Raven is a very special totem. They're all special, of course, but Raven holds a unique place in many native myths. Raven is a creator - he is mankind's protector and sometimes saviour. He brought light and fire to the early people so they would not die. He gave them salmon so they wouldn't starve. In some stories, he even brough water to break a terrible drought. He is a cultural hero.
He is also a Trickster. Raven steals from man, and from other spirits. He plays jokes on us, and he laughs at mankind's expense. Sometimes his tricks go awry and he ends up the butt of his own joke, but even then, there is humor.
Raven is a juxtaposition of opposites: A provider and a thief. A hero and a fool. He brought light out of darkness, but he is himself cloaked in midnight black. He is a symbol of dark brooding sadness, and of death, yet he brings life, and unrivalled joy. He is credited with creating the earth and all its mysteries, but even the smallest secret attracts his attention. He is a silent spy, and an unstoppable chatterbox. He is many things.... And sometimes he is nothing.
That is Raven.
Raven's children must understand the value of humor. They need to see the joy which pervades all living things, and bring that joy to others. They also need to develop their sense of curiosity. So many fascinating things happen around us all the time - and raven's children want to know about all of them. They also want to bring things into the light. Some people might not want to see what Raven's brood expose to the bright light of day, though... since many people have secrets which they'd prefer to keep hidden. Those who follow Raven aren't always appreciated for what they do, but they still share a certain satisfaction at a job well done when they make someone stop and reevaluate themselves or the world around them.
Does Raven call to you?
- The Corax Homepage.

The Native American cultures have always revolved around spirits instead of gods (at least until their conquerors forced Christianity down their throats, removed them from their lands, introduced their peoples to addictions, new diseases, destroyed their food sources, and in general, wiped out their culture and existence out to the point that they could without actually killing each and every one of them. But that's another story.). They used these spirits in many ways: to pass on traditions, teaching, as a warning, and to entertain one another.

In this pantheon of spirits, one was very self-centered, naughty, and devious, but cared more about humans than the other Great Spirits. He found the first men and the first women, stole fire for them, and taught them to survive in this world. He loved all things enjoyable, food, friends, and having a good time. He loved playing tricks on the other spirits and while he was considered lazy, seemed to be able to think his way through to accomplishing what needed to be done, usually for his own self interest.

When choosing a name for the clan, we did a lot of research and while we knew we wanted to go with a more shamanistic theme, we had a hard time trying to come up with a Spirit that best represents OUR spirit, at least until we found Raven.

I could go on and on and lie to you about the "Shadow" part of the clan name, but in a nutshell, it just sounded cool.

The following stories and quotes are a few of the Raven legends, and we've posted them here to help you understand a little of the background behind Raven.


Raven and the Man That Sits on the Tides

The Raven as a Source of the Phoenix Legend

Ravens In Real Life

Raven, Seagull, and the Coming of Light

In the Shadow of the Raven