Why The Magpie Is Regarded As The Bird Of Joy

Magpies are beautiful birds even before they spread their wings and are related to the crow family of birds.

Studies have also shown that certain species of magpies are some of the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom.

It is of no surprise that such a magically looking bird has significant symbolism in feng shui.

Legend of the magpie

The manchu people who have a strong presence in Chinese history treat the magpie as a sacred bird that is able to help overcome obstacles in life.

So much so that it was used as a totem to represent certain influential clans.

The manchu also played a vital role in assisting the Qing empire conquer China by defeating the Ming rulers.

The magpie featured prominently in victory banners and emblems.

In a famous mythical classic story, a farmer by the name of Chien Niu fell in love with a fairy named Chih Nu when she was doing her round of good deeds on earth. But the heavenly jade emperor refused to approve of their relationship and prohibited them to meet by recalling the fairy back to heaven. However, their love was so deep that the emperor finally relented. Magpies then filled the sky to form a stairway to heaven for Chien Niu to meet his loved one.

As they are permitted to meet once a year on the 7th day of the 7th month, folklore insist that on this calendar day no magpies will be seen as they are busy building the bridge for the couple in love to meet.

There is also a common saying that “when the magpie sings, good news of wealth is coming or a relative would be visiting”.

Centuries ago when China was primarily an agricultural industry, farmers welcomed the presence of magpies on their land. The mere sight of them made them happy. This is because this species of bird hunted and fed on common insect pest that damage their crops before harvest.

There’s also a story set during the Tang dynasty of a man named Li JingYi who cared for a magpie which seek refuge in his home. He was later accused by someone of a crime and sent to jail. A magpie which resembled his pet then appeared outside the jail cell to sing to him. Shortly after, he was released without charges. The guards who released him described the messenger as someone wearing clothing with colors that resembled the magpie.

There’s a belief that if a magpie nest is burned on the 5th day of the 5th month, it’s eggs can be consumed for healing powers for the sick and injured.

Symbolism of magpie

While the magpie sign seemed to feature in victory parades, it’s symbolism is not about wars and battles like the victory banner.

In feng shui it is known as a powerful attractor of happy and joyous events worthy of celebration. Thus, the nickname the bird of joy.

It is written as 喜鹊 (xi que) in mandarin. With 喜 carrying the meaning of happiness.

On top of that, it signifies the overcoming of obstacles to attain goals.

It is generally a bird of good omen.

Because of this mystical ability, the magpie can be used for a variety of purposes to help users take one step closer to their ultimate goals.

  • People wanting to get married might find opportunities to do so
  • Couples wishing for children could get just what they wished for
  • Business people will find lesser obstacles standing in their way towards success
  • etc

When you spot a magpie, it is a sign from the heavens that something good is going to happen soon.

When it nest in your house, it literally implies that the bird is bringing good fortune to you. So don’t chase them away or burn their nests under any circumstances unless it is absolutely necessary.


The magpie is also commonly depicted in auspicious Chinese paintings.

When it is perched on the highest branch or flying there, it symbolizes perpetual good news.

When a pair are playing on plum blossom trees, it represents great happiness.

Sometimes, bamboo accompanies the plum and magpie. Which results in the meaning of joy and happiness between a married couple.

A pair of them in any setup is related to “double happiness” and conjugal bliss.

And when accompanied by a badger, it signifies a happy reunion. This is because the badger is pronounced as huan (獾) and sounds exactly like huan (欢) which means happiness.

When depicted to be plucking seeds from the stamens of a blown lotus, it represents the joy of passing exams one after another.

When two magpies are shown as mirror images of each other, it means to have peace, harmony and union. This comes from the myth that if a man and wife are apart, they might each keep half of a mirror. And if one party was unfaithful, his or her piece would turn into a magpie and fly away.

A painting of 12 magpies symbolizes the 12 good wishes.

When magpies surround a government official riding a horse, it means that for a calling for redoubled joy in marriage and descendants.

Two magpies with a coin communicates that happiness is right in front of you.

Together with a panther, they are harbingers of joy. Perched on a parasol tree, it means shared pleasure.

As we can see, magpies are of generally good omen. Which is why it is often mentioned with it’s contrast, which is the raven.

Placement of the magpie bird

Homeowners who intend to place the magpie at home must be reminded that this is symbolic feng shui as the bird don’t represent any particular elements.

This means that you can place it in any sector to power-up the feng shui configuration that is already present in a particular sector.

For example, the south is a section of the house that is associated with fame, recognition, status, and rank. Placing a magpie painting in this sector can enhance opportunities for promotions.

Placing it in the southwest can help enhance the energy that governs relationships in the household and create harmony.

In terms of flying star feng shui, placing it where the water star 4 is can help one with academic success.

However, do note that birds are generally not recommended for placement in bedrooms.

It can also be carried around as a personal charm as it has a positive aura that help avoid and overcome problems in general.

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