Ogham (Tree Lore)
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The Crow / Raven / Rook
There are many dark and devious stories attached to this bird mainly attributed to medieval times and death on the battlefields. This posting is focussing on the attributes and accolades awarded to this most majestic of birds. The Crow, The Rook and The Raven all being members of the same family and today being the more wider acknowledged I felt it appropriate to share their combined values.
One of the oldest legends attached to these birds is that of Huginn and Muninn a pair of male Ravens who were sent out each day by the Raven God "Odin", these Ravens collected information and gave it to him on their return at sunset. Hugin the power of thought and Muninn the power of mind. (intuition)
Odins daughters were said to have shapeshifted into Ravens and would search the battlefields whispering to the souls of the fallen to follow them back to Valhalla.
A more regional or local legend is that of Bran the Blessed, who supposedly used his body to span the river Linon, forming a bridge that allowed his followers to escape from the enemy and avoid the dangerous waters. Mortally wounded in battle Bran prophesised his own death and gave instructions to his followers for his head to removed from his body. His head proceeded to prophesise for the next 7 years with it's final resting place being "The White Mount" known today as the site of "The Tower of London." The Ravens are still today living at the tower of london with the belief that should they ever leave then the tower will come crumbling down.
Among other gifts these Ravens are believed to have the powers of Prophesy, Protection and of course oracular, this last one meaning when these majestic of birds are talking then it is worth listening. The Raven is also know to travel across the worlds of Abred, Gwyned and Ceugant these being the past, present and future. As above, so below.
The Crow is not a solitary bird, where there is one you will usually find many. To look high in the trees (Alder) before leaves grow and you will see them preparing for spring, nests in abundance for all to see. They are without fear of predators, the uppermost twigs giving them the protection from earth animals. The height enabling them to see all round. It has been recorded previously that Bran is the Raven God, it must also be noted that a favourite tree for the Crow is the Alder also knows as the Fearn. A water loving Tree that can be found on most river banks, growing to a height of 70 feet it has long been a favourite nesting place of the Crow. The Alder when felled has a white wood but this soon turns to a pink red tinted, this leading to the legend of it being Bran from the battlefield.
(Man has copied this feature with many sea faring vessels today having a crows nest at it's highest point.)
The Crow also represents a gathering of people coming together for one purpose, the ancient addage a family that feeds together stays together is proven with this bird. Able to eat anything and able to fly incredible distances this bird is one tough cookie, with it's five wing feathers prominently on show in flight the power of 5 comes into it's own. A possible interpretation could be Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and "YOU".
The appearance of the crow means a sharing of wisdom, these are messengers and bringers of change, it's dark colours mean it brings messages and clues from this world. They are able to mimic and with a superior intelligence they are able to survive in the harshest of conditions, cunning, clever and able to move both in this world and the next to have this bird as a guide means you should fear nothing.