Have you ever noticed a group of crows gathering in your backyard and wondered what it means?
Crows have different symbolic meanings depending on the numbers that they appear in. The old nursery rhyme states: “one crow sorrow, two crows joy, three crows a letter, four crows a boy, five crows silver, six crows gold, seven crows a secret never to be told”.
In many cultures, a flock of crows is seen as symbolic of both good luck and bad luck, with the interpretation depending on the specific beliefs of the individual.
Symbolism of Different Numbers of Crows
In literature and folklore, a flock of crows is often used as a symbol of impending danger or as a portent of death. For example, in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth,” the presence of crows is seen as a sign of impending doom, with the witches chanting “By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. Open, locks, Whoever knocks!” as a group of crows gathers in the sky.
In some Native American traditions, crows are seen as spiritual guides that help the soul on its journey to the afterlife. In these cultures, the presence of crows can be seen as a sign that someone is about to pass away or that their spirit is being guided to the other side.
One Crow Sorrow
Seeing one crow is usually regarded as a sign of bad luck or death. In some traditions however, like Native American culture, one crow is seen as a symbol of good luck, or a message from the spiritual realm.
In general one crow is a bad omen, and a warning of impending danger or misfortune. Other symbols of bad luck may include encountering a black cat, or experiencing a sudden gust of wind, as well as seeing a single crow.
Some people believe that bad omens can be avoided or countered through various rituals or actions, such as knocking on wood or throwing salt over their shoulder.
Two Crows Joy
Seeing two crows is a symbol of good luck and happiness. Other common symbols of good luck and happiness include the horseshoe, the four-leaf clover, the ladybug, and the rabbit’s foot.
In some cultures, certain colours or objects are also seen as symbols of good luck, such as the colour red in Chinese culture or the evil eye charm in Turkish culture.
Three Crows a Letter
Seeing three crows is a sign of a message or communication of some kind. Other common signs that may be seen as a message or communication include repeated coincidences or strange dreams.
Four Crows a Boy
Seeing four crows is a sign of the birth of a male child. There are many old wives’ tales that suggest a baby will be a boy. For example, some people believe that a pregnant woman who experiences heartburn or cravings for sweet or salty foods is more likely to be carrying a boy.
Five Crows Silver, Six Crows Gold
Seeing five or six crows is a sign of the acquisition of wealth or valuable objects. Other signs that suggest money is on the way include finding a four-leaf clover, seeing a rainbow or finding a horseshoe.
Seven Crows a Secret Never to be Told
Seeing seven crows is a sign of a secret or mysterious message. In many cultures, crows are associated with intelligence, mystery, and the occult.
Overall, the number of crows has long been seen as a symbol of both good luck and bad luck, with the interpretation depending on the cultural context and the specific beliefs of the individual. Whether seen as a sign of death or a portent of good fortune, crows have long been revered as powerful symbols with a deep meaning and significance.