Raven and Crow’s as Threshold animals.
Raven is the primary magical ambassador from the animal kingdom. Raven and his cousin, Crow, are the shaman’s allies. They teach and perform soul retrieval and transformation. Raven journeys back and forth between dimensions, the realms of life and death, spirit and flesh and can deliver and transmit messages. Raven gives magic lessons and teaches you how to hone your skills. Raven sparks the courage to face the unknown, to journey into unmarked territory. Raven teaches how to balance caution and courage, how to turn fear into a survival skill rather than a liability. Raven is a sponsor of healing emotion and teaches the futility of healing the body without also healing the spirit and emotions.
Crows and ravens are often referred to interchangeably although technically the raven is a larger, shaggier bird possessing slightly different habits. When mythology distinguishes between them, ravens are more associated with transformative magic, while crows are associated with healing. Neither will work with you before you are ready, although they may drop in from time to time with encouragement. If you’re nearly there, you may receive company and assistance from their little blue cousin, the jay.
Ornithologists consider crows and ravens to be geniuses of the bird kingdom. They are extremely intelligent, demonstrate a sense of humor, use tools and have a concept of counting. Crows mate for life and are faithful. Both parents care for the young who may live with them for several years. Crows alert each other to food and danger, take care of one another and provide for their injured as best as they are able. Young males wishing to gain entry to a community do so by ingratiating themselves to mature females with young, assisting them and bringing them extra food.
Science has demonstrated exactly how many crows have in common with humans, only confirming what folklore, mythology and religion have suggested for millennium. An amazingly broad spectrum of cultures, Earth-wide, has considered ravens and crows sacred, recounting crow’s lessons and legends as a hero, trickster and sometimes as Earth’s Supreme Creator. These include Celtic, Greek, Japanese, Jewish, Native American, Scandinavian, Vietnamese and especially the indigenous cultures of Siberia and Pacific Coastal North America. In all these cultures and legends, crows and ravens guide and serve humans.
Crows are not afraid of people. They are among the easiest animals to communicate with, because, like people, they enjoy communication for its own sake. They are humbling birds, one look in their eyes lets you know that, as with cats, they have no doubt which of you is more intelligent and it isn’t you. Watch crows as they eat: one unselfishly posts as a guard while the others indulge and then they’ll take turns.
* To see a crow with food in its beak is a sign of tremendous good fortune, an assurance of future economic prosperity. If they pause to make eye contact with you, to thrust their beak in your direction, to make sure you’ve seen their sign, the message is even stronger.
Threshold animals are among the few who comfortably frequent the borders between the wilderness and human habitation. They are not “tame” animals, although unlike many “wild” animals, they tend to be able to thrive despite our presence. These creatures travel the frontier between the human and animal realms, delivering important and special messages when they choose. Humans interest them. Unless taught otherwise, they are not afraid of us. An encounter with any of these creatures carries a powerful message from Earth. These animals guide you to discover your magical aptitude and the most positive direction for your magic. Threshold animals include mammals such as dolphins, coyotes and jackals, however, the animals most intrinsically linked to Earth’s magic are snakes and the corvid cousins, raven and crow.