Magpie – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

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Magpies are commonly seen in urban areas, so people have been used to these elegant birds since past.

These remarkable birds have beautiful, distinctive black and white feathers, long tails, slender, medium sized bodies, black eyes, and beaks.

Magpies are a motif present in various traditions, symbolic and spiritual systems.

They are commonly featured in art and literature; all around the world, there are many songs, fables and local beliefs about these charming black and white fellows.

Magpies represent many things, but the most common concepts and ideas we associate with these birds are associated with are thoughtlessness, cunningness, greed, stealing, loquacity and shrewdness.

However, these black and white luxury lovers (we all know magpies have developed special taste for all that is sparkly and shiny), are also associated with elegance, liveliness and fortune.

Magpies are also commonly associated with magic and mystery.

It is believed that magpies were the only birds that did not wish to enter the Noah’s ark, because their homes were nests on tops of very tall trees.

Magpies have always been considered cunning, but clever and very intelligent animals.

Ancient Romans have especially appreciated them for being intelligent. In Ancient Greek mythology, magpies were associated with the god of wine.

In many of old European traditions, magpies have been an important element of local folklore and beliefs.

Magpie beliefs and cultural significance

For example, in rural environments, it has always been believed that magpies symbolize either good or bad luck, depending on the number of birds you see. Traditionally, seeing a single magpie is considered bad luck.

However, there are ways to turn things good for you.

If the magpie remains alone and just stands where you see it, you should quickly take off your hat, make a little bow and very politely ask the bird: ‘Good morning (afternoon, evening), Madam Magpie, how are you today?’.

If you do so, you will receive only good news that day. You could also carry some onions in your pockets, if you want for bad luck that comes with a magpie go away.

Well, that is quite a smelly solution. Now you are more likely to think of magpies as fortune bringers, aren’t you? There are numerous sayings featuring magpies, as well as stories, songs and lullabies.

One old English counting song about magpies says. ‘one for the 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’.

Another version of the same song says: ‘One for sorrow, two for joy, three for marriage, four for a birth, five for christening, six for death, seven for heaven, eight for hell and nine for the devil’.

Another English folktale says that, when Christ was crucified, all birds have kept singing, in order to comfort the dying Christ; only magpies were silent.

In Far East, people love magpies. These birds are considered lucky and fortunate; to see a magpie in the East is considered a fortunate event and a positive omen. People of the Far

East also believe a magpie announces the arrival of unexpected guests, but those that are good and pleasant and that would bring you some good news.

In Ancient China, a magpie is a lucky sign. In Chinese folklore, magpies symbolize new opportunities and beginnings, in any area of life, be it personal development, professional success, a new romantic relationship or something else.

In Chinese, the term for a magpie actually means ‘a bird of joy’. Chinese love magpies for their jolly chattering; they consider these birds heralds of good news.

They like their joyful, lively spirit and associate them with pleasant times, fun, harmony and insouciance. Koreans have similar understanding of magpie symbolic value. In Korea, the bird is considered lucky and fortunate.

Magpies are commonly featured in Korean art and are believed to bring good news. Mongolian people also think good of magpies; they appreciate the bird for its incredible intelligence.

Magpies are a fortunate Feng Shui element, as well. They are also associated with happiness and celebrating, happy, harmonious marriage and family, children and prosperity.

Magpies make nests and love to collect things, so they are associated with comfortable homes, full of warmth and personal touch. Therefore, a picture featuring a magpie is a desirable Feng Shui element for your home.

The same item is considered good for attracting good luck and preventing misfortune and failure. It is so interesting how magpie symbolism is different in different cultures.

In Scandinavian countries, this bird is not a good sign. Scandinavians see it as a bad omen. Magpies are believed to possess black magical powers and that they are evil spirits. Further south into Europe, in France, magpies are welcome!

French believe magpies protect people.

Magpie symbolism

Magpies are interesting birds and very much present in various folklores and mythologies.

However, people generally do not like them, because, honestly, they make a lot of damage.

Magpies are known to damage people’s crops, gardens and so on. They also love to steal shiny objects, so no strange people are not that thrilled seeing magpies. Well, you would not like to see your beautiful golden earrings stolen, wouldn’t you?

However, that only proves magpies are incredibly clever birds. They are skilful, intelligent and calculated. Magpies can get away with a crime with no problems.

They are not easy to catch or to spoil their tricky plans. Magpies symbolize trickery, cunningness, cleverness and excellent tactics. Their fascinating tuxedo feathers only make them some sort of elegant, high-class thieves.

Magpies are also associated with resourcefulness, because they seem to have no trouble with finding food or shelter. Magpies know their weaknesses and advantages; they are adaptable and they know how to avoid hungry predators and save themselves. Magpies are efficient in escaping and hiding from predators as well as in finding food.

These classy tricksters are tough, as well, so they symbolize adaptability, flexibility, courage and strength.

In nature, they are capable of surviving harsh weather conditions, although they feel at best in mild to warmer climates. Magpies have always been associated with magic and they are believed to possess some special powers; they could communicate with realms we cannot see or enter.

Magpies also represent carelessness, liveliness and positive attitude. They never seem gloomy and they are rarely static.

They are always onto something. Magpies represent life energy, motivation and inspiration.

They symbolize joy and generally a relaxed approach to all things in life. They fit so well in all environments, even if those around to not like them particularly. They could always find a way for themselves.

Magpie totem

Magpies are fortunate totem animals to have. They could be amazing and inspiring guiding spirits, considering their energy, activity and intelligence. In the world of symbols and spiritual beings, magpies are amongst the most magical ones.

Magpie totem offers you bright, light and easy to follow guidelines, since its energy is full of life. The spirit of the magpie will definitely bring you good fortune and help you see the bright side of the darkest times.

People guided by this mysteriously clever totem are positive and have an optimistic approach to life. In addition, they are not unfamiliar with failure, because they dare try things.

They know the outcome could be either good or bad and that is what makes all the fun about life. Magpie people are courageous, daring, but not reckless and thoughtless.

They are gifted in tactics, organization and planning, only they do everything quickly and efficiently.

However, if things do not go according to plans, Magpie people are not likely to spend days and night mourning over missed opportunities or bad decisions.

They will show their emotions, be sad or angry, but that will not last forever, exactly because they feel free to express how they feel about something. They do no find it that hard to start over. They are opportunistic, brilliant and always in action.

Magpie people are playful, sociable, fun to have around, but you definitely do not want to irritate them. They are not aggressive, but could be very mean if vengeful; they mostly use words to put others in place. However, they will never hurt someone without being provoked.

Magpie people have many stories to tell and they do tend to exaggerate event.

However, others love to listen to them; they are charismatic and inspiring and love being the center of attention. Magpie individuals are relaxed, when it comes to worrying and such. They are not prone to anxiety, over-thinking and overanalyzing.

It is partly because they are smart and they easily understand what is happening around, both on a major and a minor plan.

They are alert, but not anxious, which makes them highly insightful. Magpie people could not be outsmarted and tricked easily; they are masters of that game.

These people are creative and they love luxurious things. They are elegant and stylish; you can easily recognize them in masses.

Their weakness is materialistic pleasure; they cannot resist fancy suits, luxurious watches, expensive drinks, cars, and jewelry and so on. However, they have sophisticated taste for what is unique, simple and effective.

When it comes to love life and relationships, Magpie individuals are seducers and they love to play games.

They enjoy attention and they believe they deserve the best for themselves. They have high standards, when it comes to choosing a partner for life.

They also love to experiment and change more partners at young age. However, they are faithful to their chosen perfect one.