“Birds appear in our lives for a reason. Sometimes these winged creatures are here for a brief time and sometimes for an extended stay. We may not always know why a bird appears to us at a particular moment, but with this book and card deck, you will become more aware of the guidance and wisdom that our feathered friends convey to us every day.” – From the Bird Signs companion book

As one who has received many oracular insights from feathered friends over the years, I was thrilled to see a new deck dedicated solely to birds. From cardinal to penguin, lark to owl, Bird Signs covers 52 different birds (and thus has 52 cards). Attractively packaged in a colorful, sturdy box that seals with a magnetic flap, the Bird Signs kit also includes a lovely 133-page glossy companion book featuring full-color illustrations.

When I received Bird Signs, published by New World Library, I was truly impressed with the quality of the packaging/storage box, the guidebook, and the cards themselves. In my mind, no one rivals baba studio/Magic Realist Press (Victorian Flower Oracle, Fairytale Tarot, Tarot of Prague, etc.) when it comes to deck and book sets. However, I have to say that Bird Signs rivals the quality of those kits!

With her favorite mediums being pen and ink with colored pencils, illustrator Mary Ruzicka infuses each bird with gentle lines, flowing curves, and realistic hues. From the peaceful dove to the beautiful swan, the happy bluebird to the adventurous roadrunner, Ms. Ruzicka delightfully captures the unique character of each bird—inviting humans to study them, learn from them, and contemplate their messages.

Written by G.G. Carbone, the Bird Signs companion book explains the framework of the deck, which constitutes 45 bird cards and 7 feathered friends cards. Bedecked with rainbow-colored ribbons and relevant motifs, the special feathered friend cards represent a specific intention, chakra, chakra color, and physical area of the body. They can be used alone for inspiration or with the rest of the deck for additional illumination. For example, the yellow Egg – Birth card addresses new births of all kinds and the Solar Plexus Chakra. The blue Song – Voice card deals with communication and the Throat Chakra.

Upright meanings for all cards are provided, as well as reversed meanings. Ms. Carbone gives a brief bio of each bird, as well as Bird Wisdom (interpretation), Broken Wing (reversed meaning), Bird Vision (how you can “see” from a bird’s particular perspective) , and a piece of bird lore (not necessarily about the bird). Keywords, healing colors, and a message is also provided.

Printed on a smooth matte finish, the Bird Signs cards measure approximately 5 ¼ x 3 ½ inches. Flexible and easy to shuffle, the card backings depict a simple, yet attractive, double feather motif with greens, blues, and purples that are fully reversible.

Some of the birds and their wisdom found in Bird Signs include:

• Waxwing – Curiosity
• Hummingbird – Energy
• Robin – Joy
• Flamingo – Balance
• Woodpecker - Hope
• Jay – Communication
• Duck – Decision
• Hawk – Observation
• Roadrunner – Adventure
• Gull – Laughter
• Raven – Illusion
• Parrot – Creativity
• Oriole – Compassion
• Stork – Reliability
• Pheasant – Opportunity
• Heron – Patience
• Eagle – Freedom
• Penguin – Purpose
• Chickadee – Playfulness

Despite the utter gorgeousness of the box, cards, and companion book, I admit that I’m a bit disappointed in this oracle. I did a few one-card readings the last few days, and each time, the message was totally off base. For example, I drew the Rooster yesterday, which is about 180 from how I am, where I am, and what I know to be at this time in my life. For example, if I’m in sync with this card, I’m an early riser, need courage to face the day, and have difficulty getting out of bed.

Nothing could be further from the truth! I’m a night owl (it’s wired in my DNA), get out of bed easily, and joyfully look forward to each day that is filled with promise and abundant blessings. (No, not being a Pollyanna here—it’s really how I am!)  I did another one-card reading, with equally irrelevant results. However, I DID do a 3-card Past/Present/Future spread (called the Wingspan Spread in the Bird Signs companion book), and drew three of the special feathered friends cards. This reading was highly accurate. Go figure!

As I read through the Bird Signs book, I felt that some of the interpretations were too simplistic and, well, *practical* (e.g. “Go on a picnic” and “try saltwater fishing”). Perhaps I’m just used to, or prefer, more psychologically oriented interpretations. Granted, Ms. Carbone provides quite a bit of information—but it seems a bit superficial at times. Maybe I was expecting interpretations and facts along the lines of Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak. (If you’re used to that book, you may be a bit disappointed with this deck if you’re expecting more depth.)

However, I think Bird Signs could certainly be used in accordance with a book like Animal Speak, which provides depth and breadth to animal divination. Also, the bird cards would be great meditation tools for those with avian affinity, as well as a starting point for looking up birds who fly into your life.

Below are 10 images from this deck:

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Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.
Bird Signs: Guidance & Wisdom from Our Feathered Friends - G.G. Carbone and Mary Ruzicka