Crow Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning Of The Crow


Since ancient times, crows have been a symbol of wisdom and intelligence. The meaning of crow symbolism can change slightly depending on the circumstance, but the appearance of a symbolic crow is always a profound message.

Since crows feast on carrion (dead or dying animals), they have a reputation for having ties to the afterlife. Some people believe that seeing a crow is terrible luck. Meanwhile,  others believe it has esoteric significance and indicates death in a metaphorical sense.

With their connection to mortality, crows often signal a metaphorical death: the conclusion of one period and the start of the next. Even if that’s not always a comfortable process, it often ushers in fresh beginnings.

In addition, crows also represent the “shadow self,” or the hidden, more negative aspects of our personalities. When they show up, it may be time to reevaluate our approach to a problem.

Crows can also serve as a powerful cautionary tale about the peril of pessimistic thinking or negative events. In many cultures, seeing a crow warns of bad luck and even death.

As you can see, there are many different symbols and meanings that relate to this infamous bird.

Today, we’ll delve deeper into the mysteries of the crow. We will learn more about the crow’s meaning, crow symbolism, its mythology, and what it can mean when you see them in various ways. 

Crow Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning Of The Crow 

There is no ignoring the fact that crows have a great deal of symbolism and meaning. This is regardless of whether you consider them a nuisance or a magical creature.

What do the crows symbolize, and what does it mean when you see them?

There are many possibilities, but here are some of the most common crow meanings across cultures and centuries.

Intelligence and Imagination

Crows have an extremely high level of intelligence. They are among the smartest animals in the world, ranked alongside chimpanzees in terms of intelligence!

These birds have many similar traits to human beings, strangely enough. They tend to mate for life and are raised in a family system, with the older siblings helping to care for the younger ones. And of course, crows are quite social as well. But this is mostly important because it indicates that the crow’s mind is a complex thing, something which we certainly don’t know enough about even today.

Some crows even have brains that are larger than human beings. They have the unusual ability to recall a fast amount of faces and places.

So why is this important? In almost every ancient culture, the crow is associated with a god or goddess of intelligence. But this intelligence was not just book smarts, but knowledge. Crows can symbolize hidden knowledge, such as that of the Mysteries or gnosis.

If you see a crow, this could be a sign that your mind is actively growing at the moment in ways that may be unseen. The crow may show that you’re onto something big and that you need to keep going with what you’ve been learning.

Similarly, the crow can signify imagination, meaning that all you can imagine might be true. The crow symbolism can mean that you shouldn’t doubt your imagination or get too stuck in this physical reality.

Lastly, the crow can be a warning that you need to slow down and think things through rationally. There may be a key piece of information that you’re missing.


Crows have a remarkable capacity for adaptation, and they are incredibly resourceful. The crow’s adaptability means it can make the most of any situation.

Think about this in the context of your life or your current circumstances. Is there a specific way in which adjusting to new possibilities has made you happier? Could a fresh take or innovative solution be found with a bit of imagination and resourcefulness?

Crows signify death and rebirth, so adaptability often has to do with the “rebirth” part, even on a small scale level. You may be experiencing change that you need to time to adapt to.

Change and Transformation

There is no denying the crow’s close connection to death. Death denotes closure and the start of something new. It is a metaphor for the ever-renewing cycle of life and the rebirth of Nature. Physical death ushers in a new phase of existence, and its symbolic counterpart ushers in development and maturity.

Seeing a crow doesn’t mean you’re going to die, but it could be a sign that big things are about to happen in your life. In this spiritual world, death means transformation.

Because the crows signify the Underworld, this transformation is often related to the subconscious or shadow self. The crow may mean that something is or will change deep within you. Even though that change may be externally motivated, the true change comes from the Underworld within.

There’s no reason to assume this is a bad thing. Instead, it could be the beginning of a new cycle! At the same time, change and transformation is always hard, though you’ll be better for it in the end.

Community and Loyalty

In the wild, crows travel and nest in big groups known as “murders.” By moving around in big groups, they can better protect their area, locate food, and avoid attacks.

Seeing crows regularly can indicate that you should check in with the people who matter the most to you. They have the potential to provide you with a sense of stability, affection, and humor. On top of that, you can return the favor to them. Those in your community can be blood relatives, friends, or anyone you trust.

Otherwise, the crow meaning of the group can generally be that you need to examine something in your life when it comes to large groups.

Deception and Mischief

Crows are intelligent, playful birds. They have a reputation for being cunning and crafty. Because of this, they are typically associated with dishonesty, mischief, and theft. They are brazen robbers who will target both human and avian targets alike.

Seeing a crow is a warning that you’ll need to use your wits and cunning to achieve success. Getting what you want requires using your wits to outsmart your opponent.

If you’ve seen Harry Potter, then you’ll understand how Slytherins can be sneaky without necessarily being bad. Similarly, the crow means that you must use your wits to outsmart someone, not necessarily that you must do something “bad.”

Spiritual Messengers From The Otherworld

In addition to being keen observers, crows are also loud and have chatty voices. According to myth, they can switch between the material and ethereal worlds.  They act as messengers for those who live on the other side.

When a crow flies into your life, it warns of some significant change or communication. Whether this means communication between one life and another, between another “world” and this world, or between your conscious mind and your subconscious, the crow meaning is the point of connection.

Magick & Alchemy

When crows are about, there is a confluence of power, knowledge, and magic. Typically, crows symbolize knowledge in the sense of gnosis, or alchemical knowledge.

Crows are symbols of power and spiritual development. They are divine messengers who remind us that magic is a part of our everyday lives. And perhaps more importantly, they symbolism alchemical change, or the possibility to change into someone more powerful while remaining in the physical body.

Number of Crows Meaning

This general symbolism is in addition to the fact that the specifics of your encounter with the crow may change its meaning. Let’s count the crows and see what they mean.

Single Black Crow Meaning

A lone black crow is a spiritual sign. Keep the spiritual realm in mind whenever you spot a crow. 

The single black crow meaning is also a sign of a spirit’s presence. The ancients believed that a single black crow will appear in the morning if you have recently lost a friend or family member. This is to reassure you that you are not alone in your struggles. It’s a comforting thought to know that the deceased person’s soul is always with you.

A crow, or even a crow’s feather, is a sign from your guardian. This is a favorable omen, as it means that you will be shielded from harm and guided through times of uncertainty.

Flock Of Crows Meaning

Seeing many crows has various connotations, depending on the situation’s specifics.

If you see two crows, it’s thought to be a positive sign. Wedding bells are in the near future if the number three appears. And if you see four crows, it could signify good fortune and financial success in the future.

Conventional wisdom holds that the flock of crows meaning portend bad news. The sight of five crows is said to denote sickness and pain. Meanwhile, the presence of six crows indicates robbery.

The number seven is a talisman against ill luck, which signifies departure and fresh beginnings. But when you see eight crows, it means bad news.

Keep in mind that these numbers are derived from folklore alone. I recommend examining your own life and feelings, and if needed, delving deeper into numerology. You can then combine this knowledge of numerology with the more general symbolism of the crow.

Meanings of Various Crow Encounters 

Crows Following You

If crows are following you, it’s because you’re doing good things with your life.

Crows are highly sociable birds that enjoy spending time in groups. If crows congregate in your area, they probably sense you share some of their interests and ideals.

Possessing a crow as a pet is an excellent sign for individuals who are ready to take charge of their lives and begin making progress toward their goals. They are also possibly trying to inspire people to pursue their dreams. Generally, people who have crows as friends or pets are quite intelligent.

If a crow follows you around for a while, you should pay attention to it. It may indicate that they deeply understand how the world functions.

The crow could be your spirit animal or totem if you strongly connect to it.

Crow Crosses Your Path 

The presence of a crow in your immediate vicinity is a warning to pay close attention to your internal experiences.

The crow spirit visits to remind you that your feelings are tied to your actions that shape your destiny. Are you sabotaging yourself by not being able to control your emotions? Or are you missing some key piece of information that you’re afraid to look at?

Crow Following You 

When a single crow follows you, it is a constant reminder of the strength of your psychic talents. In addition to crystal work, it touches on topics like mediumship, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and divination.

There is also the possibility that the crow represents your spirit animal or power totem.

Crow Flying Over You 

If you see a crow flying over your head, it may signal that you need to examine a situation from a more elevated vantage point. It may be a sign of spiritual protection.

Crows provide psychic wisdom to their humans. As such, they will provide the energy required to conquer any difficulty or barrier.

Crow Looking or Staring At You 

Crow Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning Of The Crow

It seems a bad omen if a crow is staring or looking directly at you, but in reality, this is a beautiful sign. Looking/staring is a sign that they are captivated by you. It may also suggest that you have a pure aura, an old soul, or a link with the spirit world or animal kingdom. Usually, this means the crow senses strong intelligence or a psychic connection with you.

Otherwise, this is perhaps a visit from a loved one who has passed away.

Crow Hitting Your Body 

Even though it’s unlikely, you shouldn’t dismiss a crow slapping you on the body. It may stand for lost potential or a refusal to listen to the guidance of the Spirit Realm or your own subconscious mind.

This encounter may also mean that your actions are adding to your pain. Examine yourself deep down instead of looking outside.

Cawing Crow Meaning

Crow Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning Of The Crow

Since crows are enigmatic messengers in many civilizations, their cawing typically means something. Some believe crows can bridge the gap between this world and the next. Its cries, then, provide meaningful information. There are many potential positive or negative outcomes to its cawing at you.

In that case, what does it indicate when a crow caws? We’ve compiled some potential reasons here.

A lone crow that caws incessantly is ominous and portends ill fortune.

Two crows cawing is a hopeful omen that points to future good fortune.

If you hear the cawing of three crows, this is a sign that God will keep you well and happy.

If you hear the cawing of four crows, good fortune and plenty are coming your way.

When five crows caw, this is terrible news. There is a chance that something awful will happen to you or that your health will deteriorate.

Crows cawing as a flock is a warning that death may soon strike the home.

However, think closely about what the cawing crow spiritual meaning is to you. Is there a message that must be delivered to you from the beyond, from spirit guides, or from your own subconscious mind?

Crow Spiritual Meaning As Spirit Animal

If you suddenly find yourself surrounded by crows, the crow spirit animal is likely manifesting in your life for a reason.

When we’re going through tough times, the crow spirit animal shows up. Even though these are challenging times for many, those with the crow’s wisdom can see that the future will be brighter.

If this sounds like you, it would be wise to invoke this bird’s wisdom and strength. The crow will assist you in getting through this challenging period with knowledge and courage to encourage transformation.

Crow Symbolism As Totem Animal

If you have this animal totem, you are a person who thinks outside the box. With the unconventional way you approach things, people frequently have the impression that you are odd.

You have a keen perception and observe details very carefully. When you require a change, you experience the smoothest metamorphosis possible.

Crow animal totems are both uncommon and hard to find. But more than that, it teaches you to have empathy for the people around you.

Crow Symbolism As A Power Animal

The black crow power animal is an effective ally.

No matter how sad the truth may be, this spirit companion will let you see it. The crow indicates the reality that may be below the pretty surface.

In addition, it serves as a gentle reminder to put faith in our gut instincts and pay close attention to the advice our inner voice gives us when we’re stumped.

Meditate on a crow, seeing its wings extend wide, its feathers standing erect as an army poised for combat, and you’ll gain insight into your spiritual journey.

Are Crows Good or Bad Luck?

There is a widespread belief that crows portend bad luck or even death in many civilizations. In certain cultures, they are seen as evil, while in others, they are considered lucky.

The presence of a crow is a harbinger of temporary difficulties, a sign of bad luck. Nonetheless, these difficulties are stepping stones to future prosperity. In this sense, crows can also represent long-term success and fortune.

Consider this a time of transition rather than a sudden upheaval. Whether the shift is small or large, it can feel like bad luck when it occurs.

However, the one constant in life is change, so don’t take anything for granted. The crow, then, serves as a reminder to adjust one’s expectations and go with the flow.

Crows As Spiritual Messengers

Crows are highly intelligent and capable of mimicking human actions. They even engage in a wide range of human-like behaviors. They can be curious, resourceful, and able to communicate in some kind, depending on the species.

Crows are supernatural messengers in several cultures. They are also symbols of metamorphosis. If you keep seeing crows as your spirit animal, it’s probably a sign that you need to make some changes to advance on your life’s journey.

Did you see a crow at a time when you feel like giving up on your objectives or dreams? It may signify that now is the time to act with resolve and confidence in your abilities. The crow provides you with signals to assist you in navigating these transitions harmoniously.

Crow Symbolism in Beliefs, Mythology, and Folklore 

Crow Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning Of The Crow

There is a great deal of folklore, mythology, and superstition surrounding the meaning of the crow. The idea that crows are exceptionally intelligent underlies at least some of these views. Other interpretations stem from the bird’s symbolic significance in life and death.

Greek Mythology

The crow is a divine messenger, often bearing ominous tidings of impending doom. It had something to do with the afterlife, divination, spiritual messages, and enlightenment.

The crow was sacred to Apollo, the guardian of flocks and herds. Crows had white feathers at one time, but this changed when the crow reported to Apollo that his lover was cheating on him. In his rage, he turned the crow’s feathers black, signifying the transformation that comes from an event.

The Bible 

The Bible contains numerous allusions to the role of crows as prophetic messengers sent by God.

The book of Job uses a crow metaphor for death and the judgment that follows it.

Isaiah has a vision in which he sees an angel with a measuring rod. The angel’s wings are reminiscent of crows’ wings (Isaiah 40:26).

Crows are also associated with Jesus’ cross death in Christianity. Due to its association with symbols like death, the crow is also a symbol of sin or evil in general. According to the Bible, a crow crying in a tree predicts death or a major change in someone’s life.

Again, we can clearly see that crows represent transformation, whether this is a literal death (and subsequent Resurrection) or metaphorical change. And alchemists believe that the Bible is an alchemical workbook, so here crows can represent the change from one state to another through the Crucifixion. 

Celtic Mythology

The Celtic goddess Morrigan represents death, devastation, power, and fate in battle. Catha (which translates to “the scald crow of combat”), Macha, and Morrigan are just a few of the other names of the goddess. She has a sporadic relationship with Dana and Anu. Many people consider them to be a trinity of goddesses, each with their own set of powers.

The Morrigan can assume the form of a crow. Her appearance is often heralded by a murder of cawing crows. At times, it is in the wake of death, her crows pecking away at the bodies of the fallen. Thus she is one of the most feared and revered Celtic goddesses.

Similar to the symbolism of the crow itself, the Morrigan symbolizes transformation, whether this means physical life to death or the smaller “deaths” and transformations we experience all the time. She epitomizes the cycles of life via crow symbolism.

Norse Mythology

Crows have an essential role in Norse mythology, specifically about Odin. According to the Eddas, Odin was a mighty warrior who gave up one of his eyes to acquire the ability to see into the future. 

He defeated other warriors with the use of this power of foresight. This ultimately led to him becoming king of Asgard. He has two crows that sit on each of his shoulders, and the myth says that these two birds were not only deeply connected with Odin but also his literal eyes and ears.

The crow symbolism here indicates that the crows were the spiritual parts of Odin that could see and hear beyond the physical, allowing him to possess extraordinary power. But clearly, this power came at a cost.

Do Crows Mean Death? 

Rather than representing the process of dying itself, crow symbolism reflects the spiritual language of what death means. Seeing a crow is not necessarily a sign that you or your loved ones are in imminent danger. However, the crow is here to tell us that there are spiritual truths we need to learn beyond the surface of our physical demise.

More accurately, crow symbolism stands for reincarnation and the metamorphosis that death ushers in. This presents an opportunity to explore a new world and perspective. Continual rebirth occurs in each of our lives as we adapt and improve through a never-ending cycle of change and development.

Esoterically, the word death is often synonymous with change. There are many similarities; it is only the scale that changes.

When anything significant in our lives ends, we mourn its passing. A relationship, a home, a job, or even a day might come to an end. As a result of this past life’s lessons, one can begin a new life with expanded wisdom through reincarnation. What we see happening here is the natural progression of things.

The crow, with its all-black coat, symbolizes gloom and mourning. And it can help you find your way if you’re feeling disoriented or sad. When you’re at rock bottom, the crow will provide the inspiration and resourcefulness you need to get back on your feet.

When we see a crow, we see the familiar but terrifying figure of death and transformation. We hate to part with people, but we know we can always count on their encouragement to help us go on.

Crow Spiritual Meaning in Dreams

When this bird appears in your dreams, it’s usually your subconscious trying to tell you something. When the Ccow takes to the skies, it’s time to address the concerns buried deep inside your subconscious. The crow typically means that you need to transform some part of your consciousness or life.

The crow meaning in dreams can often allude to the subconscious mind. Is there something in your subconscious that you’re trying to keep buried? While it may be painful or scary to think about, you cannot truly transform unless you bring your thoughts to the conscious.