Crow Tattoo Meaning

Crow Tattoo Meaning

Uncover hidden superstitions meanings

Tattoos have become popular and it’s hard to believe they are so old, the 5,300-year-old iceman found in the Alps was decorated with various abstracts including dots and dashes and again these were found on Embalmed Egyptian bodies almost 4,000 years ago. If you are looking for a crow tattoo on your shoulders, chest, neck, or hand then this animal totem has spoken to you.

The fact is that we all have a tattoo god whispering to us unconsciously and it’s more than just skin illustration. I’m here to help you understand what the crow can mean if you are considering this tattoo. In culture, we are naturally programmed to believe crows are a warning sign of evil. The crow’s spiritual significance has developed over the centuries and if you are deciding to inscribe this bird onto your body then it can add real meaning to your life. 

When I look up to the sky I always remember one important fact about Crows – Crows have a mental age of a 7-year-old child? Crow’s are known to be intelligent, smart, and creative. Tattoos can express your identity and it is positive to focus on the beauty of this wonderful dark bird. Most tattoo shops have portfolios and binders to acquaint yourself of how the crow tattoo could be drawn. If you already have a crow tattoo and wonder what this means when you rock this tattoo then this is a positive omen. 

What is the meaning of a crow tattoo?

To have a crow tattoo inscribed on your body spiritually means that you have a connection with spirit. When it comes to choosing the symbol of your tattoo remember that the crow is wise and clever and knows the different elements of the afterlife. Those that have crow tattoos would naturally have the following traits:

  • Wisdom and love of other people
  • Understand the hidden meaning of the universe
  • Able to soar up to the great heights of spirit.
  • Deal with change and complications with ease.

The placement of your crow tattoo also has a spiritual impact. A crow tattoo that is in a visible area such as your hands, wrists, ankles, lower arms, or neck indicates that you are connecting to spirit. The black color of the tattoo can suggest that you are stretching your spiritual power. The first thing I want to say is let's consider the color scheme. Do you have or want a subdued tattoo? If so, a black or gray design is your best bet, and with the crow being black this kind of rules out other colors. 

Is a crow tattoo good or bad?

But even with that, tattoo experts tell that people tend to associate the crow symbol with mystical, dark, or ominous signs. They are also known to have a meaning that is positive, though with a dark side on it.

You will come across different meanings of black crow through various cultures. For the middle ages for example, when a dead crow is spotted, it is a sign of a great fortune and the Chinese normally consider this bird as a loving symbol, representing people’s creative side. 

When someone gets tattooed with a crow symbol, it can suggest that the meaning of life will change. The deep interpretation of the crow tattoo normally lies in the design’s intricacy. One crow might be a representation of good luck, two crows is a normally bad omen, might mean problems with one's health, three crows might stand for an increment in wealth, and could be a representation of severe sickness and even a representation of death. 

Crow Tattoo Design

Most people say that the symbols tattooed on their bodies are for the spirit world / our afterlife. To ensure you take the correct message with you when you cross over to the other world be mindful that crows are not necessarily a bad omen. You should pick the design of your crow tattoo carefully as some small details might completely change the meaning. From the future, love, and wisdom, you can end up quickly with something similar to a bad omen with one mistake.

Small crow tattoo meaning

When you decide to have a small crow tattoo, what does it mean?  Crows might also come out as a warning of having a duplicitous figure present.  They are symbolic of intuition and transformation. A smaller tattoo will still carry the same meaning I have detailed above, but also trust your instincts to see what is right and not right in your environment.

Black crow tattoo meaning

Most people consider having to see a black crow a bad omen. While there might be some truth in it as they represent foreshadowing of grief and sadness, it is not the only meaning to a black crow dream. When you see such creatures because they are known to be intelligent, can be a sign of intuition or wisdom.

This is normally a message from your subconscious. As crows can fly between the land of the dead and the living. When you choose the color black, it signifies your feelings and thoughts about transformation in life.

  • Is the crow tattoo in the air or stationary? The meaning of the image of your tattoo is important. If the crow was in flight, then it denotes some issues are hidden in your subconscious mind which demand attention. If you don’t end up bringing the issues to the surface, you will end up having difficulties moving forward, and to have a tattoo with the birds in mid-flight means you are on the path to spiritual abundance. 
  • Crow tattoo with flowers: If the crow is near flowers then it denotes that your current course of action will end up bringing love and passion. This is a positive symbol of change especially if you have an odd number inked.
  • Crow tattoo meaning circling something: To see a crow that is circling something or someone is a representation of you making a final decision about placing an end to a certain relationship. To have rounded tattoo patterns can mean you are seeking the spiritual truth.
  • Crow tattoo meaning on your shoulder: This is a great omen, it can suggest a particular revelation or information which in the process will help you in making better decisions.
  • Crow feather tattoo meaning: The feather of the crow is symbolic of change. If you decide to get this on your body it can indicate that you are going to experience a change of mind and heart in life. This is however a good spiritual omen for your tattoo.

What do the crows symbolize?

In order to go deeper into the meaning of the crow tattoo, it is important to understand the spiritual meaning. Crows are known to be symbolic of change and transformation. They are creatures that are watchful that have a powerful and sharp foresight. If you happen to cross a crow and feel that energy, this is the hidden potent power that it can transform the bad into something useful or foresight.

The crow is a representation of transformation or change. But more than that, it tends to refer to a more emotional or spiritual change. The crows being intelligent birds, tend to give out valuable insights into situations that are around you, helping to adapt whenever the need arises. 

Crow tattoos hold power

Crows are known to provide powers that are potent for protection. The birds are known to be intelligent, protecting their nests and their territories. They manage to ensure trespassers are warded off which are bigger than yourself. 

It is a power, which when transferred to you, means that, apart from your loved ones, but also you and whatever you possess will be protected. It can be anything from what is rightfully yours to whatever you might own. The power animal will help you in keeping your things sound and safe. 

Crows tend to be helpful when you are in high need of creativity and mostly when you have a situation that can be referred to as life and death. The birds can help in thinking out of the box, especially when your survival happens to depend on it. But how does this apply to tattoos? It means that if you decide on getting a group of crows (known as murder) then It could be a bad omen. Many people want to show others they have wisdom and a crow is a good representation to this, as well as intelligence. 

Crow tattoo placements and meanings

It is important to remember your tattoo is a long-term statement and the size and position of the crow tattoo will make a difference to the meaning. The place you decide to have your crow tattoo also alters the meanings. 

  • Crow tattoo on the arm: People who happen to have a crow tattoo on their arm are known for their handiwork and creative nature. They don’t require to be artistic but they have what it takes to take to come across and transform life into something meaningful. 
  • Crow tattoo on the shoulder: In any challenging or complex situation, it is possible to count on this person to be able to come up with an unorthodox solution.
  • Crow tattoo on the hand: this is quite an interesting placement, it provides the ability to overcome frustrations as well as being helpful. The hand placement is all about how we navigate life and the crow tattoo on the hand can signal the wearer will approach life with wisdom.
  • Crow tattoo on the body: Those who have a crow on the body have a lot of integrity in their personality. Apart from being insightful, they tend to be mindful of their opinions and actions. Because of that, they embrace the mission of life and walk the talk. They normally shift from one change of life to the next with effortless ease.  Just like the crows, it can signal you have an eye for having sports opportunities and you ensure to swoop in immediately you see one.  
  • Crow tattoos on the ankle, legs, or feet: Choosing this placement (on the lower part of the body) means that you could have an ability that is unusual and you will see far beyond what is apparent. The crow is known to be an intelligent creature that has a high power of intuition and observation which many other animals tend to lack. They lend you with same characteristics by giving to you the power of insight that is normally accurate. In short, the crow on the foot or ankle is one of insight, that is grounded, as the feet touch the ground and core of the earth.
  • Crow tattoo on the back: This tattoo placement is all about life magic and mysteries. It is a sign of luck that is associated with the likes of tricksters and thus, you will know that behind you there is always someone that will “trick” but you will naturally protect yourself. 
  • Crow on the neck or face: this placement can suggest that you will develop the power of transformation, sight, and the connection with the magic of life. 

I’m not going to bore you with loads of cultural stuff which other crow tattoo articles have done in the course of my research, when considering the placement of this bird on your body it is important to just be aware of both the negative and the positive symbolic meaning with the most common ones being:

  • The mystery of creation and  life magic, 
  • Intelligence – the crow tattoo denotes you hold wisdom
  • Personal transformation, destiny, and alchemy
  • The crow tattoo wearer has a higher (more spiritual) perspective
  • That the crow is audacious, almost fearless
  • There is adaptability, flexibility, and the desire to win when having such a tattoo
  • You can overcome being manipulated, tricked, and identify mischievous people in life.

Should I get a crow tattoo?

A tattoo tells a story, when choosing a design you need to decide what grabs you emotionally. There has to be some emotional connection. You could choose the most beautiful tattoo in the world, but if it is just for decoration then it might as well be just wallpaper. It does not have a meaning. 

Are Crows Bad Luck?

The crow in most instances is connected to magic and the power of being able to manipulate its physical appearances. Other meanings traditionally associated with the crow with its bad omen include dark witchcraft and death, sorry to say! The crow carries the power of insight that is prophetic and symbolizing the core or void of creation.

It is possible to find crows around the globe making them be a reminder of magic everywhere. When encountering a crow in real life, you should just try to tune into its behavior and it will give you a clue on the way to utilize the magic powers which it carries.

Because of having an affinity with the mysteries of life and magic, the crow is normally seen in most shamanic traditions as being a spirit animal that is chosen most often for people practicing magic and it has the power to manipulate the physical universe laws. The crow used to be what shamans preferred, especially the ones who do shapeshifting and witchcraft. 

Weird things that you should know before getting the Crow Tattoo

Crows are known to be black with tints of blue, depending on the light which is shining on them. Their color is normally symbolic of the creation’s onset, of the void, or what hasn’t taken form yet. A fascinating bird, carrying the life mysteries energy and the power for inner transformation that is deep, that is what the crow is all about. 

The crow will be able to guide you by ensuring you get in touch with the mysteries of life and develop your ability to perceive subtle energy shifts that are within yourself and the environment around you. It tends to have the ability to go beyond the illusion, especially the right and wrong duality, the inner and the outer side of it.

Crows are known to be able to build their nest on tall trees. Because of doing so, they can get a clear perspective or vision on the rest of what is surrounding them. If you happen to have the crow tattoo on your chest, you will be able to enjoy the position from where you can be able to see from a higher perspective, for instance.

The crow is also known to be watchful of predators and intruders. The sound which they make is normally characteristic of a loud, strident bird noise which can be able to warn the rest of the members of its clan in a wide area. Whenever you happen to see the crow spirit animal, you have to be on the watch.

The crow spirit animal a guide regarding determination and fearlessness

If you have ever watched a group of crows that are ganging up together they can be quite aggressive, they often chase other birds that are bigger than them, it is a trait that makes the crow be a useful animal totem that you need to call upon whenever you need support to deal with adversity. If the crow happens to become your tattoo of choice, you can be encouraged in developing your willpower. 

Crows are known to be able to get away with what they seem to be after, be it be food that is left on the roadside or having to sneak into the nests of other birds to tea or eat their eggs. If you echo this particular trait, if you have the crow as your spirit or totem guide, you might have to watch the tendency to be a bit manipulative or trick. 

Native American mythology meaning

The mythology of Native Americans emphasizes the intelligence of the crows. Some tribes believe that the crow is a trickster and they recount the various tales of mischief. Whereas there are tribes that have a belief of a crow being a happy sign believing that, through the wisdom of the crow, the fire was brought down from the heavens.

Celtic crow tattoo meaning

The warrior goddess, Morrighan, in the Celtic mythology, is assumed in the image of a crow or it accompanied by several crows. It is believed that, when at least three crows approaching, it is an indication of the goddess watching. 

Welsh mythology meaning

According to Welsh mythology, the sorcerers and witches could easily transform themselves into ravens or crows, which enabled them to avoid being captured. It is this bad reputation of the witches which made the intelligent birds to be associated with being the harbinger of death. 

Greek mythology meaning 

In Greek mythology, the crow’s intelligence is linked to Apollo as he was gifted with prophecy.

Chinese mythology meaning 

In the mythology of the Chinese, the elders depicted the crows mostly with the sun. The Chinese people take crows to be a sign of good luck, while its meaning tends to change when one hears the song about the crow.

Crow Celtic meaning and symbolism 

The crow is known to embody a combination of skills and abilities in most instances. Celtics honor crows to be a sign that is sent to them by the oracles or prophets in a practice known as clairvoyance. According to the Celts, they believed the crow carried secrets that are between the feathers which are on their wings. 

The Celtic interpretation of crow is symbolic that is significant, so prominent that they tend to believe the birds do have a connection with the creator deity and the sun, Lugus. The significance and importance of crow symbolism were so well known that when a crow was killed, it was considered to be a felony under the rule of the druid, and the crow was considered a black-feathered messenger. 

Crow Christianity meaning and symbolism

Often, there is confusion around the difference between ravens and crows when it comes to the Christian belief – as I mentioned earlier. Although the word crow is not mentioned in the bible, there is an explanation by Robert Young about certain original words in the Greek and the Hebrew Bible and the Christianity in the middle age. 

The difference that exists between both is that the ravens are known to be shinier and bigger as compared to the crows. When the crow’s explanation of its spiritual meaning comes out, the difference tends to be overlooked.  The symbolism of the crow is primary and that of the ravens in Christianity. When turning to the bible, we all know the story of the dove and the raven. Noah released both birds from the Ark to find out if the water from the flood had subsided or not, the dove returned due to the lack of finding food but the raven did not return. This demonstrates how tough the crow/raven really is. 

Crow Native American meaning and symbolism 

The meaning and symbolism of the crow can take a more positive meaning for native Americans. They tend to have believed crows to be the cleansers of both mind and land. The echoes of the belief can be seen in their folklore where they are portrayed in their intelligence of the crow as the most important feature.

While for the rest of the world it is seen largely as a dark omen, the Native Americans consider the crow to be a good fortune. 

The Native American culture had several crow tribes and clans that used to consult the crow whenever they needed a word of wisdom in times of need. The following are some of the tribes that see crows as a spiritual traveler: 

  • The Hopi, where the crow clan was called Ungwish-eungwa or the Angwusngyam.
  • The tribe of Chippewa whose crow and totem clam was known as Aandeg
  • The New Mexico Pueblo tribe
  • The Tlingit tribe
  • The Caddo tribe
  • The Menominee 

Dream of Crows

After we have had a tattoo of any description we often dream about strange things, after all, we have put this ink on our bodies. Did you by any chance dream about the crows? When you have dreams about crows, it is a representation of the dark side of your character or death. They mostly relate to habits that are annoying and display complaints. They convey a message from your subconscious regarding an upcoming negative change.


So whether you choose a crow tattoo or not remember that this is a spiritual bird. When I see a crow flying in the sky it always reminds me of the TV adaptation of the Game of Thrones the “three-eyed-raven.” Who could see into different spiritual realms? Crows and ravens are messengers from spirit. On considering this tattoo remember that many cultures in the West fear crows as they are negative, dark, and the omen of death and destruction.

By Flo Saul
Feb 14, 2021