A Murder of Crows: How Witches Read Signs and Omens

A murder of more than forty crows appeared outside my window today (a group of crows is called a murder). They were magnificent. The bay and the sky were gray, a perfect backdrop for the magick that arrived. Crows are magickal. There is strength, a pride that borders on arrogance, grace, and of course they’re famous for their trickery. I love that crows also have a deep sense of community and they post guards while feeding to protect the group. Crows and ravens are steeped in the lore of many traditions, and they fill our sacred texts with stories of magick and signs – omens. I rarely see one crow on the bay, let alone a murder. I felt fortunate and blessed.

Here’s why…

When something unusual happens in your life, take note. Synchronicity is playing a part in your life, and Life wants you to pay attention! There is a difference between connecting life circumstances that really don’t mean much, and finding meaningful synchronicities to guide you along Life’s path.

The crows visited at a time when I was feeling really good. So many wonderful things have been happening lately: I’ve started a new health regime, I’ve been able to focus on my work, my relationships are outstanding, and I just printed out the last draft of “Winter Shock” for the last edit before it goes to press. I made a last-minute change and named one of my characters “Raven” which is in the crow family, and the cycle of power for the Raven is Winter Solstice, which is the basis of my book. I didn’t remember that until I read about Crow and Raven today (Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews; I love that book!). Just as Crows and Ravens are in the same family (the only difference being size), Signs and Omens are in the same family, and often used to define each other in various dictionaries. So, the murder of crows was a beautiful sign of abundance, good news, and an acknowledgment of even more good magick coming my way. It was a sign that I am on the right path.

Sometimes signs are literal signs! Billboards and advertisements can be omens, especially if you ask for them. When is a sign not a sign? If you’re thinking about getting a new mattress and you suddenly see a dozen stores displaying advertisements that their mattresses are on sale might not be a “sign” that you should get the new mattress: Mattresses are always on sale. That is simply your mind trying to fulfill a need. We’re wired that way. If you’re not getting a restful night of sleep, that in itself is a good sign that you need to get a new mattress! True signs that take you farther on Life’s path are a little more complex than that, and it just takes a little practice to be able to interpret them for yourself and others.

The best way to see a sign is often overlooked: ask for a sign. Better still, ask for a specific sign. Make it something unusual. Sacred texts are full of stories of “asking for signs”. I once had an incredibly difficult choice to make that would change my entire life. Finally, one morning I asked the Universe to see a gorilla as a “Yes” sign. I chose a gorilla after a lot of thought; a gorilla would be unusual enough that I would know it was a sign and not a coincidence. If I had asked for an apple, it would be harder to consider that a sign! I thought I would see a picture of a gorilla somewhere. What happened was quite different.

I was very busy as my day went on, and not thinking about “The Sign” I had asked for. I pulled into a gas station where I normally bought gas. I liked the owners of the gas station. They had hired a sweet guy who was mentally challenged, needed help, and most likely wouldn’t have been hired elsewhere. He was always friendly, but never spoke beyond a short list of gas station lingo and always said, “thank you” like he meant it. I rolled down my window and instead of asking me what kind of gas I wanted, he asked, “Why do gorillas have big noses?” I was shocked and said, “Why?” He said, “Because they have big fingers.” And then he just laughed and laughed. He misunderstood my open mouth and the look of oh-my-Goddess-what-just-happened, and he started to apologize, and asked if he had done something bad. I said of course not, and that it was the best joke I had ever heard. The Universe had sent me a sign, along with a bonus sign to lighten up about Life’s decisions.

The crows are gone now, but their magick is still working in my heart, telling me to watch for the magick that the day brings. The crows are telling me to keep watching for signs that take me on Life’s path with gratitude and joy.

What signs have you seen lately?

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26 Responses to A Murder of Crows: How Witches Read Signs and Omens

  1. Robyn says:

    Great story!
    So, I’m wondering…is a grackle like a crow? There was one sitting on my tire cover yesterday singing a little ditty for the longest time and it struck me as strange.

    • Sally Dubats says:

      Hello Robyn! I just looked up Grackle: They are part of the Oriole family. Mostly “Grackle” talks about “Emotional Life Congestion” – and the balance between repressing and expressing emotions, and also doing something to change if our emotions are “congesting” our lives. Per Ted Andrews in “Animal Speak”, Grackle teaches “how to get back to creative and beneficial experiences and expressions of emotion.” Hope that helps! ~Sally

  2. Kaz says:

    I really enjoyed that Sally! I love Ted Andrew’s Animal Speak too and it’s always close by, in case I need it. (I’ve even had people phone me, or email me, asking me to look up the meaning of an animal or bird for them!)

    Signs and synchronicities have often played a part in my life… and I would like to share one example – although it is not a happy one, but seems relevant, as it happened 15 years ago this Friday – and reading your post was rather ‘synchronistic’…

    I was living in France at the time, in a little country village in the Charente-Maritime. As I drove about the countryside (ferrying my children about, shopping, running errands, visiting friends, etc) I often used to see hawks and they were my ‘messenger’ birds. If I saw 3 hawks on my journey, I knew I was going to receive a message.

    On this particular day, the 26th of October 1997, I was driving home and as I turned the corner into the road leading out of our nearby town, in the direction of our village, a huge ‘cloud’ of sparrows (or rather, a ‘host’ of sparrows) flew out of the hedgerow and across the road in front of my car.

    An unwelcome thought came into my head, as I recalled reading somewhere that seeing a host of sparrows was a sign of death.

    I had a truly horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach…

    Then I noticed a hawk sitting on the telephone wire along the side of the road, as I drove past it watched me. I dreaded seeing another hawk, but moments later, there was another, and further along the road I saw a third hawk and into my head came the thought “oh my god, Colin is dead.” I was convinced that, when I arrived home, there would be a message that my brother, Colin, had died.

    When I got home I was so relieved to find no such message, no phone calls, nothing – and I put it out of my head, telling nobody about it, other than telling myself that I was crazy.

    However, 3 days later, on the 29th of October 1997 I received the worst phone call of my life. My brother was dead. He’d taken his own life.

    I still can’t believe that it has been 15 years since my beloved brother left us….

    I have actually received wonderful, magickal signs and symbols over the years too and I am sorry to share such a sad story on this occasion – but it seemed appropriate to do so at this time of the year, when the veil is thin and our departed loved ones draw near.

    • Sally Dubats says:

      Dear Kaz:

      Thank you so much for sharing the story of the sparrows, the hawks, and your brother. I’m so sorry your sign/omen had to mean something so devastating. I agree: it is important to share these stories even when they are difficult because so often people ignore the important signs, and we, as a society, need to learn how to read them again. I believe that sometimes signs are to *prepare* us for an event that is inevitable – some things you can’t change or stop. Signs will give you that sense of forboding, and then the inevitable happens. For me, receiving a sign has been a gentler way of learning about things that are impossible to understand, such as the passing of a loved one. I will be thinking of you and your brother on Samhain when I light my candle for the departed. ~Sally

  3. Jesslyn says:

    I was searching for things to put on my altar to represent the Goddess and God, I saw and liked 2 vases that are shaped to represent the Goddess and God I saw in a shop, but was wondering what I will do with two vases on my altar. I tweeted this problem and someone answered to put salt in them and put candles in them, the next night I learned that my older sister is thinking of importing salt from our country to sell on another country and my dad brought 2 big sacks of salt for my sis 🙂 Maybe it’s a sign that I should really buy those vases for my altar 🙂 hehe

  4. Pingback: My Answers Blowing in the Wind | Taste of MoonGoddess

  5. Just a wonderfully profound post. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Sid says:

    Did you know that the various ‘caws’ of the crow mean something? Crow hunting websites can give you the meanings. For example, three long caws is a warning. If you hear that before a storm you can expect to be hit hard. When I camp alone I camp near crow nests. They always post a century and when they sound a warning I’m warned that someone is coming down the trail.

    • Sally Dubats says:

      Yes – I love that crows speak! I unfortunately do not know their language… I admit (and have been made fun of) for doing bird calls back at birds when hiking. I think crows in particular wonder what the heck I’m saying – it’s probably random things (with a human accent, of course) like “potato sports car chicken isn’t.” It’s enough to send any crow into therapy. Yes. I’m serious.

      • Rae says:

        Lol! I actually answer them, too. Usually in human speak though like, “yes yes I hear you, I get the message, thanks mom”

  7. Moira says:

    This is wonderful. I was looking for the meaning of this sign this morning because I saw a murder this morning of at least a couple hundred and I had asked the Goddess whether I was were I was supposed to be and let the yes be a crow because she knows how much I love them. I didn’t expect to see so many in one place but knowing that she really wanted me to know that I’m where I’m supposed to be and everything is going to be okay was a very pleasant sign since I’ve been so happy lately and really hate getting disappointments when I’m really happy (more than most because I’ve had some really bad ones). This was a really cool experience for me.

  8. On the night of a full moon I was with my group at home to celebrate. Then we all saw a murder of crows coming toward us overhead. Hundreds and hundreds of them. They landed in the trees nearby and were very loud. We all got goose bumps and recognized this as a very powerful sign of magick.

  9. Spartakboro says:

    Hi, dreamt last night of a murder of crows flying past me high to my right. What attracted me to see them? They were all calling out my first name over and over again!
    l like crows & enjoyed reading your description- thanks!

  10. Corinne says:

    The day my sister went into labour with my nephew, I was at her house watching her step-daughter. We were sitting in the kitchen playing a game, when this massive clamour arose outside. I rushed out to see what was happening and was floored!

    The half-dozen or so trees lining the road in front of her house were FILLED with at least a hundred or more crows, screeching and cawing and flitting and fighting amongst themselves. The noise was deafening and I went cold at the time, thinking they were heralding in death, and I was frightened for my sister.

    I never told anyone, worried my “putting it out there to the universe” would make it come true. Once the baby and mother were home safely, I schluffed it off to silly superstition and forgot about it.

    I suddenly remembered this morning, on my nephew’s 17th b-day, and decided to look it up. Now I really know it was a celebration heralding creation and life, as if our deceased Mother’s spirit was celebrating the birth of her first grandchild for all to see! Thank you for helping me to understand! Much love! Namaste! <3

    • Sally Dubats says:

      What a beautiful story! Thank you for posting it and for affirming the power of Crow magick.

      Blessed be.


  11. Tammy says:

    I just stumbled across this while looking into the meaning of crows as omens after seeing a murder crows in my yard this morning. I only occasionally see crows here, and then usually only 3-5 at a time.

    Just before these appeared, I had asked Spirit for a specific sign in regards to pursuing a relationship & whether the man in question & I would get our chance at making a life together. In less than 5 minutes after asking, I glanced out the window to see 2 dozen crows. I thanked Spirit for the sign, and within the next couple minutes their numbers swelled to about 75! Since the last name of the man in question translates as “crow” in Polish, I take this to be a very definitive, positive sign for our future together!!

  12. Kevin says:

    So riddle me this, a friend of mine committed suicide. Albeit, he had gone off the deep end, but his family was deep into — that which straddles the occult and politics, and they were trying to push him down that path. . .

    Anyhow, after his funeral, when we walked outside, there was a murder of HUNDREDS of crows. The parking lot was literally black with them. I don’t know how many there were, but many hundreds.

    I have never seen anything like it before, or since. The coincidence haunts me to this day.

    What say ye?

    • Sally Dubats says:

      Hello Kevin,

      I’m so sorry that you lost your friend. I don’t know how to interpret exactly what you saw, however, I did pull two Tarot cards. The first was the Nine of Swords, which is about having difficult thoughts that are so intense one cannot sleep. Life itself is disrupted by the thoughts. I believe these are to take us to a different point of view, think differently. The second card was the King of Wands, which is a light-filled card full of passion, truth, and promise. I can only think your friend is in a better place. I believe that we, as we live now, heal or hinder all the other lives that belong to us; all of our incarnations are living at once. Perhaps your friend’s other Selves and those in his soul group were healing him and pulling him to the Light.

      As for the crows… Hmmm… a year later from your original response (almost to the day) – I wonder what synchronicity plays out here now with this response.

      Blessings to you.


  13. Lisa Scott says:

    I love crows and ravens and a few weeks ago as I was walking into my daughters school to leave her lunch I had a black feather land on the floor in front of me. I looked up and there was a crow looking over the edge of the roof at me. I thanked him for the feather and he disappeared. I still have the feather but not sure what it’s meaning may be or if there is one but the feather is staying where it is

  14. Ayana Rose says:

    This article. Exactly this, and I’ll tell you why.
    It’s new year’s day 2017. I decided to put away 2016, and leave there what I did not need to bring with me. This was once a decision I could not make nor follow through with….well, life and happenings changed that. Long story short, spent quality time with s.o. and our kiddo. I hoped we could do more things like that, but also that I can do them physically; that I can achieve what I’ve set out to do. Past years I haven’t bothered, no time: had to get better. Chronically ill, but no longer chronically crotchety and p*ssy. ^_^
    I was thinking it today as we walked in between shops (used to be unable. One and done.), at the end of this thought, following the kiddo to the next shpp, bf says, ‘Hey, check out those huge birds….’ There were seagulls so I waan’t thinking much about it-until I look up and see four crows. And every one of them is looling at all three of us. It was a cool frozen moment, but one I wasn’t alone in observing, making it all the more valid.
    I wanted to look it up, the meaning/symbology, which is and isn’t a habit. Shared observations get researched. I thought about Animal Speak and how I should just get the book. And what book did you cite? Exactly.
    I still went on to check the other five tabs I opened ahead of time, this was 3 of 6, and I read it first.
    Thank you, and a very blessed 2017 to all.

    • Sally Dubats says:

      I love synchronicity. And, yes, “Animal Speak” is an excellent book.

    • april says:

      The same thing happened to me Jan 2, at 7 am…. crows have been making themselves known to me since July 2015. I went to the corner store, upon coming home there were 50 rows maybe more and smaller black birds. I thought odd , they weren’t there a min ago. My house was a dozen or so houses down. As I pulled in my driveway. They all flew to my house. Sat on the telephone wires and the house across the street tree across the street. And heard them flapping the wings in my narrow driveway. I recently had a baby, when I was told having a child 5 years ago would never happen. I’m still amazed I have her, and question where did she come from. I gave birth to her Oct 31 2016.

  15. ShannonW says:

    Hello from Canada!
    I have been enjoying all of these posts from everyone…i thought i would share my story as well, as that is what brought me here.
    I recently moved, not to far away from my old place..but i would walk back to that area almost everyday as i was helping my old neighbors.
    One day, about a month ago, around dusk, I saw tons of crows flying past…it seemed like they were following me on my walk back to my new place.
    I live downtown..so they didn’t go that far. But it was only 4 blocks or so away from where they started perching on trees. .prob for the night.
    Well,for the next month same thing happened. I really like crows.i recently saw a documentary on them and how smart they are.
    Anyways, i went for a walk in fresh fallen snow the other night…about three nights ago.. different path. And, there they all were!! I didnt see them untill i was right under and surrounded by them in hundred year old tall leafless trees!
    Everyone seemed to notice them! It was 9pm.
    I chatted with passersby and a little boy and girl w their mom were reacting too!
    Honestly, to me, it felt magikcal..i have been struggling lately..but recently i feel more optimistic. I took it all in as i pondered the possible meaning of it all, but mostly, i just felt at peace and in the moment.
    Also, two girls pointed out the two crows on a window sill…they just stared in. That was a bit creepy…but it made it a bit more interesting in a way..too!
    I am going to try and share photos somehow…but the crows also made local news 2days ago! Here in Ottawa, Canadas’ capital!

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