Rev. Nancy's Blog

Conversation with Crow

Crows frequent our neighborhood park in increasing numbers, ganged in trees and arrayed on overhead power lines. I listen to their caws, warning calls and family chortles. Crows and other corvids are considered the most intelligent birds, able to use tools and mimic many sounds. Their most deadly natural enemy is the Great Horned Owl.

The black feathers of Crow remind me of the Mystery, the void – the womb from which all life is born. Black is the color of the West on the Medicine Wheel, where we rest and reflect; the cave of the mother bear. Black is not an absence of color, but rather the absorption of all colors.

In her animal Medicine Cards book, Jamie Sams says that Crow is the left-handed guardian, the keeper of sacred law. All sacred texts are under the protection of Crow. Crows are masters of illusion, seeing that the physical and spiritual worlds, as humanity interprets them, are an illusion. Crow is an omen of change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time. (1)

Ted Andrews draws attention to Crow’s watchfulness. They always have a sentinel on watch to warn of threats. Andrews adds, “wherever crows are, there is magic. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday.” (2)

I asked Crow about its connection to Mystery. This was a crow of few words:

“It’s because we’re black, but have shiny feathers. If you look right, you can see colors hidden in the blackness.”

“Crow, would you tell me why your population has grown recently?”

Crow was blunt. “There’s lots of food. People are messy and leave much food lying about. Bad for people, good for us.”

“Why do you attack the hawks?”

“We’ve been called bullies, but we just have a strong family structure and defend our space. Raptors get all the glory but they’re not as smart as we are. They don’t learn as fast. We share knowledge, teach our young. We remember things.”

“How do you get along with ravens?”

“We regard them with respect. Cousins. They’re bigger, but we’re faster.”

“What name would you choose for your flock?”

“We’ve been called a ‘murder.’ That is unfair. We don’t like that. We could live with ‘gang.’ ‘Flock is best though, or ‘family,’ for that is what we are.”

“Crow, you are called a harbinger of change, and have told me before that change is coming. Would you talk about that?”

“The changes are not coming, they are here, now. Change is happening.”

“Do you have a message for me to share with people?”

“People need to follow our example. There is strength in groups, in families. We watch out for each other. We see far. We avoid our enemies, or outsmart them. You have heard our family sounds, much different from the alarm calls. You say ‘chortle,’ and that is as good a word as any.

“Remember that black is the color of all colors. We are confident in who we are. Stop searching for answers outside yourself. We can lead you into the void within, where  all the answers dwell. You must ask the questions though. Sometimes that is more difficult. That is all.”

Still blunt, Crow brought our conversation to an end. I considered his words, the matter-of-fact way he spoke, and his reminder that what we each search for, is within. We just need to know what to ask and be willing to accept the answer.


mage from:

(1) Sams, Jamie and David Carson. Medicine Cards. St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1999.

(2) Andrews, Ted. Animal Speak: The spiritual and magical powers of creatures great and small. Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury MN, 2007.