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The Spiritual Importance of the Raven From a Tribal View: The Spirit of the Raven

Updated on February 13, 2017
Missy Smith profile image

Missy is a unique writer who enjoys inviting her readers into her thoughts through her poetry and other topics of discussion.  


Tribal Views of the Raven

The Raven is a very important part of most Native American tribes. They believe that this bird is the key to unlocking life’s treasures. However, one must be careful, because the raven is considered untrustworthy and selfish as well.

Some Native Americans also believe that a raven has the power to take possession of a person’s soul, mostly during birth or in death.

I, myself, believe we all have what I call a spiritual animal. One we feel we have a shared kindred spirit with while living as humans. I can’t say I believe we transform, or for a better term, are reincarnated into this animal as some Native Americans do. However, this was the mindset I chose as I came up with my poem.

God Gave Me Wings (Narrative Poetry)

My life on Earth came to a close,

and my flesh was left to burn.

My ashes were thrown off a

high mountain of trees, and

down below a fast running stream.

Observing my ash as it soared

through the air, I was still shocked to

realize I too was there.

Not in flesh, but in flight, I was covered

in feathers so black as night.

My eyes kept watching as my dust

caught the wind and disappeared...

it was truly the end; not of me

nor my spirit, just my body of human


I would no longer be confined in this

world of trouble, for me life had been

so full of sorrow.

I made a loop around again. I wish I

could tell my family and friends,

but my mouth would not speak; it seemed

to croak a low soft sound that came

from my throat.

As the air filled my lungs, I felt the warm

breeze, it comforted me as it blew

all around me.

I felt so free, so alive; God

had given me my wish to fly.

He made me a bird in my favorite


My eyes would now see simply the

beauty of nature.

Just like that, my woes were over.

I had no more thoughts' only deep


of my time in the air as I leaped off

a branch to stretch out my beautiful

long wingspan.

I feel nothing now but pure serenity.

You see…I did not die that faithful day;

I transformed into my destiny.

I am no more that being of sadness...

I’ve returned to this land brave and


I have returned in form of a glorious


What type of animal do you consider to be your spirit animal?

See results

© 2015 Missy Smith


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    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 23 months ago from Florida

      Thank you swalia. I thought it was an interesting concept to write about. Who wouldn't want to be as free as a bird if re-incarnated.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 23 months ago

      Very interesting poem...loved the concept!

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much aviannovice. I love that you saw the beauty and meaning in my words. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Amazingly, your freedom became as you transformed your soul. I like your style in this and the message is clear: humanity is the dust of life, while the innocents soar like they should.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for liking this poem tobusiness. It is really a spiritual bird and I enjoyed writing about it. :)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Missy, I absolutely love this poem. There is something very mystical about the Raven. I'm really not in the least surprise to learn that this bird is important in the Native American culture. My best dreams are those where I'm flying into the wide blue yonder, gliding on thermals like the eagle, escaping my cumbersome shell. Thank you for making me soar, if only for a little while.;)

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      That's all I really want, is for people to get me and what I write. So, in saying that, I am so very pleased you enjoyed this. Oh, and I am trying to smile more often these days. Thank you so much Faith.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Missy, this is a brilliant and beautiful poem! I truly enjoyed reading it and the freedom it speaks. I do love your beautiful smile in your new profile pic. Smiles are so welcoming. Being a mom is the most important thing you will ever do in this life!

      Really love your poetry.

      Peace and blessings

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Jodah. The young comment really made me smile. Like everything, getting older has its good and bad points. The wisdom and becoming less worried about what others think, are definitely a plus. The getting older looking is my own personal image problem. I just don't think I'm ready yet, but I would never want to be young again either, at least in mind.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Really Missy, Cherokee heritage that's great. Not a natural blonde though.. Who would have guessed :) and you look so young in your pic I can't imagine you having too many grey hairs. I totally understand about not having time to comment as life certainly can get in the way, especially with kids. Blessings.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for stopping by and reading this poem Frank. I too thought the videos were interesting. :)

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      Jodah, thank you for all your support. I love the concept as well, but like I stated, I'm not so sure about spirit animals and native beliefs. Which is quite funny considering I come from Cherokee heritage... My great-grandmother was full blooded. My nickname is actually Papoose (baby Indian).

      As you probably guessed, I'm not a natural blonde. I am, in fact, a brunette, but with grays coming around and me not being ready, it was bleach blonde or just deal with it, as I am allergic to brunette hair dye. I have embraced the new me at this middle age point. :)

      I will indeed check out your Eagle article. I feel I should apologize to everyone for not commenting as much, but life can get very active with two kids to raise on my own and it's Summer vacation right now.

      Thanks for the compliment on my picture. I felt it was time to smile a little. Take care Jodah, and God Bless!!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I enjoyed the read Missy, and the video was actually interesting thank you for the share... :) Frank

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I love the concept of this poem Missy, and the poem itself is a delight as well. I love birds and crow and ravens are among the most intelligent. One of my favourite poems is in fact Poe's "Raven." If I have a spirit creature I'd say it was the Eagle, a bird I have written about. Great video too, well done. p.s. also love your new profile pic.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      The videos I found are so awesome. Very inspirational in telling the story of a raven bird.