some cultures, crows were seen as spirits of loved ones that passed on; seeing a dead crow sometimes also symbolized reincarnation of the spirit.

Crow Dream Meaning

Meaning of Crow dreams could be different and depends on how you saw crow in your dream. So, what does it mean when you see a crow in your dream?

Seeing a crow in your dream can be interpreted as an indication of wisdom, curiosity or how you accept your soul and body.

When you see crows in your dream, it can mean secrets, shame, guilt or even transformation.

Let’s go through the crow dream symbolisms.

Attacking Crow in Your Dream

When you see a crow dream where crows are attacking you, it means that you have lost your control over power and energy. It can also be seen as the vulnerability towards external energy attacks.

Biting Crow in Your Dream

When you see a crow biting in your dream, it means that you have discovered your core desires. Seeing a dream in which you are bitten or eaten by animals are seen as the highest spiritual gift.

Murder of Crows Flying

When you see a murder of crows flying in your dream, it means a bad omen and you are going to get a funeral’s invitation soon. It can also mean that someone who is very close to you may die.

Dead Crow in Your Dream

If you see a dead crow in your dream, it means a metaphysical death. This means that you are going to see a transformation and your grieving period is over, you are ready to move on.

Crows Are Chasing You in Your Dream

If you see a dream in which crows are chasing you, it means that you are going to get into trouble. The crow chase symbolizes that you know what wrong you have done and you are fearing the punishment.

Crow Mythology

crow mythological beliefs

In mythology, crows have a great place and depicted as positive as well negative signs. They are seen as messengers at some places whereas at others it is seen as causing destruction.

In Greek stories, you will often see crow as depicting prophecies for something bad to come.

Odin – Greek God Associated with Crows

In Norse mythology, ravens and crows are seen as helpers that bring news to Odin to help him make decisions. Ravens and crows both exchange news from both the worlds to Odin.

The Crow Goddess – Morrigan

In Celtic literature, Badb, Macha, Morrigan are three bodies having one mind and called as the Crow Goddess.

The Morrigan is know as Goddess of Death and Destruction. She can control crows and Dire-Crows are her favorite ones. She can use her power to transform crows into any shape and size.

Crow Tattoo meaning

crow tattoo meaning

Animals have spiritual, emotional and physical significance and therefore animal and birds tattoos are very popular. Having cultural significance, people get tattoos of birds on their body. So, why do people get crows tattoos?

Crows are seen and positive and negative in many cultures and religions. Therefore, people following several occult get crow tattooed on their body. Intuition, loyalty, community, intelligence and cleverness are some of the great positive traits of crows.

What does it mean if a crow visits you?

When a crows visits you, it alerts you about the spiritual activities going around you and reminds you to have a close look at the signs and also guides you to the right path.

What does it mean when a crow crosses your path?

Crows are birds and you can often see them flying around you. But, when a crow crosses your path, it could be a message for you and want you to control your feelings and thoughts.

Are Crows and Ravens Different?

Yes, crows and ravens are different in many ways– appearance, size etc. Go through out guide Crows Vs Ravens to understand how they are different from each other.

  • Ravens – You might see negative connotations of ravens in many cultures at the same time they are seen as positivity too. They represent affection, healing, death as well as longevity.
  • Crows – Crows represent emotional and spiritual change in a human being.

Conclusion

Crows have been around for millennia, with different cultures symbolizing diverse meanings of the bird. Often associated with death and macabre connotations, this is, in fact, a highly intelligent bird that spiritually can have some very positive associations, leading you into a metamorphosis of your life.

In this article we have tried to put everything about crow symbolism and crow meanings, crow totem, crow tattoo and why do a crow power animal?

We hope you like this article!

References

The Crow Goddess. (n.d.).

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/10/scientists-investigate-why-crows-are-so-playful/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvus

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2009/07/27/106826971/the-crow-paradox

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31604026

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31795681

https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/24/10231/pdf

Three-legged crow – Wikipedia

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/crow-symbol.htm

https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/feeding-crows-death-ritual-shradh

https://adventures.is/blog/ravens-iceland/

Donald Bergeson

I have always been fascinated by the skill, strength, and beauty of birds.They help in maintaining a balance of ecological environment. At Best Bird Guide, I share all of my experiences and discoveries that I have got so far and inspire more devoted fans.

Recent Posts