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In heraldic depictions, the raven and the crow are nearly indistinguishable from one another. The raven, a device of supposed Danish origins, has been used in heraldry since the early 13th century. It symbolized wisdom, longevity, cunning as well as hope.


In ancient Celtic culture, the raven is associated with prophecy. In Norse mythology, two magical ravens serve as messengers for the god Odin, who is also known as Hrafnáss ("raven-god").


The Native Northwest Coast People regard the raven as the "keeper of secrets." The Haida story of "How Raven Stole the Light" metaphorically addresses the mysterious duality that surrounds this bird: darkness and death on one hand and, on the other, light and creation.


To the ancient Celts, the raven was associated with prophecy, death, and war. Sacred to the Celtic warrior god Bran and warrior goddess Morrigan, the raven also served to guide the souls of the dead to the other world.