WOLF BIRDS: RAVENS AS THE TRICKSTER IN FICTION & MYTHOLOGY
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Ravens are the most bad ass animals besides wolves in the animal kingdom . They are intellectually the strongest of animals and that is why it is said that they are tricksters and also that they are called wolf birds because they hang out with wolves . Yup I said it . Wolves and Ravens are old chums and always have been . So ordinarily what’s a werewolf story without a raven in the mix? I’m sure every novel about werewolves has one, right? Well I do .
Three days ago I posted about talking animals . Did you know that in fiction and mythology the raven when considered a talking animal represents prophecy and insight?
In stories they are usually psychopomps.
Psychopomps are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to guide them.
Ravens are often considered as a mediator animal of life and death.
In North American mythology among the Inuit , Tsimishians and Haidas ravens are known as either the creator of the world or as a trickster. Another mythology says that the raven comes from the land of spirits.
Within Haida mythology the raven is frequently seen as a trickster and has been described as the greediest, most lecherous and mischievous creature but also helps humans with the spiritual world.
In Sweden folklore the raven was thought of as ghost who were murdered .
In some cultures the raven was a harbinger of death.
As you know ravens are scavengers whether it be human or animal they can find food anywhere. They know how to take advantage of any other animal to help get food. They can learn to imitate different sounds, including the human voice. In nature, their calls include guttural croaks, gurgling noises, that also include a sharp, metallic tock. And this is where the wolves come in the picture . Being around other animals make the raven accessible to food. The raven follows packs and are usually seen flying over or beside the wolf.
Because of this wolves interact more with the raven than any other animal and like I said are best buds with them . The raven in actuality protects the wolves by calling out if there is danger near. They are also said to draw other animals such as the elk near so the wolves can tear and eat through the meat and then the raven goes ahead and eat.
IN MY WIP NOVEL
In my work in progress novel During the Blue Hour I use the raven as a trickster but also as a Psychopomp . They are beings called earth divers, a type of celestial beings and a type of Viators of Caelum . They are powerful celestial beings who have the power to manipulate time and shapeshift. The ravens in my novel are guardians to the werewolves. They help protect them and they watch over them. But they are also tricksters who are also tired of werewolf politics. And so even though they protect the werewolves they give them a difficult time by having a little fun and tricking them. They are very warrior like and clever when it comes to a battle.
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Do you have a raven in your novel?
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