I talked a lot about the raven in the wild unknown crow post because in mythology they tend to overlap and indeed a lot of people won’t be entirely clear which bird is in front of them. So I find it interesting that the animal dreaming deck has both a crow and a raven with quite different keywords!
The main difference between the two birds is that the raven is bigger and prefers to live away from humans whereas crows are frequently seen in towns and cities. It’s not generally very helpful for identification of a live bird but the base of the crows feathers is white whereas the ravens are grey.
There are three types of raven found in Australia. The Australian Raven is black with white eyes and the feathers on their throat are longer than most species and are extended when the raven calls. They are usually seen in pairs.
Crows and ravens are commonly portrayed as trickster characters. For the Noongar people, the raven was “the Watcher” and was wily and unpredicatable.
Magick is the keyword for this bird in the animal dreaming, as it is in the Medicine Cards, a deck and book by Jamie Sams and David Carson. As we saw with the wild unknown, the crow and the raven are highly intelligent, intriguing birds and I can completely understand why some people would see them as being magical – there is something to them which is more than bird, a god or goddess in animal form perhaps? Or a witch’s familiar? There is also their colouring – black is a powerful colour, it is everything and nothing, it is intense and mysterious.
“To have a raven’s knowledge” is apparently an Irish saying meaning to have a seer’s supernatural power.
As with the wild unknown, I’d check out the crow as well given there is such a crossover.