Excitement, chit-chat, fickleness, chaos, quick reactions

About the meaning: A large part of the Birds' meanings can be derived from the vision of a group of agile little birds fluttering about, chattering. This is the starting point of all interpretations of the Birds I myself use. There are a few other keywords often used traditionally which don't fit in well with this vision. I don't use them personally but I mention them briefly in the last paragraph.

Excitement / busyness / nervousness: One of the first things which is immediately noticeable about a group of little birds (in my card's case, sparrows) - is their excitement, and their busyness. They flutter about animatedly, preoccupied with all kinds of things - feeding, bathing, courting, chatting etc. So that's the first thing which comes to my mind when I see the Lenormand Birds: excitement, liveliness, and also stimulation, as well as activity, flurry, general bustle, a preoccupation with something specific, or multi-tasking. The card can mean that someone is happily exited, exhilarated about something, or productively engaged with something. But it could also say that someone is over-stimulated, or making a fuss. Sometimes the Birds suggest that our nervous system is "up", that we're always alert, or skittish. They can can represent difficulties with staying calm. The card can be a hint that because we're always on guard, constantly trying to see where danger is lurking, we're unable to relax. In other words, the Birds represent not just excitement and busyness but also also nervousness and stress.

Chit-chat / worries: Many little birds, and especially sparrows, like chatting - a lot. That's probably the reason why the Birds traditionally represent verbal communication. They represent talking, but also singing - anything which has to do with voices. I personally specify a little here. For to my human ears it usually sounds like sparrows are constantly talking over each other. What they are saying doesn't sound like in-depth communication to me but a lot like idle chit-chat, or gossip, or babbling. It sounds to me like they are constantly talking not because they have something of relevance to say but because they simply cannot hold their tongues. So all that is also something the Lenormand Birds mean for me. Along this line they can stand for conversations in which one or all participants don't really listen to or understand each other, for rambling, for blabbing secrets - and for short, often superficial, types of conversations, e.g. text messages. Now, when you see constant chattering not as a process going on on the outside but inside someone's own head, then the Birds could also stand for obsessive brooding, for fretting about something, for incessant, compulsive worries or constant anxiety. The Birds is one of the cards I look at closely when something is bothering me. They can represent small but annoyingly persistent problems.

Meetings / comings and goings / fickleness: Another traditional meaning of the Birds is "meetings" - probably because they like to flock together in groups. And when you watch a group (or flock) of birds it is also obvious that while there is always a core group present there is a constant coming and going at the edges. Individual flock members are constantly arriving or departing. That's why I don't just interpret the Birds as groups, and meetings, but also as comings and goings, and, translated to non group specific contexts, fickleness and unrest. The Birds can suggest that someone keeps changing direction, interests, opinions etc.; or that someone is restless, unlikely to stay. In that sense, the Birds may represent a person who is not reliable.

Distraction / lack of focus / chaos: If you watch a group of sparrows, as a whole it often seems a pretty chaotic affair, with all of them bustling about, each of them doing something different. Thus, the Birds to me may represent chaos, a lack of structure, and also a lack of focus. They can suggest that someone is (too) easily distracted, or represent difficulties to concentrate. If I had to pick one card to represent a person with ADHD, it would be the Birds. And they can be a card which says that there is too much (figurative) noise in our life; or that something is cluttered, messy. Along a similar line the Birds sometimes seem to suggest disturbance to me, or represent anything I consider a nuisance.

Quick reactions / agility / quick-wittedness: Little birds are constantly on alert - and they react extremely quickly, instinctively, to any little change in their environment. For us humans of course many reflex actions later turn out to have been rash, premature. But sometimes they save us a lot of trouble. Furthermore, the Birds don't just represent reflex reactions but also quick reactions in general, presence of mind, and quick-wittedness, repartee. The Birds can represent mobility and agility - both in a literal, physical sense, and figuratively speaking. They stand for the ability to respond to changed conditions very quickly. They might stand for someone who takes care of things immediately - albeit not very thoroughly.

Other: As I mentioned above the Birds traditionally carry some meanings which I personally don't use. These are: (Older) couple, siblings (twins), a pair of something.

See also the annakblogs article >> So, are the Birds a positive or negative card?

About the Image: Many Lenormand decks depict two birds; often owls. I first considered following suit. But while painting two owls would have expressed "old couple; two" quite well, all the rest of the card's meanings didn't seem articulative at all. I quickly figured out that to express excitement, chit-chat, meetings, comings and goings, chaos, and repartee, I had to paint lots of birds, and they had to be smallish birds who group together, and who actually are hectic and noisy when they do. So I picked sparrow-like birds, and painted a lot of them, not just two. No two of my sparrows are doing exactly the same thing; they are all over the place. They are excited and quick and busy and restless, and they are definitely noisy. These birds, I felt, expressed all those of the cards' meanings very eloquently which I myself had found most applicable and productive.
But as a concession to the "older couple" part of the traditional meaning I painted two of the birds in much warmer golden hues. If you look closely, these two golden birds are also the ones whose beaks are open, who are verbally expressing themselves at the moment - very possibly to each other. The two golden birds don't just represent a couple in their "golden age", or more general, pairs of something. They are also a beautiful hint that within all idle chit-chat, within any messy situation, there will still be bits and pieces of relevance. They are a hint that when we are multi-tasking, trying to do everything at once, there are always some tasks which can (and should!) be given priority.  
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