Crow by Boria Sax

As I am working with crow symbolism and meaning, I am currently reading this very interesting book by American writer Boria Sax. It spans science, folklore, history and mythology of the corvid family across different cultures. What is fascinating in chapter three is the account given by the Roman historian Livy of single combat between a giant Gaul and Valerius Corvus, ‘Valerius the Crow’ (p56) where a Raven landed on his helmet and helped the warrior win the battle by swooping on his foe. This idea of a Raven/ Crow helmet is further exemplified in the chapter:

“A Celtic helmet of Iron from the second or third century BC, found in Ciumesti, Romania is topped by an image of a Raven with hinged wings.” (p57)

I found this idea of A Raven or Crow helmet very inspiring and wanted to incorporate it into the current work I am creating about my father. His links to Celtic and Irish history and our original ancestor: Caoilte. The Crow or Raven is intimately linked to the Celtic Battle Goddess The Morrigan.

What is also fascinating is the ambivalent symbology of the corvid over time:
“The crow or raven might represent extremes of good or evil, depending on the context in which it appeared” (p80)
and the alchemical symbology of the Corvid:
“The raven eating carrion, even the dead bodies of human beings, signified the transformation of all things as the world, slowly but inexorably, moved towards perfection.” (p81)

In corvids, I find the reflection of human nature and the symbology of the internal/ external battles we face as individuals: the armour we wear and the allies we choose.
As humans, we see through our own lense of perception; we anthropomorphise the nature of corvids which is essentially something ‘Other’.

Crow Paper

Crow Feather Paper
Created by a stencil I cut from a crow feather and using pulp painting with thread added too. Made with the help of Sue Debney In the Salford Art School Print Room. It has the suggestion of a feather through reshaping the form by hand whist allowing the pulp and thread to fall and flow where it will. The process is fairly long and involved and I am busy collecting meaningful shreds of paper and detritus to pulp