Ornithomancy: Divination from the Flight and Cries of Birds
Birds are majestic creatures and have long fascinated humankind as messengers of the spirit world. With the ability to walk on land and fly through the air at will, to live among the trees and bask in the glory of the earth’s bodies of water, these amazing creatures are mystical enigmas. Divination from the flight and cries of these wondrous creatures is an ancient practice dating back to ancient Greece (ornithomancy) and Rome (auspicy), although other cultures used this ancient art as well. This form of divination is easy to use and involves learning the meanings and symbolism of three separate things: 1) the actions of birds 2) the color of birds 3) different bird species. Once you have mastered those three challenges, you will become a natural at bird divination.
How do you begin? Start by noticing the birds around you. Probably you encounter birds in your life everyday. Pay attention. Do this particular bird’s actions seem significant? Not all of them will, so do not become overwhelmed. You will feel a pull to pay attention to this bird. Sometimes there may be patterns that emerge, so pay extra special attention when this occurs because the birds are trying to get something important across to you.
1) The Actions of Birds Have Different Meanings
If a bird flies horizontally, you will reach your goal, but the going will probably get tough.
When a bird flies from right to left, it’s a sign that you will achieve your goals with ease.
If the bird flies from left to right, be prepared for some delays or obstacles—you may need to rethink things. You may need to seek advice.
A bird flying straight toward you means things are quickly improving, and happy days are ahead.
A bird flying high and fast—or better yet, flying straight up—means excellent and speedy success!
A bird flying quickly away from you warns you to proceed with caution and delay plans for a short time to get your bearings.
If you see a bird land and take off several times, or flying erratically, you need to go back to the drawing board because there are unseen problems to be resolved before you proceed.
If the bird in question takes off and then changes direction mid-flight, you’ll need to be flexible, because of a change of heart may lie ahead.
A bird that flies against the wind—those that seem to hover—this usually means that someone you’re dealing with is not what they appear to be; someone who you think is your friend may not have your best interest in mind. Beware.
2) Bird Colors
Sometimes flight patterns are not enough to give you the knowledge you need. What color is the bird? If you know that, you can take the divination a further step into identifying the prediction you seek. Here is a color list:
Red: a sign of good luck
Orange: excitement and bliss
Yellow: keep your guard up; a warning
Green: an adventure is ahead
Blue: love and joy
White: happiness and joy; a very good omen
Gray: peace and contentment
Black and white: you will avoid trouble
Brown: good health; healing; assistance
Brown and white: happy hearth and home
Black: a warning of danger or a show of the unseen
3) What Specific Species Mean
Blackbird: a fortunate omen
Bluebird: happiness, spiritual awakening
Cardinal: life-changing events, take care of your health
Crane: use all the wisdom at your disposal
Crow: usually a bad omen; cawing means you may have enemies working against you, so its time to bump up your shields, but if it cries three times it is favorable; a crow in flight foretells of upcoming travels.
Dove: highly fortunate, indicating peace, love and happiness; a goddess bird, promise for the future
Duck: a sign of a stable relationship; a quacking duck is lucky
Eagle: usually indicates misfortune, but can represent power, strength, and the matters of empires and leaders; Using your skills wisely will bring about success
Gull: you may soon travel
Hawk: soaring above your head means you will be victorious
Hummingbird: faithfulness, joy, prosperity
Jays: being tough when it is called for, success through perseverance
Magpie: good or ill fortune depending on the number seen, as in the rhyme "One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy"
Owl: hooting three times foretells a big change in status or an impending death; otherwise, its appearance can mean magic and wisdom
Raven: if met before going up against an obstacle, you will be victorious
Robin (North American): if you see one in the morning, you may have guests later in the day; if one nests near your home, it’s very good luck
Sparrow: means domestic tranquility; a nest near your window may mean strife in your love life
Woodpecker: your work will be a success
Wren: The luckiest of birds, seeing a wren means good fortune will definitely come your way; current situations are improving
Try Out Your Own Divination
You will need a plain white paper plate, birdseed, small pieces of bread, a pen, and your journal. Come up with a single question that you would like to have answered. Meditate upon it. Once you have settled upon your questions, write it on the underside of the paper plate. Turn the plate over and fill it with birdseed and bread pieces. Then say this charm over the seed:
My feathered friends, hear my request,
Of the gods’ intentions you stay abreast.
Please join me for this humble meal
And share your news, let none conceal.
Your most wise counsel do I seek,
By wing and feather, tail and beak.
Put the plate outside where the birds are most likely to gather. Wait and watch. Pay attention to how they arrive. Which bird arrives first? From which direction? Pay attention to all of their behavior. How do they leave? Now jot down notes in your journal.