I recently read The Madonna Secret by Sophie Strand, and in this book, the main character Miriam often receives guidance from the natural world, especially birds. This got me thinking about my own relationship with birds and questioning “Have I been pausing to appreciate them and hear their message?” Honestly, I had not been paying much mind to the birds, so I started to become more aware of the birds around me–when they appear, how they make me feel, and the tone of their chatter.
Soon after, I noticed the Oracle of the Birds by Jeanne Ruland, and I felt prompted to delve deeper into my bird explorations. This gorgeous deck, illustrated by Petra Kühne, shares the spiritual messages from a variety of birds, providing meaning and affirmations for me to explore, and it has brought a new appreciation for birds into my life. Ruland reminds us:
“They touch our soul. Our soul is like them–free, fluidly connected, unique, and yet belonging to Heaven.”1
This deck consists of 46 cards, which are mostly birds, but also include some mythical bird figures (Ba, Garuda) and bird-related items (Egg, Nest, Feather). From the largest bird (Ostrich) to the tiniest bird (Hummingbird), the wide range of birds in this deck spans the globe.
Kühne has done an amazing job bringing these birds to life on the cards. Flipping through the deck and looking at the images, I feel a subtle humming in my hands, as though the spirits of the birds are being infused right into my soul. The deck is bright with each bird in their own colorful habitat. My favorite part about Kühne’s design is the patterns and sacred geometry patterns shining through softly in the background, reminding me of the divinity of these birds.
On each card is the name of the bird, a few keywords, and then a sentence or two of guidance. This makes the cards wonderful to use on an altar space or simply keep out for the day to glance at for inspiration. The back of the cards is the same for the whole deck, but it also has an encouraging message that reminds readers to keep their gaze uplifted.
The guidebook is short and sweet in its introduction to the cards, quickly delving into the card profiles, which are organized alphabetically. Every description includes a title, image of the card, meaning of the card, message from the bird’s magic feather, list of additional meanings, and an affirmation.
I appreciate how for each card meaning Ruland takes the time to describe how the bird enters your life. For instance he writes, “Death-defying, the falcon plunges into your energy field to hunt demons.”2 Meanwhile, he describes how Goose “comes waddling into your life and enables you to recognize the deep truth of things.”3 His descriptive writing is a portal for the bird’s energy, and I enjoy the sensation of feeling and imagining the way the bird of the day enters during my daily pull to share their insight.
This week I keep pulling the same card, and clearly I feel like I’m being sent a message with the consistency of it appearing day after day, even with multiple shufflings. The card is Garuda, who Ruland describes as “a mythical and immortal messenger of light from the Upper World.”4
The overall message from this card is centered on me opening up to messages from higher realms, listening to my heart, and trusting the guidance of the divine, while remembering that I am a source of light. I really resonate with Garuda, especially how Ruland interprets the card as a sign to focus on my own spiritual development and “connection to the existence of creation.”5
As much as many of us strive to be grounded, this deck reminds us that sometimes we need to let our spirits fly high for a new perspective. Ruland has attentively channeled the wisdom of birds into affirming messages that shift our gaze towards the sky and bring new insights. The imagery created by Kühne transports us into new habitats and states of mind, gleaming with elegance, grace, and possibility.
Overall, Oracle of the Birds is an excellent resource for anyone looking to deepen their spiritual practice and connect with the natural world. The beautiful artwork and insightful messages make it a joy to work with, and the guidance and wisdom of the birds can help you discover insights on your spiritual path. Whether you’re looking for clarity, guidance, or inspiration, this deck can help you connect with the energy of birds and tap into their powerful wisdom.
Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.