TATTOO DESIGNS & SYMBOLS - RAVEN
Tattoo designs - R >> Ravens
Raven Tattoo Designs - For many of the indigenous people of the Americas, the raven is a powerful animal totem, a protector and spirit guide. He's a shape- shifter and messenger and a symbol of transformation. Its coal black plumage invokes the void, secrecy, and mystery. But the raven is also a solar symbol. The mythical raven brought the Sun to mankind, and in so doing became a symbol of light. From the earliest times, raven myths tell of its intelligence and concern for humans.
The raven's intelligence has made it one of the most admired birds wherever it lives. The ancient Norse god, Odin, is described as having two ravens for eyes and ears -- the one a symbol of thought, the other of memory. For the Irish, the raven was associated with warfare. In the mythology surrounding King Arthur, one of his knights had an army of ravens.
As a powerful spirit guide, the raven is the keeper of secrets. It is associated with the shadowy world of spells and magic. In Europe, the raven was a favourite symbol for doom and death. An old English tradition says that if the ravens fly away from the Tower of London, the nation will fall. However, the French anthropologist, Claude LÚvi- Strauss, suggests that the raven was a mediator between life and death.
For fans of the horror writer, Edgar Allan Poe, raven tattoos are popular. Black feathers and the fathomless look of the raven symbolize mystery, the occult and dark secrets. But far from being miserly, the raven will share its knowledge with those who respect the wisdom of the ancient world. Healing, wisdom, gratitude and affection are all associated with the well-loved raven.
The Haida, an indigenous nation on Canada's west coast, attribute the creation of humans to a raven intervention. According to legend, raven spotted some creatures trapped in a clam. Quickly bored with this all-male club, he coaxed the timid beings from their shells and introduced them to another set of creatures - females - similarly ensconced in another marine mollusk. By setting the stage for the male and female of the species to come together, the raven acquired his reputation as a trickster. His song is believed to vibrate with temptation, especially the sexual kind.
The raven has an uncanny ability to mimic the sounds of other animals and humans, and its unique pitch is believed to shift consciousness to another level. A symbol of change and of knowledge, this animal spirit guide is often associated with teachers and those with a love of knowledge.
Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our Raven Inspiration Gallery
See also: Bird Tattoo Index
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Tattoo designs - R >> Ravens
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