Spiritual Meaning of Magpies

Spiritual Meaning of Magpies | KarinasTarot.com

What is the spiritual meaning of magpies? These black and white birds have been subject of superstition and spiritual symbolism for thousands of years.

Should you find yourself frequently visited by a magpie and sense that the bird bears a message for you, or if you’re curious about whether its presence is an omen of good or bad luck, then continue reading.

Sources of symbolism: animal symbolism, shamanism, ornithomancy, the occult, meaning when a bird visits, dream interpretation, and divination.

Are Magpies Lucky or Unlucky?

When someone asks me, “Karina, do magpies mean good luck?”, I simply say: “Yes, but be patient while the blessings unfold.”

Magpies are spiritual birds, and their presence is a symbol of spiritual transformation. The magpie usually turns up in your life, when you are seeking spiritual comfort or answers about the future. You are likely to be thinking about your life, beliefs, and connection to angels, the afterlife and the Universe.

Such transformative phases may be triggered by challenging events, such as the death of a person, job loss, retirement, a relationship breakup or family problem.

The presence of magpies at such a time, has led some to view the bird as a bearer of misfortune. However, this is too simplistic. Magpies are not prophetic, they do not predict the future.

Rather, they highlight what has already happened and where you are now as a result of the experience. They guide us not to hide from our worries, fears, and insecurities, but to ponder them at this time. In so doing, we open ourselves to change.

In short, magpies encourage you to embrace the Big Questions in life and not hide from them.

What is The Spiritual Meaning of Seeing One Magpie?

Historically, seeing one magpie means you are about to receive some bad news. The magpie might appear in your garden, outside your house, or sitting outside your window.

The superstitious reason for this meaning comes from old folksongs and a more modern version of a nursery rhyme, as follows.

Magpie Nursery Rhyme

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.

Is it Unlucky to See One Magpie?

No, it is not unlucky to be visited by a single magpie. As a psychic who is used to communicating with animals and nature, I feel the message of a single magpie is more complex.

Magpies turn up when you are experiencing some inner personal challenges and asking the bigger questions like, What to do with the rest of my life? What changes could make me happier now? How can I be of service?

The magpie arrives to support and comfort you, to tell you that everything will be OK. The magpie is like an animal spirit guide, keeping you company as you ponder the questions that are likely to arise at this stage of your life.

Those questions are likely to be, by stage of life, as follows:


  • Who made the world?
  • Why do people die?
  • What happens after death?
  • Why am I here?


  • Who am I, really?
  • What do I believe in, separate from my parents?
  • Why is there suffering in the world?

Young Adulthood

  • What is my life purpose?
  • What kind of life do I want to lead?
  • What values and beliefs will I uphold and pass on?
  • How do I balance societal expectations with my personal beliefs?
  • How do I connect with something greater than myself?


  • Am I living a meaningful life?
  • What legacy will I leave behind?
  • How can I find deeper purpose or fulfillment?
  • How do I deal with the loss of my parents?

Elderly Years

  • How do I make peace with my past?
  • What more do I have to offer?
  • How do I make my peace with dying?
  • How do I prepare for the end of my life?
  • What spiritual insights or wisdom can I pass on to the younger generation?

End of Life

  • Have I made amends and found peace?
  • What awaits me after death?
  • Have I fulfilled my purpose?
  • How will I be remembered?

Across all stages, there are overarching questions, such as “What is the nature of existence?”, “Is there a God, and what is His nature?”, and “How do I reconcile with suffering and impermanence?”

These questions can emerge at any time, depending on one’s personal experiences and encounters.

What is The Origin of The Magpie Superstition?

Why do so many superstitions and negative connotations surround magpies? When Jesus was crucified, legend holds that the magpie was the only bird that neither consoled nor mourned him, leading to its association with evil and misfortune.

Similarly, another story claims that the magpie was the sole bird that declined Noah’s invitation to the ark. Instead of seeking shelter, it supposedly perched on top, cursing as the world flooded. These religious tales suggest the bird’s untrustworthiness.

Furthermore, magpies have a reputation for stealing shiny items, such as jewelry, which contributes to their perceived deceitful nature and association with evil. Other superstitions stem from the bird’s diet. Being omnivores, magpies consume a variety of foods, including dead animals. This scavenging behavior has led some to believe they possess a sinister nature, linking them with death and even suggesting they carry a hint of the devil within them.

Three Spiritual Meanings of Seeing Magpies

The following are three additional spiritual meaning of magpies associated with seeing one or more magpies:

1. You Need More Balance

Encountering a magpie serves as a reminder of the importance of balance in your life. Be careful not to do so much of one thing, you neglect another aspect or person(s) in your life.

The magpie, sporting stark black and white plumage, often symbolizes duality and balance. Throughout both Eastern and Western traditions, the idea of duality — concepts such as light and dark, male and female, and life and death — play significant roles in spiritual teachings.

Specifically, the Yin and Yang of Taoist tradition serves as a prime example; it’s an emblem of harmonious balance, much like the contrasting yet complementary colors of the magpie.

2. Psychic Transformation

In some traditions, people see magpies as harbingers of psychic transformation. Your spiritual gifts may be emerging, or evolving to the next stage.

People attribute this perception to magpies’ behavior of collecting shiny objects, a trait that associates them with the alchemical process of turning base metals into gold. Spiritually, this represents the potential for personal growth and the evolution of the soul.

3. Stay Connected to Others

Magpies have a vocal nature and complex social structures. In many indigenous traditions, particularly among Native Americans and Australian Aboriginals, people view birds as messengers between the heavens and the earth.

Spiritually, encountering a magpie can be a reminder of the importance of communication, both with the divine through prayer or meditation and with one’s community or loved ones.

Back to: Animal Meanings and Symbolism

Spiritual Meaning of Magpies and Other Birds

Spiritual meaning of pigeons | Spiritual meaning of bats | Spiritual meaning of robins | Spiritual Meaning of Falcons | Spiritual Meaning of Swallows | Spiritual meaning of crows