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Author Topic: Is this a symbol?  (Read 2126 times)

sunnyandsides

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Is this a symbol?
« on: September 25, 2013, 04:01:43 pm »
I was at the beach today, picking up sea shells and fishing. All of the sudden, I hear this strange noise and glanced up to see a crow. I have never seen one before and my mom said that they were somewhat rare at the beach(do not know if this is true). Is there a god or goddess that uses crows as a symbol?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 04:02:51 pm by sunnyandsides »

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 04:08:42 pm »
Quote from: sunnyandsides;123096
I was at the beach today, picking up sea shells and fishing. All of the sudden, I hear this strange noise and glanced up to see a crow. I have never seen one before and my mom said that they were somewhat rare at the beach(do not know if this is true). Is there a god or goddess that uses crows as a symbol?

 
Yes
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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 08:02:36 am »
Quote from: sunnyandsides;123096
I was at the beach today, picking up sea shells and fishing. All of the sudden, I hear this strange noise and glanced up to see a crow. I have never seen one before and my mom said that they were somewhat rare at the beach(do not know if this is true). Is there a god or goddess that uses crows as a symbol?

 
I wouldn't say that crows are rare at the beach, but that's just where I come from - if you've never seen one before, they're probably less common where you are.

It could be a sign, it might not be - there are lots of deities from different cultures who are associated with crows, though I can't think of any off the top of my head who are associated with both crows and water/the sea. (Though beaches are pretty liminal places, and I do know quite a few liminal deities who deal with crows.) On the other hand, they're a common bird, and they'll show up anywhere with enough food to keep them interested, so I've seen quite a few on beaches eating fish/carrion or poaching from the trash.

In most cases, I wouldn't take a single bird sighting as a sign, even in places  where they're unexpected. You could keep your eye out for more crows, or anything else that's out of the ordinary, but I know I have a lot of trouble with assigning meaning to everything when I'm specifically looking for signs :)

Here are some resources on crows in mythology, though none of them are exhaustive and I haven't had a chance to make sure they're all accurate: Wikipedia, a few major examples, about.com, about ravens but still interesting.
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Riothamus12

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 03:48:19 am »
Quote from: sunnyandsides;123096
I was at the beach today, picking up sea shells and fishing. All of the sudden, I hear this strange noise and glanced up to see a crow. I have never seen one before and my mom said that they were somewhat rare at the beach(do not know if this is true). Is there a god or goddess that uses crows as a symbol?

 
There many. Lord Raven of Inuit lore is one such deity. Apollo, Morrigan, and Odin were associated with the raven.
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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 01:35:55 pm »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123619
Lord Raven of Inuit lore is one such deity.

 
Do you have a source for this?
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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 01:52:23 pm »
Quote from: Morag;123649
Do you have a source for this?

 
I thought it would be common knowledge considering the legends about him are some of the most widely known when comes to the lore of the Alaskan natives. I mean this isn't exactly upg. He's quite literally a raven God.
http://www.native-languages.org/inuit-legends.htm
http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/native_american-mythology.php?deity=RAVEN
http://www.eldrbarry.net/rabb/rvn/first.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_in_mythology
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Jack

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 02:40:24 pm »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123619
There many. Lord Raven of Inuit lore is one such deity. Apollo, Morrigan, and Odin were associated with the raven.

 
I wouldn't have thought that Raven was particularly associated with crows, personally.
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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 02:50:31 pm »
Quote from: sunnyandsides;123096
I was at the beach today, picking up sea shells and fishing. All of the sudden, I hear this strange noise and glanced up to see a crow. I have never seen one before and my mom said that they were somewhat rare at the beach(do not know if this is true). Is there a god or goddess that uses crows as a symbol?


I don't know where in the U.S. you are, but here in the East, there are actually 3 species of corvids: the Common Raven (which is distinctive--uncommon, much bigger overall, with a big schnoz), the American Crow (with its familiar "caw!" cries), and of particular interest here, the Fish Crow:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/fish_crow/id

The Fish Crow is essential identical in appearance to the American Crows we're all familiar with...and it hangs out near water, as the name suggests. Personally, I can't recall seeing one *on* the beach, but I've seen them *near* the beach, in coastal communities, etc.

So a crow at the beach is entirely possible, even likely, here in the East Coast.

As to whether the crow means anything, I'd go with my gut instinct on that, with a healthy dose of skepticism.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Riothamus12

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 02:55:21 pm »
Quote from: Jack;123654
I wouldn't have thought that Raven was particularly associated with crows, personally.
If you want to bring the classification of animals into it, raven is actually an overarching term referring to multiple species of the genus Corvus. The best known of which we often call crows, aka Corvus Corax. The common raven.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 02:55:51 pm by Riothamus12 »
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Altair

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 02:58:29 pm »
Quote from: Altair;123655
I don't know where in the U.S. you are, but here in the East, there are actually 3 species of corvids


Sorry, correcting myself; I was trying to avoid saying "crows" in the sentence above, since I was throwing in the raven (which technically *is* a crow--a member of the genus Corvus--even though it doesn't have "crow" in its name). In the process, I made the sentence inaccurate.

Corvids includes the jays and magpies along with the crows, so that's more than 3 species in the East.

Let's just say there are 3 species of crow in the East, and leave it at that!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 03:02:37 pm »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123656
If you want to bring the classification of animals into it, raven is actually an overarching term referring to multiple species of the genus Corvus. The best known of which we often call crows, aka Corvus Corax. The common raven.


Gotta disagree here; it's the other way around. You could say "crow" applies to the entire genus Corvus, but the term "raven" is more specific, applied in particular to the Northern Raven (Corvus corax) and a few other species around the world.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Jack

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 03:38:53 pm »
Quote from: Altair;123658
Gotta disagree here; it's the other way around. You could say "crow" applies to the entire genus Corvus, but the term "raven" is more specific, applied in particular to the Northern Raven (Corvus corax) and a few other species around the world.

 
Yeah, even Wikipedia refers to it as "Crows are members of a widely distributed genus of birds, Corvus, in the family Corvidae," so my instinct is also to think of ravens as a specific type. Either way, though, while there's some similarities in the lore, there are enough differences that it's important to be specific if possible. (I mean, we haven't even touched on rooks and jackdaws...)
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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 03:39:54 pm »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123651
I thought it would be common knowledge considering the legends about him are some of the most widely known when comes to the lore of the Alaskan natives. I mean this isn't exactly upg. He's quite literally a raven God.


Inuit is not the same as "Alaskan Natives" and Alaska has only the third largest population of Inuit people. There are many more different First Nations populations in Alaska; they are not all Inuit.

Quote from: Riothamus12;123651
http://www.native-languages.org/inuit-legends.htm


"Some of the links we provide are more useful than others. We are not responsible for the content of any of the external sites we link to. We have tried to provide the most complete directory of Native American Indian language materials available."

So pretty much everything you read that's been linked to from that site should be taken with a grain of salt; they're linking to other things and saying that they're not responsible for the content of said things. It's basically an aggregator for whatever sources are on the web, some maybe good, some maybe not.

Furthermore, if reading legends that have been written down by white anthropologists in the early-to-mid 1900s, keep salt-shaker handy because interpretations may be wrong.

Quote from: Riothamus12;123651
http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/native_american-mythology.php?deity=RAVEN


Aside from GodChecker not being the greatest source out there, that page doesn't mention the Inuit at all.

Quote from: Riothamus12;123651
http://www.eldrbarry.net/rabb/rvn/first.htm


This is specifically a Haida myth. Haida and Inuit are not the same.

Quote from: Riothamus12;123651
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_in_mythology


The sentence "The raven also has a prominent role in the mythologies of the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, including the Tsimishian, Haida, Heiltsuk, Tlingit, Kwakwaka'wakw, Coast Salish, Koyukons, and Inuit." does not mean that the Inuit specifically have a raven god named Lord Raven.


There are Inuit legends that have raven play a very prominent role, this is true. But Inuit refers to many different indigenous peoples with similar cultures. This means they're not all the same; Inuit is a term used to group them together. Not a monolith, any more than "First Nations" or "Native American" are monoliths.
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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 06:59:13 pm »
Quote from: Jack;123659

while there's some similarities in the lore, there are enough differences that it's important to be specific if possible.


I agree, and I've always found that fascinating. Our North American crows and the Common Raven are so similar in appearance that many an untrained eye can't tell the difference. They're very closely related animals, and they overlap in habits and habitat, enough that you would think they'd be readily interchangeable in lore.

And yet ravens seem to occupy a distinct niche in our cultural landscape, and crows another niche. Why is that?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

stephyjh

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Is this a symbol?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 07:34:32 pm »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123619
There many. Lord Raven of Inuit lore is one such deity. Apollo, Morrigan, and Odin were associated with the raven.

The honorific "Lord" is European in origin, not indigenous to North America. It's associated with heredity nobility, a foreign concept to most NA/FN groups.
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That what is no sense must be nonsense.

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