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A List of 5 Deities That are Associated with Crows

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Written by: Tina Caro

If you want to know which deities are associated with crows, this is the article you need to read! Crows have a powerful symbolism and, since ancient times, they have always been interpreted as a warning sign, a symbol of death, and even connected with witchcraft and magick.

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Crows are often associated with various qualities, including intelligence, mysticism, and omens, in different cultures and mythologies. Here are some deities and gods commonly linked to crows:

  1. Morrigan (Celtic Mythology): The Morrigan is a Celtic goddess often associated with crows or ravens. She is a shape-shifter and represents death, war, and fate.
  2. Apollo (Greek Mythology): In Greek mythology, Apollo was associated with ravens, which were considered his messengers. He is the god of prophecy, music, and the arts.
  3. Shani (Hinduism): Shani is a Hindu god associated with the planet Saturn. Crows are considered sacred to him, and they are believed to bring messages to him.
  4. Huginn and Muninn (Norse Mythology): Huginn and Muninn are a pair of ravens associated with the Norse god Odin. They act as his messengers and travel the world to bring him information.
  5. Bran the Blessed (Welsh Mythology): Bran the Blessed is a figure in Welsh mythology. In the Mabinogion, his head is buried in London to protect the kingdom. Crows are associated with this burial site and are said to protect Britain.
  6. Tengu (Japanese Folklore): Tengu are supernatural creatures in Japanese folklore, often depicted with crow-like features. They are considered both protectors of the mountains and tricksters.
  7. Amun (Egyptian Mythology): Amun, the Egyptian god of creation and wind, was sometimes depicted as a man with the head of a crow. He symbolizes the unseen and mysterious.
  8. Nayenezgani (Navajo Mythology): In Navajo mythology, Nayenezgani, one of the Hero Twins, had crows as his allies in his battles against monsters.
  9. Korako (Māori Mythology): In Māori mythology, Korako is a deity associated with crows. They are considered guardians and messengers.
  10. Karasu Tengu (Japanese Folklore): Karasu Tengu are a type of Tengu with crow-like features. They are known for their intelligence and sometimes depicted as protectors of the mountains.

Crows and ravens often hold dual roles in mythology, symbolizing both wisdom and mystery. They are frequently associated with gods and goddesses who possess these qualities and are seen as intermediaries between the human and divine realms.

Deities That are Associated with Crows

Morrigan/Badb

Morrigan on her throne – by mattforsyth

Morrigan has a triune identity. She embodies Badb, Macha and Némain. In a warlike context, Badb, covered in black feathers, expresses the more combative aspect of Morrigan and this is the name which the goddess went by in battle or during the bloodshed.

At the end of the battle, the goddess Morrigan assumed the appearance of a crow: all the corpses of her proteges who died in the war were collected near her and the cry of the animal was the voice of the divinity that spread in a song mournful and desperate funeral.

The crow, as already mentioned, ate the corpses but destroying them meant transforming them to regenerate them.

Odin

Odin-and-Frigga s
Odin and Frigga

Huginn and Muninn are two ravens present in Norse mythology, associated with the god Odin. They help him to see everything that happens, travel the world, and bring him the news. Odin brings them out at dawn to gather information and they return in the evening, sit on the god’s shoulders, and whisper the news in his ears.

It is from these ravens that the raven-god kenning that represents Odin derives. Furthermore, seeing a crow immediately after a sacrifice meant that Odin had accepted the offer.

Why is there such a close connection between Odin and these animals? As the Kenningars suggest, the answer has to do with Odin’s role as the god of war and death. Crows, as animals that feed on bodies, were present where great battles took place, and therefore were the first to benefit from them. Killing someone during a fight was, therefore, in a sense, giving a gift to the crows.

Apollo

Statue of Greek god Apollo on display in the Walters Art Museum.

In ancient mythology, however, this animal was condemned by Apollo. The Latin poet Ovid, in his “Metamorphoses” (book II), tells that the god fell madly in love with the beautiful Coronide / Koronis, daughter of the king of the Lapiths. Very jealous, since he had to go away for a certain time, Apollo asked his ‘servant’, that is the crow, who had a beautiful white plumage (you read that right!), to watch over the girl and report everything to him.

Also read:
Counting Crows: Understanding the Superstition

The obedient crow began to observe Koronis day and night, but who would ever want to betray a god, the most beautiful of the gods, when he was lucky enough to be his lover? And instead the beauty was in love with the mortal Ischi, with whom she betrayed the god several times; according to some versions of the myth, taking advantage of Apollo’s absence, she was even about to marry him.

By virtue of this, the diligent crow reported everything to his master, although the crow had invited him to keep quiet. On learning of the betrayal, the long-awaited Apollo, at the height of his anger, hit Coronis with his arrows, killing her, but before dying the girl revealed to the god that she was carrying her son.

Regretting what he had done, while blinded by fury, the god extracted the child from the mother’s womb and entrusted him to the centaur Chiron. Angered for having killed the woman he loved, Apollo took off with the faithful raven, “bad bird of ill omen”, turning his beautiful plumage into black, condemning him to croak annoyingly, to eat carrion, and to be considered a symbol of bad luck.

DeitySymbolism
MorriganBattle, prophecy, sovereignty, and crows
ApolloSun, light, music, healing, and crows
OdinWisdom, war, poetry, and ravens
YamaDeath, justice, afterlife, and crows
AmaterasuSun, light, harmony, and crows
Table 1: Deity Attributes and Symbolism

DeityRoles and Associations
MorriganWar goddess, shape-shifter, and crow companion
ApolloGod of music, poetry, healing, and prophecy
OdinAll-father, god of wisdom, poetry, and battle
YamaLord of death, judge of souls, and crows
AmaterasuSun goddess, bringer of light and fertility
Table 2: Roles and Associations

Dhumavati

Dhumabati at Janbajar Sammilito Kali Puja Samiti pandal, Kolkata.

Dhumavati differs clearly from all other Hindu goddesses, young, beautiful, adorned with jewels (even the warrior goddesses like Durga or Kali are portrayed with seductive forms). Dhumavati, on the other hand, is old, skeletal, worn out, incapacitated, unadorned. She is accompanied by ravens and sits in a horseless chariot. In the earliest depictions, Dhumavati rides a raven and has completely black skin.

Very reminiscent of Morrigan, the Celtic Goddess of ravens and battles. She is mainly linked to the rainy seasons.

Dhumavati is all that inauspicious; she appears as poor, leper, dying; she dwells in the “wounds of the world”, such as deserts, ruins, abandoned houses, cemeteries.

 

She is also often associated with witches and especially with black magic: it was thought that burning a raven while singing the mantra of Dhumavati, scattering the ashes in the enemy’s house, was enough to capture him.

Bran the Blessed

The head of Bendigeidfran, Bran The Blessed, being carried to the White Hill. A scene from Old Welsh literature.

Two bright and positive crow-related deities are Bran Vendigeit (Bran the Blessed) and his sister Branwen (White Crow). ‘Bran’ in Welsh really means crow, but sometimes with references to ‘head, height, hill’, in the sense of ‘headmaster, sir’.

Bran is the Lord who owns the Cauldron of Regeneration. It is a completely positive divinity. A King of the Earth, a faithful Companion, and a Great Warrior is the One on whom the nation itself is founded.

In the Mabinogion (collection of tales in which his story is told), he is the King who cannot have a home because of his gigantic size. Indeed, this just underlines how he himself is a refuge and protector. Sister Branwen is likewise a magnificent creature of endless beauty, goddess of love, and of the Earth. She who, in the Avalonian Tradition, represents the Center. There is a beautiful story about Bran the Blessed that can help us better understand the connection between this deity and the crows.

When Branwen got married to a King who mistreated her, Bran decided to save his sister. He died trying to save his sister and then asked his men to take his head to the Tower of London and place its body so his head could point east.

Why? Because in this way, he could watch over his people forever and guard the coastline from any foreign invaders. Still today, crows spend a lot of time around the Tower of London to honor Bran the Blessed!

As you have seen, crows are meaningful and strongly connected with deities in many different ways!

If you feel a special connection with this animal, it might be that one of these deities is trying to connect with you! Be open and ready to get their messages!

About
Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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