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Author Topic: Gods related to crows?  (Read 9813 times)
Firaza
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« Topic Start: April 05, 2010, 10:05:51 pm »

Long before I reconnected with my spirituality, I had felt an affinity towards crows. I take them as good omens, especially whenever I find them cawing outside of my building in the mornings. Typically I take it to mean that I will have a good day. The day after I decided to return to my faith, which was also a day of an important exam, I found them cawing outside of the exam building. When I went out this past weekend to my campus' spiritual center, just thinking about entering was incredibly unnerving and intimidating. When I arrived, I found a small murder cawing outside, as if urging me to enter.

I normally don't hear of crows in a favorable light, so I was wondering if there are any Gods or similar entities personified by or associated with the crow, especially as good omens? If it helps, I have Kemetic leanings, but I'm starting to think I'm more of a chaote or eclectic/multi-faith polytheist.
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Altair
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« Reply #1: April 05, 2010, 10:33:42 pm »

I was wondering if there are any Gods or similar entities personified by or associated with the crow

My knowledge on this is scant; I don't know any deities specifically crow-related. However, the raven--a very close relative of the crow--is associated with the Celtic triple goddess known as the Morrigan. I don't know much about the Morrigan; she/they are connected with battle, I believe, which would explain the raven association, since ravens eat carrion (among other things), so they'd be found picking over the dead after a battle. Some of the Celtic-path pagans here can tell you a lot more, I'm sure.

Ravens are also associated with Odin (or Wotan, or Woden) of Northern European mythology. He had two as companions, Huginn and Muninn ("thought" and "memory"), who would go forth into the world and report what they'd observed back to Odin.

I'm sure there must be Native American myths that feature crows, but I don't know them.

P.S. I just found this site:

http://www.ravenfamily.org/nascakiyetl/obs/rav1.html

It seems quite informative and interesting about ravens and crows in mythology, but I can't vouch for its accuracy in the least, having not really had time to explore it yet.

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« Reply #2: April 05, 2010, 11:34:07 pm »

My knowledge on this is scant; I don't know any deities specifically crow-related. However, the raven--a very close relative of the crow--is associated with the Celtic triple goddess known as the Morrigan.
Actually, crows are as much associated with tM as ravens are, possibly more.

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« Reply #3: April 05, 2010, 11:36:22 pm »


The only deity I can think of offhand besides those that Altair and Sunflower mentioned is Badb, who is an Irish Celtic goddess.
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Firaza
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« Reply #4: April 06, 2010, 01:06:22 am »

My knowledge on this is scant; I don't know any deities specifically crow-related. However, the raven--a very close relative of the crow--is associated with the Celtic triple goddess known as the Morrigan. I don't know much about the Morrigan; she/they are connected with battle, I believe, which would explain the raven association, since ravens eat carrion (among other things), so they'd be found picking over the dead after a battle. Some of the Celtic-path pagans here can tell you a lot more, I'm sure.

Ravens are also associated with Odin (or Wotan, or Woden) of Northern European mythology. He had two as companions, Huginn and Muninn ("thought" and "memory"), who would go forth into the world and report what they'd observed back to Odin.

I'm sure there must be Native American myths that feature crows, but I don't know them.

P.S. I just found this site:

http://www.ravenfamily.org/nascakiyetl/obs/rav1.html

It seems quite informative and interesting about ravens and crows in mythology, but I can't vouch for its accuracy in the least, having not really had time to explore it yet.

Thank you for the link! I read it carefully and did my own brief search on ravens and crows in various mythologies. As fascinating as the Morrigan, Odin, etc. are, I get the feeling that these birds are more like the ones found in Native American myths. I'll keep looking, but thank you to Altair and Juni too for the input!

If anyone knows some accurate/legitimate resources for Native American animal totems/spirits, I'd greatly appreciate the help! Smiley
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Altair
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« Reply #5: April 06, 2010, 07:14:54 am »

Actually, crows are as much associated with tM as ravens are, possibly more.


Thanks, Sunflower; I didn't know this.
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Altair
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« Reply #6: April 06, 2010, 07:16:54 am »

The only deity I can think of offhand besides those that Altair and Sunflower mentioned is Badb, who is an Irish Celtic goddess.

Okay, here's where my ignorance of Celtic mythology hobbles me. I was under the impression that Badb was one of the 3 aspects of the Morrigan; is that incorrect?
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« Reply #7: April 06, 2010, 09:26:44 am »

Okay, here's where my ignorance of Celtic mythology hobbles me. I was under the impression that Badb was one of the 3 aspects of the Morrigan; is that incorrect?

It is a debatable subject, because in some texts they are presented as sisters, in others as possibly being the same person, the three (and this can range between Babd, Morrígan, Nemhain, and Babd, Morrígan, Macha more often than not) are sometimes referred to as the Morrígna, though inconsistently. An Morrígan more often than the others appears individually in several of the texts as well. The triple goddess aspect is of course an abstraction since in many cases they are not explicitly referred to as goddesses, though also not the only instance of such a grouping (Fódla, Banba and Ériu being the other well known example). There is of course the dangerous (or perhaps problematic is a better term) among those influenced by the MMC triple goddess motif, that such an interpretation is reflective of the original context, generally it has been my experience that they are grouped together either via lineage (often held as sharing the same mother) or functionally in the texts, but that they are likely to have been understood as individuals, with some glosses or interchanging of their names.

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« Reply #8: April 06, 2010, 09:34:01 am »

Okay, here's where my ignorance of Celtic mythology hobbles me. I was under the impression that Badb was one of the 3 aspects of the Morrigan; is that incorrect?

It depends. Some people believe that tM is several goddesses as one- generally Badb, Macha and Nemain and sometimes Fea or others. Others (such as myself) believe them to be individual entities. The Celts are a bit tricky.

The distinction that I personally make is that The Morrigan is herself, the Phantom Queen, whereas Badb, Nemain and Fea are the morrigna, which in the glosses is something akin to the Furies, the phantom creatures, essentially. It's only one of many possible historical perspectives.
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« Reply #9: April 06, 2010, 09:57:28 am »

It depends.

Thanks, Juni and GS. I know so little about the Celtic mythos; I should make the time to learn more, as I always find this stuff fascinating.
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« Reply #10: April 06, 2010, 10:20:19 am »

Thanks, Juni and GS. I know so little about the Celtic mythos; I should make the time to learn more, as I always find this stuff fascinating.

      Another source for info on crows and ravens is "Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis" by Robert Graves & Raphael Patai.
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« Reply #11: April 06, 2010, 11:51:53 am »

I normally don't hear of crows in a favorable light, so I was wondering if there are any Gods or similar entities personified by or associated with the crow, especially as good omens? If it helps, I have Kemetic leanings, but I'm starting to think I'm more of a chaote or eclectic/multi-faith polytheist.

If you lean Kemetic, it might interest you to know that Nebt-Het (Nephthys) supposedly can be associated with crows. ^_^

http://www.hethert.org/kids/nebt-het.htm

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« Reply #12: April 06, 2010, 12:31:35 pm »

If you lean Kemetic, it might interest you to know that Nebt-Het (Nephthys) supposedly can be associated with crows.

Really? That's the first time I've heard that, but after looking around, several sites seem to agree with that. Interesting, since She's my Patron's mother, too.
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« Reply #13: April 06, 2010, 03:28:42 pm »

It depends. Some people believe that tM is several goddesses as one- generally Badb, Macha and Nemain and sometimes Fea or others. Others (such as myself) believe them to be individual entities. The Celts are a bit tricky.

The distinction that I personally make is that The Morrigan is herself, the Phantom Queen, whereas Badb, Nemain and Fea are the morrigna, which in the glosses is something akin to the Furies, the phantom creatures, essentially. It's only one of many possible historical perspectives.

That's the closest to anything I've found and believe myself. I'm not 100% on board with the akin to the Furies idea, but it is valid.

The big issue is that the Celts really didn't write a lot down, so we don't know a lot of anything for certain.
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« Reply #14: April 06, 2010, 03:35:24 pm »

I normally don't hear of crows in a favorable light, so I was wondering if there are any Gods or similar entities personified by or associated with the crow, especially as good omens? If it helps, I have Kemetic leanings, but I'm starting to think I'm more of a chaote or eclectic/multi-faith polytheist.

Off-hand, I think Apollon has links to ravens. I thought I remember reading somewhere that he has a cloak of raven feathers?

For some reason, I associate Hermes with crows and/or ravens. It's a bit weird.
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