26 August 2008

Why a Crow?

Here's a great article that shows what I've known all along. Duh.

Some of you--even my closest friends--may not understand why crows resonate so strongly. The answer, like any good answer, is multi-faceted and rich with connections.

The noble crow was the child of Apollo, god of wisdom, prophecy, art, dance, and masculine beauty. He once sent the crow--who was originally white with a beautiful song--on an errand to fetch a cup of water. The crow was Apollo's sacred bird but, being a crow, became distracted by a fig tree and lingered long on his quest, keeping the god waiting. When he finally returned, Apollo punished him by staining his fine white feathers a deep black, and transforming his song into a raucous cry. Some believe the crow delivered news of an affair for which the disbelieving Apollo punished him and all his kind. Knowing Apollo--and crows--I think either one is possible: gossip or distraction, a crow is often up to mischief.

Because of this history, the crow is a symbol of Apollo, to whom I feel a strong affinity. Crows are also just plain likeable: Ever hear crows squawking first thing in the morning? They're very social animals, with which I identify. They're smart, like the one I saw in Rome trying to crack open a nut by dropping it from above. That's not the best part--it wasn't working because the crow was dropping it on plywood; the bird flew down and investigated, then took its nut to a stone surface! So smart!!

Apollo, that masculine paragon, was the most visible of the Greek gods who took male lovers. Alas that things don't always work well for mortals who have gods for lovers. His lover Hyancith--a gilded youth--was struck and killed while playing discus by the jealous west wind, Zephyr, and the grieving Apollo turned him into a flower.

As the god of wisdom and prophecy, Apollo was also the instructor of the centaur Chiron. Chiron--half man and half horse--had renounced the bestial ways of his kind and became one of the greatest teachers and astrologers in Greek lore. His students, famous servants of Apollo, included Achilles (who also took a male lover, Patrocles) and the hero Jason. When Chiron died, Apollo rewarded him with the greatest honor that could be bestowed on a mortal: he became the constellation Sagittarius.

So now, dear Reader, you have lots of links: crows, Apollo, Chiron, Sagittarius, and a lot of gay.

And proof that the bird is a soul-connection for me, the article linked above points out that crows have an "unusually keen ability to recognize one another, even after many months of separation." The perfect soul-symbol for a seeker in this big world.

Take that Andy Rooney.


Diabolina 3.1 said...

mythology+self awareness mixed with a lot of gay = GAR


good luck tomorrow!

WeezerMonkey said...

I feel rather edumacated now. I do believe you are the only crow I like, though. The ones outside my window wake me up every morning much earlier than I'd like.

Joseph said...

"The answer, like any good answer, is multi-faceted and rich with connections."

I'm going to steal this and use it at work. Especially with the students that really annoy me with their questions.