Response to Lois
For me, the Raven mythos and Falcon mythos are conjoined,
finding their roots in the most ancient traditions and totem usage.
Naturally, this mythos found its place in divination, the forerunner of Tarot and other methods of revealing a person to themselves. One traceable line is ‘animal oracle’ using symbolic representations, including the raven or blackbird. The Druid Oracle is fairly well know and is based on playing cards laid out in many configurations. Earlier forms (pre-playing card in the 16th century) used bones, totems, stones and other items. Regardless of symbol and format used, however, the meaning of the Raven totem has been fairly consistent.
“it calls from the gateway between the worlds, urging us to follow a spiritual path or to become more self-aware… There are times in life when it is important to concentrate on the outer world and your responsibilities in that world, but there are also times when you must attend to the haunting song of your soul which calls you to a study of spiritual truths. Heed the (raven) and discover healing and new depth of your soul.”
In reverse or pointing North: “the raven is the ‘smith bird’, calling you to work on forge of your heart and being. All four elements are required and draw on their power to develop a healthy and balanced life -- minds, hearts, instinct and intuition… Standing at the gateway between the worlds, without truly working in either, is a denial of our own power and responsibility.”
There is also ancient legend that the raven was originally white and had access to the Cavern of Immense Treasures. But it became greedy and dipped its beak into gold dust, only to discover that the treasure was guarded by a fierce daemon than chased it, belching fire and smoke. Thus a raven now is black with a gold beak – a reminder to all who misuse their gifts.