Magpie – The Cunning Prophet

Magpie illustrated by Ravenari


Opposites. The Cunning Prophet. Daredevilry. Monogamy. Friendship. Irrational Fear. Material Security. The Protected Home. Spiritual Protection. Hoarding. Change. Omen. Prophecy. Divination. Reconciliation of Emotional or Spiritual Opposites. Wight Attraction. Journeying in Otherworlds. Witchcraft. Bilingual. Multilingual.

General Description:

The magpie is a colourful bird with predominantly bold black and white plumage. They tend are quite noisy, and have one of the most developed ‘vocabularies’ in the animal world. They are well known for their raucous calls. Magpies are found throughout the world in many different habitats. They are adaptable, and can be found in or around cities, scavenging off food scraps. They are omnivorous, and are not fussy with what they eat. Magpies will eat almost anything, from pine-nuts to invertebrates to baby birds to carrion to berries etc.

Magpies are monogamous, and raise several offspring together in a family unit. They make nests which are well-known for their fortress-like size or strength. They are also known for their habit of collecting and hoarding bright and shiny objects, and using them to decorate their nests or living spaces. Magpies are extremely intelligent, they can be tamed and taught to speak.

Brief mythological associations:

There are many tales on the magpie available both on the internet and in publications. Further research will yield a trove of information on this creature. The magpie has a great many etiological tales and fables associated with it, such as the Finnish folktale of ‘why the magpie has a long tail.’ The magpie is generally seen as an ill-omen in many western societies, and a positive omen of love in many eastern communities. They are associated with witchcraft, magic, divination and prophecy. They are also associated with wight-lore, and the symbolism of bridges.


Please remember that if this animal is contacting you, it will often be the best resource for teaching you what its lessons are. What I write is only intended to be a guide, it is not absolute, nor is it infallible.

– The magpie teases eagles and other predatory species in front of its magpie friends, in order to win higher status, better mates, and sometimes simply for the risk of it. Magpie represents risk-taking for prestige and daredevilry. It might be time in our jobs or amongst colleages, to take risks in order to win favours. It might also be time to be a bit of a daredevil, and face the fact that sometimes we have to put ourselves on the line around others in order to grow. We can’t just take risks when no one’s looking.

– The magpie comes into our lives to tell us to focus on our homes, is our home protected? Do we have the luxury of material security? Magpie brings these aspects into focus.

– Magpie is an animal that comes into our lives to tell us that it’s okay to have irrational fears. Magpie helps us confront that which we irrationally fear, and does so in a gentle and compassionate manner.

– Magpie, with their dualism of colour and representation in culture as both a good and a bad omen, represent duality and binary opposites. The specific focus on this duality tends to be on a reconciliation of emotional or spiritual opposites. It is time to balance opposing emotions, like anger and compassion, or spiritual opposites, like the mysteries life and death.

– When magpie comes into your life, chances are there are a few wights (spirits) in your life as well. Magpie represents wight-attraction, and might imply a time in your life where you might be more obsessed with faeries, and goblins, or unicorns and dragons, far more often than usual.

– The magpie has long cultural links with witchcraft and many aspects associated with this. In particular, the magpie is associated with omens, prophecy and divination. When magpie comes into your life, it might be time to start strengthening these aspects in your spiritual life, or alternatively it might be time to start paying attention to the omens, dreams and hunches you might be getting.

– Magpie comes into our lives to either represent that part of ourselves that collects and hoards bright shiny thoughts or objects, or to suggest that we might want to start collecting the things we value, instead of leaving them in shopping centres, or in books.

– The magpie is the cunning prophet who comes into our lives in order to help us to use prophecy and divination in ways which are clever and even stealthy. We are able to divine for great personal gain, and the gain of others, with magpie as a guide or a spirit guide.

– Magpie teaches us to take joy in the process of change, to recognise that it is not a laboursome event, but something to look forward to as it will very likely bring a new and exciting nourishment to our spirits, that we would not have had without the change. Let go of the old! Bring in the new! Cries magpie.

– Magpie is an excellent muse for those who are creative with words. In addition to this, magpie – with its complex language of body and vocalisations – represents the significance of voice. It is time to understand the impact of your voice and your speech upon others, and the impact of other people’s speech, tone and words on yourself.

– Magpie is a greatly magical creature, and tends to confer spiritual protection upon you once it enters your life.

If you have Magpie as your guide:

People with this animal as a guide will often manifest traits similar to the animal itself. I work on the philosophy that we only have one guide, and it teaches us lessons as well as representing the core aspects of our personality. Therefore –

– Magpie people make fast, staunch and loyal friends and it only takes a great amount of betrayal to drive them from your side. Magpie people are also very concerned with family cohesiveness, and will do just about anything for their children and their partners, to make sure that their home is running in order.

– Underdeveloped magpie people want everyone to know what they think about them. This can be seen as an almost inappropriate form of divination. They tend not to possess tact when it comes to sharing spiritual secrets with others. This can be a great source of frustration to the people around them, but the magpie person is only trying to help, and over time will learn sophistication in association with psychic ability, divination and prophecy.

– Those with magpie medicine tend to teach people life and spirit truths in the way they live their lives, and in the council they give through words and writing. Magpie people tend to write down their wisdom, or say it eloquently. They don’t often specifically desire to lead intensely spiritual or solitary lives, because family, children and friends are such a high priority.

There will be other ways your guide manifests, and you will recognise them with awareness and communion.

As shadow guide/guide:

The shadow guide is the animal we often fear irrationally, that teaches us things about ourselves that are profound and difficult to confront. Often the traits we fear most within the shadow guide, are the traits that we dislike in ourselves. We must scrutinise why this is, and learn how to work with them.

– People who fear magpie often have a problem reconciling opposites inside of them, they can sometimes fear the truths of their shadow side, and might not understand how the existence of traits like sadism and murderous urges can co-exist with traits that seem to find the shadow traits repellent. Ultimately, different facets of their psyche end up being repelled or vilified. Magpie teaches a confrontational lesson and forces us to accept the black and white inside of us on a level which doesn’t deny any side of ourselves.

– Those with magpie as a shadow guide or guide may have problems with prophecy, divination and omens. It might only be a subtle problem, and they might try to overcome it by doing prophecy and divination themselves to try and control outcomes.

– Those with magpie as shadow guide or guide will generally have some very significant lessons to learn about friendships, partnerships and family relationships.

Contacting Magpie:

Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Remember that you will find methods of contact suggested here are not the ‘be all and end all’ when it comes to contacting the magpie, and you will find methods here or elsewhere that are far more suitable for yourself. I’m not aware of any particular methods which are less likely to make magpie visit. Invocations, chants, singing, drumming, flute, sticks, dancing etc. are all successful methods. Use of all the elements (with less success given to the element of water) are also ways one can contact the magpie. Magpie will often come to anyone who summons it, but if we aren’t ready for the lessons, we may simply misinterpret their wisdom, or miss it entirely.