Raven Brings Courage



from Sylvia Kleindinst


with love from Monika Roleff

Birthday gift from Carol Abel 2006


From Luna Eternally


from Fran Sbrocchi


with love from Traveller



birthday gift from Edwina Peterson Cross

By Lori J. Gloyd


with love from Aletta Mes

“I pray to the birds.
I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upwards
I pray to them because I believe in their existence, the way their songs begin and end each day -the invocations and benedictions of earth
I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear
And at the end of my prayers they teach me how to listen.”

These words of Terry Tempest Williams help to identify the relationship that I, as a writer, have with birds. Williams verse speaks to me of companionship, circles of motion, sacred wings, freedom. Somehow the notion of soaring with an eagle has always appealed to me and I often find that birds appear in my guided imageries.

I write so that messages from my heart will soar upwards, out along the wires of cyber space, to my readership. Just as the birds begin each day with a song I am called to write on a daily basis.

At LaTrobe Secondary College. where I worked as an English teacher, I was aware that there was a colony of crows, or Ravens as they are sometimes called. These glorious black creatures soar down to the gum trees, watching, waiting for leftovers. Some folk believe that they are menacing but I have always been fascinated by them and always stop to acknowledge their presence.

At one stage I had my students observing them and using their observations as a prompt for writing. One Year 10 student undertook extensive research and found out about their prevalence in literature. He demonstrated that literature testifies that we were not the first to have looked to the heavens to watch the splendid Raven.

Many consider the Raven to be evil and sinister in character and there are numerous superstitions concerning them. Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ describes the black bird as being grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, ominous, a tempter, evil, lonely, ancient and demon-like. However there are numerous instances where the Crow acted as a messenger and a guide. Ravens led the Boeotians to a place where they founded a new city; guided Alexander to the shrine of Jupiter Ammon in Egypt and later foretold his death;guided people from the island of Thera when they emigrated to Libya; a golden raven guided the Emperor Jimmu of Japan, in the 7th century A.D, as he marched to war; were, according to Aelian, a messenger of King Marres of Eygpt.

In ‘The Bible’ there are a number of references to the raven. In Luke 12V 22-24 it says Then Jesus said to his disciples “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about you body, what you will wear. Life is more important than food, and the body more important than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.” ‘In Genesis viii. 6-7 we hear that after forty days “Noah…sent out the raven which went forth and did not return until the waters dried up above the earth….”

The beautiful Raven guides my writing. It has become my totem, a symbol to express who I am and how I want to live. I like to believe that like the Raven I am a guide, a messenger, who leads others to find their unique voice.

I believe that the Raven carries the messages of my heart out into cyber space. Her blackness represents the notion of beginning, just as the symbols of the maternal night and primeval darkness represent beginning. For me the Raven represents creative power and spiritual strength.

When I sat by my husbands bedside at the Epworth hospital here in Melbourne, after he had been operated on for bowel cancer, I noted the black crow that came to sit on the spire outside our window. She bought with her the collective energy of my patrons, people from all around the world who had stopped to think of us and pray for our well-being.

A solitary figure, the crow reminded me to look for strength from within, that out of darkness comes light and fresh beginning. Her iridescence spoke of magic and awakening.

Today I give thanks to that Raven and formally acknowledge her as my guide.

Written by Heather Blakey 2000



5 thoughts on “Raven Brings Courage”

  1. I have never understood how ravens and crows have gotten such a bad rap for being harbingers of doom– They are magnificently beautiful birds, sleek and glossy, at times regal and at times comedic. This is a great photo.


  2. I love these kinds of posts that dispel superstition and provide wisdom about things that have been maligned. Possibly these birds are the closest in intelligence to humans, I have read, and I don’t understand how they can be thought “evil” or anything like that. Rather, they are to be applauded. Great, Heather.

  3. These are indeed beautiful photo’s and images.

    Heather, your love and deep respect and dare I even say, spiritual insight into these birds has re-birthed many times in the hearts of those at soul food.

    I must admit that as a young girl and growing teenager I was slightly afraid of these birds but since being here at soul food cafe and reading about them via your posts, I too, have come to respect, admire and realize they are not evil birds but birds of great friendliness.

    Isn’t it funny how superstitions can rule our lives for so long? I read the raven along time ago and obviously took it on. Plus a few ‘horror’ films displayed the raven/crow as a bad omen etc. (my family loved horror films).

    When we go to the shops, crows are always around the outside area – we (my daughter)and I take my two grandchildren to see them, they love them and it’s also through this interaction with the birds themselves that I’ve come to realise how friendly and lovely they are.

    I’m even beginning to sense some kind of spiritual strength about them!

    I must say though on the lighter side I hope I never, ever feel this way about alligators and crocodiles!

    So happy that Darryl has responded so well this time!

    Camelot Scribe

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