My spirit animal is the raven. There are many reasons I name this bird, among them the poem by Edgar Allen Poe where the raven says, ‘Nevermore!’ I believe I’ve been known to say that a few times myself, only to, sometimes, go and do whatever it was all over again.
On my walks, I love watching the smaller relatives of the raven, crows, sitting on trees and electricity lines or flapping and calling over the fields in every season. I like that they are a year-round bird that flies in a group, landing on snow, dry August grass stubble, spongy wet spring moss, or sitting on the chimney tops of various village homes. Although they might best be described as ‘blue-black,’ or even a bit brown, they are also glossy, like patent leather shoes and black licorice, two things I adore. They are blackish as the sooty chimney sweep that shows up once a year to plunge his ball and chain with a prickly brush attachment down our chimney. The sweep’s soot brings luck. I like to think the ravens, who sweep the air with their feathery wings are also luck bringers. I tend to bring others luck, so, there again: like the raven.
Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest also see Raven, the Creator’s assistant, as a luck bringer. I prefer being an assistant on projects rather than the boss too. I’m a pretty adaptable person and in my youth I was a self-described chameleon, in a good way, able to drift in and out of all kinds of groups of people without causing any real waves. Raven could change himself, like the god Zeus, into various things and creatures. Raven even put the sun in the sky. I’ve been known to try to put a sunny smile on people’s faces. A real challenge in Germany but it’s still been known to happen!
I like to think, had I wings, I’d fly with ravens or crows. A film on German tv, called Krabat, based on a folk tale from old old Saxony, contains some wonderful scenes where several boys involved in black magic turn into ravens. When I first watched this film, I didn’t know much German but the images of boys turned into ravens transcended the need for words. When I take my lone walks, and see the crows overhead or perched nearby, I like to pretend they are enchanted boys from long ago. And why is that village by mine called Crow Corner? Well, there are always crows around there.
Looking in the Internet, I find that in Germany, ravens were considered damned souls or Satan himself. Hmm, what does that say about the middle aged inhabitants of Crow Corner? Was it a pagan settlement or site of a witch hunt back in the Inquisitional days or what?
Up in Scandinavia, Odin’s two ravens, whose names translate to ‘thought’ and ‘memory’ flew around the world to gather info and report back to Odin. Sounds like spy work or just surfing the net for interesting bits and bobs these days.
Ravens take a mate for life and those flocks of crows that I see around my village are probably teens because at least the adult ravens only like to go around as a twosome. I prefer a lonesome or twosome myself, whether a coffee meet up with a friend or just hanging out with my guy, or my cat, for that matter.
Ravens can mimic human voices and a whole lot of other sounds too. As a child I was a great mimic of the New Zealand and Australian accents but my Ü-40 learned German accent is not native German sounding at all. I call it ‘my German,’ as if all the native German speakers around me are speaking incorrectly. Did I mention that ravens can be quite cheeky?
Lastly, ravens are known to feed on just about anything. I’ll adjust that quality to ‘able to find almost any topic of interest, given a bit of background research.’ The raven in me is always looking for inspiration and always learning along the way. If something doesn’t suit me, I just move on to find something that does.
Coming up with something to say about ravens (and crows) was inspired by Be Kitchig’s post, take a read!