Interpreting a New Language: Celtic Meaning of Raven Calls

The meaning of raven calls were interpreted by ancient Celtic people as a type of guidance or foretelling tool.

The ancient Celts were intimately connected to their environment. They understood the murmurings of green leaves as their own language. Likewise, each of the beasts in the wood had their own language too and the Celts were able to interpret these into meaningful cosmic messages.

Some of the Celtic meaning of raven calls were recorded in various medieval manuscripts. Translations and opinions abound, but here some understandings of the raven communications:

  • If a raven caws above your head – you will have company
  • If she says GRAW!” it will be unexpected company
  • If she says “GEEWAN!” it will be unwelcome company
  • If she says “BEECAH!” it will be a lover come to call
  • If she says “GRACE!” it will be someone coming to collect a debt

Additionally, the raven’s flight direction was considered a portent or warning. The direction in which a raven spoke indicated what an action, expectation or preparation to take. To illustrate:

  • If a raven calls to the East: You will be getting news you’ve been waiting for
  • If a raven calls to the North: Better attend to matters of your household
  • If a raven calls to the South: Bring your loved ones close to you
  • If a raven calls to the West: Prepare for a shift in your life

Were the Celts superstitious? Perhaps. But the raven meant big juju for the ancient Celts – not to be trifled with or second-guessed.

However, these people were so enmeshed with nature, beautifully entangled to the extent that there was no separation between man and beast. Who of us is to say that the ravens weren’t actually speaking to them and the Celts were accurately interpreting their messages?

I would encourage you to observe the ravens (crows, or magpies too) in your own life. Invest the time to really focus upon these darkly powerful birds. Over time, you will develop your own understanding of their language. Make note of this language and incorporate it into your life. See what happens. Don’t get crazy about it – just be in touch with yourself and the natural world. Astonishing discoveries are available to you when you do.

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5 Comments on “Interpreting a New Language: Celtic Meaning of Raven Calls”

  1. Hello,
    How are you, fine I hope. On May 4 I saw 3 Ravens in a tree behind a building that I stay in, It concerned me greatly, one of the Ravens flew to the east to a light pole and returned to the tree that it was originally in, I really would like to know if there is a meaning to this or not, or is it just my imaginenation?

    Truely Concern

  2. Hi Clarissa,

    As I’ve mentioned in earlier entries, Ravens do not give up their secrets easily.

    They love to watch us marvel over their messages, and they love it when we try to figure out their languages.

    Ravens demand our commitment to learning their wisdom, and do not reveal their meanings unless they are convinced we’ve devoted ourselves completely to the path of understanding (both dark and light sides of) energy.

    Birds are symbolic of higher thought,
    higher intelligence and higher ideals.

    This is because birds are (metaphorically and mythologically speaking), situated in proximity to the higher energies of the Universe.

    Ravens are no exception to this underlying symbolism. However, Ravens are special among their airy clan as they are the symbolic containers of:


    When interpreting oracles, we look to all factors, as you have done by notating the number of Ravens, the direction of their flight, etc.

    Three is a creative number, and I’ve written more about the meaning of number three here. You may be able to incorporate the vibrational concept of three to your message.

    Flight direction and pattern may be noted for significance in your oracle. That your Ravens are flying east may indicate one of several meanigns (depending upon your perspective). I’ve written about directional symbolism here.

    When we look for deeper meanings, sometimes it’s the most obvious and simplest details that provide clarity. For example, that your Ravens are flying to the light post may be a sign that light will be shed upon what has been hidden to you in the past.

    I’ve said on many occassions that Ravens are not idle about who they reveal themselves to. That is to say, you would not have picked up on that energetic scene of the Ravens had you not been prepared and ready for their presence. Even simpler put: The Ravens would not give you a message if you did not know the answer within yourself.

    If you are truly concerned about this experience, then you are allowing an outside influence to dominate you. I earnestly encourage you NOT to allow this. Rather, take the time to interpret this event in a practical, soulful manner. Do this with the foundational belief that YOU are the source of interpretation, and you are the commander of the vessel that is your precious life.

    When you take the time to know yourself, recognize your own light – you begin to shine clarity on the messages your higher self is sending you in the form of Ravens and other beautiful events in your life.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    With love and blessings to you Clarissa,

  3. hi, just a few days ago my friend had a baby. before it happened there were rabbits every where, which was strange to begin with. but after he was bourn we were sitting out side for a smoke. a raven was walking around on a bench to the east of us. he looked content on watching us, then he flew a little closer to us. he was like 5 ft away. then looking directly at us he let out a couple caws at us, then continued to stare at us as we went back into the hospital. and i must mention there is a lot to this family mysticaly. im just wonderingwhat that would mean

  4. Hi, this morning at 520 am I had 4 Ravens facing SW direction outside and to the side of my home. They were in a circle facing each other. The one with its back to me would caw really loud and long and then each of the other 3 would caw back. They did this for sometime and then flew to the trees next door and continued to caw.
    I left just after that to go for a walk and while I was driving to my destination I noticed a few times crows on the streetlights while I was heading down the highway. Also where there is always a seagull there was a seagull and a crow on the streetlight. There were crows in a lot more places than I normally see on this walk. Im not sure if I was just more open to hearing them due to the morning cawing. It was the same when I was coming to work. I seen a huge eagle flying above and a crow not far behind…..any insight to this would be great,

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