The Spiritual Meaning Of Crows + What To Do If They Keep Appearing To You
Have you been noticing crows? This bird may be sending you messages about spiritual law, upcoming changes, or even death. Here's what to know about the crow's spiritual meaning and what this bird may symbolize if it keeps appearing in your dreams or daily life.
What a crow symbolizes.
"Ravens and crows often—but not always—represent death," explains Daniel P. Compora, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Toledo whose scholarly focus is on folklore and popular culture. (A group of crows is called a "murder," after all.)
Some also consider crows to be messengers that are capable of existing between both worlds. "They represent spiritual law, the universal wisdom that the physical world must integrate,'' says Cat Rambo, a sacred medicine and dreamwork expert.
This means that crows can be considered a good omen or a bad omen, depending on the number of crows and the context. "Seeing a single crow is often thought to be a bad omen, but seeing two could indicate good luck is coming," says Compora. "Seeing three suggests impending change."
He adds that these interpretations are not universal, and different cultures have their own unique perspectives on crows.
In Native American culture:
"Native Americans view them as messengers between the living and the dead," says Compora. "Sometimes, they are depicted as tricksters."
Maggie Wilson, an animal psychic medium and metaphysical expert who was trained by Indigenous leaders, adds that in Alaska, the Athapaskan people believe the raven (similar to the crow but slightly larger) is the creator of the world.
Crow appears as an important symbol in Norse and Roman mythology. "In Norse mythology, the God Odin has two crows that he sets free daily," says Compora. The crows serve as Odin's messengers.
"In Roman mythology, Apollo was noted to have a white crow who watched over his pregnant lover Delphos," explains Wilson. "But when the crow brought bad news to Apollo, he turned black. This can be where the crow started getting a bad reputation."
5 spiritual meanings behind the crow:
When you see a crow, it could be a sign that it's time to reflect on your values and "sacred laws."
"Sacred law is different from man's law or the law created from religion," says Rambo. She explains that a crow wants you to self-reflect when man's rules or laws may not be aligned with sacred law or spiritual law. An example of sacred law can be our intuition when we know something isn't right or in alignment.
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Communication from the spiritual realm.
Crows are often associated with death and considered messengers from the other side. "Crows are considered an intermediary between this world and the spirit world," says Rambo.
"The crows fly with the wind in a way that some have predicted weather changes, such as tornadoes and rain," says Wilson. "[They symbolize that] the winds of change will blow into your life and you'll have to adjust the way you're flying."
Sometimes crows can represent death in a literal or figurative sense. "Crows can be an omen of change," says Rambo. "Sometimes an omen of death." But death doesn't have to be scary: "Change always asks for the death of something and a rebirth of something new," she adds.
A clean home.
On a lighter note, crows can also symbolize clean living spaces, says Wilson. "The male and the female build the home together high up for protection and are kept incredibly clean." She suggests that if you meditate on the symbolism of the crow, you may walk away with more respect for your health and house.
What to do if you keep seeing crows.
Spiritual circles believe that if an animal wants to send you a message, it will keep appearing until you get the memo. "If you see crows everywhere, it can be an indication that change is coming or you need to do some rigorous self-inventory, some serious look at your inner self," says Rambo.
"Noticing crows means you are attuned to your surroundings," adds Compora. Or, "maybe someone is trying to communicate with you from the spiritual realm," he suggests.
If you begin to see crows frequently while experiencing a dilemma, Rambo suggests that the "crow may be asking you to look at the dilemma through sacred law, through self-reflection and accountability and to make a decision based on these things."
Interpreting dreams about crows.
Dreams are full of clues and information and can be a form of receiving messages or signs. "Dreams are always about unfinished business," explains Rambo. "Dreams are something we are working through. The mind speaks in terms of symbols."
Because the crow is deeply rooted in sacred law, seeing this symbol in a dream means it's time for self-reflection. "When a crow appears in a dream or as a symbol, it's asking you to self-reflect where the rules of man aren't in alignment with sacred law," says Rambo.
She offers up examples of how you may be out of alignment with man's law vs. spiritual law: "Maybe you need to stand up when something isn't right, or maybe you need to ask yourself if you're treating a situation or a person properly."
The color of a crow is important. "Colors are relevant," says Rambo. "If a crow shows up as a different color, sometimes it has to do with a specific spirit or God trying to speak to them, depending on the pantheon or preference of the dreamer."
The number of crows in the dream is symbolic, too. "If numerous crows show up as a group. it's a message to bring your lessons back to yourself and learn more," explains Wilson. "The crow is always learning from people, places, and other animals."
If a crow appears in your dream, jotting down your dream (with as many details about symbols, colors, numbers, and context as possible) will help you decipher what it means for you.
Rambo offers up several questions to ask as you attempt to recall your dream:
- What is going on?
- Is the crow talking to you?
- Is the crow attacking you?
- Are the crows swooping through the sky?
"These contextual clues will say more about the dream than the symbol itself," she adds.
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Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. She writes about gardening, food, health and wellness, and sustainability. She has been published in Allrecipes, Greatist, The Healthy, The Kitchn and more.
When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time in her garden, experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen, or spending time by the ocean. See her portfolio on her website.