Standing outside my office building yesterday, I watched in wonder as a murder of crows gathered, swooping and gliding, over my head. 20-25 of them – black slashes drawn boldly against the sky – they cawed raucously to one another as they danced overhead. Spiralling acrobatics punctuated their flight, as they would come together, screaming and diving, then splitting into smaller groups that would spin around one another, only to meet up again with the others, and circle back to the spot directly over where I stood.
We have crows in our city, they’re everywhere. But this is the first time I can ever remember seeing the aerial display that I saw yesterday. It was almost as though they were trying to tell me something, since they would swirl out and away, disappearing from view for a few seconds, but would always return to the same place – over my head.
So, I searched my memory for meanings behind the crows… but all I came up with were the battle crows and the Morrighan. Not comforting images, to be sure, with all the imagery of battles and death. I knew, too, that there were different meanings between seeing 1 or 2 crows, to seeing a whole murder of them.
And the fact that they kept coming back to me, had me just a little uneasy… so I went searching for deeper interpretations. And found this:
*”Ravens and Crows represent magick, mystery, and sacred law as well as battle, and the mysteries of the Crone and Matron (warrior goddess). A gathering of ravens is called an “unkindness”while a group of crows is a “murder”. They are highly intelligent birds, and have been known to follow armies for many miles. In Native American Myth, Raven is a Creator/Trickster god. In Celtic lore, the raven is sacred to Badb (whose name means “Battle Crow”and the Morrigan as well as Bran and Lugh. In Greek lore it is sacred to Hecate, and Apollo among others. In Norse tradition, the two ravens that sit on the shoulders of Odin are called Huginn and Muninn (Mind and Memory). As guardians through the cycle of death and rebirth, the scintillating rainbow colors in their dark wings remind us that even in the midst of darkness we have the power to touch the light.” *
I know that I’m reaching a new place in my life. I’m a grandmother now. I’m finished with the “having children” part, and have moved into the “almost done raising them” phase. YoungerDaughter is graduating from high school this year, and OnlySon is, of course, now a teenager. Pretty soon, they’ll all be off on their own adventures – and I’m fine with that. Truly.
There are still struggles, and I’m going through some of them now, having changed last year from being “Married – with children” to “Single Mom, single income”. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve managed. And now, with the addition of 3 more people to the household, it’s become a whole new type of struggle. We’ll get through this, too, I know – but it won’t be easy.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s the message that the crows were trying to impart with their aerial dance and mock battle yesterday.
“Join with those around you, for if you fly alone… there is no dance, no glorious battle to make life better… Dance, fly, dive and soar… chase the dream of something better – and make it yours.”