There are many forms of divination. Some Pagans are adept in using several forms of divination while others only use a few. Tarot cards, pendulums, runes, candles and several other tools can be used to see events that happen during the past, present and future. Ornithomancy is a form of divination that is used throughout the world and is accomplished by observing birds.
According to Scott Cunningham (2003), birds were considered messengers of the Goddesses and Gods. Ornithomancy was a popular form of divination during ancient times, especially in Rome and Greece. It is accomplished through observing the behavior, color, cries, flight, songs, and other characteristics of birds.
Any type of bird can be observed for divinatory purposes. During ancient times, crows, eagles, ravens, vultures, and other birds of prey were commonly used for ornithomancy. Domesticated and non-flying birds can be used for this type of divination as well. Some cultures believed that each species of bird had different characteristics and gave different meanings to the behaviors of each species.
Ornithomancy methods and meanings
By watching the flight patterns of birds, a person can receive an answer to a question being asked. All a person has to do is ask the question and watch the sky. If a bird(s) fly from left to right across the sky, the outcome of the question being asked is promising. If the bird(s) fly from right to left, the answer to the question is unfavorable. If no birds appear, ask the question again at a later time.
Listening to birds can also give an answer to a question. If a question receives one or two bird calls back, then the answer to the question will be positive. If three bird cries in response to the questions outcome will be negative.
The birds that are seen may also be the answer to the question being asked. Some species of birds are considered fortunate. Other birds are believed to be unfortunate. Fortunate birds include; blue birds, doves, ducks, and humming birds. Unfortunate birds include; crows, herons, and owls. There are also birds that are sometimes seen as fortunate and at other times they are considered unfortunate.
There are many other ways that birds can be used for divinatory purposes. For more information on this topic, please read Divination for Beginners by Scott Cunningham. More information can also be found by doing internet searches.
Scott Cunningham, Divination for Beginners: Reading the Past, Present & Future (Llewellyn,2003)