Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Raven and the Wolf: A Deep Connection

by Eva Gordon

In my latest novel, Book 2 in the After the Bane series (zombie apocalypse paranormal romance), Raven Moon my main characters happen to be a raven shifter and a werewolf. I really enjoyed creating this novel inspired by my power animal the raven and my teacher animal the wolf.
So why do ravens and wolves go together like chocolate and peanut butter? Ravens and wolves have a deep connection in both fact and lore. Here is a list of their connections.

1.    In the wild, ravens follow wolves and feast on wolf kills. Often taking as much as 1/3 of the carcass. In "Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds," zoologist Bernd Heinrich has suggested a basis for this association. Ravens lead wolves to their prey, alert them to dangers, and are rewarded by sharing the spoils. One study from Isle Royale hypothesizes that ravens encouraged wolves to form a pack to defend their kill from the ravenous ravens (

2.   They are both social animals and unusual for mammals and birds, ravens are socially connected to wolves. Bernd Heinrich in "Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds" wrote: "Ravens can be attracted to wolf howls. The wolves' howls before they go on a hunt, and it is a signal that the birds learn to heed. Conversely, wolves may respond to certain raven vocalizations or behavior that indicate prey. 
Dr. L. David Mech wrote in "The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species": "It appears that the wolf and the raven have reached an adjustment in their relationships such that each creature is rewarded in some way by the presence of the other and that each is fully aware of the other's capabilities. Both species are extremely social, so they must possess the psychological mechanisms necessary for forming social attachments. Perhaps in some way individuals of each species have included members of the other in their social group and have formed bonds with them."

3.    Like wolves, ravens are extremely intelligent. Both depend on vocalizations and visual cues to communicate. Both have a complex hierarchy system. Ravens are often called wolf-birds. 

4.      We can relate to both ravens and wolves because like them we live in social groups, love to play, hunt and communicate.  For me, the raven is my power animal and wolf my teacher animal.
5.  It’s no surprise these two magnificent creatures have entered out global lore and myths. Both are regarded as creatures of omens (good and bad), prophesy, magic, healing, and transformations. Native American myths such as the Athabascan Myth believed wolf spirit traveled with raven spirit. 

Nordic myths had Odin with his two wolves (Freki and Geri) and two raven companions (Hugin and Munin). 
 There is something magical about the raven and the wolf, which makes me want to soar with the raven and run with the wolf. This explains why most of my novels always have a raven or a wolf and often both.

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