Showing posts with label Ravens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ravens. Show all posts

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Gothic Raven
Good Afternoon my dearest friends & followers. Welcome to my humble blog and thank you for stopping by today. I thought I would do a small post on the wonder of the Raven since I have a bit of time on my vacation. I am alone today while everyone is at a ball game. I decided not to go because it is a bit hard on my back and my toe is a bit sore. I hope you all are doing fine these last week all over the world. I know there are a few big problems in some of the counties, but I pray for you all where every you call home... I hope that you have enjoyed  my images that I have posted on my blog and my G+ page too. I will be having lots of images to share with you all when I get back from my trip a back home with the family. I hope to write about my stories and adventures and many images and home videos too. Well Ravens, they have had so many different meanings of symbolism across the northern hemisphere & throughout human history for thousands of years. This range from the powerful symbols with mythology, folklore, Celtic folklore, native Americans, gothic, Edgar Allan Poe and many others I will go over too. It was said in many Western Traditions, ravens have long been considered to be birds of ill omen in part because of the negative symbolism of their all-black plumage look.
'The Birds' 1963 Alfred Hitchcock
They have been used in many old movies as part of something evil like the horror thriller film 'The Birds' in 1963 directed by Alfred Hitchcock loosely based on the 1952 story. However, this isn't true for all traditions of the world and of the many parts of the U.S too. In Sweden, the Raven is known as the ghosts of murdered people & in Germany as the souls of the damned. The Danish folklore it is said a Valravn that ate a King's heart would gain great human knowledge & could perform great malicious and evil acts that lead his people astray. It was said this king had superhuman powers & were to be like evil people/animals.

In contrast, many indigenous peoples of the pacific Northwest Coast of North America & Northeast Asia revered them as a God. In some tribes, the Raven is considered a trickster because of its transforming/changing attributes. Often the Ravens are honored among the medicine & holy men of the American tribes for their shape-shifting qualities. The Raven was also called upon in rituals so that visions could be much more clarified. Native holy men understood that what the physical eye sees, is not necessarily the truth & he would call upon the Raven for clarity in these matters. Foremore, the Raven is the Native American bearer of magic and a harbinger of messages from the cosmos. Messages that are beyond space and time are nestled in the midnight wings of the Raven and come to only those within the different tribes who are worthy of their knowledge. The Raven is also called upon in Native ritual for healing purposes too. Specifically, the Raven is though to provide long-distance healing.
As I did more digging into this post, I found that there is great meaning behind the Raven with the Native American Indians. They are very deeply spiritually people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation through different Symbols and Signs such as the Raven symbol. Native American symbols are in a since geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena, and animal designs. The Native American bird, animal symbols, and totems are believed to represent the physical form of a spiritual helper or guide of the Raven. Also according to the Native American legends and myths of many different tribes the Raven plays a great part in their Creation. The Raven they believe escapes from the darkness of the cosmos & become the bringer of light to the world. The
Raven is associated with the creation myth because it brought light to where was only darkness in the world. It is also believed that ravens who fly high toward the heavens take prayers from the people to the spirit world and in turn bring back messages from the spiritual world back.
In the Tlingit & Haida cultures are considered the Raven which was both a Trickster and Creator God in those Cultures. In other related beliefs that are widespread among the peoples of Siberia and northeast of Asia, is the Kamchatka peninsula. To give you all a bit of what it was like - it was said that the people of in the area's supposed have been created by the raven God Kutkh.
Then there were the Vikings that believed that the ravens Hugin & Munin sat on the God Odin's shoulders of the Vikings. The God Odin saw & heard all when that happened. So a Raven banner standard was always carried by such Vikings figures such as the Norse Jarls of Orkney, King Canute the Great Of England, Norway, Denmark and Harald Hardrada too. Even on the Old Testament of the Bible there were several references to the common Ravens and its aspect of Mahakala in Bhutanese Mythology. The Raven also has the meaning of danger has passed and that good luck will follow.
It seems in doing this post every culture and religion has their own interpretation to the symbolism to the Raven. At least that is what I am finding in my opinion. In most European countries generally it is thought to be a symbol of sadness, loss, and death. However, the ancient Greeks believed that the raven was a messenger bird of the God Apollo and the Inuit's [Eskimo's] have a creator God called the Raven Father.
The Raven is a very large Jet black bird with a straight bill and long wedge- shaped tail. They are great scavengers & often feed off the eggs other birds nests. Ravens are also opportunistic feeders and will live near roads in order to feed off road kill and discarded food.
As I have mentioned the Old Testament Bible, the Raven is mentioned several times in the bible and here are some verses from the Easton Bible that are related to the Raven Symbol: 
Raven: It is derived from Heb. 'Orebh, from a root meaning "to be black" (comp. Cant. 5:11); first mentioned as "sent forth" by Noah from the ark   (Gen. 8:7)
"Every raven after his kind" was forbidden as food   (Lev.11:15 Deut. 14:14)
Ravens feed mostly on carrion, and hence their food is procured with difficulty  (Job 38:41; Ps. 147:9)
When they attack kids or lambs or weak animals, it is said that they first pick out the eyes of their victims (Prov. 30:17)
When Elijah was concealed by the brook Cherith, God commanded the ravens to bring him "bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening" 
(1 Kings 17:3-6)
Then there is the Celts of the Irish. who believed that the Raven was associated with the Triple Goddess, the Morrigan who took the shape of a Raven over battlefields as Chooser of the slain in the huge battlefields of the Irish. Morrigan was a protector of the warriors such as Chuhulian and Fionn MacCual. The Raven is also the totem of the pan-Celtic Sorceress/Goddess Morgan le Fay, who was also called the Queen of the Faeries. In some tales, she is the Queen of the Dubh Sidhe or Dark Faeries who were a race of tricksters who often took the form of ravens. It seems the Irish & the Scots Bean Sidhes - [Banshees] could also take the shape of the Raven as they cried above the roofs of Ireland and Scotland as an omen of death in the households below. An old saying of the Scots goes like so'Tha gliocas  an ceann an fhitich or Fice ceann na fhitich are Scots Gaelic proverbs meanings: There is wisdom in a raven's head.'
'To have a raven's knowledge' is an Irish proverb meaning to have a seer's supernatural powers. Ravens are considered one of the oldest and wisest of all the animals.
The Raven is said to also bring wisdom and prophecy. The Welsh believe the Raven was the Totem of the Welsh God, Bran from the Blessing of the giant protector of Great Britain the Isle of all Mighty. So if you think about the Raven is beloved all over the world by many different countries and cultures whether he/she is a God in so cultures/countries or something of evil to others. Which I find quite interesting.

I had a dearest friend that past a few years that believed in the Raven/Crow/Panther as a protector and maybe I will tell her story of the how they saved her life in her younger days. Gail will always be part of me... So back to the story. After the battle with Ireland, Bran was decapitated and his head became an oracle of sorts. Eventually, Bran asked to have his head buried in what is now the Tower Hill in London to protect Britain from a more invasions. Bran's Ravens are Kept there to this day as protection against invasion & during World War ll,  the Tower Hill was bombed and the raven were all lost. So Winston Churchill knowing full well the ancient legends ordered the immediate replacement of ravens. Winston Churchill had these Ravens brought from the Celtic lands & Welsh hills of the Scottish Highlands to the Tower Hill in England. These birds have had their primary feathers of one wing clipped periodically to ensure that they could never fly away or leave the Tower again.
The Raven was and still is a favorite bird of the solar deity of the Lugh [Irish/Scots], Lludd [Welsh] and the Celtic Gods of the Arts & Crafts. The Lugh was said to have two Ravens to attend on all his needs which was similar to Odin the God of the Vikings. Many Celtic tribes and the clans which were descended from animals were called the Brannovices - The Raven Folk an ancient clan that once existed in Britain. To this day, the Glengarry MacDonalds of Scotland have a Raven on their heraldic arms & their war cry is Creagan-an Fhithich way of calling to their ancestral homeland 'Raven's Rock'. The Scottish Goddess of winter, the Cailleach, will sometimes appear as a Raven & it is said a touch from her will bring death in the legend. It was also said that giving a child his first drink from the skull of a Raven will give the child powers of prophecy & wisdom in the Hebrides. Lastly, the Scottish Highlanders associate the Ravens with the second sight. A great book on this subject is called Ravens and Black Rain - by Elizabeth Sutherland written 1985.
As there is the Godly side to the Raven there is also the dark side of the Raven that some folklore and legend foretold too. 
The Raven
This is in the Welsh folklore that I found some of this: the Welsh Owein had a magical army of ravens. In the Welsh folklore/legends, the raven is also an omen of death too. If the raven makes a choking sound or if one hears it, this choking sound could be a death rattle for anyone who hears it. A crying raven on a church steeple will bring death to the house nearish to the church death. Ravens can smell death miles away and will hover over the area where the next victim is dwelling including animals and humans. Ravens were heard to 'Laugh' when someone was about to die some have said. Welsh witches and the Devil would transform themselves into Ravens. Then there are the Great writers of the 'Raven'. There is the modern works of William Shakespeare and the most famous would be Edgar Allan Poe 'The Raven'. Ravens have appeared in the works of Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King and Joan Aiken and many more wonderful writers. 

The Raven~
by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow 
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating 
'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then not longer,

'Sir,' said I, or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave not token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, 'Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder that before.
'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here, I flung the shutter, when with many a flirt and flutter, 

In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as 'Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered 'Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before. '
Then the bird said, ' Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless, 'said I, what it utters is tis only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of " Never-nevermore.'''

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking 'Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes not burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
'Wretch, 'I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!
Quaff the raven, 'Nevermore.'

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted - 
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

'Prophet!' said 'thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aideen,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave not black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

I hope that you all enjoyed the few video's
that I have placed here for you all and
that you all enjoy the images too.

I love you all so  very much my
dear friends & followers

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