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Birds: The magic of feathers

Following on from my recent blog post about using animal parts in magic. Here are some more details about feathers, one of my favourite natural items to work magic with.

Many animal spirit guides will come in the form of winged creatures and these have carried magic with them for thousands of years. Many deities have bird sidekicks and all manner of winged fanciful creatures. Legends and myths are full of them.


I would imagine to our ancestors a creature that could take to the air would have been quite mystical. And so they started to appear in folklore and omens. Birds could foretell death or bring good luck. They were messengers from the gods, angels or souls of the dead.

Not only do they bring the element of air but also the ability to make a connection between the earth and the sky.

Feathers are THE element of air, there couldn’t be a more symbolic representation of air unless you could capture a gale in a jar. If you are gifted with a feather make a connection with it. It could be a message for you, it might be from spirit. Some think it is a sign of angels or it might be a reminder that you need to make a conscious effort to get out into nature. And some believe that a gift of a feather is also a link to the world of Faerie.

The whole package

With bird animal guides you not only get the opportunity to work with the animal itself but also in the form of eggs and feathers, both very magical items. The egg is a complete set of the four elements all in one handy container. The shell represents earth, the inner membrane represents air, the yolk is fire and the white is water. The egg also symbolises the earth, life and renewal.


If you find a feather give it some thought…

  • What were you thinking about just before you found it?

  • What is going on in your life at the moment?

  • What was your initial thought when you saw it or what words popped into your head?

Any of these questions may help determine the reason or it might just be a gift for you to keep for later use.


Feathers have long been associated with omens and the colours have meaning. Here are some traditional colour correspondences. But if you find a coloured feather and it means something else to you…go with your intuition:

Black – can mean bad luck and was often thought to mean death but I also think it can be a warning to bring in protection.

Brown – home, hearth, grounding or friendship.

Grey – peace.

Black & white – averting trouble or change is coming.

White – often said to be a sign the angels are watching over you and faith and hope.

Yellow – success or acknowledgement that you are on the right path.

Pink – love.

Blue – a spiritual connection or awakening and inspiration.

Red – good fortune, passion.

Green – health, healing or prosperity.


And feathers from particular birds have their own specific meanings too:

Blue Jay feathers bring joy, happiness and light.

Crow feathers are excellent for wisdom, knowledge and helping us to let go of unwanted feelings, thoughts or negative energy.

Robin feathers bring new projects, plans and beginnings.

White swan feathers hold purification, cleansing, beauty and positive energy and black swan feathers can be used to dispel negative energy.

Hawk feathers bring the magic of the hunt.

Eagle feathers hold huge amounts of energy but also bring peace, happiness and protection.

Magpie feathers bring magic, divination skills, wisdom and change.

Pigeon feathers bring peace, love and communication.

Blackbird feathers bring poetry, inspiration, music and a stronger connection with meditation.


Use feathers as charms, amulets, talismans, medicine pouches and spells. They are a ready made fetish (a charm with magical powers) and can be fashioned into smudge fans, healing sticks, fetish pots, prayer sticks and wands.

Do you use feathers in your magical workings?

Note: Some countries/states have strict laws about keeping feathers, please check.

Originally posted on Beneath the Moon, Patheos Pagan - 7.2.18


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