Black crow's meaning: what does this bird represent?

Black crow's meaning: what does this bird represent?

What is a black crow’s meaning? Their dark wings have made these birds rather enigmatic. Whether seen as a harbinger of change or messenger, this fowl's presence has ignited the human imagination for centuries. Have a look at the diverse and sometimes contradictory meanings attributed to it.

black crow’s meaning
Black bird perching on concrete wall with ocean overview. Photo:, @timmossholder (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Crows are fascinating creatures with advanced intelligence. Their calls are complex enough to convey different messages. Additionally, scientists have observed that they have regional dialects like humans. They also have excellent memory and facial recognition, which make them able to “hold grudges”. Read more about black crow symbolism.

What is a black crow’s meaning?

These birds are revered across cultures. They hold a unique place in folklore, mythology, and personal interpretations. However, the distinction between ravens and crows is a recent development. Many cultures, thus, consider the two species to be the same bird, and the words are often used interchangeably. Both birds are essential in bird symbolism.

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What does a black crow mean in mythology? Many cultures and spiritual beliefs believe this bird to be a symbol of prophecy. However, the depth of the warning can range from innocuous to ominous, depending on the culture. In Hinduism, for instance, seeing a black crow in front of your house could mean you’ll have special visitors soon.

On the other hand, some people believe the bird travels between the natural and spiritual realms. In Greek mythology, for instance, it symbolised Apollo as the god of prophecy. Therefore, it is considered a carrier of profound spiritual messages. Once one spots this bird in real life or dreams, they should keep a journal.


black crow’s spiritual meaning
Selective focus photograph of a black crow. Photo:, @shottrotter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Some consider the random appearance of a flock of crows as a symbol of impending death. Crows and ravens are scavengers; thus, they are associated with dead bodies. As such, they often appear on battlefields and cemeteries.

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When a flock appears in an area with no battlefields or cemeteries, people believe they signal the future. Since they are usually attracted to death, some cultures believe that their sudden, inexplicable appearance means people or animals will die soon. This is ominous in homes with sick people or animals, especially in African spirituality.

Bad luck

Are black crows bad luck? Not necessarily. However, some religious inclinations attach bad luck to the appearance of these birds. Christians, for instance, are not particularly fond of these dark birds.

While crows are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, their relatives, ravens, are. However, some translations have ravens as crows. These birds are considered unclean due to their black feathers and association with death. Because they’re unclean, some believe that interacting with black crows invites bad luck into one’s life.

Leviticus 11: 13-47 calls them unclean (detestable and abominable in some translations). This verse expressly warns against eating these birds. This Biblical view of ravens and crows as unclean has persisted in some Christian communities. Today, some Christian circles view them as detestable in keeping with Biblical commands.

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what do black crows mean
Black bird on top of brown driftwood. Photo:, @chrisleboutillier (modified by author)
Source: UGC

While a symbol of death is considered bad, death is also tied to rebirth and, by extension, transformation. Those who believe in the afterlife feel these birds are a consolation, as there will be more after the physical passing.

However, transformation does not always mean death and the afterlife. Sometimes, a symbol of transformation means a significant change is coming in your life. Whether you consider this a positive or negative sign depends on your life and the changes you expect. Either way, a black crow can help you prepare for the significant changes in your life.

Additionally, these fowls are known for their intelligence and problem-solving skills. For instance, city crows have been observed to use vehicles in traffic to crack their nuts. Therefore, spotting one can signal the need for intelligence and adaptability in handling the impending transformation.

Divine peace and protection

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What does a black crow symbolise? This bird can also signify divine protection, as in Buddhism. A black crow is sometimes used to represent Mahākāla, one of the deities responsible for destroying evil. Among Tibetan Buddhists, dreaming of the fowl means Mahākāla has visited you, and peace and divine protection are entering your life.

In witchcraft, these majestic creatures are used in protection spells. The birds are sensitive to danger. They are known to adapt quickly to new predators. Different types of witches often use them in protection spells.

Good luck

what does a black crow mean
Shallow photography of a black crow on a silver surface. Photo:, @mikebirdy (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is a black crow’s spiritual meaning? In Native American tribes, this bird is considered good luck. In these cultures, these birds are revered for their intelligence. They are so revered that they are clan animals among some tribes, like the Chippewa, the Hopi and the Caddo. They also represent wisdom due to their superior intelligence.

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Hopi mythology and folklore feature a spiritual figure, the Crow Mother. She represents maternal leadership and features heavily in children’s initiation. A Crow Mother Kachina doll will increase the birds’ appearance in your area. In turn, they will leave their feathers, which bring good health and fortune. Additionally, these kachina dolls are considered a guiding spirit.

Messages from beyond

Since black crows are typically associated with death, some sects of Hinduism associate these birds with ancestor worship. As they feed on carcasses, some believe they embody the souls of the recently deceased. Therefore, spotting these fowls signifies an impending message from the ancestral plane, and people should pay attention to other symbols around them.

What do black crows mean in Christianity? Some Christians consider them messengers of God. In 1 Kings 17, God sent ravens to Elijah to supply him with food in the desert. In Genesis, Noah sent out a raven and its failure to return signalled that it had found some corpses to scavenge. However, note that Biblical interpretations of crows conflate them with ravens.

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Spiritual guidance

Among the Cherokee, Crow Medicine guides that they symbolise a crossroads. They are covered in black feathers and are believed to have gone through darkness. Thus, crossing paths with this bird in one’s dreams or real life means it has come to help you make decisions. It brings a higher perspective, awakening your intuition and higher authenticity for big decisions.

What does it mean when you see a black crow in your dreams?

what does it mean when you see a black crow
Close-up photo of a black crow on the side of the road. Photo:, @mvdheuve (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Dreams can be confusing, and everyone would interpret them differently. However, there are some common interpretations of black crow's spiritual meaning in dreams:

  • Talking crows symbolise a connection with the dead; you miss someone who passed recently.
  • A crow attack means you feel powerless in your life.
  • A dead bird is encouraging. It affirms that your subconscious applauds you for handling a challenging change well.
  • Friendly crows show peace with the dark side. It means you understand and welcome your darker side rather than shunning it.

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The black crow's meaning takes on diverse forms in different cultures globally. It's important to note that interpretations of symbolism can be highly subjective. The importance of this fowl can differ based on individual perspectives and beliefs. If you encounter one, consider the context, personal beliefs, and cultural associations that resonate with you. recently published a list of different types of dragons from popular culture and mythology. Dragons take on multifaceted roles in the folklore of civilisations across the globe. Their representations range from fire-breathing behemoths guarding treasure troves to benevolent serpentine creatures offering wisdom.

This article takes a trip through the rich and diverse landscape of dragon lore. The types of dragons and their interpretations vary between regions. Many Eastern dragons symbolise auspicious power, while Western dragons typically embody terror and fascination. Read more about the types of dragons often mentioned in folklore.


Wilbroda Onyango avatar

Wilbroda Onyango (Lifestyle writer) Wilbroda Onyango is a content creator and writer with over 4 years of experience. She has worked as an entertainment journalist, creating content across over 5 African countries, most notably for, Young, Gifted & Blacc, and Africa New Media Group. Wilbroda joined as a writer in June 2022, covering celebrity biographies, guides and listicles for Ask Legit. In 2023, Wilbroda finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. Email:

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