Corvidomancy or Crow Meanings: What Does It Mean To See A Single Crow?

On a previous post about divinations and ornithomancy, we covered the old rhyme: “One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral…” (and other variations). However all the different versions I could find seems to point that seeing one crow is sorrow or bad luck. :raven:

I recently saw a single black crow and thought “that’s one majestic bird, how could that be a bad omen?”. So I set out to find more information on their lore and meaning, besides the usual superstitions.

Spiritual Meaning of the Crow

A single crow on a rooftop

Crows seem to hold a powerful place in witchcraft and folklore.

In Celtic beliefs, crows were seen as psychopomps, creatures who guide souls between the physical world and the Otherworld, the realm of spirits and the dead. This association likely comes from their carrion-eating habits. As crows scavenged the remains of the deceased, they were seen as a bridge between life and death. Some Celtic cultures even believed crows could shapeshift, further blurring the lines between the realms.

One crow on my notebook

Norse mythology features Odin, the Allfather, accompanied by two intelligent ravens named Huginn and Muninn. These ravens weren’t just pets; they were Odin’s eyes and ears on the world. Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) would fly out each day, gathering information and bringing it back to Odin. This association with Odin, a powerful god of wisdom and magic, elevates the crow to a symbol of keen intellect and connection to the unseen realms.

Crows are demonstrably one of the most intelligent bird species. They can solve complex puzzles, use tools, and even recognize individual human faces. This intelligence, coupled with their remarkable adaptability, makes them powerful symbols of transformation and change. Crows can thrive in diverse environments, and their ability to adjust speaks to the ability to navigate life’s inevitable transitions.
Source: Crows Are Even Smarter Than We Thought

Crow Divination

Also known as corvidomancy, this is the practice of interpreting the behavior and sightings of crows to gain insights into one’s life and future. This ancient form of divination involves observing the number, direction, and actions of crows to discern messages from the spiritual realm.

So, what does it mean when a crow lands on your car or on your window? Some believe that a single crow may serve as a messenger or guide, offering insights or warnings on your path.


Seeing a single black crow, often misinterpreted as an omen of sorrow or death, carries a deeper message. These seemingly negative associations, like the Tower and The Death cards in tarot, symbolize a necessary transformation. The crow, with its remarkable adaptability, reflects this perfectly. These symbols, like the crow itself, urge us to shed outdated structures and limiting beliefs. They remind us that significant change, though uncomfortable, is not an ending but a gateway to new beginnings.

Like with any divination method, it’s important to consider the context and your intuition. Here’s how you can interpret a single crow’s behavior:

  • Calling: Listen to the crow’s caw. A harsh caw might be a warning, while a softer one could be guidance.
  • Direction: Where is the crow flying? Is it leading you somewhere?
  • Behavior: Is the crow circling or perched on something significant?

Solitary Crow Wish Spell :crossed_fingers:

If you happen to see a solitary crow flying, you should quickly make a wish. If it vanishes from sight before flapping its wings, your wish will come true. However, if it flaps its wings you should turn away for ten seconds. If the crow has vanished from sight during that time, your wish will probably be granted.

From The Encyclopedia of Superstitions by Richard Webster

Counting Crows

Here are some sources and different variations of the crow rhyme:

Encyclopedia of Superstitions Richard Webster
From The Encyclopedia of Superstitions

From Superstitions by Diagram Group

crows get out
From The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland

Next time you see a single crow perched on a rooftop, pay attention to the encounter and trust your intuition. Crows might just be the feathered messengers you need to guide you through transformation and transition periods!


I loved reading this. I was with my client today, and we were both mesmerized by a beautiful Raven that stopped by to visit us. It was special. :green_heart:


Thank you for writing this up! I have always had a fondness for crows. I’ve been fortunate to cultivate a relationship of sorts with a breeding pair and a couple of their friends. They visit my yard multiple times a day. It’s been a delight slowly getting to know them and vice versa.

I love the crow wishing spell you shared and can’t wait to try it out soon!


Thanks for sharing this post is very insightful :blush: I often see crows and see nothing but beauty and mysteriousness, but it is always in the back of my mind that there must be more to seeing them like a secret meaning of sorts.
Also loved the part of the poem “Crow, crow get out of my sight, or else I’ll eat thy liver and light” :laughing: I giggled and then said poor crow what did he ever do for the poet to say such a thing :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


I have several crows and jackdaws in my garden. They never give me an unpleasant feeling


We have a few crows living in the neighborhood - they love the windy days when there’s a strong breeze from the sea. I’ve seen them playing in it! They jump in, let the wind carry them up, and then float back down to do it again. Seeing them makes me smile :raven: :blush:

Looks gorgeous - that turned out amazing! :writing_hand: :sparkles:

Thank you so much for the corvid folklore, wisdom, and divination - this was fun to read! :raised_hands:

Gif from Tenor


Art by Athene Noctua, from the Fated Oracle Deck