collapse

* Recent Posts

Author Topic: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination  (Read 7413 times)

Solstice

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« on: November 15, 2013, 02:51:26 am »
Does anyone have experience in ornithomancy/auspicy? I feel very connected to birds and want to pursue it as an alternate form of divination. Along those lines, can you practice ornithomancy on a pet bird? I also find a lot of feathers whenever I'm out in nature and wonder if there's such a practice as feather divination. If so, how does it differ from ornithomancy? What can you do with feathers?  

Already I have a specific question regarding an interesting sight I've not before seen. Last week, I was in the car with my family, coincidentally returning from an Edgar Allan Poe event, when suddenly I saw a mega-murder of crows dot the sky like black pepper. And they kept on coming. And coming. For about an hour there were an inexhaustible number of crows piling up in the sky. I did a little research and discovered this kind of spectacle isn't too uncommon, especially during winter months. Crows and other birds will form impressively-sized roosts to keep warm during cold snaps, but I also wonder if there is some additional meaning for me beyond the mundane, especially since I have an attraction to corvids and crow augury is foremost on my list of ornithomancy exploration. Though, I do understand that quest for meaning in the mundane reeks of: "I'm a speshul hyooman the crows gathered just for meeee not for any other reason!!" Unfortunately, I'm still straddling the line between OMG THAT BIRD JUST POOPED WHAT DOES IT MEAN? to OH THAT CROW JUST TALKED TO ME IT MUST BE SOMEONE'S PET -SHRUG- Not the best of analogies, but you get the picture.

I do address a secondary and a little more of an unusual occurrence, albeit more upsetting. A few months ago in the summer, I was standing by the front desk at work when I heard a huge SMASH against the glass front door. When I went to the door, I saw a small but beautiful yellow bird (I think it was a warbler) crumpled on the ground, writhing in pain spasms. I felt helpless to do anything, since the manager wouldn't allow me to leave the front desk, so I pretty much stood there and watched it die. It was one of the more upsetting animal encounters I've had, and just an upsetting sight overall. I managed to move it from the door off to a little nook on the side of the building so its body wouldn't get kicked around or trampled, and unfortunately, that was all I could do for the little bird. Now, I've heard of birds smashing into windows, mistaking them for the sky (not to mention it sounded like another bird was chasing it around), but to witness that happen, only then to watch it die--I still believe it was a powerful portent of some sort, but the meaning has eluded me. Then again, I no longer have that job, so maybe that was the portent. A little drastic of a message, but received nonetheless?

Anyway, I'm rambling. My point is: With ornithomancy, where do you draw the line between a message and the mundane? Unusual behavior? A connection? Feeling drawn to a certain bird and/or its actions?

Also, I'm curious to know about other peoples' experiences with bird signs and omens. I've got a little ditty about a seagull that swindled my deep-fried twinkie, but I wouldn't exactly call that an omen (maybe an omen of bad food choices). XD

Lastly, does anyone know of any good resources on the subject?

Thanks! :D

Sophia C

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Location: London, UK
  • *
  • Posts: 2030
  • Country: gb
  • Total likes: 69
    • View Profile
    • http://leithincluan.wordpress.com/
  • Religion: Pagan & Christian heretic. Druid, Gaelic-ish polytheist, some other influences
  • Preferred Pronouns: They/them
Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 03:50:45 am »
Quote from: Solstice;129483
Does anyone have experience in ornithomancy/auspicy? I feel very connected to birds and want to pursue it as an alternate form of divination. Along those lines, can you practice ornithomancy on a pet bird? I also find a lot of feathers whenever I'm out in nature and wonder if there's such a practice as feather divination. If so, how does it differ from ornithomancy? What can you do with feathers?  

Counting crows or magpies is common here. There are variations, especially once you get past seven, but the most common rhyme is:

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told...

This might be some nod back to a time when people did more detailed ornithomancy. I don't know of many folklore resources, and it will depend on the part of the world you're interested in, but I have a few books on Scottish folklore that have brief relevant references. 'Shetland Folklore' by John Spence (1899) talks a bit about bird augury - e.g. bird flight foretelling the weather or signalling a bad winter. There's a bit of bird lore in Gregorson's 'Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland', including negative attributes of the magpie. Simpson's 'Folklore of Lowland Scotland' has a chapter on animals with some bird stuff, including birds that were considered lucky and unlucky. These are all available at Alba Publishing's website as e-books, but some are also available free as PDFs elsewhere, as they're out of copyright, so do a search first. A more modern book is Damaher's 'Irish Customs and Beliefs', which has a great little chapter on birds, including the lucky robin and wren - it can be bought as an ebook on Amazon.

I think I've mentioned before the other bird superstition that survives here - a lone crow or magpie being bad luck, so you are supposed to say 'Hello Mr Magpie' or enquire about the health of the absent Mrs Magpie to deflect the bad luck. I learnt this one from other kids at primary school, and still find myself saying 'Hi how's your wife' when I pass a lone magpie. :D:
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

Elani Temperance

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Posts: 446
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.littlewitchmagazine.com
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 04:07:55 am »
Quote from: Solstice;129483
Does anyone have experience in ornithomancy/auspicy?

 
I'm sorry for your unfortunate encounter :( All I can give you is my way of bird divination, based on the practices in ancient Hellas: On oiƓnoskopos, the oracles of birds. As it doesn't work with encounters you have just described, I don't think I can help you with your interpretation of said events. I'm sorry.
Where I ramble on: Baring the Aegis
Where I try to be coherent: Little Witch magazine
My PaganSquare blog as hosted by Witches & Pagans
Hellenic Polytheistic charity circle Pandora\'s Kharis.

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 524
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 07:42:48 am »
Quote from: Solstice;129483

With ornithomancy, where do you draw the line between a message and the mundane? Unusual behavior? A connection? Feeling drawn to a certain bird and/or its actions?


Gut instinct. I've been exploring what I can only call "half-assed augury" (because I'm just making it up as I go along), and for me sometimes that trio of crows flying by is just a trio of crows flying by. And at other times, I see a signal from the Goddess in it. This almost certainly has more to do with me than with anything the birds are up to, but so what? If I'm getting useful, meaningful messages from my subconscious/sacred realms in this manner, the trigger doesn't matter.

Quote

Also, I'm curious to know about other peoples' experiences with bird signs and omens. I've got a little ditty about a seagull that swindled my deep-fried twinkie, but I wouldn't exactly call that an omen (maybe an omen of bad food choices). XD



The most important omen I ever got wasn't from a bird seen in real life, but from the presence of a bird in a dream. So I'm not sure if that's the kind of experience you're looking for.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Solstice

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 02:12:31 am »
Quote from: Naomi J;129484
I don't know of many folklore resources, and it will depend on the part of the world you're interested in, but I have a few books on Scottish folklore that have brief relevant references. 'Shetland Folklore' by John Spence (1899) talks a bit about bird augury - e.g. bird flight foretelling the weather or signalling a bad winter. There's a bit of bird lore in Gregorson's 'Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland', including negative attributes of the magpie. Simpson's 'Folklore of Lowland Scotland' has a chapter on animals with some bird stuff, including birds that were considered lucky and unlucky. These are all available at Alba Publishing's website as e-books, but some are also available free as PDFs elsewhere, as they're out of copyright, so do a search first. A more modern book is Damaher's 'Irish Customs and Beliefs', which has a great little chapter on birds, including the lucky robin and wren - it can be bought as an ebook on Amazon.

I think I've mentioned before the other bird superstition that survives here - a lone crow or magpie being bad luck, so you are supposed to say 'Hello Mr Magpie' or enquire about the health of the absent Mrs Magpie to deflect the bad luck. I learnt this one from other kids at primary school, and still find myself saying 'Hi how's your wife' when I pass a lone magpie. :D:


I'm open-minded about any resources that discuss ornithomancy as a practice; I find it's important to pull wisdom from many different cultures and find which practices (or which cultures) resonate with you in the end. Thank you for the sources; I'll have to look into them. :D

It's funny that you mention greeting a lone crow or a magpie. While we don't have magpies around here, I end up greeting lone crows all the time. I might have heard about that superstition and may unconsciously apply it, but I think it's mostly because I become giddy like a fool when I see a crow just sitting there that I intentionally want to engage in "conversation" with it. XD

Quote from: Elani Temperance
I'm sorry for your unfortunate encounter  All I can give you is my way of bird divination, based on the practices in ancient Hellas: On oiĆ“noskopos, the oracles of birds. As it doesn't work with encounters you have just described, I don't think I can help you with your interpretation of said events. I'm sorry.


Thanks for the article! I read it and it actually does have some interesting ways to go about divining. I like the idea of separating the sky into quadrants, or splitting it in half to see which birds flit from which side. I might have to try that out and see if I see any promising results.

Quote from: Altair
Gut instinct. I've been exploring what I can only call "half-assed augury" (because I'm just making it up as I go along), and for me sometimes that trio of crows flying by is just a trio of crows flying by. And at other times, I see a signal from the Goddess in it. This almost certainly has more to do with me than with anything the birds are up to, but so what? If I'm getting useful, meaningful messages from my subconscious/sacred realms in this manner, the trigger doesn't matter.


That's actually how I've been doing it, too. "Winging it," if you will (someone is allowed to smack me for that pun XD). To start, I designate a "bird of the day." If a certain bird calls to my attention, that's the bird I work with. Already, it's gone down pretty well. Yesterday, I saw a vulture roosting on a chimney. I've never seen a vulture on a chimney before. Not twenty minutes later I saw a different vulture roost on a different chimney several miles out. I figured that was as good a sign as any, and interpreted the vulture as a representative of opportunity and the chimney as the home and the hearth. Opportunity is closer than I realize, and it might even happen at home, and start with the people who surround me ie family and friends. It's kind of a stretch of an interpretation, but it made sense to me.

I had another instance today where I saw a hawk on a streetlight. Several hours later I passed the same streetlight (or one that was very close by), and still there was a hawk perched upon it. Following that, I saw a whole bunch of stylized depictions of hawks/birds-of-prey plastered on office buildings and statues. I figured that was a pretty blatant red flag that Hawk was trying to get my attention. Bird signs such as with Hawk and Vulture might not always be so blatant and obvious, and maybe I just lucked out on the matter, but I've found a system that somehow works (so far), so I'll stick to it and see what comes of the practice.

Quote from: Altair
The most important omen I ever got wasn't from a bird seen in real life, but from the presence of a bird in a dream. So I'm not sure if that's the kind of experience you're looking for.


That's most definitely an experience I'd be interested in hearing. I put a lot of stock in dreams and dream omens. In fact, I have plenty of dreams regarding birds, some of which I know have a greater meaning (that I usually can't interpret), so definitely hit me up with any of those experiences. :D

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 524
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 11:54:20 pm »
Quote from: Solstice;129617
Bird signs such as with Hawk and Vulture might not always be so blatant and obvious, and maybe I just lucked out on the matter, but I've found a system that somehow works (so far), so I'll stick to it and see what comes of the practice.

I like your system. I do a lot of birding, so most sightings for me are just sightings. Only every once in a while do I get that feeling in my bones that something special is meant here, that there's a message to be found.


Quote
That's most definitely an experience I'd be interested in hearing. I put a lot of stock in dreams and dream omens. In fact, I have plenty of dreams regarding birds, some of which I know have a greater meaning (that I usually can't interpret), so definitely hit me up with any of those experiences. :D

This is what happened:
http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?5353-Oooh...-Prophetic-Dreams!!#4
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 11:54:55 pm by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Solstice

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 01:35:17 am »
Quote from: Altair;129673
I like your system. I do a lot of birding, so most sightings for me are just sightings. Only every once in a while do I get that feeling in my bones that something special is meant here, that there's a message to be found.


I've always wanted to get into birding, because their behaviors can reveal a lot about the weather or any other aberrations in the area. In fact, I was just reading about how the Tower Ravens raised a raucous during the London Blitz, and usually forewarned of incoming bombings. Barring all interpretations from Spirit or the Divine, birds really do say much in their general behavior, and I think I'd be able to get a lot out of just watching them go about their day.




Quote from: Altair
This is what happened:
http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?5353-Oooh...-Prophetic-Dreams!!#4

 
Hm, that's really interesting--and creepily applicable to what happened to me on the morning of September 11th, as well (as I veer off subject a bit). My most prophetic of dreams (probably my only prophetic dream) happened just an hour or two before the actual event. I dreamt of my high school erupting into chaos, of people crying and calling their parents and running around, scrambling to leave. I heard someone shout, "look, the tower is falling!" In the distance I saw one huge tower fall, top-down. Before I woke, I saw a plane fly overhead and crash into a building. I thought nothing of it, until I went to school and the day progressed. Really scary stuff--made even scarier by how it seems that a number of people dreamt of/sensed September 11th before it happened. It was as if they could feel it in the air--like the Tower Ravens before the blitz. -shiver-

And as I use that to veer back on topic, I don't know if I've had any poignant dreams involving birds. Many of them do involve Raven and just interacting with crows, but I've had some interesting meditations, and I definitely take them to mean something--I just don't know what. XD

Also, I've had some positive experiences with feathers and using them for divination. It works much the same as spotting a bird that calls to you, except it's with a feather that you find on your path. Sometimes you can't always identify the bird the feather came from, but I believe whatever conclusion you reach is a conclusion that you were meant to find. For example, I found a feather in a forest. I still don't know if I identified it as from the correct bird, but that bird lead me to a very AHAH conclusion about the events from that day, so I count it as a win in my book.

The problem with feather divination, though, is that it's infinitely harder to find them. XD

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 524
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 03:42:50 pm »
Quote from: Solstice;129882
Sometimes you can't always identify the bird the feather came from, but I believe whatever conclusion you reach is a conclusion that you were meant to find. For example, I found a feather in a forest. I still don't know if I identified it as from the correct bird, but that bird lead me to a very AHAH conclusion about the events from that day, so I count it as a win in my book.

For me, that's the key. I don't find it necessary to insist that the bird was doing X for my benefit, or that so-and-so deity sent the bird my way as a message. (Maybe deity did; maybe deity didn't.) All that matters is: Did I get a useful message?

Biggest example: The day I'd set aside to formally acknowledge my paganism, at a friend's place upstate in the wilds of NY. I got up before dawn on the summer solstice, went outside to watch the sunrise, did a little self-dedication ceremony, and asked for a sign that I was on the right path.

Flap-flap-flap, a bald eagle--only the second time I'd seen one in the wild, at that time--comes across the beaver pond to fly low right over my head.

Deity at work? Whatever. I'll take it.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 03:43:20 pm by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Solstice

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 01:39:52 am »
Quote from: Altair;129933
For me, that's the key. I don't find it necessary to insist that the bird was doing X for my benefit, or that so-and-so deity sent the bird my way as a message. (Maybe deity did; maybe deity didn't.) All that matters is: Did I get a useful message?

Biggest example: The day I'd set aside to formally acknowledge my paganism, at a friend's place upstate in the wilds of NY. I got up before dawn on the summer solstice, went outside to watch the sunrise, did a little self-dedication ceremony, and asked for a sign that I was on the right path.

Flap-flap-flap, a bald eagle--only the second time I'd seen one in the wild, at that time--comes across the beaver pond to fly low right over my head.

Deity at work? Whatever. I'll take it.


I would say that's a pretty telling sign of Spirit/Deity at work, especially considering it happened on the summer Solstice and eagles can represent the sun. Even if one does not view the soaring eagle as a sign from Spirit, it's a prime example of what I've pegged as Magic in the Mundane. When I am personally touched by an interaction I have with nature, such as an eagle soaring in the sky, I do feel a sort of kinship towards my surroundings--like I am truly experiencing something mighty, beautiful...and yup, magical. I also call those moments "Hippie Tree-Hugger" moments, but I digress. XD ...But oh do I love when messages are so clear-cut and poignant. It gets me all giddy that I'm on the right track. Aaand since I'm a newbie at anything involving bird auspicy, I got downright tickled when a mockingbird all but perched on my window and we had a five-second stare-down before it flew away. ...Again, I'll take it. XD

A subject change but still related: I am curious in how one would interpret bird calls without actually seeing the bird in question. I ask because it happened to me the other day. The reason this particular call caught my attention is because I could have sworn it was a raven call. It was too low pitched and croaky to come from a crow, but I found this observation strange because ravens don't live around here. Granted, there's a population of ravens about two hours from where I live, so it's really not THAT out of the question to have one come down from the mountains and hang out, but I still consider it an out-of-the-norm experience.

Either that or I'm hearing things.

I do wonder how one goes about interpreting bird calls and what they mean, however. Does anyone know if there's some type of bird-call guide? I'm especially interested in a guide to the language of crows. I've seen some people piece together the language (by way of youtube videos--very legit, I know), but there's gotta be some kind of comprehensive guide.

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 524
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 07:55:59 am »
Quote from: Solstice;130465
When I am personally touched by an interaction I have with nature, such as an eagle soaring in the sky, I do feel a sort of kinship towards my surroundings--like I am truly experiencing something mighty, beautiful...and yup, magical. I also call those moments "Hippie Tree-Hugger" moments

YES. Those numinous moments. (And we think alike; my favorite shorthand for describing my nature-based paganism is "tree-hugging pagan.")

Quote
But oh do I love when messages are so clear-cut and poignant. It gets me all giddy that I'm on the right track. Aaand since I'm a newbie at anything involving bird auspicy, I got downright tickled when a mockingbird all but perched on my window and we had a five-second stare-down before it flew away. ...Again, I'll take it.

Just from the way you described the experience, I'm guessing that was one of those message moments. And for us in the Americas, mockingbirds are iconic, among what I'd consider the definitive, signature birds...so they've got a lot of message potential.

At the burial for my birding mentor, who took me under his wing (pardon the pun) when I started birding around age 10 and made it his life's work to foster the potential he saw in others, a mockingbird (and no other birds) perched at the gravesite during the service. That said to me, clear as a bell, that Elliot may be gone, but now he spoke with many voices through all of us he helped set on our paths.

Quote
A subject change but still related: I am curious in how one would interpret bird calls without actually seeing the bird in question.

My specialty! You've totally come to the right place. (Perhaps undeservedly--I can think of several of our regular birders who outrank me--I have a reputation for having the best ears in Central Park.)

Now if by "interpret" you mean the esoteric significance of bird vocalizations, I can't help you there. But if you mean using them in your birding, hell yeah, there's plenty you can get out of their vocalizations, from the I.D. (as you noted with your raven anecdote) to what's going on with the bird or around the bird. Songbird alarm calls are especially helpful; I find them the best way to be alert to the presence of predators. Most of our wood warblers have 2 versions of their song, one they tend to sing when they're solo, and one they tend to sing in the presence of other males, or so I've read--so that could be a tipoff as to how many are nearby.

And crows and ravens--honestly, sometimes I think they're speaking in Morse code! I too have heard that some claim to have systematized what at least some of their vocalizations signify. Unfortunately, I don't have any more info than that.

But I wouldn't be surprised it you'd heard a raven. They've been expanding their range, to the point where I'm running into them semi-regularly in the NY/NJ area, and a pair even nested in New York City last year.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 07:56:40 am by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Solstice

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 33
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 03:27:01 am »
Quote from: Altair;130485
YES. Those numinous moments. (And we think alike; my favorite shorthand for describing my nature-based paganism is "tree-hugging pagan.")


It reminds me of the time I actually did go up to hug a tree. And then a jogger ran past to harsh my mellow, and it appeared she was laughing at me. Nowadays I look both sides before hugging. XD



Quote from: Altair
Just from the way you described the experience, I'm guessing that was one of those message moments. And for us in the Americas, mockingbirds are iconic, among what I'd consider the definitive, signature birds...so they've got a lot of message potential.

At the burial for my birding mentor, who took me under his wing (pardon the pun) when I started birding around age 10 and made it his life's work to foster the potential he saw in others, a mockingbird (and no other birds) perched at the gravesite during the service. That said to me, clear as a bell, that Elliot may be gone, but now he spoke with many voices through all of us he helped set on our paths.


I don't have much experience with Mockingbird; in fact, that's the first real encounter that I've had with a mockingbird, which made it all the more symbolic to me. But I'll definitely take heed. I know they're a signature bird of the South that are steadily making their way further and further up north. Anyway, I did get a message of communication and of letting one's song break through for all to hear, and I'm a poor communicator who will often keep things to myself and never speak up in fear of denigration or judgment. So, I did receive a significant message from Mockingbird's presence. But yes, it did seem like your mentor did speak to you through a bird that's notorious for speaking many different tongues. :D I would say Mockingbird would be a great symbol for birding in general since it's so proficient in imitating an entire range of bird calls and all.



Quote from: Altair
My specialty! You've totally come to the right place. (Perhaps undeservedly--I can think of several of our regular birders who outrank me--I have a reputation for having the best ears in Central Park.)

Now if by "interpret" you mean the esoteric significance of bird vocalizations, I can't help you there. But if you mean using them in your birding, hell yeah, there's plenty you can get out of their vocalizations, from the I.D. (as you noted with your raven anecdote) to what's going on with the bird or around the bird. Songbird alarm calls are especially helpful; I find them the best way to be alert to the presence of predators. Most of our wood warblers have 2 versions of their song, one they tend to sing when they're solo, and one they tend to sing in the presence of other males, or so I've read--so that could be a tipoff as to how many are nearby.

And crows and ravens--honestly, sometimes I think they're speaking in Morse code! I too have heard that some claim to have systematized what at least some of their vocalizations signify. Unfortunately, I don't have any more info than that.

But I wouldn't be surprised it you'd heard a raven. They've been expanding their range, to the point where I'm running into them semi-regularly in the NY/NJ area, and a pair even nested in New York City last year.

 
Yes, I meant utilizing bird calls in everyday life because, as you've said, bird calls are a great tip off as to how many are in the area, or if predators are nearby. Also, I'm kind of fail when it comes to actually hearing the goings-on of my surroundings, so investing in bird call detection should help align me to the presence of birds and to the intent of working with them in everyday life. I did end up unearthing a book with a CD on about 30 common bird calls, so I can start my journey from there. It came with a bird whistle. Are bird whistles of any practical use? I've also heard of a crow caller and I'm wondering if those are effective in attracting crows?

On the subject of crows, I always hear differing theories postulating how they communicate. I think the only bit I got out of random youtube searching and such is that about 3-5 evenly spaced calls means the crow is indicating all is well with the world. And a whole bunch of rapidfire, uneven calling indicates otherwise. Kind of a common sense interpretation, though, especially with the latter observation.

And that's an interesting bit about ravens. I've always read that they tend to keep to themselves in more rural locales. In fact, the only time that I saw wild ravens was a few weeks ago when I took a visit to the Shenandoah mountains and saw their aerial acrobatics firsthand (from a distance, though). Is there a reason as to why they're urbanizing?

Hieronymus

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2015
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2015, 12:33:28 pm »
Quote from: Altair;130485
My specialty! You've totally come to the right place. (Perhaps undeservedly--I can think of several of our regular birders who outrank me--I have a reputation for having the best ears in Central Park.)

 
I just had an weird occurrence involving a bird I was hoping to get some feedback on. I just finished casting a spell and I opened my eyes and this small bird with a yellowish belly flew to the window (not into it) looked at me for a bit and flew off. It didn't knock or anything like that. I've been searching for some sort of omen or sign it could be with little luck. I wouldn't think anything of it except i had JUST finished a spell and that post-euphoric feeling after my energy release, poof, there it is.

Any ideas?
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
- da Vinci

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 524
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2017, 08:29:28 am »
Does anyone have experience in ornithomancy/auspicy?

Resurrecting this thread to post my latest adventure in "half-assed augury":

In my garden this morning just before dawn--sky turning pale, pearly colors, but the sun hasn't quite broken the horizon yet--I'm stretching before my run. I lie on my back and get a view of pristine sky, with a lone gull high above, so high it's catching the light of the sun that hasn't risen yet for us mortals here below. The gull turns a lazy circle way above me, and as far up as it is, it still seems like it's circling over me, just for me. It's turning clockwise, once, twice, then a third full circle; and then is cruises away slowly, heading east.

I think it means that, after a 2016 that was a personal shitstorm and a 2017 that has been largely unsettled and about me (and the whole damn country!) recovering from the shock of the shitstorm, really good things are ahead, waiting for me to make them happen.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 524
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2019, 08:45:26 am »
Resurrecting this thread to post my latest adventure in "half-assed augury":

On this nearly last day of summer (astronomically speaking), tons of crow activity. The first one I saw this morning passed directly over my head at about two stories' height, flying in a straight line south to north, and waited until it was above me to caw 4 times, against a backdrop of a half moon in the early morning sky.

Besides being striking, I'm interpreting this to mean "make something happen, without delay."

--Four caws: 4 is the number of the tangible, the solid, the concretely manifest
--Almost last day of summer & half moon: transitional moment; both sun and moon about to shift from mostly light to mostly dark; the time is now. Summer's leisure is past, and a season of toil arrives
--Northward bound: the direction of the physical; another sign of the concretely manifest
--Direct flight: no dithering

About a half hour later, a murder of 19 crows passed in more or less the opposite direction, at about the same height overhead, cawing like crazy. I took this to mean: "...and if you do, all these things will flow as a direct result."



The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Aisling

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 3892
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 264
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Eclectic Pagan Witch
Re: Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2019, 04:26:26 pm »
On this nearly last day of summer (astronomically speaking), tons of crow activity. The first one I saw this morning passed directly over my head at about two stories' height, flying in a straight line south to north, and waited until it was above me to caw 4 times, against a backdrop of a half moon in the early morning sky.

Besides being striking, I'm interpreting this to mean "make something happen, without delay."

I'd say it was definitely a message to get moving on a project or goal.

The crows are ridiculously active here as well.  So far, it's just the usual crows being themselves, no particular messages. I'm sure that they'll have something to say before the season is over.
"All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want.
But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them."
~Neil Gaiman,
American Gods

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
17 Replies
4976 Views
Last post April 22, 2012, 10:59:20 am
by Sharysa
2 Replies
1347 Views
Last post June 18, 2012, 02:00:40 am
by Sharysa
6 Replies
1286 Views
Last post August 20, 2012, 11:48:22 am
by NibbleKat
9 Replies
1947 Views
Last post November 26, 2014, 04:30:10 pm
by Lythrum Salicaria
2 Replies
1279 Views
Last post August 15, 2020, 08:02:17 am
by TheGreenWizard

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 43
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal