What Does Raven Know that Hawk Does Not?

Raven called and I looked up to see her glide quickly past. Right behind her, in the same glide path, flew hawk. She wasn’t hunting raven, just following close behind, as if to see what raven knows that hawk does not. Because raven and hawk are in my totem, I was compelled to investigate what they had in common and what about them was different. I also wondered what they might be trying to teach me.

Raven and hawk have many similar attributes, such as size, hunting ability, and connection to spiritual realms. They have eyes on both sides of their heads, which allows them to see things approaching from many directions at the same time. Taken symbolically, they can see the past, present, and future simultaneously.

Hawks are rarely associated with negativity or darkness. In fact, Pueblo Indians referred to hawk as the red eagle. Hawks maintain their regal nature, even when caged, which reminds us to stay true to ourselves, regardless of the circumstances. They are skilled hunters, have exceptional eyesight, and are strong and adept in flight. Hawk symbolizes visionary ability, reminding us to pay attention to our own dreams and visions.

In contrast to hawk, raven is black and mysterious. They appear in many myths, described as visionary by some cultures and seen as a bad omen by others. Ravens are quiet, associated with darkness, problem solvers, and messengers of the gods. They are good scavengers, adaptive, and intelligent. In captivity, ravens have been known to learn to speak. Native American cultures characterize the raven as symbols of change or transformation.

Because raven and hawk were behaving unusually when they flew over (see How Animals Communicate), I took notice. Not only does raven know something hawk does not, but both know much I do not. What message was being communicated?

Maybe hawk is a reminder for me to continue to pursue my dreams, even though raven warns they may lead me to the dark unknown. Or perhaps raven wants me to be more adaptive, be open to the mysteries, or be aware of the language of others, including animals. The number of occurrences of these birds has made an impression on me. There’s something shifting, but I just can’t seem to see it clearly. It’s definitely time to pay attention more and stop being too busy to see what might be right in front of me.

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