Ravens are a symbol of healing, initiation, protection, magick, shape-shifting, creation, help with divination, wisdom, eloquence, magick of the crone, trickster, teacher, hoarder. Overall ravens tend to get negative publicity, mainly to do with the fact that they are seen at battlefields. They are curious scavengers and are seen picking the remains of the fallen. This could be why the Celts associate the raven with battles and the prophetess Morrigan. Yet there is more symbolism associated with the raven than just the usual dark ones. The Raven is a highly intelligent bird, they can be trained to speak and this ability to talk means that they are seen as the ultimate oracle. In fact, the sound cras, that the raven makes is tomorrow in Latin. This adds more to the belief that raven are foretellers and omen bearers. Many cultures seen the raven as keepers of powerful secrets but is also messengers as well of the secrets. The raven’s wisdom is associated with Bran the Blessed, whose name translate as raven. Bran was holder of ancient wisdom. In fact his knowledge was so important that his head was removed from his body after his death and interred in the White Mound. Raven’s are still guarding Bran’s head which is now the site of Tower of London and continue to keep Bran’s wisdom alive by their presence alone.
Ravens are seen as a symbol of the mind. In Norse mythology Odin had two ravens called Hugin and Mugin. Hugin represented the power of thought and would seek knowledge. Mugin represented the mind and the ability to intuit meaning and not going searching for it. Each morning Odin would send his two ravens out and they would return in the evening to inform Odin all that they have learnt. Therefore Odin is a raven God. Odin’s daughters the Valkyries had the ability to change into ravens, they whisper to the souls of the battle fallen and guided them home.