Crow–Totem Symbolism

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Animal Totem Crow


Power Animal

Element Air

Symbol of Sacred Law, Change

Shadow self

The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic. 

The power of this bird as totem and spirit guide is provide insight and means of supporting intentions.

Sign of luck, it is also associated with the archetype of the trickster; be aware of deceiving appearances. 

If the crow has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, it supports you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection with life’s magic.


Many cultures consider crows to be the keepers of the Sacred Law, for nothing escapes their keen sight.

To have a Crow as a power animal is extremely powerful stuff.

  • When we meditate on the crow and align with it, we are instilled with the wisdom to know ourselves beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and laws.
  • We are taught to appreciate the many dimensions of both reality and ourselves, and to learn to trust our intuition and personal integrity.

Crows often appear in groups, and though there seems to be no variation in their cawing to each other, each caw actually has a different meaning.

Their complex vocabulary is one sign of their intelligence, and is also a sign of their significance as power animals.

When a crow explores something new, others watch closely to see what happens and then learn from it.

They often make great noise when hunters are around, warning deer and other birds.

Crows recognize potential danger and hence always post lookouts when feeding. This is their most vulnerable time.

This helps us understand that we must watch what we believe, to test our habitual ideas about reality against a more universal standard.
Without paying careful attention, we are unable to understand the language of crows, this signifies the fact that we can’t always see beyond our own cultural limitations. These limitations include certain moral codes of right and wrong, along with ‘rules’ that accompany these codes.

Throughout history there have been many (unnecessary) conflicts and wars between humans due to differing moral and religious beliefs. To truly create a new age of love, peace and harmony it is of high importance for us to be able to transcend our particular cultural limitations and to hold in our hearts and souls what we share as spiritual beings in human form. We are all connected, infinitely and composed of the same ‘stuff’. We need to realize that hurting others only hurts ourselves. Crow is the bird which represents this transcendence.

  • Crow can also teach us to be mindful about judging people automatically.
  • Be mindful of your opinions and actions.
  • You need to walk your talk, to speak your truth and to know your life’s mission.

Again, trust your intuition and personal integrity, to create your own standards, whether or not they match those of the world around you. Be an individual, think for yourself, don’t necessarily follow the crowd!

In the courting process the male crow’s voice takes on a singing quality. This lets us see what the basis of sacred law is, unconditional love, the one unfailing principle by which we can test our own principles.

Crow is an omen of change:

  • Crows live in the void and have no sense of time, therefore being able to see past, present and future simultaneously.
  • They unite both the light and the dark, both the inner and the outer.
  • Crow is the totem of the Great Spirit and must be held with utmost respect.
  • They are representations of creation and spiritual strength.
  • Crows are messengers, telling us about the creation and magic all around us, that is available to us just for the asking.

Look for opportunities to bring into being the magic of life.

The striking black color of the crow represents the color of creation. It is the womb out of which the new comes into existence. Black is the color of the night, giving birth to the light of a new day.

Crows are sly and can be deceptive in their actions.

They have been known to build false nests high in treetops to confuse predators. Their nests are built very high up, giving them the chance to watch everything that is going on around them.

As crows are adaptable to all environments and will eat almost anything, they can survive in almost any situation.

Crow is surrounded by magic, unseen forces and spiritual strength.

Crows have a usually black with tints of blue depending on the light shining on them. Their color is symbolic of the onset of creation, of the void or what has not taken form yet. Fascinating spirit animals, they carry the energy of life mysteries and the power for deep inner transformation.

As a spirit guide, the crow will guide you in getting in touch with life mysteries and develop your ability to perceive subtle shifts in energy within yourself and in your environment. It has the ability to go beyond the illusions, especially duality of right and wrong, inner and outer.

If crow enters your life, get out of your familiar nest, look beyond your present range of vision, listen to the message(s) in its caw and act accordingly.

Crow is the keeper of sacred law and knows the mystery.

She teaches us that there are not one two or three worlds but many.


The laws of Sacredness

To balance our need for partnership with other areas of our life
To be at peace with our own company as well as within a group
Psychic protection
To value ourselves giving ourselves the best
The joy in exploration

How to Apply Crows Teachings to Your Life

How do you see the laws of sacredness in relation to the laws of humanity?

Are they divided?

Crow sees with one eye. Perhaps it is time for your to acknowledge the divine purpose of all things.

Your ancestors may be bringing a message to you of impending change. Be mindful at this stage of your life.

It may also be time for you to help others step out from the darkness of denial and into the light

With sharp vision crow is aware of all around her. Are you to well aware of all around you including the injustices?

Do you struggle to find meaning in your life because of the awareness you have?

Know that awareness is a gift. Perhaps you need to be supported by like-minded people who see what you see.

Realize also that your vision is a great benefit to others. You have the ability to help others out of their own darkness as crow warns other animals of approaching danger.

In partnership crow teaches us not to discount our partners efforts or belittle their interests.

Make an effort to verbally acknowledge and thank your partner for their efforts.

Crow may also warn of gossip. Spending time gossiping about others or worrying about the gossip of others is wasted energy.

Are you holding onto the past? Crow knows no time. She experiences past present and future simultaneously. Learn from your past and move on.

Do you wear many faces? Be careful of becoming manipulative and preying on those who are easily lead or gullible.


How to Harness Crow Energy

Find a feather of crows and place it in an important place
Read about crow
Listen to the shrieking of crow
Be still and listen to mystery
Draw Crow

Crow may communicate to you through leaving feathers for you to find.

These serve as a reminder of your connection to spirit or that it is time for you to be still to enable a message from spirit to come through.

When a crow is shrieking check that there is not something dangerous in the area as this is their way of warning you and other animals

They may also shriek while you are thinking about a certain area of your life so as to draw attention to it

Keeper of sacred law

I open to the Mystery
The knowledge of many world that my ancestors now know
In balance of past present future
I walk with awareness and speak my truth
Using my sharp sight for the benefit of all
Myths and Legends

Native American legend tells of a crow who was fascinated with her own shadow so much so that she kept pecking at it until it came alive. Her shadow then ate her. This tells of crow knowing both worlds. She became part of the mystery.


Crows and Ravens are from the same family and the only real physical difference between the two is their size.

Ravens tend to be much larger and are found mainly in wilderness areas. Ravens also carry medicine that is slightly different than that of Crows, the following though relates to both.

Both Ravens and Crows associate with Wolves as well so those who have these birds as Totems are also likely to have Wolf as a Totem as well.

Crows and Ravens are extremely intelligent.

  • They can learn to use tools, develop complex communication with humans and other species.
  • They are wonderful for psychic protection and will literally mob together to drive off negative energy from those they care for.
  • They are also called thieves in that they will nick jewelry, coins, watches, anything shiny that catches their attention.
    • All kinds of jewelry, pens, coins, anything left outside on a table or near an open window will disappear right and left.
  • Those who carry Crow/Raven medicine once they become attuned to it, can begin drawing what they need and value into their own lives.
    • They also have the ability to teach others how to learn to value themselves and others, to go for the gold, the best in one’s life and to be open to receive from the Universe.
  • Crows/Ravens are also well known for their curiosity and intense exploration of anything that catches their attention.
    • So when Crows/Ravens or people who carry their medicine show up in your life it can indicate that now is the time to explore those things that have recently caught your eye or that something new is about to enter your life that is beneficial for you so pay attention!
  • Crows/Ravens are always on the lookout as part of their survival mechanisms and it behooves us to also pay attention when they appear as the Universe is trying to tell us something.
  • Crows are very social and band together for the good of the group so this is an indication that we need to work with and cooperate with others of like mind in order to bring about blessings for all beings.
  • Crows and Ravens look out for one another and they also warn other animals when danger is near.
    • Frequently they drive hunters mad because they are always warning Deer and Elk that the hunters are near! When a Crow or Raven is shrieking loudly near you, check around to see if someone or something that could be “harmful” is in the area. Of course when they call like that it can mean many things yet over time once you work with them frequently you will begin to understand what their messages mean to you specifically.

It may take a while to decipher when they are speaking, and the conversation among themselves probably starts off something like

“That silly man/woman!

The Grandfathers keep insisting they’re a shaman, yet look at all the messes we have to pull them out of!

Almost got myself run over on the street today trying to get her/his attention!”

Many times as you walk along only to have a Crow fly down into the middle of a street, in the path of oncoming traffic, banging it’s beak on the ground, with you dancing around on the pavement, waving arms and yelling at it to get out of the street! At first you think that perhaps they found great amusement in making you look a fool, and then realized that every time it happens, there was an important message that the Universe was trying to get through to you.

Sometimes they are trying to warn of serious physical danger. The poor Crow will almost be hit by a car, barely managing to get out of the way in time, and then follow you down the street cawing rather frantically at you.

Here are a few examples of this in action:

“Had I heeded the warning I could have saved myself not only a great deal of heartache but avoided a very

threatening situation coming from someone I thought I could trust.

I had just left a the flat of a friend I was visiting when this happened and I even heard the Crow saying

“Go Back! Go Back!” Well, silly me I thought the Crow meant to go back to the flat.

In a way he did, go back, grab your stuff and get the hell outta there!

The Grandfathers had tried to warn me, even in dreams I had, yet I ignored the messages.

Finally as a last resort a Crow literally almost gave up his life to get my attention.”

This speaks of the amazingly strong bond and love our Totems have for us and why we should honor them in any way that is appropriate for them and us.

Normally when they do their “dance” there is another Crow perched overhead on a wire or tree branch. When there are two or more  it is a good time to take some kind of risk or action as there is support and a focus being held for me to follow through and to insure a good outcome. The more Crows in the area the more support that is being offered.
When a Crow is cawing and then turns say to the south, then there is an important message coming to you from someone south of you. If they tap on the phone wires then it is coming via email or phone. Usually if it’s by phone, they tap only once or twice.

Email, it’s usually a head bangers ball going on up there, but this will vary according to your association and understanding of the connection and messages you receive from them.

If you hear a Crow calling at night, that is a MAJOR heads up as night time is Owl time and Owls are enemies of the Crow.

Owls prey on Crows at night when they are in their nests and so Crows are especially careful to be quiet when night time falls.

This is a good message for those who carry Crow/Raven medicine:

  • if you sense a predator might be near, be silent and still and wait for the situation to pass. Taking no action at those times is the best course of action. Some people who carry Crow/Raven medicine also carry Owl medicine as well. In fact, if you have one bird as a totem in actuality you may have a whole flock of birds as totems!

Another way to work with Crows is to ask them questions about anything and everything.

  • Phrase it so it can be answered yes or no. If it ‘s yes, you may get a frantic cawing even before you complete the question. If it’s no, dead silence even if they had been very noisy moments before.

Crows are known to build their nests in very tall trees. Doing so, they can get a better vision or perspective on the rest of their surroundings. By affinity with this trait, those who have the crow as a spirit animal or totem will enjoy a position from where they can see things from a higher perspective.

The crow is also watchful of intruders and predators. The sound it makes is characteristic of a loud, strident bird noise that can warn the other members of it clan over great distance. When you see your crow spirit animal, be on the watch.

  • People who carry Crow/Raven medicine often greatly benefit from washing their hands and faces frequently as water is a wonderful cleanser of negative energy.
  • Since often Crow/Raven people are also navigators of the darkness or the underworld, it is important that these people clear their energy fields frequently so as not to take on any energy that is not their own.
  • It also helps if you are trying to clear issues or problems in your life to add a few drops of a Crow or Raven essence to a salt water bath or even setting some Crow feathers near the tub will also do the trick.
  • For nightmares a Crow fetish, feathers or essence even pictures of Crows or Ravens can help drive the nightmares away.
    • It is important though to examine why you may be having nightmares and ask for guidance as how to resolve the issue.

 The Wayward Crow Society was started in honor of the Crows who look in windows and when you catch them at it, they act very nonchalant, walking away like ” oh no, we would NEVER be looking in on you!”

  • Why do Crows do this?
    • It is an indication that sometimes it is best to keep what you are doing under wraps until the time is right to let others see what you are up to. as it is important to allow energy and power to build inside of you when you are in the process of manifesting something important to you.
    • Talking about it can dissipate the energy which is why it helps to talk about one’s problems! Of course talking about problems too much can actually help to recreate them over and over in your life as you are putting emphasis and awareness on them.
    • When an issue first comes up it is helpful to allow it to “churn” in your mind over a period of time, not resisting it, but journaling or talking to someone you can trust about it until you begin to sense completion around it. Sometimes what may also happen is that the conscious mind becomes so exhausted by it that it is turned over to the subconscious mind for resolution and release. Since the subconscious is where our intuition lives, we may find answers or healing in dreams or a sudden breakthrough by following a “hunch” or inner prompting. Over time you can learn what the right balance is for you to help clear the issue without recreating it so trust what you feel is right and best for you!
  • Crows are also associated with magic and mysticism as Ted Andrews covers very well in his book “Animal -Speak” and the “Animal Wise Tarot”.
    Crow Medicine
  • Crow is the left-handed guardian. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and are the keepers of all sacred law. There are several species of crow. Raven is one of these and magpies are another.
  • Crow medicine people are masters of illusion. Do not try to figure crow out. It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen.
  • Crow is also the guardian of ceremonial magic and healing. In any healing circle, Crow is present. Crow guides the magic of healing and the change in consciousness that will bring about a new reality and dispel “dis-ease” or illness. You can rest assure when ever crows are around, magic is near by and you are about to experience a change in consciousness.
  • Crow can give you the courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that is not yet in form.
  • They are territorial and won’t give up an area without a fight.
  • They are loners, seeming to like to spend time to themselves.
  • If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and “caw” the shots as you see them.
  • Crow is an omen of change. If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that they are out of balance.
  • Crows are the bringer of messages from the spirit world, and is thought to dwell beyond the realm of time and space.
    • When you meet crow, he could be telling you that there will be changes in your life and that possibly you should step by the usual way you view reality and look into the inner realms …walk your talk…be prepared to let go of your old thinking and embrace a new way of viewing yourself and the world.
  • Crow is the sacred keeper of the law.
    • Crow medicine signifies a firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust.
  • When you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish.
    • Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.


Throughout history, the crow has been associated with both positive and negative symbolic meanings.

The most common are:

  • Life magic; mystery of creation
  • Destiny, personal transformation, alchemy
  • Intelligence
  • Higher perspective
  • Being fearless, audacious
  • Flexibility, adaptability
  • Trickster, manipulative, mischievous

Other traditional meanings associate the crow with bad omen, death, and dark witchcraft.

The crow also carries the power of prophetic insight and symbolizes the void or core of creation.

Crows are commonly associated with magic and the power to manipulate physical appearances.

Crows are common animals that we can find all around the globe. As such, they are a reminder that magic is everywhere.

When you encounter a crow,tune into its behavior and it will give you a clue on how to use the magic powers it carries.

Because of its affinity with life mysteries and magic, the crow is seen in many shamanic traditions as the spirit animal of choice for those who use magic and have the power to manipulate the law of our physical universe. The crow used to be the animal of choice of shamans, those who do witchcraft and shape-shifting.

The Crow Spirit Animal, a Guide about Fearlessness and Determination

Have you ever watched a group of crows ganging up together and chasing out birds much bigger than they are?

This behavior makes the crow a useful animal totem to call when you need support in dealing with adversity. If the crow chose you as your power animal, you are encouraged to develop your personal will power and speak your truth more loudly.

Crows always seem to be able to get away with what they are after, be it a piece of food left on the road or sneaking into other birds’ nests to steal or eat their eggs.

Echoing this trait, those with the crow as totem or spirit guide might watch for the tendency to trick or be a bit manipulative.


One thought on “Crow–Totem Symbolism

    Yang said:
    January 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

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