Working With The Animal Totems
Spirit of the CROW: Keeper of the Sacred Law, Guardian of the Left-handed Path, Carrier of Lost Souls Into the Light.
About the CROW family:
Crow's Wisdom Includes:
* Guardian of the place before existence
* Ability to move in space and time
* Honoring ancestors
* Ethics and Ethical behavior
* Carrier of souls from darkness into light
* Working without fear in darkness
* Guidance while working in shadow
* Moves freely in the void
* Understands all things related to ethics
Crows are very vocal birds. They are sly and often deceptive in their actions. Crows have been known to build false nests high in treetops to confuse predators. The height of their nests give them the opportunity to watch everything that is going on around them. Many cultures think of crow as the keeper of knowledge for nothing escapes their keen sight.
Crows travel in groups and make mischief in teams. As one crow explores something new, others will watch closely to see what happens and then learn from it. In this way they seem to always be in council with each other. They often raise a ruckus when hunters are around, warning deer and other birds. Crows recognize possible danger and always post lookouts when feeding---thier most vulnerable time.
Their language is complex and they have a remarkable voice range. Each caw has its own meaning. Sometimes crow warns of impending danger. Other times it signals a time to join in council and make decisions. Listening to crow can teach those with this medicine how to hear the truth of what is being said.
The striking black color of crow represents the color of creation. It is the womb out of which the new is born. Black the color of night gives birth to the light of a new day. Crow is a daytime bird reminding us that magic and creation are present in both. Their ability to shift between the known and unknown world indicates new journeys.
Because crow is adaptable to all environments and will eat almost anything they can survive in almost any situation. Crow is associated with magic, unseen forces and spiritual strength. If crow flies into your life, get out of your familiar nest, look beyond your present range of vision, listen to its caw and act accordingly.
Ancient Lenape Legend ~ Excerpt from a book written by James Alexander Throm called: The Red Heart.
“The Rainbow Crow was beautiful to hear and to see, back in the days when it never got cold, back in the Ancient Days, before Snow Spirit appeared in the World.
When the Snow Spirit did appear, all the people and animals were freezing and a messenger was selected to go up to kijilamuh ka’ong, The Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be. The messenger was to ask The Creator to think of the World as being warm again so that they would not all freeze to death.
Rainbow Crow was chosen to go and he flew upward for three days. He got the Creator’s attention by singing beautifully, but even though he begged the Creator to make it warm again, the Creator said He could not, because He had thought of Cold and He could not unthink it. But He did think of Fire, a thing that could warm the creatures even when it was cold. And so He poked a stick into the Sun until it was burning, and the gave it to Rainbow Crow to carry back to earth for the creatures. The Creator told Rainbow Crow to hurry before it burned all up.
Rainbow Crow dove down and flew as fast as he could go. The burning stick charred all of his beautiful feathers until they were black and since he was carrying the stick in his beak, he breathed the smoke and heat until his voice was hoarse.
And so the Rainbow Crow was black and had an unpleasant cawing voice forever after, but all the creatures honored him, for he had brought Tindeh, fire, for everyone to use.
The Crow is to this day, still honored by hunters and animals, who never kill it for food…and, if you look closely at the Crow’s black feathers you can still see many colors gleaming in the black.”
Crows React to Threats in Human-Like Way
As we know, crows are very intelligent. According to new research being published this week, crows and humans share the ability to recognize faces and associate them with negative, as well as positive, feelings. The way the brain activates during that process is something the two species also appear to share. John Marzluff, University of Washington professor of environmental and forest sciences, is the lead author of a paper on this being published the week of Sept. 10 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Previous research on the neural circuitry of animal behavior has been conducted using well-studied, often domesticated, species like rats, chickens, zebra finches, pigeons and rhesus macaques. This time the study involved wild animals, specifically 12 adult male crows. In this study, the crows were captured by investigators all wearing masks that the researchers referred to as the threatening face. The crows were never treated in a threatening way, but the fact they'd been captured created a negative association with the mask they saw.
For the four weeks they were held in captivity, they were fed by people wearing a mask different from the first, this one called the caring face. The masks were based on actual people's faces and both bore neutral expressions so the associations made by the crows was based on their treatment. Rather than starting off by sedating the crows as is the normal standard procedure to study brain activity, a bew approach was used instead. This approach was developed by the UW and involved injecting a glucose fluid commonly used in brain imaging into the bodies of fully alert crows that then went back to moving freely about their cages.
The fluid flooded to the parts of the crow brains that were most active as they were exposed for about 15 minutes to someone wearing either the threatening or caring mask. Then the birds were sedated and scans made of their brains. After the work was completed all the birds were returned to the wild.
"The regions of the crow brain that work together are not unlike those that work together in mammals, including humans," according to John Marzluff. "These regions were suspected to work in birds but not documented until now. For example it appears that birds have a region of their brain that is analogous to the amygdala of mammals. The amygdala is the region of the vertebrate brain where negative associations are stored as memories."
"Previous work primarily concerned its function in mammals while our work shows that a similar system is at work in birds. Our approach could be used in other animals -- such as lizards and frogs -- to see if the process is similar in those vertebrates as well. This new approach enables researchers to study the visual system of birds and how the brain integrates visual sensation into behavioral action."
Marzluff has suggested that the findings might also offer a way to reduce conflict between birds and endangered species on which they might be feeding as is the case in the Mojave Desert, where ravens prey on endangered desert tortoises or where crows and ravens prey on threatened snowy plovers on the east and western coasts.
"Our studies suggest that we can train these birds to do the right thing," Marzluff said. "By paring a negative experience with eating a tortoise or a plover, the brain of the birds quickly learns the association. To reduce predation in a specific area we could train birds to avoid that area or that particular prey by catching them as they attempt to prey on the rare species."