DISCLAIMER. if you came here expecting a long speech about how tortured my life is and the exquisite pain that i experience on a daily basis, you need to go back to reading your anne rice and watching the crow. Raven is dark and mysterious, i admit, but that is not what He is about.

"Use your Gifts, Childe."

This phrase, used ad nauseam, was my introduction to Raven. that is what He would tell me incessantly any time i asked Him a direct question about what would be happening. He would almost never tell me specifically what was going on; He seemed to prefer to watch me squirm as i tried to get by on my own underdeveloped resources. time and again i would find myself cornered with nowhere to go and turn to Him only to find Him laughing at my desperation.

at the time i was not sure whose influence i was under, just that they were there and they had plans for me. i had just begun exploring my abilities; years of catholic and assembly of god training had taught me to fear that which i was; anything even remotely nonphysical was either a gift from god, or, if it did not agree with their beliefs, a trick from satan. usually the latter.

after falling from favour of the church for questioning their blind faith, i started exploring my abilities, unhindered by an overbearing paranoid hierarchy. i studied many different belief systems and philosophies, some more extensively than others. through all my wanderings, a single voice crooned to me through all the confusion. it was quite elusive, this voice; like seeing something out of the corner of your eye. you know something is there, but are unable to clearly define it. no matter how hard i tried, i never could quite catch it.

eventually my studies led me to animal guide studies. i had long believed that all systems were arbitrary, that it was the intent and the meaning behind the particular system, and it seemed as good a system as any. i found the similarities between the tribal american and northern european animal guide systems quite intriguing; comparative religion came second nature to me. the more i studied these syhstems, the more they seemed to make sense, in a way. i still believe that the system does not make a bit of difference, but foci are a vital part of spiritual being.

i studied all the different animals pretty much equally at first. a few of them kept reappearing in my reality and would not go away. friends of mine actually associated me with Raven long before i accepted it myself. it seemed a bit too convenient and stereotypical...the lightbringer who sacrificed part of himself for the betterment of the whole. it took me quite a while before that voice...the same voice that had been there from the beginning, the voice who sung me to sleep and screamed deafening curses when we disagreed...finally started telling me things which were relevant to my work. it all started falling into place. "Once you have realised That Which You Are, some people will fear you and not know why and others will be attracted to you and not know why. This is the Way of it."

the more i went with it, the clearer things became...note that i say 'clearer' and not 'easier'. things have never been easy, nor do i expect that they ever will be. that is the nature of the Path, or so i have been told.

once i started realising my ability, Raven started revealing more and more about His nature and what that means. historically, He has been saviour and sinner, protagonist and antagonist, sometimes both at once. Raven is paradox personified; being everything and nothing at the same time. His motives are equally mysterious; often the good that comes out of one of His actions are merely a side-effect. that is not to say that he is evil; in fact He is beyond such primitive concepts. it is not the action, He tells me, but the intent and the energy which determines alignment.

we became increasingly intimate; Raven became my lover and my enemy at the same time; dangling bits of carrot in front of me only to smack me in the face with them later. He became my best friend and total stranger; at times i am a part of Him, others i am apart from Him. He teaches me things about other people that i wished never to know; he teaches me things about myself that i wished never existed. we have an identical set of matching gouge marks; mine in my shoulder and His on His throat.

i do not profess to hold the key to all wisdom; these are just a few ramblings about what goes on in my reality. many of Raven's children do not agree; in fact they often contradict each other entirely. but that is all part of being one of His children; Raven is all things to all people, some things to some and to others he is just a shadow. being the master shapeshifter that He is, it would be surprising if any two people actually did agree on Him.

we Raven have a few characteristics which mark us as His, but most of them would be unrecognisable to one who did not have the same traits. the only thing i can liken it to is a shared event or experience; those who were there at the event can instantly recognise another as being the same, while those who were not would not see it; indeed, many would not see it even after being told.

Raven is probably a Virgo.

a few of the stereotypes do tend to hold true. we are excellent at surveillance; our vigilance and patience are employed with so much skill and care that it could almost be mistaken for voyeurism. if there is a rumour to be heard, a Raven knows it....but rarely divulges. secrets are our most treasured possessions; and our own secrets are prized over all. we may seem oblivious to our surroundings, but we are always paying attention. always.

we value honesty highly; however, we are not above deception when it suits our needs. we will generally not deceive other Family members, this is dictated by the appropriate Protocol. while it is not impossible to lie to each other, it is extremely difficult; we have a natural ability to ferret out the truth from bullshit. again, this is a natural kenning.

we are interested in how things work; many of us are analysts, scientists or technical workers of some kind. we love information and knowledge; most of us prefer books to movies or television, and live to hear tales and fables. we each have a unique skill which we excel at but rarely practise.  we have little patience for anything which does not meet our expectations or standards.

you do not ever want to ask a child of Raven what they think unless you really want to know in no uncertain terms. we almost invariably grew up loners and introverts; tact, while not unknown, is seen as pointless social ritual. once you have gained a Raven's trust [no easy task] and are deemed worthy, we will do anything for you. we do not let many people in.

being a child of Raven may sound very intriguing; to be able to convincingly become anything you wish and to have access to bits of knowledge long since forgotten; to have such a clean grasp on profound wisdom. be warned, however, that with anything comes a price. stability, comfort and blissful ignorance will be as strangers to you. there is no "off switch" for the floodgates of information which you have access to. much, if not most, information which comes as second nature to you seems at the time to be completely useless and trivial; however, looking back, you see that that same bit of information which you thought was completely pointless was, in fact, completely pointless. Raven sacrificed a large part of himself to bring light; you also do the same. the transformation is never easy, often painful and invariably permanent.

there is no elite clique to be joined; no summoning rituals or prayers. no amount of posing and questing will make you become accepted by Raven. it is like hair colour; you simply are or you are not. sure, you can dye your hair, but you and your hairdresser will both know the truth, and you will eventually be caught with your pants down and your true colours showing. He and He alone decides which are His and which are not. while it is possible to gaining His attention, be warned; Raven has little patience for games [well, at least games that are not His] and does not suffer fools gladly. nor do his children; to take on one is to take on One.

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