Having been plagued by the fuckers since moving to Wiltshire many Moons ago, there isn't any doubt in my mind that this superstition-riddled messenger was one of my animal totems for a period. I was living near Bristol when I came to view a house here, and on the way to the train station, I saw more than forty of them in a field. I knew that it was symbolic for me, but on that occasion, I wasn't sure of the actual message. It was The Magpies who deepened my interest in the symbolism that we can get from the animal kingdom, and I owe them a big fat thank you. They've also stuck around long enough for me to find an appreciation for tradition, structured relationships and the value of rational thinking.
Key Characteristics & Facts
The males and females look alike, with the male being just slightly larger than the female. They're non-migratory but will sometimes wander during mating season if they haven't already paired up. They are believed to be one of the most intelligent animals on the planet, and it's the only known non-mammal that is capable of self-recognition when it looks in a mirror. They can be bold when dealing with humans and don't get startled easily unless they've had negative encounters in the past. The average lifespan is five years, but they are capable of living to over twenty. Magpies were heavily persecuted between the mid 19th century until the first world war, but numbers have increased dramatically since the 1970's and the population is now considered stable. Contrary to popular belief, magpies haven't been observed taking any shiny objects and neither are they responsible for the decline in the songbird population. However, as a member of the crow family, magpies will take eggs and hunt the young from smaller birds.
Mating & Relating
When males are courting they will take food to the female, they are trying to woo, and once they pair up, both will work to construct the nest. When the female has laid her eggs, the male will take food to her whilst she tends to the eggs. After the chicks are hatched, he will help to feed them though it's the male who's responsible for protecting the nest. Magpies are monogamous and stay together for life in around half of all matings.
Human? Weird Shit for Freaks & Uniques!
Magpies can represent an androgynous look or feminine men and masculine women. It indicates an individual that likes eating out or cooking for others, especially during the early stages of romance. Relationships that are under the guidance of magpies are usually fairly well balanced, stable and likely to begin in the autumn or winter. "He" will be a protective male who isn't afraid to do traditional women's work and he'll be happy to provide for his family. The woman will want to be a full-time mum whilst her kids are young. There's an emphasis on shared parenting but with a traditional hunter-gatherer set up at a basic level. Fidelity will be important to both parties and commitments will probably be honoured. The personal level of self-awareness will be high and the ability to know one's quirks and flaws will be valued in the self and others. It may indicate a relationship where the couple takes their time in building a secure home together before starting a family. Magpies are messengers from the unconscious, and they're telling you that you need to pay more attention to the signs around you. They'll often show up when there is a huge split between the inner and outer worlds and there's a high likelihood that you're being led by old unconscious impulses. If you're getting signs of interest from someone who is already attached, they're probably not going to make a move. Regardless of whether they're attached or not, you're dealing with someone who has two very different sides to their character. It's usually (but not always) the creative or sexual self that the person is hiding or blocking in some way. Society will largely reject the natural impulses inherent in humans, and the magpie is a sign that nurture has taken the dominant lead over the personality. Don't expect this person to follow their heart; they might, but you can't trust them to honour their feelings.