Revelstoke, B C.

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The magpie's speech is symbolic of communication and creative expression. When we hear the magpie speak it is a message to us that we might need to listen to what is being spoken to us - listen with more attention. The chatter of the magpie is also a symbolic message that we may need to speak our minds more clearly....speak up, express our opinions, be creative with our spoken words.

The magpie's obsession with shiny things is symbolic of our tendency to chase after false ideas or perceptions. When the magpie comes into our lives it is often a reminder that we may have to re-evaluate our priorities. Are we chasing after unsuitable desires? Are we serving a false ideal? Are we putting materialism ahead of matters of the soul?
Primarily, magpie symbolic meanings deal with expression. This is due to the wide range and variability of her vocalizations. Her song, which is more like an other-worldly chatter is a unique and specialized communication in the animal world. Her voice has often been said to communicate messages from the spirit realm.

To further this point, in the west, the magpie is associated with witchcraft and wizardry. Lore often depicts the magpie among witches, and there are claims that this bird (along with the crow) commonly serves as a familiar (spirit embodied in the form of an animal) to the witch.

This legend was likely started due to the complex vocalizations of the bird, as there are also other stories that the magpie was said to speak spells to witches and wizards.

The magpie persists in the lore of witches and wizards due to her insatiable attraction to all things shiny. Just like the crow (of which the magpie shares the same family in the animal kingdom) the magpie will go out of her way to get a closer look at a shiny, sparkly bauble, and will often steal the trinket. Lore further states the magpie taking these baubles back to her master (typically a witch or wizard).
The magpie builds its home in the thickest "V" of trees. Forks or V's in nature are symbolic of gateways or paths into the spirit realm. In this fashion, the magpie asks us about our level of spiritual perception. Specifically, the magpie asks to keep an open mind in matters of the spirit. She also asks us where our spiritual foundation is and encourages us to open the gateways of higher (spiritual) vision.

Her plumage is also symbolic. With striking colouration, the magpie is symbolic of flamboyance, expression, and glamour. When we see her, we do a double-take because her appearance commands our attention. This is a message for us to not hide ourselves away from the world. The magpie beckons us to reveal our brilliance (physical and otherwise) to the world. We are each composed of incredible beauty and grace - the magpie is a reminder that we must express these attributes outwardly in a glamorous display just as she does.

And just when we get to know the symbolic meaning of the magpie, she eludes us and leaves us guessing what she's all about. In nature she has been known to be shy and reclusive - yet in cities she is noted to be extremely sociable with humans. Typically, she is a scavenger...but she has also been witnessed taking down small birds and rodents - acting as a bird of prey (which is not her classification).

These and other oddities in her behavior are symbolic of illusion and perception. The magpie's message her is that not all things are what they appear to be, and we should not set our judgements in stone. Further, this aspect of the magpie is a message that we do not have to be bound to perceptions. In other words, we may want to consider departing from our habitual behaviors and avoid being type-caste into a specific role.
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