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:::"The Language of the Birds":::

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Author Topic: :::"The Language of the Birds":::  (Read 537 times)
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« on: May 18, 2007, 01:17:09 pm »

In posting these pages, I would like to mention that I have previously come across birds in regards to the ancient gods.   In researching the two doves over a doorway at the temple at Dodona, they were recognised as referring to the secret communication by carrier pigeon carried on between temples which gave, or helped to give, the priestesses the aspect to the public of being "all knowing".   Also, in the tale of the origin of Dodona, it was said that it was begun by a "flock of pigeons" of various colors, which was deciphered to mean a group of holy women of various races.

Huginn and Muninn sit on Odin's shoulders in this illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.

A language of the birds, a mystical, perfect or divine language, or a mythical or magical language used by birds to communicate with the initiated, is postulated in mythology, medieval literature and occultism.

Birds played an important role in Indo-European religion, used for divination by augurs, and according to a suggestion by Walter Burkert, these customs may have their roots in the Paleolithic when during the Ice Age, early humans used to look for carrion by observing birds.

From the Renaissance, it was the inspiration for some magical a priori languages, in particular musical languages. Whistled languages based or constructed on or articulated natural languages used in some cultures are sometimes also referred to, and compared with, the language of the birds.


 Greek mythology
According to Apollonius Rhodius, the figurehead of Jason's ship, the Argo, was built of oak from the sacred grove at Dodona and could speak the language of birds. The language of birds in Greek mythology may be attained by magical means. Democritus, Anaximander, Apollonius of Tyana, Tiresias, Melampus and Aesopus were all said to have understood the birds.

Norse mythology

The 11th century Ramsund carving in Sweden depicts how Sigurd learnt the language of birds, in the Völsunga saga. 1) Sigurd is sitting naked in front of the fire preparing the dragon heart, from Fafnir, for his foster-father Regin, who is Fafnir's brother. The heart is not finished yet, and when Sigurd touches it, he burns himself and sticks his finger into his mouth. As he has tasted dragon blood, he starts to understand the birds' song. 2) The birds say that Regin will not keep his promise of reconciliation and will try to kill Sigurd, which causes Sigurd to cut off Regin's head. 3) Regin is dead beside his own head, his smithing tools with which he reforged Sigurd's sword Gram are scattered around him, and 4) Regin's horse is laden will the dragon's treasure. 5) is the previous event when Sigurd killed Fafnir, and 6) shows Ótr from the saga's beginningIn Norse mythology, the power to understand the language of the birds was a sign of great wisdom. The god Odin had two ravens, called Hugin and Munin, who flew around the world and told Odin what happened among mortal men.

The legendary king of Sweden Dag the Wise was so wise that he could understand what birds said. He had a tame house sparrow which flew around and brought back news to him. Once, a farmer in Reidgotaland killed Dag's sparrow, which brought on a terrible retribution from the Swedes.

The ability could also be acquired by tasting dragon blood. According to the Völsunga saga, Sigurd accidentally tasted dragon blood while roasting the heart of Fafnir. This gave him the ability to understand the language of birds, and his life was saved as the birds were discussing Regin's plans to kill Sigurd.

 Celtic mythology
In Celtic mythology, birds usually represent prophetic knowledge or bloodshed (especially crows). Morrigan adopted the shape of a bird to warn the Brown Bull. Echoing stories of the Edda and the Mabinogion, Richard Wagner's Siegfried understands the birds after he tasted Fafner's blood.

The concept is also known from many folk tales (including Welsh, Russian, German, Estonian, Greek), where usually the protagonist is granted the gift of understanding the language of the birds either by some magical transformation, or as a reward for some good deed by the king of birds. The birds then inform or warn the hero about some danger or hidden treasure.

In Sufism, the language of birds is a mystical language of angels. The Conference of the Birds (mantiq at-tair) is a mystical poem of 4647 verses by the 12th century Persian poet Farid ud-Din Attar [1].

Francis of Assisi is said to have preached to the birds.

In the Talmud (Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Bible, 1909), Solomon's proverbial wisdom was due to his being granted understanding of the language of birds by God.

In Kabbalah, Renaissance magic, and alchemy, the language of the birds was considered a secret and perfect language and the key to perfect knowledge, sometimes also called the langue verte, or green language (Jean Julien Fulcanelli, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa de occulta philosophia).

In medieval France, the language of the birds (la langue des oiseaux) was a secret language of the Troubadours, connected with the Tarot, allegedly based on puns and symbolism drawn from homophony, e. g. an inn called au lion d'or "the Golden Lion" is allegedly "code" for au lit on dort "in the bed one sleeps" [2] (note that this particular pun cannot be medieval, since final t was pronounced until Middle French, c.f. e.g. the 14th century loanword bonnet).

Compare also the rather comical and satirical Birds of Aristophanes and Parliament of Fowls by Chaucer.

"The language of the birds" (Die Sprache der Vögel) is a 1991 German movie. Jean Sibelius composed a wedding march titled "The language of the birds" in 1911. The children's book author Rafe Martin has written "The Language of Birds" as an adaptation of a Russian folk tale; it was made into a children's opera by composer John Kennedy.

In Egyptian Arabic, hieroglyphic writing is called "the alphabet of the birds". In Ancient Egyptian itself, the hieroglyphic form of writing was given the name medu-netjer ("words of the gods" or "divine language").


« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 01:38:00 pm by rockessence » Report Spam   Logged


Thus ye may find in thy mental and spiritual self, ye can make thyself just as happy or just as miserable as ye like. How miserable do ye want to be?......For you GROW to heaven, you don't GO to heaven. It is within thine own conscience that ye grow there.

Edgar Cayce

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Using rocks and minerals to heal the earth and us.

« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2007, 01:26:19 pm »

The Language of the Birds


“The reader (of ‘La Vraie Celtique et la Cromlech de Renne-les-Bains’) needs to speak she language of the birds, to understand the word games of the phonetic cabala, and to know how to read the stars. He must question the Tarot and the Zodiac to discover the secret of Arcadia, hidden by the Cromlech of Rennes-les-Bains."

("Rennes le chateau, Capital Secrete de l'Histoire de France” - Jean Pierre Deloux & Jacques Bretigny).


The language of the birds is the tongue of Secret Wisdom, embracing Cabala, Astrology, Alchemy and Tarot. Its vocabulary is myth, and symbolism is its grammar.


Before there was written language, religion and law were transmitted orally, each narrator adding and amending as thought fit. The invention of writing offered the facility for keeping records and provided a means of secret communication, spelt out by letter or symbols, chipped on stone or pressed into clay. The contents remained the same, knowledge was still transcribed into ritual, poetry, magic and myth.

The Zohar states that God made the World through the Hebrew alphabet, which is a way of saying that letters served as shorthand symbols for the stages of creation. The three mother letters represented the three highest Sephiroth of the non-manifest triangle of the Cabalistic Tree of Life, Kether, Chokmah and Binah, to which were attributed the elements of air, fire and water. The seven double letters (double because each had both a hard and a soft sound) were allied to the seven Sephiroth of the lower triangles of manifestation - Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, and Hod, Netzach, Yesod - plus the pendant Sephira Malkuth. Their symbolism included the then known planets (Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Earth). The twelve single letters corresponded to the Zodiac.


Eliphas Levi, the most prolific and original of the 19th century French occultists, was the first person to ally the Cabala to the Tarot. The twenty-two paths between the Sephiroth were allocated to the cards of the Major Arcana. The four suits of wands, cups, swords and discs reflected the four cabalistic worlds: Archetypal (intuition), Creative (intellect), Formative (learning), and Material (action). The numbered cards 1-10 of the Minor Arcana were equated with the symbolic meanings of the ten Sephiroth, and the four picture cards of each suit represented the equal-armed cross created by the junction of the two pillars supporting the Tree of Life, which were not good and evil, but male and female, positive and negative, light and dark, action and reaction. At the centre was the holy Sephira of Tiphareth, the point of perfect balance, harmony and beauty; the mystic rose that held within its seed-pod generations of future blossoms.


Writing was a sacred art: alphabets were not just collections of letters, but calendars, calculators, compendiums of facets of nature and concepts of divinity. Initiates had to be familiar with one hundred and fifty Ogham alphabets. In order to preserve secrecy they would write in code, using more than one alphabet, and would sometimes further confuse

matters by the transposition of letters, writing backwards, or in a foreign language. Robert Graves in his grammar of poetic myth, ache White Goddess, quotes an example of an encoded message: a poet asking another "When shall we meet again" might receive the answer "When the brown-plumaged rook perches on the fir below the fortress of Seolae, that would spell out CRAS - the Latin for "tomorrow".


Graves describes how the alphabetic calendar was divided into thirteen months of twenty-eight days, each represented by a consonant, with one day left over. The vowels were allocated to the five stations of the Great Goddess - birth, initiation, coronation/marriage; repose, death/rebirth.


Probably the best known of the Oghams is the Celtic Tree alphabet (Beth-Luis-Nion: birch, rowan, ash), but there were others - numbers, colours, jewels, stars, god-names. The Book of Ballymote lists a bird Ogham: According to the Fables of Caius Juliius Hyginus, Mercury invented the alphabet by watching cranes, because "cranes make letters as they fly". The secrets of the Beth-Lius-Nion alphabet were kept in a crane-skin bag.

December 24 - January 21
January 22 - February 18
February 19 - March 18
March 19 - April 14
April 15 - May 13
 Hawk/SS strolach thrush
May 14-June 10
June 11 - July 8
July 9 - August 5
August 5 - September 5
 Crane/Q querc hen
September 6 - September 30
October 1 - October 29
October 30 - November 25
November 26 - December 22
 Winter Solstice
Spring Equinox
Summer Solstice
Autumn Equinox
 Whistling swan
Winter Solstice

The extra day December 23rd was the day of sacrifice and regeneration, when the King of the Year was crowned and given eagle's wings. Its letter was probably I or II, Iolar the eagle.


Birds were commonly used for divination, auguries being read from their patterns of flight or through the entrails of sacrificial victims, and/or were sacred to specific gods or goddesses: among them dove, swallow, robin, quail, raven, falcon, ibis, nightingale, goose. The Koran says that the lapwing was the repository of Solomon's mysteries, and the book of Leviticus lists it among the royal birds, which also include eagle, griffon, cuckoo, swan, kite, raven, heron and the pious pelican. The poetic meaning of the lapwing is "disguise the secret" because she hides her nest so successfully. Some say that Solomon invented the language of the birds, and the lapwing was the first to use it. The cuckoo perpehually calls "Where? Where? Where is my love?"


Zeus incarnated as swan and eagle, Horus was hawk-headed, and Thoth, the Egyptian god of magic,wears an ibis mask. In early Arthurian sagas, Gawain the Green Knight is called Hawk of May. The owl was the symbol of wisdom, sacred to the goddess Athene, Pasiphae and Bloduwedd, the bride of Gwydion, who was turned into an owl. As Circe. the witch, her bird is the falcon. She is also the long-legged crane, fishing the shallows for the divine child who floats on water in his ark of rushes. The Holy Spirit that descended at Pentecost, pictured in Christian iconology as a dove, bestowed on initiates the gift of tongues.


The dove was sacred to both male and female deities: to Hercules as shepherd and to Zeus as herdsman. The Great Goddess was worshipped with doves at Heiropolis, Crete and Cyprus, and in western Arcadia her stable holds a black dove. It was said that her black doves flew from Egyptian Thebes to Dodona in Epirus, where the temple was dedicated to Zeus and the moon-goddess Dione or Diana, and nested in the oracular oak trees of the sacred grove. The black-dove priestesses, chewing on hallucinogenic acorns, translated the oracles, so both literally and poetically the priestesses spoke the language of the birds.


According to Apollonius Rhodias, Jason's ship The Argo, was built of oak from the sacred oak grove at Dodona. The figurehead could speak, and guided the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece, so naturally she also spoke the language of the birds. Argo is a gloss on the word argot meaning slang or dialect, and jargon is the specialised speech peculiar to specific sects or subjects.


In the Oxford English Dictionary jargon is also listed as the name of a "smoky kind of zircon". There is a legend that when Lucifer fell, a jewel tumbled to earth from his crown and became the Holy Grail. Was this gem a "smoky zircon" or jargon, representing the language of angels and the birds, and that the quest, whether for Holy Grail or Golden Fleece, was in fact a search for the Secret Wisdom?.


Alchemy has no regular vocabulary, but uses bird symbolism. Initiates say "Vulcan (the secret fire) induces the birds to fly", which indicates that sublimation is taking place. The pelican shows that distillation is in progress, and successful sublimation is symbolised by the eagle.


According to the Zohar, the earthly Paradise was called "The Bird's Nest". The Messiah would reveal himself in Galilee. A star of all colours would appear in the East, the power of the Messiah would be made manifest, and the Messiah would enter his place, The Bird's Nest, where angels would offer him gifts. The Bird's Nest occupies the central Sephira, Tiphareth, on the branches of the Tree of Life, where the phoenix's egg will hatch.


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Thus ye may find in thy mental and spiritual self, ye can make thyself just as happy or just as miserable as ye like. How miserable do ye want to be?......For you GROW to heaven, you don't GO to heaven. It is within thine own conscience that ye grow there.

Edgar Cayce
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