Crow Augury

Copyright ©1984, 1996 by William L. Cassidy. All rights reserved.
I’ve had this in my files for years. Today I googled for the author. If anyone has further information, feel free to contact me.

It is possible to foretell coming events through careful attention to the cries and behavior of crows. As we may see, the practice of divining from bird calls, properly called auspicy in the English language, appears to originate in China. Yet, as narrowly concerned with crows, it would seem the practice is an Indo-Tibetan invention with symbiotic relationship to Chinese methods.

The tradition with which I am most familiar comes to Tibet from India. The first written record of which I am aware is found in the middle sixth century, in the Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira. In the early ninth century we find a Sanskrit text entitled Kakajarita translated by the pandit Danacila into the Tibetan language as Bya-rog-gi skad brtag-par bya-ba, or “Investigating the Cries of Crows.” Through incorporation of this translation into the Tibetan Tanjur, or Buddhist canon, crow auspicy became an established means of divination in Tibet.

Underlying Principles of Crow Augury

Divination through observation of crows in Tibetan tradition is founded on the following principles:

  1. Crows are of varying distinction and intelligence, therefore notice must be taken of the varying classes of crows.
  2. Crows respond to events with characteristic behavioral patterns, therefore by noting the character of the response one may learn the character of the event.
  3. Crow behavior and response differs according to time of day.
  4. The angle of direction between the observer and the crow has significance.

The general predictions governing crow calls are given as follows, categorized by the time of day and the direction in which the call is observed:

6:00 am – 9:00 am

East: Wishes will be fulfilled
Southeast: An enemy will approach
South: A friend will visit
Southwest: Unexpected profit will accrue
West: Great wind will rise
Northwest: A stranger will appear
North: Scattered property will be found
Northeast: A woman will come
Zenith: A demon will appear

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

East: Near relatives will come
South: Flowers and areca-nuts obtained
Southwest: Numerous offspring
West: You will set out on a distant journey
Northwest: One king replaced by another
North: Good news will be received
Northeast: Disorder breaks out
Zenith: Fulfillment of your wishes

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

East: You will obtain property
Southeast: A battle will arise
South: A storm will come
Southwest: An enemy will come
West: A woman will come
Northwest: A relative will come
North: A good friend will come
Northeast: A conflagration breaks out
Zenith: You will gain profit by being taken care of by the king

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

East: Great fear predicted
Southeast: Great gain coming
South: A stranger will come
Southwest: A storm will rise in seven days
West: Rain and wind will come
Northwest: Scattered property found
North: A king will appear
Northeast: You will obtain rank
Zenith: Hunger predicted


East: An enemy appears on the road
Southeast: A treasure will come to you
South: You will die of disease
Southwest: The wishes of one’s heart fulfilled
West: Relatives will come
Northwest: Obtaining property predicted
North: Homage will be done to the king
Zenith: You will obtain advantage you hoped for


Crow on right: good journey
Crow behind: you obtain siddhi
A crow flapping his wings, calls: great accident
Crow pulls human hair: death
Crow eats dirty food: food and drink about to come
Crow on thornbush: enemy
Crow on milksap tree: milkrice to you
Crow on withered tree: no food and drink
Crow on palace: excellent halting place
Crow on divan: enemy will come
Crow facing door: peril at frontier
Crow pulling dress: dress to you
Crow on skull: death
Crow with red thread on house: fire

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