Station of the Raven XII: Raven as Icon
Raven as Icon
This station addresses the duality of human relations with the raven. This black bird is regarded as a pest in some circles, while revered in others.
From early history, the raven has been associated with darkness and foreboding. Records from ancient battles include accounts of the ravens that were present, undoubtedly to feed on the warriors who met their demise. Shakespeare set the scene for presenting the raven as a symbol of evil and destruction in both Macbeth and Othello. And in some parts of the world, ravens have been persecuted—poisoned, shot, their nests destroyed.
Closer to home, the raven is viewed much more favorably as a bird of intelligence, strength and adaptability. Many old world deities in ancient Sumeria, Persia, Greece and Germany had an association with the raven. The ancient Norse believed the raven to be a messenger of the gods.
The raven has intrigued humans with its antics—stealing French fries or shiny things, with acrobatic displays in the air, and has inspired legends told around the world.