Sunday Morning: Magpies and Flutes

I’ve been researching several different avenues of thought while working on my most recent “project”. Thinking back to two weeks previous when I was ready to resign myself to letting this project slip, considering myself having had some sort of abnormality hit my ability to put cohesive ideas together, you know even a sentence was an elusive unattainable goal.

My circumstance had deteriorated to the point nothing short of resigning myself to failure seemed imminent. Here I am, further down the road to death, time dragging me along in its usual cold and unrelenting way, but at least now I’m at a point of possible relief. I have found a new muse and that muse is working wonders for me. It’s what it takes with me, finding that particular shiny thing that will make me tick, thrill with the stimulation. It’s like this with me each time I find a new, real object of brilliance.

Sometimes I drive myself and everyone around me completely on the highway to crazy – please don’t let me get blocked or I really swing off balance. Yes, and in reference to that highway to crazy, anyone who knows me understands that highway is simply one on-ramp ahead.

For my project research I’ve been wandering into an area that hits close to familial ties. My father is part Blackfoot, a little Ute mixed in, to clarify, and my new writing project has been taking me down the roads into that history. I knew that the Native Americans developed something quite similar to the Western Zodiac and the Chinese Zodiac – utilizing animals in nature as the assigned ‘totem’ of persons born with specific time periods. I simply had not ever looked into that – but with my new story it fit, will enliven the vibe.

Anyway, late last night while up hitting the keys I discovered this site that lays out individual animal totems. Of course I had to find out mine. Unsurprising to me, yet to my delight, I’m a Magpie. Anyone who knows me will completely understand this correlation. One of my long-time favorite descriptive words, shiny. It’s how things that capture my attention and adoration appear to me. Hell it’s how I seemingly find people, fall into adventures and wallow into interests. A light jumps out at me, I just ‘know’ and not bragging, but I’m right more often than not. It may not mean that shiny thing is something of absolute greatness but they fit somehow, will bring things to me that will, in the scheme of the Big Real, work in positive ways.

Interesting for me, regardless of whether or not it has to do with anything, I also have an alarming amount of black and white apparel in my everyday wardrobe. My favorite store, White House Black Market.

According to the article I located:
Magpie symbolic meanings are numerous and varied. This stands to reason because the magpie herself is a varied creature. Her colorful character is a delight to observe with symbolic eyes because she is so unpredictable, high-spirited and expressive.
Among her many common attributes, here are a few magpie symbolic meanings:
* opportunistic
* intellect
* perceptive
* flashy
* refined
* communicative
* social
* deceptive
* illusion
* expressive
* willful

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. (that’s sort of freaky) 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?

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 here 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. In ancient European cultures the magpie is said to predict omens.

Magpie symbolic meanings take on a brighter note in the East, where the Chinese regard the magpie as a good luck symbol, joy, marital bliss, sexual happiness, and long lasting fortune. When the Chinese hear the cry of a magpie it is said to be an announcement of the arrival of friends and family.

The ancient Roman’s viewed the magpie as a creature of high intellect and reasoning powers. She is also an attribute of Bacchus, the God of wine. (Now that’s funny I bought this lovely bottle of Chilean merlot the other night, we had to drink the entire thing. I love good wine.)

In Native American animal lore, the magpie was also viewed as having intellect. However, more often than not she was faulted for trickery and her intelligence was typically used in deceptive schemes. She cannot be judged too harshly though because her tricks are always played out with a light-hearted, good-natured intention.

As you can see, the magpie symbolic meanings are as diverse and colorful as the magpie herself. Her messages are many, and she gives them to us with a free and happy heart.

Interesting – here is the website Magpie descriptor. To locate your animal totem if you’re so inclined, Native American Animal Totems

I have a cousin who makes and plays High Spirit wooden flutes featured playing in the below video. There has always been someone in the family who has created them. I have one over the fireplace and mess around with it time to time. My grandfather made archery bows that were wooden works of art. Certain things stay with you no matter how far you roam in this world from your family, your roots. I may resemble my Scandinavian mother a bit more than my father but there is something within me that vibrates to the sound of the wooden flutes.

A music video to fit the mood for this Sunday morning and my last night’s writing. I’m off to go have a cup of green tea on my back porch, cool this morning so I’ll fire up the chimenea. My idea of church.

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One Response to Sunday Morning: Magpies and Flutes

  1. Excellent content. Thanks for posting.

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