Crow Medicine and Learning to Laugh
I was thinking about crows, and how they’re so prevalent up here in the winter, and how winter tends to correspond with the sometimes dark umbra cast upon the crow’s symbolic history.
I haven’t written a whole lot about the symbolic meaning of crows, although I talk about their siblings, ravens. I write about animal meanings when the timing feels right, and crow-time can be a challenge to pin down. 🙂
However, I have observed something over a few winters in the great lakes area.
Winter is serious up here, and I’ll spare you the top 100 list of reasons why.
Where I live, winter’s grip is iron-fisted, and winter doesn’t leave without leaving a few marks. It can be dark work living up north, where winters are long and commanding. There’s a reason critters hole-up, and feathered friends fly south.
A crow-epiphany shot through me one day amidst knee-deep snow, treacherously slickering my way on an icy footpath, straddling too much luggage, fit-to-be-tied in serious frustration.
And then I heard laughing. Tinny, sardonic, ‘what-the-hell-is-your-problem-lady,’ kind of laughing. A posse of crows perched in a nearby tree sent peals of cackling in my direction as if in response to my own self-absorbed seriousness. And I got it.
Crows laugh at seriousness.
That is to say, in my view, crows cackle in mockery at self-inflicted seriousness.
In those circumstances, while I was up-to-my-eyeballs in seriousness, those madly mirthful crows gave me a lesson in lightening up, and I intend to retain it.
Other links of interest:
More Crow Medicine (on discussion forum)