Monday, October 10, 2005

The birds, the birds....!!! Or the "wind beneath my wings" non-Tarot divination deck

No, we do not talk Hitchcock here, but the birds have just come home to roost, in the form of a real "gift of the universe" to me (via Katja): today at art group she just gave me the most amazing non-Tarot divination deck, composed entirely of 52 birds, so the universe has made me into an amateur online ornithologist, busy googling keywords for each of them. Of the 52 (same number as the regular playing cards, you will notice), a number of them (13, exactly) fall into "families", so I guess they comprise my "court cards". Some also have "reversed" meanings associated with them, so this little deck of "fortune" cards may get me into reading "reversals" yet, which I have never attempted before, finding them all too confusing! So now I feel like, not so much St Francis preaching to the birds, as St Francis sitting humbly at the feet of the birds, and letting them preach to him! Here I present my summary of findings so far:


Ibis: Deity (Thoth and Isis, i.e. god or goddess);
Crane: Performer / Dancer;
(reversed meaning: beware power lines!);
Stork: Birth.

(no pun intended!):
Pheasant: Cowboy, with spurs (female without);
Partridge: Ground-dweller;
Quail: Migrant ground-dweller.

Owl: Night/deception;
Barn owl: Little Night Eagle, Monkey-faced or Hissing Owl
(even more nocturnal than other owls, if possible!);
Tawny owl: Truth ("Who...?")

Buzzard: Patience;
Sparrowhawk: Silent Swiftness; reversed: secrecy.

Bird of Paradise: Courtly King;
Rook: Sociability.

(I guess these could all represent significators, if desired.)

Sparrow: City-dweller;
Parrot: Clown/Orator/Everyday Hero; reversed: dead!!
Gull: Ocean Scavenger;
Swallow: Returning Visitor;
Turkey: Give-away;
Vulture: Culture vulture; reversed: cultural desert;
Tit: Scrutiny
(cf. Mouse in the Animal Medicine cards);
Blackbird: Mellow Singer;
Goose: Fierce Defender;
Dove: Mourning;
Nightingale: Shy Singer;
Eagle: Spirit/Air;
Phoenix: Death/Regeneration;
Duck: VI of Swords
(as in a "pleasant journey over water");
Kite: Air/wind;
Pelican: Patriot; reversed: voracious predator;
Falcon: Nesting pilgrim;
Turtledove: Dwindling congregation;
Cuckoo: Odd One Out/luck (cf. Wheel of Fortune?); deceived husband? Reversed: bad luck;
Cockerel: Exorcist/Judgement (white); (black, reversed) Devil, negative energies;
Raven: Magic;
Ostrich: "Get rich quick?";
Pigeon: Heading for Home;
Peacock: Juno;
Lark: Music;
Wagtail: Show-off;
Swan: Grace (white), woman entering sacred space; (black, reversed) businesswoman;
Starling: Autumn plumage, mimic;
Albatross: Migration;
Chaffinch: Camouflage;
Goldcrest: Restlessness;
Magpie: Kulbardi (Nyoongar language); Dawn;
Hoopoe: Excitement;
Heron: Self-reflection;
Kingfisher: Still water;
Warbler: Bluebird of happiness;
Oriole: Weaving Together;
Woodpecker: D.Y.I.;
Thrush: Androgynous Individual.


Blogger mythosandbios said...

This is sooooooo very cool ... not to mention synchronistic! I just posted my Icarus painting which has feathers from a ... dead polly ... from demised cockateil of sister my Ruth, wow!

13 for family ... interesting given all the mythology about families being wonderful institutions, the cornerstone of society etc blah, blah, blah, yet we are most likely to die at a family member's hands ... if dying via violent means is in the offing.

Curioser and curioser said Alice (or someone else in Lewis Carrol's crowd of friendlies)!

11:12 pm  
Blogger asgif666 said...

*lovely bird, the Norwegian blue...beautiful plumage...but this bird is deceased/defunct/expired/past its use-by date!* lol

Remind me to bring Bird deck to next Tarot cafe? (as if I will need reminding!) hehe

Family = a wonderful institution...but then, who wants to live in an institution? (to paraphrase W.C.Fields) ;-))

Hehe, Lewis Carroll snuck in there somewhere...sorry, that seems re the Lover(s) Mock Lobster Quadrille! ;-))

And hehe, word verification seems to work, I have to type in these silly letters to post a comment on my own blog ;-))

11:30 pm  
Blogger asgif666 said...

Hehe, and it seemed so nice to give one traumatised client (as per Kate's Phoenix in "immediate environment") the promise that "the bluebird of happiness will fly over your house shortly"! hehe (Warbler does not look blue, in cards, rather brown, but only googling researches yielded the fact that warblers are in fact blue: the male cerulean, i.e. sky-blue, the female, a deeper turquoise...i.e. "bluebird of happiness" equates to 9 of Cups in the regular Tarot? Also a reassurance to Kate, that clients may present with traumatic experiences, but they undergo their own healing processes, so don't worry? ;-))

7:35 pm  
Blogger Sebastian Aristos said...


A very nice introduction to your cards, and how you have worked with them to use them as a 'tarot' deck. May they be wonderful psychopomps for you, as birds are said to be. I'm sure that Christopher will be interested in reading the part about St. Francis, which I really liked too. Very 'un-anthropocentric" indeed. Good to see.

As for the cards, and the keywords you have associated with them so that you can use them in a divinatory capacity, I can only marvel at your resourcefulness. Well done, my friend.

( Surely the nightingale deserves some credit for being more than 'shy' though, doesn't it ? )

All the best,

10:18 am  
Blogger asgif666 said...

Thank you...but I myself have only experienced the song of the nightingale, once, in unforgettable experience!! lol

11:39 pm  

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