Ravens have a long history of myth and lore associated with them. In some native tribes they are known as the "keeper of secrets." They hold the teachings of mysticism and magic. Ravens are linked to the void, where universal secrets are stored. Their inky black color is the color associated with darkness. The darkness is a place where unconscious fears live. Raven, a master magician, embodies the energy of transformation and shows us how to eliminate our inner demons.
Ravens are extremely intelligent and are clever mimics. They incorporate and mimic calls of other species and can teach us how to understand the language of animals. They have also been known to learn some human words. The raven knows the mystery of life. They have an intimate association with death and rebirth. Because ravens would feed on the corpses of the dead hanging on the gallows, early European settlers feared this bird and considered it to be an ill omen. In truth, however, ravens should be respected not feared.
There are many stories in native cultures about this illusive black bird. Shamans know the power of an unexpected piercing sound in altering consciousness. Ravens exercise this power, emitting a variety of sounds and can aid us in shifting our consciousness into various dimensional realms. This is one reason why the raven is known as a shape shifter with magical powers. Anyone with raven as a totem can expect continual changes and spiritual awakenings throughout their life.
Ravens picks its students according to their accumulated wisdom. It flies into a persons life carrying the energy of magic and healing. If it decides to settle in and take up residence, it will stay as long as necessary to aid you in transmuting your karma and return you to the light. It will push, prod, and lead you into the discovery of your multidimensional self and reunite you with the secrets of the multidimensional universe. Those with this totem should remember to meet raven, not with fear, but rather with an appreciation for the teachings that it holds.
When a lone wolf is spotted in the wilderness it embodies the energy of freedom. When seen in a pack it embodies a sense of community. If a wolf appears to you alone or in a pack it is asking you to acquire the same within your own life. In spite of their negative press, wolves are actually friendly, social and highly intelligent.
The wolf's senses are highly developed. Their intelligence is marked with excellent hearing, sense of smell and strong feeling. They are determined as well as cunning and use these skills for the benefit of the pack. The howl of the wolf is primal and penetrating. They howl to find other pack members or to let wolves from outside of the pack know their territory boundaries. If you hear a wolf howl it might be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries.
The wolf teaches you to have a balance between the needs your family has of you, and the needs you have for yourself. They are totally loyal to the pack but do not give up their identity to the pack. If a wolf appears in your life you are being asked to look at where you are being too dependent and where you may be too independent. In both family and community there needs to be a balance.
Wolves hunt in packs, relying on endurance to run down weak and older animals. They have been known to run 35 miles a day in pursuit. They are the epitome of stamina and strength. With an extremely well developed societal organization, they act together to hunt and raise their young. They do not fight unnecessarily and often go out of their way to avoid fighting.
Sometimes a growl, a glance, a posture is all that is necessary to determine dominance. Wolf teaches those with this medicine to know who you are and to develop strength and confidence in what you do.