Gemini ~ The Parrot (El Pajaro)

The Parrot

Are you familiar with Mexican Loteria cards? Loteria is a type of bingo game, but the cards can be used like the tarot for a fun type of divination.

I don’t really like the word “divination.” For me, it conjures up bad images of charlatans who are out to bilk the vulnerable. That’s my personal issue and shouldn’t really have an affect, but there it is. The problem is, I can’t come up with another suitable word for what it means ~ “the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means.” ( That’s the crux of it. I don’t use the tarot to foretell the future, but to understand the now ~ how we got here and where we want to go instead of where “fate” sends us.

How do you feel about the word “divination?” (I admit I need help/therapy here.) Is there another word or phrase you like better?

This morning I decided to pull a Loteria card and who shows up? The Parrot! What a great symbol for Gemini.

Talking is a Gemini thing, as are birds because of the connection to Air. What came immediately to mind, though, is that parrots are such good mimics. It’s a Mercury trait. He’s the trickster, you know, and being a good mimic helps, especially if the laughing god, Jupiter, is involved. That’s probably the reason that people look to Gemini and Sagittarius when thinking about standup comics, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. (For a superb article on comedy and astrology, you have to read What’s so Funny? The Astrological Essence of Comedy by Shelley Ackerman. Shelley was my first teacher in New York and she was so much fun.) 

Each Loteria card has a sentence on the back of the card. Here’s what’s printed on the back of my Parrot card: Tú me traes a puros brincos, como pájaro en las ramas. I think that roughly translates to something like “you’ve got me jumping around like a bird from branch to branch.”

Well, now. That’s certainly Geminiian.

I’m in reading mode now, so I have yet another online article to share with you. My Parrot, My Self by Anthony Gottlieb is a NY Times article chock-full of info about parrots in literature. He says, “The revelation of female infidelity is in fact an ancient staple of parrot literature” and “Both in literature and in life, parrots have been employed to bear false witness.”

I’m certainly not planning on being unfaithful today or any other day and have no plans to lie, either. (Or do I? wink, wink) I wonder if the more profound meaning of this particular Loteria card is about repeating what we’ve learned without really understanding the true meaning of something? Have I tricked myself into thinking I know something that I don’t? Am I a mimic, or the real deal?

Are you a good mimic? When do you use your skill at mimicry and why?

This post did jump about a bit “from branch to branch.” Maybe this little bird is really whispering, “Focus!” 

For an absolutely fabulous article on using Loteria cards as tarot, check out Mexican Loteria Cards by Ginger Schenck in the Intuition & Symbols category at

You can see some really cool Loteria decks here. Chances are very good that you can pick up a Loteria game at your local bodega for very little ~ $2-$3.00. Instant new tarot deck!!

9 thoughts on “Gemini ~ The Parrot (El Pajaro)

  1. Like you, cj, I use the Tarot for a reading of the moment rather than the future. Funny how words take on different connotations according to each individual. Although I know the dictionary definition of “divination”, when I hear the word or use it, for that matter, I always think of it as “divine guidance”. Great post on Gemini. Thanks.

  2. I like “divine guidance” a lot, Sandra. That helps a great deal.

  3. I’ve always found Pisceans to be great mimics. My husband has pisces rising and moon conjunct neptune and can imitate anyone after meeting them once. He also has a knack for picking up accents and figuring out where people are from.
    Fun article!

  4. In early July I’m attending a workshop on divination, focused particularly on the I Ching. The I Ching has never been a tool that has moved me. I’ve always been a tarot fan, like you. But, the teacher, William Holden, who is presenting with my teacher, Linda Ruth, has many really important things to say about how to prepare one’s self for divination, how to get your ego out of the way so that you can become a vehicle for something higher to pass through you. I think the problem with the concept of divination in our culture is we have forgotten that the true practitioner is humble, endeavoring only to provide a gateway, without gaining personal aggrandizement for doing it. Personally, I would love astrology to reclaim divination from that perspective since I think that’s what it is meant to be. Thanks for raising this question, CJ. Here’s the link to William’s blog about divination: . Hope you enjoy it.

    1. That has everything to do with it, Asha. I think the word divination has been soured for me by all the fakes and phonies who have taken the “divine” spark out of it. I’ll be sure and check out the link.

      The suggestions and comments here and through your emails have helped me a lot. I’m going to treat the word with more reverence, putting aside its bastardization, and re-embrace its original meaning. Thank you all so much.

  5. I think I have sorted out what ‘divination’ means to me personally (I do like the divine guidance too..thanks for that, Sandra). If we are all from the same Source..whatever your belief system means that to be..then I believe that we can tap into a connective deep intuition. All the answers we need about dealing with upcoming, present or past situations are within ourselves if we take time out to access it. Generally, people consult tarot readers, psychics etc when in a period of self-doubt or overhwhelming emotions and so the reading would then come from someone ‘outside’ all these things but still tapping into a connected intuition. I had this very recently with astrology and my birth chart..could see all the pieces, ‘feel’ all the pieces..but I was totally blank to the why and why nots, and felt I was in a very unfamiliar place with it lucky I knew just who to call..

    1. You’re right, Penny. Sometimes we do need someone to “see” what we already know but are a bit stymied by. Just talking about this is helping me to embrace the word “divination” in a more loving way. P.S. Lucky for me, too. 🙂

  6. I primarily refer the Tarot cards for a reading the future often, it was really great hear back from you on Gemini. I love the conceptualization of your article on Gemini, awesomely narrated must say. Thanks for the share…!!

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