Indeed the magpie is a very magickal bird. It is a corvid, like a raven or a crow, and many of the folklore associated with these originated with the Magpie including the traditional "counting crows" children's rhyme.

There are several versions including the following:



One for 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


One for sorrow,
Two for mirth,
Three for a wedding,
And four for death


One for sorrow,
Two for luck; (or mirth)
Three for a wedding,
Four for death; (or birth)
Five for silver,
Six for gold;
Seven for a secret,
Not to be told;
Eight for heaven,
Nine for [hell]
And ten for the d[evi]l's own sell!

And check out this hopscotch board! (I am going to need one of these for my garden)


Magpies are gregarious creatures. To see a single magpie is significant. One foraging alone in the springtime foretells bad weather and one resting on a house, particularly near a window, foretells a death in the household.

Magpies are also associated with the Hulder, beautiful Scandinavian & Norwegian nymph-like spirits of the forest.

Here are some links to some good articles on the subject for your further exploration

Regarding feathers specifically: Generally when animal spirits leave physical parts of themselves around for us to find, they are trying to send us a message to connect with the animal that they come from. For growth, or to learn a lesson. Also magpie feathers can be used in spells designed to attract the sort of energy magpies exemplify, curiosity, trickery, thievery, gregariousness, creativity and communication. They're kind of Gemini.

(Note: this article originated as a response to a specific question. It will need to be cleaned up and made more general.)

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