Augury in the movements of birds.I am not fond of using omens,but I would like to learn where and how I may learn more on this art.Does anyone know any sources?Spirits?Famous Ornithomancers?
The most famous related thing in England is a poem which uses the number of magpies you see as omens: “One For Sorrow” - if you see a single magpie, you’re supposed to look for the second, and if you can’t see another, you can dispel the bad luck by greeting the magpie: “Good morning (afternoon, etc) Mister Magpie.”
That was the normal method when I was at school, or sometimes people spin three times counter-clockwise.
I believe this was originally because magpies mate for life, so seeing a lone magpie meant you were seeing a very sad birdie - but then like a lot of birds who mate for life, singletons sometimes join an established pair to act as a kind of “auntie” (or uncle) - anyway that’s what they told us at school.
I had a fat paperback book of British folklore and stuff, and that had an account of various aristocratic families who’d see a specific bird of a breed unlike any other just before a member of the family died, but I can’t even remember what the book was called now.
Sparrows are named as psychopomps by Stephen King in his book The Dark Half.
I think that’s all I have on feathered friends…
This is a really cool way to seek omens, because the amount of “variables” you have to draw on for your interpretations allow for a lot of flexibility. Here are some major categories of phenomena that might all be relevant for getting into augury:
Types of birds
These are going to be the most obviously important details to familiarize yourself with. There are mythological motifs to learn of, inferences gained from habitat/behaviour, and personal associations of your own that may have already cropped up. Consider the background research on these like familiarizing yourself with individual tarot cards when first learning to read.
Priority would initially go to birds common to your geographic area as that’s what you initially have to work with, but be prepared to eventually broaden your horizon: dream and vision appearances are highly subject to auguring, and physical sighting of a species wildly outside its normal habitat or migration zone cannot fail to be significant, if your mind is in the right place.
Numbers, Stationary/Moving in a Certain Direction
You can bring typical numerology into this, or your own - since you’re the one divining you have to use your own best instinct here. Also to keep in mind are the significance/aberration of a given numeric grouping in accord with the species’ typical behavioural patterns. Likewise traditional/personal associations of the different compass directions, as well as how they fit in to the given species’ known migration patterns and the timeliness/unusualness of what it is that you witness. All of these are things to absorb beforehand, and have in the back of your mind as ‘association-fodder’ when the time comes to make an augury.
Does it happen in a certain hour of morning, noon, or night? Is this routine for the species (or individual)? Bizarre? This is just one more detail to inform your reading, with as much or as little meaning as your wish to delve into.
If you really want to go deeper, I am sure there can be so much more to this, as with many divination systems. But for something to start with, I imagine this will be more than enough to try your hand at and see how you like the results.
i know NO traditional knowledge about this subject but i’ve had some experiences and i’d like to share them.
i once spoke in the name of one of the gods i hold the priesthood of, a few minutes later one white bird flew over me followed by 6 or 7 black ones in single file. i felt in my heart that it signified that everything was going to work out (and very well). it did.
another time i picked up all the trash out of my front yard (honestly its just a strip of grass…i live in the city…) as soon as i went inside i felt the urge to look outside, what i found was that there were 10-20 birds on the ground looking for food.
i took this to mean that everything i will touch will “bear fruit” so to speak.
then there was this morning. i stepped outside to find a flock of either ravens or crows flying in my direction. they all (almost in unison) turned and flew into the trees and landed in them and on my house.then they dispersed naturally.
i know that this means everything i’ve done will work out ok and that i must be patient.
i did a whole bunch of evocations over the winter solstice so i feel that this omen is directly related to that action. kinda feel like i needed it though, not having the things i asked for is really taking a toll on my emotional state.
either way i think Augury is a subject all should practice. its pretty easy too, all you have to do is look at the birds.
Years ago I saw a book on the meaning of the appearance of Australian native animals in your day, feathered, fur finned & even insects. It was great but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called I realize that this would be pointless to anyone not living in the great southern land, but thinking that an equivalent to your own native land may be available.