Magpie Symbolism & Meaning (+ Spirit, Totem & Omens)

Are you interested in the Magpie Spirit Animal? Then this guide is for you!

The magpie is one of the most intelligent birds on the planet. It is one of the very few birds that can produce a wide range of calls and songs.

Having a magpie as your spirit animal draws attention to your wide array of skills and talents. When this black and white bird flies into your life, it means you are no ordinary person.

This bird is attracted to shiny objects, and it has been known to swoop down and make away with pieces of jewelry.

This reflects on your personality as a go-getter. You don’t wait for things to happen in your world; you push them to happen.

In many cultures and mythologies, the magpie signifies good luck, progress, and success.

What’s the Magpie Meaning and Symbolism?


Symbol of Creativity and Imagination

Magpies are attracted to unique objects, particularly if these objects are shiny. This resonates very well with your creative brain.

If you are an artist or a lover of literature, you will realize that you look at things from a different perspective from most people.

Symbol of Witchcraft and Magic

In the olden days in Western cultures, witches wore long, collared black dresses that somewhat resembled the magpie’s pied plumage.

It is also believed that witches used magpies to communicate with the dark creatures of the forest. This association makes people relate this bird to magic and the dark arts of witchcraft.

Symbol of Treachery

Being attracted to shiny things, magpies have been known to swoop down and steal jewelry. They also destroy grains in the field, making them most unwelcome in farming districts.

Their behavior is associated with negative qualities such as betrayal, deceit, and treachery.

Symbol of Intelligence and Knowledge

Magpies are some of the most intelligent birds in the natural world. They can play games, imitate human speech, grieve, bark like dogs, and even work together in teams.

Some experiments indicated that magpies can actually make and use tools.

Symbol of Opportunism and Cunning

When a magpie encounters a formidable enemy, he calls out to his friends for support, and they pounce on the hapless bird together.

They are also known to invade fields to steal crops for food.

Also, magpies steal shiny objects and hide them away from sight.

The explanation behind this interesting behavior is that since magpies are afraid of shiny objects, they hide them in a place where these objects pose no danger.

Symbolic Meaning of Magpie Spirit Animal in Various Cultures

Magpie Symbolism in Christian Culture

Among Christians, magpies are viewed with a bit of suspicion.

Christian myths depict the magpie in a negative light, probably because of the superstition that has surrounded this bird for centuries.

One myth has it that this bird is capable of human speech because it carries the devil’s blood on its tongue.

It is further believed that Christ’s passion and crucifixion did not move the magpies. Myth has it that they did not mourn the death of Christ at Calvary.

At one point, the magpies were so much hunted down by Christendom that they almost became extinct.

In another folktale, it is believed that the magpies spent all their time gossiping about the other animals in Noah’s Ark during the Great Flood.

Magpie Symbolism in African Culture

In the South African kingdom of the Zulu, the magpie shrike was known as the ‘scatterer of enemies,’ ‘the victory bird,’ and ‘the emperor.’

The magpie’s loud whistles gave Shaka Zulu’s troops inspiration for their war cries.

King Shaka’s troops wore magpie feathers in their headdresses to mark a victory in battle.

It was the pride of every warrior to survive the battle and wear these feathers, as this would very much please the king.

With time, the magpie shrike became known as King Shaka’s favorite bird, a spy who would work with the king to unravel the enemies’ secrets.

It was believed that this bird would bring him secrets about his enemies’ troop formation and plans.

Magpie Symbolism in Native American Culture

Most Native American tribes looked at the magpie in a positive light. The Cheyenne, for example, believed that the magpie provided help when one was lost or stranded.

It was believed that the magpie knew everything about humans – probably because this bird could imitate human speech.

The bird was also thought to be a great consoler when one lost a loved one. This is one of the few creatures in nature that would come to encourage and support the grieving.

Some tribes considered the magpie a special intercessor with the gods.

For example, the Hopi believed you could send the magpie to the deities with a special message, particularly if you were requesting a child.

Not all Native American tribes had kind words for this bird. Some saw him as a bird gossip who should stay as far away from human society as possible.

Because of his propensity to steal grains in the field, others saw the magpie as an agent of evil spirits who worked in cahoots with evil powers to steal souls.

Magpie Symbolism in Celtic Culture

The Celts generally viewed magpies in a positive light. However, they had superstitions related to the numbers and colors of the magpies you encountered.

Celtic folktales indicate that if you encountered four or more magpies at the same time, the future looked great.

This signaled that good luck and fortune would soon locate you. If it was a whole flock of magpies, a pleasant event would catch you by surprise, changing your fortunes forever.

According to the Celts, seeing only one magpie portends bad luck; your plans would go awry.

According to Celtic mythologies, the white and black feathers on the bird indicate the balance needed in society.

Everyone had their role and duties, and it was each person’s responsibility to support the other.

Magpie Symbolism in Eastern Culture

The magpie symbolism differs in different cultures of the East. For example, magpies were associated with bad luck in Korea.

If you met a magpie in the morning, you were advised to go back to the house and start the journey all over again.

Otherwise, bad luck would accompany you the rest of the day.

The story is different in China and Japan. Here, magpies were thought to bring good luck and fortune.

It was a good thing to encounter a magpie, particularly if you had special plans for the day.

Some Chinese communities forbade the eating of magpies, for they associated this bird with the forbearers.

These communities considered the magpie sacred.

On encountering this bird, you were encouraged to speak to it. If it responded by imitating your speech, it was believed that your ancestors approved your plans.

During the Qiqiao Festival, the magpie is acknowledged for the role he plays in the wedding ceremony between the farmer and the weaver girl.

When the Magpie is Your Spirit Animal

When the magpie spirit animal announces its presence, it wants you to unleash your creative power. This bird guides you to understand that you have a lot of hidden potential.

You have a whole world in front of you to explore. You’ll achieve this by moving out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to be better each new day.

The magpie spirit animal guide also challenges you to express yourself fully. Don’t bottle up your feelings and emotions, for this may cause misunderstandings.

Speak up when you have an opinion to share. Speak up when a good idea lands on your mind.

Avoid being drawn into get-rich-quick schemes like the magpie that is powerfully drawn to shiny objects.

The magpie spirit animal advocates for hard work by reminding you that true success does not happen overnight.

When you keep seeing the magpie, remember that hard work, patience, and a positive attitude pay off.

The Magpie Power Animal

The magpie power animal comes to you if you have been ensnared in things that please you for a short time.

This power animal wants you to pay closer attention to things of substance, things that add value to your existence.

When the magpie power animal locates you, think of ways to create a balance between your material and spiritual needs.

Likely, you have been paying too much attention to the needs of the flesh. This power animal draws attention to your soul’s needs.

You’ll realize that your soul has been hungry and screaming for attention for some time now.

You can call on the magpie spirit animal if you are having trouble expressing your thoughts and feelings.

Perhaps you often find yourself saying things you don’t mean. Or, it could be that you find it difficult to voice what is in your heart.

Either way, the magpie power animal wants you to know that it is here for the rescue.

The Magpie Totem Animal

People with the magpie totem have a great desire to put their lives in order. You are ill at ease if any area of your life is lagging.

The magpie totem aids you in making decisions related to the important aspects of your life.

For example, if your career seems to be progressing slower than you had projected, you can turn to the wisdom of this totem.

It will help you to see clearly the dynamics at play in your profession and what you should do to position yourself for better opportunities.

The magpie totem also plays an instrumental role in your health, family, and relationships.

Magpie totem and medicine give you the healing you need to create the right balance in these spheres of your life.

People with the magpie totem value their family and friends.

This is your cue not to push your loved ones away; let them know you can be relied on in good and bad times.

Magpie Encounters and Omens

Seeing a magpie is a reminder to use your intelligence to solve the issues in your life.

From a different angle, this means you should equip yourself with the skills to handle the challenges you are likely to face in life.

Listen to your heart to find out the kind of education you need to invest in. Of course, your heart will guide you to go for learning that is in line with your goals and objectives in life.

Encountering a group of magpies indicates you have a responsibility to other members of your community.

It is often said that to whom much is given, much is expected. You are blessed with intelligence and a wide array of skills.

The magpie spirit guide encourages you to share these blessings with the less fortunate members of your community.

Make a conscious effort to find out the role you can play to make your world better and safer.

The appearance of the magpie shows that your relationship with your family and friends will improve. Of course, this is possible if you are willing to reach out to them when they need your support.

In the same vein, do not reject support from those who love you.

Magpie Mythology and Folklore

Myths and folktales across many cultures indicate magpies have special powers – whether these powers are good or bad is another thing altogether.

In old English tradition, magpies were thought to be harbingers of bad luck. People believed that meeting a flock of magpies would bring ill fortune for a long time to come.

To break this curse, you were expected to indulge in a series of rituals. The first one was that you had to greet the magpies and wish them a good day.

To fortify this defense, you were expected to spit three times over your shoulder – twice over the left and once over the right.

This would bounce any curse placed on you by this encounter right back to the sender.

Folktales and oral literature in Christendom show that the magpies had the devil’s blood under their tongue.

People believed that if a magpie perched on your roof or window, misfortune would soon follow. This is given weight by another myth that says magpies deliberately refused to mourn the death of Christ.

Some Celtic myths indicate that magpies brought good luck to households and the entire community.

The Celts honored these birds by tying bundles of laurels and other shrubs and tying them to tall buildings or trees.

Magpies were taken to be good friends with humans because they alerted the people of the presence of wolves.

Magpie Tattoo Meaning

The magpie bird is rich in symbolism. Having this bird inked on your skin could mean a number of things.

For example, a magpie tattoo shows you know your self-worth. You know you are clever and resourceful; you won’t allow any opportunity to pass you by.

A magpie tattoo could also be a sign that you are creative. There’s a link between this bird and the Greco-Roman gods of fertility and wine-making.

Having a magpie tattoo constantly reminds you not to let your creativity lie unutilized.

People who are into modern witchcraft, magic, and illusion find the magpie tattoo quite appealing.

In many myths and folklore, this bird is closely linked to black magic and witchcraft.

Having a magpie inked on your skin invites good luck and fortune into your personal and professional endeavors.

Magpie Symbolism Explained

Magpies have been associated with spiritual symbolism in many cultures around the world.

These birds are known for their black and white feathers, intelligence, and resourcefulness. In this section, we will explore the different interpretations of magpie symbolism and what they represent.

Interpreting Magpie Symbolism

Magpie symbolism is often associated with change, balance, and duality. They are seen as messengers that bring good luck and protection to those who see them.

Magpies are also known for their cunning and deceitful nature, which can represent the risks and challenges of life. However, their intelligence and adaptability can also be seen as a lesson to be learned.

Magpies are believed to be a spirit animal that represents wisdom, communication, and problem-solving skills. They are also associated with happiness, love, and success.

Magpies are often depicted as collectors of shiny objects and food, which can represent materialism and the need for balance.

Understanding Magpie Behavior

Magpies are fascinating birds that belong to the corvid family, known for their intelligence and adaptability.

In this section, we will explore some of the behavioral traits of magpies that make them unique and interesting.

The Magpie’s Attraction to Shiny Objects

One of the most well-known behaviors of magpies is their attraction to shiny objects. This behavior has been observed in many other bird species as well, but magpies are particularly notorious for it.

While some people believe that magpies are attracted to shiny objects because they are fascinated by them, others believe that it is because they mistake them for food.

Magpie’s Nesting Habits

Magpies are opportunistic nesters and will build their nests in a variety of locations, including trees, shrubs, and even on the ground. They are also known to use unusual materials in their nests, such as wire, plastic, and even clothes.

Magpies are also known to be territorial during the breeding season and will defend their nests vigorously.

Magpie’s Communication Skills

Magpies are highly social birds and have a complex system of communication that includes a variety of calls and vocalizations.

They use different calls to communicate with each other about food, danger, and other important information. Magpies are also known to be able to recognize individual humans and may even remember people who have been kind or hostile to them in the past.

In summary, magpies are intelligent and adaptable birds that exhibit a range of interesting behaviors.

From their attraction to shiny objects to their unusual nesting habits, magpies are truly fascinating creatures that continue to capture the imagination of people around the world.

Magpie in Art and Literature

Magpie symbolism has been used in various forms of art and literature throughout history.

In this section, we’ll explore how magpies have been depicted in visual art and literature.

Magpie in Visual Art

Magpies have been a popular subject in European art, particularly during the Renaissance period. In these paintings, magpies were often depicted as a symbol of vanity, as they were believed to be attracted to shiny objects.

Some famous paintings featuring magpies include “The Magpie” by Claude Monet and “Magpie on the Gallows” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

In North American Indigenous cultures, magpies are often depicted in traditional art as a symbol of transformation and adaptability.

For example, the Haida people of the Pacific Northwest carve magpie figures into totem poles to represent their ability to thrive in changing environments.

Magpie in Literature

Magpies have also been featured in literature, both as a literal bird and as a symbol. In some Native American cultures, magpies are considered tricksters and are often featured in stories as mischievous characters.

In European literature, magpies have been used as a symbol of vanity, deceit, and thievery.

One famous literary reference to magpies is in the English nursery rhyme “One for Sorrow.”

The rhyme states that seeing a solitary magpie is a bad omen while seeing two magpies is a sign of good luck.

Overall, magpie symbolism has played a significant role in art and literature throughout history, representing various themes such as self-expression, culture, and adaptability.

Magpie in Superstitions and Folklore

Magpies have been a source of fascination and superstition for centuries. Their striking black and white plumage, coupled with their mischievous nature, has led to a variety of beliefs and legends across different cultures.

In this section, we will explore some of the most prominent superstitions and folklore surrounding magpies.

Magpie in European Folklore

In European folklore, magpies are associated with both good and bad luck. On the one hand, it is said that if you see a single magpie, it is a sign of bad luck. However, if you see two magpies together, it is a sign of good luck.

This belief is so strong that many people will say “Good morning, Mr. Magpie” when they see one, in the hope of avoiding bad luck.

Magpies are also associated with theft and deception in European folklore. In some stories, they are said to steal shiny objects like jewelry and coins.

They are also seen as cunning and deceitful and often portrayed as tricksters.

Magpie in Asian Folklore

In Asian folklore, magpies are often seen as symbols of good fortune and happiness. In China, magpies are associated with the goddess of happiness and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

They are also seen as symbols of love and fidelity, and it is said that if a magpie builds a nest near your home, it is a sign of a happy marriage.

In Japan, magpies are associated with the kami (spirits) of the Shinto religion. They are seen as messengers of the gods and are believed to bring good news and blessings.

In some stories, they are also associated with the sun goddess Amaterasu.

Overall, magpies have played a significant role in superstitions and folklore across different cultures.

While some see them as symbols of good fortune, others view them as harbingers of bad luck and misfortune.

Regardless of what you believe, there is no denying the enduring fascination and intrigue surrounding these fascinating birds.

Final Thoughts…

We can learn a lot by observing the magpies in nature. For example, this bird teaches us to use our intelligence and wit to solve the problems we encounter in our daily lives.

It also teaches us to be creative. This entails adding value to our world and leaving things better than we found them.

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