After my dad died one of my nieces got a tattoo in his memory, and I started thinking about what I would get if I did such a thing. After all my tattoos all have some meaning – the forget-me-nots for two grandmothers lost to Alzheimers, the monkey for my kid, the Bert and Ernie for my marriage.

It took until this weekend for the obvious to enter my mind. My father was a graduate of Carleton University, as I am, as are many other members of the family. My father taught at Carleton for many years and was a supporter of the various teams, mainly basketball. In high school I did a coop in athletics and loved attending games. I am now back at Carleton, getting ready to earn my Masters. I plan to put my whole self into that experience and come out ready to thrive.

The teams there are the Ravens. So what about a Raven?

But isn’t that so simple? I don’t want a logo on me. I want a bit of art. And isn’t a raven a bad omen?

So, as the thought started growing I started searching around for what ravens can look like and what they might mean in different histories and cultures. And very quickly the picture became more and more clear.

Ravens stand for intelligence. The Norse God Odin was said to be accompanied by two ravens, one representing the mind and the ability to intuit meaning, the other representing the power of thought. The raven is curious.

In some Native American cultures the raven symbolizes the unknown and shows that every person sees the world in a different way.

The raven is the messenger – the spreader of news. Like my Dad, and me, in our careers.

It also stands for moving through transitions. Which I have been doing and will be doing for the next year or two. And then I can soar.


It all just makes sense.


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