Over the last few days we have had at least one raven fly over the house each day. So I thought I would look into the 'meaning' of raven.
In the native American tradition, raven, throughout time, has carried the medicine of magic. Raven magic can give you the courage to enter the darkness of the void, the Great Mystery. Raven is the messenger of the void. If Raven appears to you it means you are about to experience a change in consciousness. This portends "You have earned the right to see and experience a little more of life's magic". Black can mean many things in Native teachings from the seeking of answers, the void or the road to spiritual or nonphysical.
Raven represents that something special is about to happen. The deeper mystery is how will you respond to the synchronicity of the moment when it happens.
In European folklore ravens are portents or omens that auger both good and ill. It was widely believed that a raven seen at the start of important activities such as hunting or fishing was a good omen. Unfortunately many of the superstitions are negative. An Andalusian belief is that it will be an unlucky day if a raven croaks over a house and there will be a death if it croaks three times. In parts of Germany it was thought that ravens contained the souls of the dead.
Of course an alleged centuries old tradition surrounds the ravens at the Tower of London. It is said that if they leave the Tower, Britain's downfall will soon follow. It has been shown recently that it is probably a Victorian invention. During World War II all the birds were killed during air raids and were not replaced until 1946 when the Tower reopened.
Ravens have also been messengers in many legends. In Tibet they were believed to act on behalf of a supreme being, in China it was believed they caused a storm through the forest to warn people that the gods were about to pass. The Vikings revered raven as it was the symbol of their chief god, Odin. It features in some native world creation myths and in some European traditions is believed to possess magic stones that can perform various functions such as healing and invisibility.
All in all, ravens are steeped in myth and legend. I for one love to see and hear them flying over the moor and I'm going to go with the idea that they are a good omen and something magical is about to happen!