Omens related to a Crow according to Vastu Shastra

Here are some omens related to crows according to Vastu Shastra (an ancient Indian doctrine):

  • Crow is probably the most common bird in India and hence they are often ignored as mere scavengers. But Vastu Shastra associates a number of omens with it. These omens are as follows:-
  • If a crow coming from the south-west side in the evening is seen it is an indication for some approaching calamity.
  • If a crow coming from the South-East direction in the evening is seen it indicates monetary gain.
  • When a crow drops a piece of burnt wood, bone or meat on the bed of a person it indicates approaching danger or death in the near future.
  • If a crow passes from the left crowing it is considered a good omen.
  • When many crows start crowing together in a corner or around the house it indicates approaching danger.
  • Early in the morning when a crow comes flying from the North-East direction it indicates some good news.
  • The crowing of a crow on the roof is inauspicious.
  • If it sits on someone`s head it is inauspicious.
  • When a crow is calling out with its face towards the South the head of the family will have a nice time.
  • In case one sees a crow sitting on the back of a pig it indicates legal complications. However if it is sitting on a camel or a donkey if it is seen it is considered a good omen.
  • When a person sees a crow flying in the clockwise direction he or she faces bad relations with his relatives.
  • When the ear of corn, flower or sand stone is seen in the beck of a crow it indicates monetary gain for that person.
  • When a crow carries a vessel or some costly article it is associated with danger. When a crow brings grass or burnt wood in our place he indicates danger from fire.
  • When a crow starts crowing with its face towards the South-West it indicates monetary gain for the person who watches it.
  • A person is likely to gain jewelry when a crow crows with his face towards the South-East direction.
  • If a person sees a crow sitting on a tree laden with fruit he will receive wealth and honor.
  • When a crow calls out facing the North-West the head of the family gets grain and arms as gifts.
  • When a crow crows with its face towards the North the head of the family has chances of getting new clothes or vehicle.
  • If a crow comes into the house and crows it indicates the coming of guests.
  • The person who sees a crow sitting on the back of a horse gets a new vehicle.
  • When a person sees a crow sitting on the tail of a cow and crowing he or she faces ill health.
  • Seeing two crows together brings bad news.
  • When the crow crows facing the North-East the head of the family will be subject to monetary gains.

Plant Your Feathers By Cyndie Morrell (McAuliff)

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with you a story written by one of our readers, Cyndie Morrell. Now, it’s all hers…

Dedicated to my mom, Faith Booth, who encouraged rather than ridiculed me when I started planting feathers in the pot full of dying foliage that graced the lobby of her apartment building.

Plant Your Feathers

By Cyndie Morrell (McAuliff)

As we walked up the hill toward home, the sound of the crows calling fell down around my ears from the treetops. I was oblivious to the sound of Zeeks voice. The bold, black birds had me mesmerized. Night was descending upon us. The wind whipped leaves around our feet. I heard them chant again; “You’re CAWWWGHT CAWWWGHT”. I knew as they mocked me that they spoke only the truth. I was caught. Caught listening again to this man who loved the sound of his own voice, who knew all the answers.

Suddenly there was a commotion in the sky. Two of the birds clashed above our heads. They beat their wings at each other. Their frantic screaming pierced the oncoming night. They pecked and prodded at each other with beaks and feet. As they pulled apart, I saw one rip at the other with its talons, pulling feathers from its wing. They fluttered to earth, those one, two three, four, five, six, seven blue-black crow feathers. I scurried to gather them before they got lost in the leaves or carried away by the wind.

Make a Joyful Noise Audio Recording

Make a Joyful Noise by Charles DeLint

A few weeks ago I posted about Make a Joyful Noise written by Charles de Lint (read post here). I enthusiastically shared two of my favorite literary characters, the Crow Girls, Maida and Zia. This story is not available to purchase anymore but since I had a copy I thought I would ask the author if I could record it and post it on Corvid Corner to allow other crow lovers to enjoy it as well. Much to my surprise, he said I could! =)

And without further delay here is the story…(don’t forget to bookmark it!).

Make a Joyful Noise (Part 1)

Make a Joyful Noise (Part 2)

Make a Joyful Noise ( Part 3)

Make a Joyful Noise (Part 4)

Make a Joyful Noise (Part 5)

Make a Joyful Noise (Part 6)

A friend made the following graphic to go with this audio recording. Thank you.

Please do NOT redistribute this recording elsewhere or re-post it on other sites. If you enjoy it and wish to share it you can send a link to this post to as many people as you would like. We want to be respectful of copyright laws and issues and not take advantage of the kindness of Charles de Lint in allowing me to share this here. =) Thank you and enjoy!

Update 1/10/2011: I started a new post for more information on these two beautiful characters, the Crow Girls here. Perhaps together we corvid lovers can find all references to them and share them with the world.

A Crow Story by Leigh Hilbert

, originally uploaded by SparkyLeigh.

One sunny day in the small fishing village of Tofino, my then home on the outer west coast of Canada, I was in the mood to visit friends. I chose Jasper and Cristina on Neill Street. Jasper was out but Cristina put on some tea and we sat chatting in her living room. I was sitting on a couch with my back to the front windows. As Christina was talking I was gazing absently across the room and out the home’s back windows, towards the forested yard beyond. At some point I began to notice not the backyard but the reflection in the back window of the front yard behind me.

And in that reflection was a crow on a wire.

Now that’s not too unusual, except the crow was upside down. So while I continued to stare at this upside down image of a crow I was thinking it must be a trick of reflection between the two opposite windows creating a reversed image. Cristina was still talking but by then I was less than half listening, being pre-occupied by this mind twister. So to confirm my optical illusion theory I turned around to look out the front window at the crow on the wire. The crow was still upside down! –And motionless. I quickly came to the conclusion it was electrocuted and dead. The wire it was on ran across the front yard from the street’s power pole to the house, only twenty feet away, so quite easy to see.

I said to Cristina, “Hey, come and look at this.”

As she looked out, the still upside down crow, hanging by its talons, began swinging back and forth making progressively larger arcs.

After a short while, this apparently very alive crow let go of one talon and continued swinging from the other– back and forth! It then reached up with the free talon, grabbed on and let the other one go. It continued swinging upside down, only now it was also twisting from side to side!

Cristina and I looked at each other dumbfounded and then back to the coxcomb crow, which was now “walking” upside down along the wire! Suddenly the crow held on to the wire with both talons again, hung motionless for a short time, then let go, falling head first toward the ground—wings tucked tight to its sides. Just before it hit the ground it opened its wings and flew straight up to the adjacent wire nearer the porch.

Landing upright, like a normal crow, it stood still for a few seconds then fell over forward, talons loosely gripping the wire, instantly going into its reversed swinging like a gymnast on the high-bar!

Another crow was also on this wire with its head cocked, watching. Meanwhile, the performing crow carried on doing the single-talon trick. Then, before our incredulous eyes, it bent up from its upside down position, bit the wire with its beak and let go of its talons. Now, hanging by only its beak, the crow twisted back and forth! I was in awe.

Its final act was hanging head-to-earth by both talons and rotating in place, walking in circles, and one last time it hung motionless then fell towards the ground, opening its wings at just the very last split-second, and flying off.

Now for the second part of the story:

I had of course related this experience to a number of friends, but not to my girlfriend Bonnie. She had been out of town tree-planting and visiting her family in the distant province of Alberta. When she returned I began re-enacting the whole story to her, pretending I was the crow to demonstrate its wild antics (not easy to do!). While I was doing this she got this blank expression on her face and interrupted me to ask if this had happened a couple of days before the last full moon.

As it turned out, precisely on the day Cristina and I watched the crow, Bonnie had walked into a farm field near her folk’s home in Alberta and laid down grass while thinking of her friends in Tofino and me.

Bonnie practiced Wicca, a form of good magic, using it for healing and prayer, so her powers for evoking were unusually polished. So while lying on the field she decided to try and send me a telepathically projected event. She wanted something funny that I would notice. She said she first thought of a crow stealing my cinnamon bun while I had my daily munch outside our local bakeshop – but decided that wasn’t good enough (and far too common!). So she sent out from herself a message to the crows — for them to come up with a funny event — and released these thoughts toward me in Tofino, many hundreds of miles away.

Wow! After hearing her story I was the one with a baffled, blank expression! Things like this open my perception of reality. Its nice to know that magic is alive in this world, if only we open to allowing ourselves to be with it.

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A Crow Story is copyright of Leigh R. Hilbert –All Rights Reserved

The Crow and the Pitcher more than fable?

The Crow and the Pitcher, originally uploaded by AnnaleeBlysse.

Scientists believe the fable of the crow and the pitcher might have been fairly accurate given the new research showing rooks using rocks to raise the level of water where a worm resided… to bring the worm up to their level.1

They are such incredibly intelligent birds. The other animal who showed fluid mechanics was the orangutan. I will bet corvids are just as smart if not smarter than many of the primates.

You can read more about the studies here.

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5983953/Aesops-fable-is-true-shows-crow-study.html []

Legendary Ravens

Ravens are majestic birds and thus inspire great and terrible legends, myths, folklore and superstitions. It is no wonder with their capacity for intelligence. Ravens have exactly the same brain-to-body ratio as dolphins and almost the same as humans. “If crows were human, their average IQ would be 135 (the average for humans is 100!)”1 With such a proclivity for intelligence it is no surprise many cultures have created elaborate myths, stories, legends, and superstitions about the raven.

The Raven in many mythological traditions was often reported to be the creator of the world. The raven is tied to the flood many thought once overtook the earth as well.

The Koyukon people, hunters living on the Koyukuk River in Alaska, believed that the great raven Dot-son-paa made the world, and that when the great flood came he placed two of every animal, bird, and insect upon a raft so that they would survive. To this day, the Koyukon people treat all wildlife with the courtesy that they accord to human beings, but make a special point of showing particular respect to the raven.

For the neighbors of the Koyukon people, the Tlingit Tribe, the raven is also important as is depicted in their beliefs.2

The [Tlingit Tribe] believed that the raven was the mythical ancestor of their race and performaned many deeds at the beginning of the world. Among these was deciding what particular task each bird should perform, where they should live and what colour their plumage was to be. One story relates that the raven decreed that the (American) Robin should give pleasure to man through its beauty, and the hummingbird through its song; another tells how he commanded all birds to dress differently so that they would be able to recognize each other—the blue jay, for example, was told to pile its hair high and tie it with a string. As for himself, the magical raven could transform himself into whatever shape he chose and could remove his feathers like a coat. As a spirit of creation he had no beginning and no end.

Ravens were worshipped and revered by the Vikings. The raven was the symbol of one of their Gods, Odin and it was said that the shields and banners of his men donned raven images. Such was the case with the Landeyda or Land ravager war banner which bore the emblem of the raven and was reputed to have been woven in one day by the granddaughter of Sigurd, a hero of Norse mythology who had the power to understand the language of the birds.((Tate, Peter (2008). Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.))

Odin owned two ravens named Hugin and Munin. Hugin represent thought and Munin, memory.  You can read more about them in this post. This myth is also belived in Ireland where the phrase ‘raven’s knowledge’ is still used to refer to anyone who appears to see and know all.3

The Vikings so admired the ravens powers of observation they even sang about them in this song:

How is it with you ravens, whence are you come

With gory beak at the dawning of the day?

You lodged last night I ween [suppose]

Where you knew the corpses were lying.

Many references in literature can be found that indicate the negative superstitions believed to be true about ravens such as found in Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta,

…the sad presaging raven, that tolls

The sick man’s passport in her hollow beak,

And in the shadow of the silent night

Doth shake contagion from her sable wings.

Or in Shakespeare’s Macbeth when Lady Macbeth welcomes the man she wishes dead, Duncan with these words:

The raven himself is hoarse

That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements

This is definitely not all the legends, myths, folklores, superstitions or beliefs about the raven. We will write more in the future.

  1. Tate, Peter (2008). Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. []
  2. Tate, Peter (2008). Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. []
  3. Tate, Peter (2008). Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. []

Rooks, Easter Lore and More

Like many in the corvid family Rooks are attached to many legends, myths, lore and superstitions. In Shropshire, it was believed that rooks never carried sticks to their nests on Sundays or Ascension Day, but simply sat quietly on trees and did not work. It was also believed to be futile to wear new clothes on Easter because the rooks would fly above and poop on them.

Quite the opposite was said to be true as well. Some believed if you were hit by bird poop it was because you did not wear new or nice enough clothes on Easter. It was the Rook that was believed to make the decision if your Easter attire was nice enough. And it was the Rook who would carry out the punishment as well. It was a dirty job but somebody had to keep those English people well dressed on Easter.

Rooks deserting a rookery were (and in some places still are) also thought to be an indication of a death coming. They were also looked to for predicting weather conditions for many. Such was the case in Devon, England where it was assumed that should the Rooks stay in the vicinity of their nests in the middle of the day, or return to the rookery early, then rain would follow, but if they flew far away, then fine weather would follow instead. And in Yorkshire, the saying went that if the rooks congreated on dead branches of trees, rain wuold come before nightfall, but if they perched on live branches it would be fine and dry.1

The rook is a predatory bird, cunning and intelligent, it will do most anything to survive. This is true for most corvids. But because of its sneaky nature it has gotten a reputation. The root of its name “rook” means ‘to rook’ or cheat someone. The distrust for rooks has long since held true in many places. In 19th century London a criminal ladened slums in the East End were referred to as a ‘rookery’. This was indicative of the rook’s sneaky nature but also a comment on the way they build their nests very close together—crowding in—similar to the slums. The name Rook is descendant of the Latin word frugilegus which means acquisitive. Fitting for the bird as Rooks often like to take objects including twigs and other nesting materials from other nests.2

  1. Tate, Peter (2008). Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. []
  2. Tate, Peter (2008). Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. []