Posted in 2017, Symbols, Writing

Common Symbols: Crow

Crows often symbolize greed and foolishness in Europe. An ancient Greek and Roman adage told by Erasmus says “the swans will sing when the jackdaws (crows) are silent” which means that educated and wise people should wait until after foolish people become quiet. It was believed in Ancient Greece that a jackdaw could be caught with a dish of oil which it would fall into as it stared at its reflection. The Roman poet Ovid claimed that the crow was a harbinger of rain.

In other parts of the world crows are seen as ancestral beings and beneficial spirits. In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Crow is a trickster, an ancestral being, and a culture hero. In Chinese mythology a crow carries the sun. In hinduism crows are thought of carriers of information which they are omens of. In Irish mythology crows are associated with Morrigan, a goddess of war and death. In Japanese and Korean mythology there is a three-legged crow known as Yatagarasu or Samjokgo.

In Medieval Europe crows were thought to live long lives and to remain monogamous throughout their lives. They were thought to be able to see the future, predict rain, and would reveal ambushes. Also crows were thought to lead flocks of storks as they crossed the sea to Asia.



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