You can read an introduction to the light & shadow series and find links to its other installments >> here! If you aren’t yet familiar with my interpretation of the Birds you might want to read up on their meanings before you continue with this article.
What I consider to be the Birds’ core meanings – activity, alertness, and lack of structure – are ambivalent. Depending on how you apply them to a situation or person, depending on the qualities of this situation or person, activity and alertness and lack of structure, can be something very productive or highly unproductive.
The Birds represent quite a few rather unproductive, negative, issues and goings-on, especially if the situation / person they are drawn for is unstable / lacks emotional or mental balance. In that case, the Birds will represent activity, alertness, and lack of structure, in a destructive sense: in the form of nervousness, obsessive worrying, stress, rash, panicky reactions, over-stimulation, bewildering chaos – things that will hardly lead to anything productive.
If the person the card relates to is unbalanced, the Birds can mean that this person is too busy for their own good, unnecessarily alert, too easily alarmed. If we draw the cards for a situation in which it has been difficult to act/work efficiently, the Birds are probably saying that there is too much noise and distraction going on for us to be productive. As far as communication is concerned, the Birds will often hint, negatively, at gossip: at sensation-seeking and unnecessary imparting of (usually at least partly untrue) information about third parties. And the Birds can represent a person who is extremely fickle, and thus unreliable.
On the other hand, the Birds can represent productive, positive, issues and goings-on especially if the situation or person they are drawn for is very well (or even too rigidly) structured or is stagnant / is emotionally and mentally balanced. In such cases, the Birds will represent activity, alertness, and lack of structure, in a productive sense: in the form of liberating movement, inspiring activity and stimulation, and the ability to let go of confining structures. If the person the card relates to is usually slow to act, hesitant, the Birds might be a hint that it would be a good thing to move quicker, to react sooner and more instinctively.
If we draw the cards for a situation that is unclear to us, the Birds might be suggesting that it would be productive to be alert, to look out for important or dangerous things. As far as communication is concerned, the Birds don’t necessarily hint, negatively, at gossip. Sometimes, they can represent the prompt sharing of information with those people for whom this information is vitally important (e.g. one woman alerts her colleagues to the fact that a co-worker has been harassing her and might thus target them as well). And finally, the Birds can represent a person who is extremely quick on the uptake, witty, and highly flexible.