Revered by some and feared by others, the crow carries a strong and ancient symbolism. It’s associated with magic seen as a link to the ancestral world. Some cultures identify crows as guardians of the “place before existence,” their spiritual equivalents being able to fly freely in the timeless void. As a totem or spirit animal, the crow can help its human companion gain a higher perspective, if it so chooses.
Mankind’s metaphysical bond with the crow dates back to the earliest forms of animism, when it was seen as a messenger between the world of the living and the afterlife. Humanity and its ideas have changed a lot since then, and our collective perception of the crow mirrors this evolution. Like our ancestors, we know crows are intelligent and social creatures. They possess a keen eyesight and a complex vocabulary; this makes them sharp and capable power animals. No wonder the crow has always been the choice spiritual ally of shamans worldwide.
Perhaps another indication of the crow’s excellence as a pathfinder of the outer realms is the fact that crows can be found all over the world. You could say that their universal presence suggests magic is everywhere.
The symbolic Crow is considered a sacred Keeper of the Law. This is a direct influence from Buddhism and Tibetan disciplines, where this animal represents Mahākāla, the protector of the Dharma, the eternal law of the cosmos. This means they are able to move through time and space in ways and directions we think impossible. Not fearing darkness because they scouted the primordial emptiness before light was even created, they can give us the courage to enter the darkness ourselves, helping us realize what the void really is: the home of that which is not yet in form.
This spirit animal occupies an honored position in the mythology of the Haida, the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. They say that before the mythical, indefinite period where the creation of the world took place, the Crow existed in the land of spirits, where it was well-fed but bored. It left this world carrying a stone in its beak and when it got tired, it dropped the stone in the primordial ocean. From the stone grew the Earth, and the ripples through the prime water gave birth to the firmament. This is a nice parallel to the gravitational waves that have been traveling at the bow of our universe since it began expanding. It also cements the Crow’s position as a keeper of the place before existence.
In this plane of existence, crows build their nests in tall trees. From up there, their acute vision helps them get the lay of the land. If you work on creating your own metaphysical crow’s nest, you are going to enjoy your newfound higher perspective, standing tall above the smog of feebleness.
Should you decide to mount a supernal expedition in search of your spirit animal and you encounter the Crow, listen carefully to its voice in the wilderness, its message of wisdom. If you’re fortunate enough, it will choose you and maybe take you on a flight beyond the realm of time and space.