Raven Spirit Animal Symbolism and Meaning

raven in flight
iStock.com/Piotr Krzeslak

Written by Niccoy Walker

Updated: October 17, 2023

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Raven spirit animal infographic

Ravens are extremely intelligent, confident, and inquisitive birds often referenced in lore and literature. Even though their appearance is routinely associated with bad omens and loss, they have complex symbolism and messages. Ravens are mediator animals between life and death, and many cultures associate them with lost souls. Discover what it means to have a raven spirit animal, what it symbolizes, and what messages it could be sending you.

Raven Spirit Animal

The Common Raven (Corvus corax), also known as the northern Raven, playing with a stone.

Raven as your spirit animal means you have the gift of insight, heightened awareness, and a higher level of consciousness.

Has a raven captured your attention in real life, dreams, or art? While online quizzes can give you insight into your spirit animal, only you know for sure what animal you have a connection with. In Native American traditions, your spirit animal chooses you and is there to guide you through a spiritual journey. Pay attention to the creatures that pique your interest and which ones keep resurfacing in your life. If the raven is your spirit animal, you have the gift of insight, heightened awareness, and a higher level of consciousness.

What Does a Raven Symbolize?

raven in flight

The raven symbolizes prophecy, insight, transformation, and intelligence.

The raven symbolizes prophecy, insight, transformation, and intelligence. It can also represent long-term success in love and finding devoted, faithful partners. Ravens are happier when they are with one person over a group. People with a raven spirit animal prefer quiet over noise and stillness over constant movement. If you have this totem or spirit animal, you are a wise person who brings messages to those around you. The raven also symbolizes recovery and healing. And known as the master of time, this curious bird may be telling you to take action. Spiritually, magical or supernatural forces are being presented to you.

Raven Meaning and Messages

Find out what the raven spirit animal says about who you are and your direction in life.

  • Intelligence: Like the raven, you are highly intelligent and learn quickly. You use your knowledge to find solutions to any problems that present themselves.
  • Inventiveness: You are crafty and resourceful, finding ways to overcome even when you don’t have everything you need. When your situation is not perfect, you still find ways to stay positive and make it work.
  • Bravery: You face your fears and persevere when difficulties arise.
  • Intimidation and Mystery: You know how to command attention and keep yourself mysterious. Many find your aura attractive and gravitate toward you.

If a raven has appeared to you, you may need to seek quiet places and focus on yourself for a while. Taking care of yourself means you can better serve others and be more in tune with the world around you. Don’t be afraid to be on your own. Have faith in your own abilities to stand on your feet and overcome. Ravens signify a spiritual rebirth. When one materializes, it’s encouraging you to cast out the darkness and allow room for the light.

How to Interpret a Raven Dream?

ravens perched together

If a raven enters your dreams, it’s a sign of an imminent change of consciousness.

If a raven enters your dreams, it’s a sign of an imminent change of consciousness. You should take notice of your surroundings and pay close attention to any changes. If the dream raven is crowing loudly, you are missing something in your life and need to remember a valuable lesson. If the bird is playful in the dream, you are about to go through something intense or exciting and need to prepare. And if the bird is attacking you, it’s time to change direction because you are going the wrong way. Step back and reevaluate. Sometimes, ravens in dreams can symbolize an impending death.

Are Ravens a Good Omen?

Largest Ravens - Forest Raven

The omen of the raven is complex and can mean different things in different cultures.

The omen of the raven is complex and can mean different things in different cultures. They can be a signal of death or misfortune, or they can indicate change and good fortune. Many times, ravens bring the message of transformation and opportunity. Ravens eat carrion (dead animals) and are often associated with death and bad omens. But transformation can include many things, such as habits, careers, moving, relationships, and addiction. The raven is a guardian and the keeper of secrets. When you see one in your dreams, take note of your fears and expect change, whether good or bad.

Positive Characteristics of the Raven Spirit Animal

  • You are creative, fearless, and strong.
  • You have a good balance between light and dark, good and evil.
  • Solitude is your preference, and you have no problem being by yourself, doing your own thing.
  • You need to disconnect from the world to be more in tune with yourself and others.
  • You are wise. People come to you for advice and to keep their secrets.

Negative Characteristics of the Raven Spirit Animal

  • You are mischievous and like to have fun. But sometimes, you need to know when to show these qualities and when to stay focused.
  • You can be insensitive toward people’s feelings or touchy situations, making you appear inconsiderate.

Bonus: Where Did the Idea of Spirit Animals Originate?

Owl Spirit Animal

Indigenous cultures like Native Americans regarded certain animals as guides.

Astrology, or the philosophy of stars, dates back as far as ancient Greece and Babylon. It was defined and developed by the mathematician and astrologer Ptolemy in his work Tetrabiblos, published around 1,800 years ago.

The idea of spirit animals is a more modern development, though certain indigenous cultures, such as Native Americans, regarded certain animals as guides to protect them or animals whose traits they shared, as well as animals they may just admire. 

In the 1990s, Pagan and Wiccan enthusiasts adopted this way of looking at animals for themselves, viewing them as spiritual guides or totems that take on animal forms. As the internet advanced, these groups created quizzes to help curious folks discover who their spirit animals were.

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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