Reorientation, transformation, natural cycles, longing

About the meaning: The commonly used meanings I found for the Stork were, strangely, rather limited, scant. In most cases there weren't much more detailed descriptions than "(positive) change", "relocation / movement", and the remark that in combination with the Child the Stork represents pregnancy. Often I also found a collection of stork-like physical attributes like "tall", "elegant", or "long legs" - but this category has been of little use to me. The limited range of meanings for the Stork puzzled me. For you only need to meditate a little bit on this bird's nature to discover a whole range of additional interpretations. I did; and the interpretations I discovered turned out very productive for my readings. They are all derived from the Stork being a migratory bird who travels thousands of miles two times every year in a rhythm the seasons dictate.

Migration / transition / reorientation: Like I said, stork are migratory birds. So the starting point of the Stork's interpretation to me is "migration". Now, migration can be taken literally, in which case the Stork represents relocation. But in most readings I find it more productive to take "migration" figuratively. In these cases, the Stork represents not physical relocation, not spatial movement, but reorientation, or a transition. Sometimes this reorientation, this transition, will concern something small, mundane. But in many cases the transition will be quite intense, maybe life changing - the Stork sometimes suggests that we will have to or are already in the process of redefining who we are. This is for example the case with the transition from one gender to another, and with major social transitions, where one's new role in society also redefines one's identity. Another example would be the transition from naive, romantic infatuation into mature, loving commitment - a possibly very trying time in which the relationship has to be redefined from scratch. Summing up, the Stork stands for the crossing of a threshold or border, and for the mental and emotional reorientation necessitated by this transition.

Transformation (change) / long process: Directly following from the last paragraph, the Stork represents change in the sense of transformation: something or someone, while remaing the same entity, nevertheless changes radically - outwardly or inwardly or both. While the Rider to me suggests change which is brought to us, without our doing, and the Ship, change in our environment or behaviour which we bring about of our own volition, the Stork hints at transformations which are inevitably triggered by the nature of the entity who is transforming. The simplest example for this is the transformation a human body goes through as it grows up and ages. But the Stork could for example also hint at the transformation of a relationship (e.g. the transformation of a once sexual relationship into an intense platonic one), or the transformation of someone's mere sensitivity into compassion and wisdom. Because the storks' biannual migration is time-consuming I have always seen the transformation the card represents as a very long process, not a quick event. The card Stork says to me that yes, something is happening, something is already moving, but that the process is ongoing and will keep going on for quite a while yet. The Stork can be taken as a reminder that a certain process could become very intense, consume a lot of time, energy and effort. Here, the Stork can be understood as the advice to make sure that we know how and where en route we can replenish our energy reserves. It may be a prompt to check where we can stop over, find shelter, when we need rest.

Natural Cycles / return / repetition: Stork are migratory birds. But this doesn't mean that they constantly move from one place to another and then on to an altogether different one again. No: their migration follows a cyclic pattern. They leave their summer habitat in autumn to migrate to their winter habitat. This, they leave in spring to return again to their summer habitat. Stork come back to the same places they stayed before! This is the reason I often interpret the Stork as natural cycles, as repetitions, as things (or people!) which have a tendency to go away but then come back again. The Stork speaks to me of the return of someone who once left, of the recurrence of a certain feeling or experience (positive or negative). And sometimes the Stork suggests I should reconnect with someone, or try something again because this time around it might work.

Instinct / inevitability / longing: Stork have to migrate twice a year. It's not their choice; their instinct tells them to. In this sense the Stork also stands for that which we humans do (or know) instinctively - for that which is ingrained so deeply in our essence that we have to follow its call if we want to stay whole. The Stork can be a hint that something is so essential, so much part of someone's inner nature, that going against it would harm them greatly. From a slightly different angle the Stork may be an indicator that what is happening is inevitable. The Stork can suggest that we need to accept what is happening and go with it, that we can only try to react productively, but cannot interfere with the process itself. The Stork to me is the card which says that we need to go with the natural flow of events, not against it. Sometimes we have to let things run their course. And this leads directly to the last point: deep longing. The Stork stands for the desperate, all-consuming yearning to be what (or where) our inner nature wants us to be; it represents the irresistible pull we feel towards something which is essential to the thriving of our inner being.

See also the annakblogs article >> So, is the Stork a positive or negative card?

About the Image: Because my interpretation of the Stork starts and ends with its migratory nature my Stork (a White Stork) is not depicted nesting, or sedately wading in a lake as it does in some other Lenormand decks - I painted it up in the air, migrating. It is in fact just about to cross the sea gate of Gibraltar. I chose this landmark not just because of its recognition value but also because it is the border between the continents of Europe and Africa. So it is especially well apt to represent transitions. In addition, the sea gate of Gibraltar is on the factual migration route of White Stork!
Apart from these few facts there are no further rationally communicable explanations of the illustration. A sense of longing, a hope for return, an irresistible pull, I hope are all palpable just by letting the image sink in.

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