Totem of the Year

Raven with Justice Scales
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Crow – Animal Totem of 2020
One of the things that my animal guide teacher used to do was tell us what the animal influence of the year was. This year crow came to me and made it very clear that he is the representation of 2020.

So far we are only about halfway through the year, but we have been hit with one problem after another which has highlighted deeper government and social system problems. Just as crows see into the darkness to see what is hidden, we also are seeing through the shadows to the deeper problems lurking in our government and social systems.

Crows are extremely smart animals, able to problem-solve and use tools such as sticks to achieve results. The Coronavirus was something new that the world hasn’t seen in a very long time. Governments, businesses and citizens rushed to adjust to find a way to continue functioning and be safe. As with most learning processes, there were many bumps along the way. We struggled to use the medicines we already have to cure the virus, even while rushing to find new ways to deal with it.

During the quarantine, people have had to exercise self-control. During scientific studies, crows have been shown to be smart enough to hold off on getting a treat, if it means getting something better in the long term. The whole point of the quarantine was to try to hold off doing what we really wanted to, for the safety of the ‘flock.’ If we could flatten the curve, now it would be easier later.

Once crow finds issues he calls them out loudly and seeks justice. We can see this in the Black Lives Matter protests. Racial injustices and police brutality have been highlighted. In response, the people call out loudly through world-wide protests and riots in an effort to be heard and find resolve. Interestingly, crows have also been shown to remember who have harmed them, and pass that information onto other crows.

Crows also hold courts. If they believe one of them as behaved badly they will circle around it and punish the wrong-doer. These circles can become quite aggressive and violent.

Crows are social creatures, sometimes found in flocks of thousands of individuals. While the virus did force a lot of separation, humans still tried to find as many ways as possible to gain social support. It became clear how important being social is to humans as the use of video and social media skyrocketed to try to maintain connections.

I’m not sure what is yet to come, but as I am from America and with it being an election year, I don’t doubt that we will continue to see crow’s influence as the year goes on.

Lastly I’d like to point out that even though crows and ravens are both black, they do not have exactly the same medicines. They are both very intelligent and share some similarities, but to always lump them together dishonors them.

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