Raven’s journey has been interwoven with humanity since the dawn of recorded time, embodied in art, myth and literature throughout the ages. Figures identifiable as Ravens or Crows appear in the Lascaux caves in Southern France, dating back 17,000 years.
Native cultures of the Pacific Northwest know Raven as the creator of life, and the one who brought light into the world. In European cultures Ravens have been depicted as messengers to the deities, and foreboding omens of death and destruction. In the biblical story of Noah, Ravens were the first animals sent to look for land – they didn’t come back. And in the Quran it is Raven who taught Cain how to bury his murdered brother Able.
In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe introduced us to his Raven, “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,” affixing Raven in popular culture, forevermore.
My journey with Ravens began unexpectedly with a cold wind and a cup of hot cocoa. An hour earlier, gale force winds prematurely ended a cross country ski trip. From the comfort of a warm car I watched a group of Ravens at the far end of the winter park trail-head. There they were, off in the distance, gliding effortlessly between towering Fir trees. Not a care in the world. I’d never photographed birds before, and was ready to drive home. But something . . . something about those Ravens called to me. Did I decide to come to them? Or did they decide to have me come over? I’m still not sure.
It is said that Raven spirit is the keeper of synchronicity, a master of bending and folding space and time. When Raven spirit is present you’re always in the right moment at the right time.