The Crow's Dream

Philosophy, geekery, and the meaning if life, and what I read this week…

The Meaning of Seeing a Crow in your Dreams

with 37 comments

A lot of people get to my blog because they want to find out what it means to dream with a crow, so I am going to tell you. The first thing you need to know about dream interpretation is that all of those cheesy dream dictionaries are usually humbug. I say “usually” because I’ve never seen one that I can take seriously, but you never know. Maybe some one out there got it right, but I doubt it. So I’m telling you right now. You will not find answers in the New Age or Religious section of your local bookstore. Cognitive science, psychology, and myth may be better guides.

Dreams are very important though, but maybe not for the reasons you think.

There are many theories about dreams. They vary, but most authors assume that dreams mean something. Some, like Freud, think of dreams as the gateway to the unconscious mind. Others believe that dreams are messages from a supernatural entity, or psychic premonitions about the future. The first view is not completely right, and the second very possibly is wrong.
According to Robert Ornsitn, dreams are what goes on when your mind has nothing better to do than to simulate a made up world. Dreams are stories we tell ourselves as we enter REM state. I believe stories are very important, especially the ones we tell ourselves, and since we make them up, they must mean something to us. We derive and create their meaning.

To me, crows are awesomelly cool. If I was a bird I’d be a crow. To other people, crows are the carrion eating bastards who feast on the fallen warriors in the battlefield. To others, they are the mythical birds who betrayed Noah, yet, some think of corvids as the creators of the universe.

Your dreams are based in your mind. They are not sent from the outside to warn you about upcoming Egyptian plagues. They are not filled with symbols that mean the same to everyone, but they are filled with the universal elements of a good story, because they reflect the most important story you have to tell, and that is the story of your life. Do not ignore them, because your dreams take up a huge part of your time.

So, now lets get practical. Lets say you just dreamed of a crow. If it was a great dream you might be thinking about golden pots and make overs. If it was a bad one, you might be laying awake in cold sweaty fear. Either way, don’t worry. All of it happened between your ears, but it matters a lot.

Here is what you need to do (you do not need to do it all):

1) Take out a piece of paper and write the main feature of the dream in the middle of it. It could be the word “crow.” Then draw a circle around it, use clustering or mind mapping to brainstorm on whatever the dream may mean to you.

2) Since dreams are about your inner story, you might want to spend some time continuing the story. You could write it or draw it. you could have an imaginary dialog with the crow in question. Do not worry about “getting it right,” because the dream is a part of you, so you can change it. If your dream scared you, a story about it could fix it.

3) Learn lucid dreaming. It is fun and easier than going to the movies. Plus, it gives you something to do as you sleep.

4) Keep a dream journal. Some of my best ideas happen in my sleep.

5) I like to create dreams by writing stories before I go to sleep. I don’t know if this is scientific, but if I start something and I don’t finish it, I will often finish it in dreams.

Reading List

These are the books where I got most of my ideas about dreams. You should check them out, but stay away from superstition.

1 ) Anything by Joseph Campbell. Try “The Power of Myth” first. He sees dreams as mini personal myths. Campbell is one of my heroes. He uses old psychological ideas, but the core of his philosophy of story is really amazing.

2) “Lucid Dreaming,” by Steven Laberge. It’s nice and scientific.

3) The Evolution of Consciousness, by Robert Ornstein. A good introduction to the scientific view of the brain and to evolution. It provides a compelling theory of dreaming.

Learn about your brain, which is where your dreams live. Learn about stories. They are the stuff that makes dreams and the context of our lives. Read stuff by Clarisa Pinkola Estes, Neil Gaiman, and Carol S. Pearson. They really get what stories and dreams are about. In some cases, they even get what crows are all about.

Dreams are a good to get to know yourself.

Your dreams are yours. They are the places where you are the hero, and everything around you is your myth. They are the places where fantasies come true and where monsters can be vanquished. They are fun and silly, but they do not mean anything you don’t understand. They are not messages from the depths, but stories you tell yourself. As such, they are important, because everything you tell yourself about life is also a story that puts reality in to context. I hold the scientific method to be the most accurate way to see reality, but in dreams I suspend disbelief and fly, because I do not need to be accountable to reality. That is the ultimate freedom.

I hope this helps.

Disclaimer: I am no a psychologist or a doctor. This blog is not intended to cure or diagnose anything. :)

Written by Hector

July 3, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

37 Responses

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  1. That was a very, very, well written article. Kudos!

    I agree with you there a cent per cent… medically, many doctors believe that dreams are just pictures (of what has happened that day to us), taken randomly, and shuffled up and made a movie with. Just as you say, as the mind has nothing better to do when it enter the REM period of sleep.

    I, however, never remember any of my dreams. On very rare occasions, I am able to recall that yes, I had a dream, but even this is extremely less.

    Narziss

    July 3, 2007 at 3:13 pm

  2. I totally agree that our brains are just bored…when I wasn’t working and spent most of my day playing with Photoshop, I would dream about Photoshop. Also, after watching Firefly for most of the night, I dreamed about it…I think I made out with Capt. Mal. LOL XD

    Harry Potter

    July 4, 2007 at 3:17 am

  3. I love to dream and I am always on some adventure in my head at night. It is what frees my soul.
    I must state that this article is great, I will check out the recommended readings, thank you.

    P.S. I tagged you on my site. Check out the post “Tag you’re it” I hope you don’t mind.

    enreal

    July 4, 2007 at 4:38 am

  4. Wait a minute, the crab wasn’t wearing loafers, was he? Cuz that accentuates the gay!
    Seriously, though, good article. I might add that The Sandman is an interesting look at dreams, too. I dreamed that I had to tattoo my initials on my lower back (oddly, right below my sandman tattoo) to get my father’s inheritance. The tattoo sucked, it looked like the 311 logo.

    Morpheus

    July 7, 2007 at 4:23 pm

  5. I’m Drew, by the way.

    Morpheus

    July 7, 2007 at 4:24 pm

  6. very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

    music

    January 8, 2008 at 6:07 pm

  7. this was interesting, a lot of this I have heard/read before.
    I have had a dream with a crow, but I do believe it was more than a dream just because of the nature of the dream. And some of my dreams do come true (only some).

    Terry

    February 18, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    • what you’ve said applies to me too… if there was a like button i would have pressed it.

      Bridget Gilbert

      June 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

  8. This was a great article. I’m not sure what to make of dreams myself. Of coure, you’re absolute right to dismiss them as omens or portents. As you said, dreams come from within our mind. Of course, as a Buddhist, I have come to accept that our ‘waking’ reality is as insubstantial as our ‘dreaming’ reality. The first is our gross mind manifested, the second is our subtle mind. But neither are any more or less real. Perhaps dreams are useful as a window into our mind when it’s in a more subtle state.

    You made some allusions to lucid dreaming? Have you had any experience of lucid dreaming? I’m particularly interested to know because in my tradition we believe that achieving mindfulness while asleep is an extremely important practice.

    wisdomjunkie

    November 14, 2008 at 2:56 am

  9. There is a great book called Lucid Dreaming by Stephen Laberge. I think you’d enjoy it. While I do think that our perception of reality is as real as a dream, I do tend to think of reality as real and interconnected. I think the more mindful you are in life, the more mindful you can be in your dreams .

    Hector

    November 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm

  10. I had a dream about a crow sitting in a tree located in front of our patio window, this was during the time my husband was getting his cancer treatments. The next day after the dream It actually happened I had a crow fly in to and sit on that same tree in front of the patio window for an hour and a half. Creeped me out! Hubby is cancer free and doing great though.

    Priscilla Taylor

    April 15, 2010 at 7:59 am

    • i had a dream….im waiting for results…..grt to know you are happy

      rani

      January 21, 2014 at 4:33 am

  11. I had a dream today of me sleeping then waking up with a crow flying over me head just flapping its wings staring at me so i started punchin it trying to make sure it didnt get closer but it just sat there starring over me idk if that can mean something but i was awoken with the feeling of being watched and i still feel that way its weird i didnt get scared or nothing like… idk

    Cody

    May 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

  12. Interesting take on crows in dreams.

    I agree that those “dream interpretation dictionaries” are *usually* so much crap, but since myths start somewhere, there’s likely an underlying reason based in the truth, way in the past. Likewise, psychology is an iffy science (yes, science… albeit a “soft” one!) to rely on for answers, for the simple reason that people are all too different for a single thing–or two dozen things, for that matter!–to apply across the board.

    An excellent post! I’ve joined up!

    rory

    rory

    July 31, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    • Thank you for your comments. I really look forward to hearing from you on future posts. I agree with you that psychology is a “soft science,” but new research methodologies and advances in neuroscience (like functional MRI) are turning it in to a much more precise way of knowing. I don’t really know if dreams mean anything, but I love having them, and they, at the very least, point out to feelings and Impressions I experienced during the day. What do you think?

      Hector

      August 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm

  13. I thought this post was interesting and I found it after searching for what it meant to have a dream about a crow. I had an extremely weird dream last night in which I had given birth to a perfectly healthy, if not small, baby boy. A very positive dream, no sense of panic or anxiety. (I have no children, but plan on having them in the future, though not the near future.) But then, suddenly, my baby turned into a baby crow. A baby crow, inky black, swaddled like my baby was. But it didn’t affect how I felt about the “baby.” Then I turned around again, and the crow was fully grown. It wasn’t attacking, but it was still acting like a crow – flapping, some pecking, restless and captive, wanting to fly away. But still, no fear, just “We need to trap him so he doesn’t get away!”

    I’m baffled. I have no clue what this means, if it’s supposed to mean anything. But it was super, super weird. Any thoughts?

    Jamie

    August 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    • Jamie–thanks for your comment. I really can’t tell you what your dream means. I think only you can do that :) . Different people associate different things with crows and ravens. In some Native American myths they are the creators of the world. The Norse believed crows accompanied Odin and gave him wisdom. In the middle ages they were feared and were thought to be witches’ familiars. John (the comment above yours) seems to think that crows are symbols of impending danger, both in real life and in dreams. I personally disagree. I think crows are just clever birds with black and dark purple feathers, but I’d encourage you to do your own research. Dreams are interesting because anything can happen in them, and, other than the insight they provide or the way they make us feel (which is why I love them), they have little impact on us, or the world. There is no need to fear them. We are the ones telling the story. I think it’s what we do with them that counts, which is why dreams are so important. Plus, we all need our sleep.

      John– I am familiar with the book you describe. To be honest, I do not believe in dream dictionaries or in supernatural explanations for natural phenomena. It must be very frightening to live in a world where the coloration of a bird’s feather is taken to be a bad omen.

      Note: I edited my response again a few hours later to clarify that I believe dreams are important. I don’t think I got that across in my first draft.

      Hector

      August 15, 2010 at 3:15 am

      • I should add that, from what i understand, REM state (dreaming) is very important to our health.

        Hector

        August 15, 2010 at 3:54 am

  14. This interpretation is wrong. Crows or ravens in dreams or in life are imminent warnings of danger to come. There is a great dream book called: Zolar’s Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Dreams which is a great tool to aid one in interpretation. However, my experiences come from real life. You cannot simply dissect a dream and discount that there isn’t any supernatural forces at hand. It is this kind of thinking that leads people blindly astray.

    John

    August 15, 2010 at 1:39 am

  15. Excellant explaination of dreams i have ever read till date. A new window of thoughts will open on dreams to lots of people and make them enjoy of dreams rather than getting scary.

    Good job, thankyou for posting on website.

    sb

    October 3, 2010 at 10:48 am

  16. Last night I had my second dream about a crow.

    The first one he was like my familiar/one to guide me. He wasn’t actually a crow but a black cat-crow mix disguised as a crow. He spoke to me and guided me a lot throughout the dream.

    This time I saw a crow and put my arm out and he flew down and I said something to it and it kissed me (like licked my lips kinda thing).. I find this kind of weird.. Wondering if crows to me generally mean something good? lol

    and I TOTALLY agree with you (I saw so many things saying crows = bad.) In normal reality I see crows and have a weird feeling like a connection of some sort. Also I think they have a sense of humor since to me they sound like laughter. (I always joke about it saying they are laughing at the person I am walking with).

    I was wondering if you could maybe help me figure out what it could mean. (also in the first dream the crow was on a wire and watched me before hesitantly perching on me and revealing itself, this time was the same except not hesitant and it didn’t have a form. I’m thinking the two dreams might be linked.)

    Also, could you contact me? I love talking about dreams and trying to figure them out and there is one in particular that makes me wonder.

    Thanks at least for the blog post, I think it might have helped a bit =3 (email is there, if not it’s: sskittengirl@hotmail.com)

    Sskittengirl

    November 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm

  17. I NEED HELP WITH MY DREAMS ALOT OF THEM COME TRUE,THE ONES THAT DO HAVE CROWS OR RAVENS IN IT.BUT THEN THERE ARE THE BIRDS INREAL TIME,WHEN IM A WAKE THERE ALL AROUND ME.DOESNT MATTER WHERE I AM ..THERES ALWAYS A CROW.CAN SOMEONE HELP ME

    SHAWNE

    December 7, 2010 at 2:50 am

  18. After having a pleasant dream about a crow landing on my shoulder & becoming affectionate & also speaking with me, I woke up this morning remembering the details & wondering what this is all about. After searching the internet & finding all kinds of crazy interpretation both scary & positive, I found this blog. It’s been a while since I visited Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth and I need to go back there.

    Your idea that dreams are personal & are a good way to get to know yourself, makes sense. I am a birder. For me birds are one of the most fascinating species on earth. I particularly love crows, their intelligence, communities and their roosting habits. They are shy around me & never aggressive with the smaller birds. I only have to look out a window and my image sends them flying out of the yard. I wish they weren’t so suspicious of me. Hey, maybe that’s the reason of my dream!

    Thank you for an informative and intelligent blog!

    Rachel

    January 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    • Thank you for your comment. I love crows too, and I also love to dream. I think it is fascinating that our minds are capable of creating worlds as we sleep. I really appreciated your reply, and I’ll do my best to post something interesting soon.

      Hector

      January 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

  19. I do not agree with you. I do not dream when I’m bored in fact i dream when very emotional or stressed. I do agree with you when you say what things mean may very…. because those symbols are what the dreamer associates with that symbol for example a crow could mean something different to me than it would to you in the supernatural dream thing but I could be wrong since I’m not a goddess so it’s not up to me to say who’s wrong just like its not up to you. I don’t believe This is my theory and I say theory because no one has PROVEN yet what dreams really are : )

    During the deepest stage of REM, our subconscious mind becomes more dominant than our conscious mind. our subconscious is where all the things are stored that our mind cannot handle. the things that might drive us insane.This is our minds way of keeping us functioning on a healthy level. some people are weaker than others when it comes to this. Its like the door the the subconscious mind becomes open and everything just flies out and is all over the place. things like feelings, images, sounds. what is happening her is our mind is organizing and at the same time our body is repairing itself . that’s the point of sleep. So…these feelings attach themselves to images and sounds and yes, it crates a story…sometimes really weird stories. sometimes things can mean what they are and sometimes not. for example a snake can mean a snake because u saw one at the zoo yesterday but it can sometimes mean that the feeling attached to the image of the snake you saw is being crossed by someone in your life. that snake can be your boss who promised to give you a raise and didn’t or you friend is is trying to sleep with your man behind your back but in your conscious world you are in denial of it.

    your article was very good and clear. I likes it : ) because you care about something that I care about. Alot of people say its a waste of time and doesn’t matter but talk about dreams but I believe its a great way to get in touch with our feelings we don’t acknowledge during waking hours. you can lean alot about yourself form your dreams . I agree when you say don’t go by the books but books can be used by people to learn the different meanings to one symbol so they can apply it to their own dream. I read those books but I’m very in touch with my self so i know what a crow means to me but a crow can mean something different to someone else i know.

    Thank you for reading my reply : ) I hope its doesn’t offend you.

    amrita

    April 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

    • I’m sorry you took so long to get back to you, but I have been away from my blog lately. I am planning on blogging more soon. And, of course, I am not offended by your opinions. I think that in essence we feel similarly about dreams. To me, the most important thing about dreaming is that we do not waste our time at night. Dreams are an important part of our consciousness, and even if they had no meaning, they still something in which we can choose to invest our attention. When you think about it, attention is really all we have. Thanks again, and stay tuned for more posts about dreams. :)

      Hector

      April 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm

  20. my friend is getting scary dreams aboout a crow and getting flasbaks help[!

    sasha

    April 8, 2011 at 7:07 am

    • I’m not a psychologist, and my blog may not be the place to find the answer to a serious issue. I would not know what to do about flashbacks or dreams that are completely out of control. My suggestion is that, sometimes, it is a good idea to seek professional help. Remember, you do not have to go at it alone. There are many professionals out there who would be happy to help. I really hope that everything works out for you, and your friend. Best of luck!

      Hector

      April 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm

  21. The posts here, since I posted, are interesting. I’ve never had a dream ‘come true.’ My dream of an affectionate crow sitting on my shoulder….well, I wouldn’t mind if it did come true! And I don’t put any forboding spins on my dreams, whether they are peaceful or chaotic. After all, we all are masters of our own fate. That is, unless you are a true psychic, and the majority of us aren’t. A scary dream is only foreboding if you let it take control of you.

    I totally agree with Hector’s statement: ‘I think crows are just clever birds with black and dark purple feathers, but I’d encourage you to do your own research. Dreams are interesting because anything can happen in them, and, other than the insight they provide or the way they make us feel (which is why I love them), they have little impact on us, or the world. There is no need to fear them. We are the ones telling the story. I think it’s what we do with them that counts, which is why dreams are so important.’

    If you are afraid of a dream you had or find it foreboding, then you need to analyse why you are afraid and what you are afraid of. The fear is not in the dream itself and what symbols are in it or what happened, but in yourself because the dream came from something deep inside of you. Your dreams start out as a blank canvas and everything you experience in life can show up on it. I’ve come to the conclusion a dream is a great self-analytical tool and not to be feared.

    Rachel

    April 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

    • If there was a like button I’d push it! You’ve helped me put my dream into perspective. dreaming is and always will be a place for me to use my imagination – to escape from reality, but also a tool to help deal with reality! thank you.

      Bridget Gilbert

      June 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

  22. I dreamt of a crow sitting on head, and holding on to my hair just like a baby does, and I am laughing and trying to ease my hair out of the grip.

    i like crows, i think they are clever and lucky and friendly.

    n

    April 16, 2011 at 1:39 am

    • Your dream and response to it gives us a picture of your personality! I love your attitude!

      Rachel

      April 16, 2011 at 1:48 am

  23. [...] creo, como muchas personas, que los sueños son importantes (aunque no por las mismas razones). Unos creen, como Freud, que los sueños son una entrada al subconciente; otros, un mensaje de una [...]

    Cría Cuervos « Mamma Testa!

    September 11, 2011 at 1:20 am

  24. Last night I be-friended a CROW and couldnt believe how close it came to me while I fed it popcorn like I have in the past.Even when my friends pulled up to my house the CROW still stayed by myside..It was one of my most amazing dreams I have ever had.

    Martin L. Samaniego

    October 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

  25. Sorry but dreams are real and have a meaning. I am a native American Indian. There are deeper meanings in dreams. Pointless me trying to explain here as you believe science is the answer. Science answers only approx 2% of questions in our world and universe what about the rest?. In three days I will be 74 and I have devoted 51 years of my life to the study of ancient cultures around the world. There is more out there than we think science explains to us… There is far grater knowledge from the ancient ancestors than in science.

    Qaletaqa

    September 30, 2012 at 7:30 am

  26. This blog answered nothing….just links to sell books so the writer can make $$

    faith

    March 14, 2013 at 4:20 am

  27. Good web site you have here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    quotes About Life

    April 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm


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