Question on Auspices

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Question on Auspices

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:53 pm

Salvete,

Yesterday I was standing outside the doors of my workplace to smoke when I noticed a flock of five birds (I couldn't tell which, but I could have been pidgeons) flying in formation from east to west, just over my head. Now I'm usually not keen to observe birds, but then I noticed I stood in the middle of a perfect square, marked by brick lines. So I was wondering if there could be any significance for this, or is it just some coincidence?

Valete,
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Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:02 pm

Salve,

It is my understanding that auspices are taken for specific reasons to see if the action coincides with the will of the Gods, to see if it will be favorable with the Gods.

So I suppose to gain a better insight into any possible meaning of this occurrence is to determine what you might have been thinking at the moment it happened.
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A phenom

Postby Aldus Marius on Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:49 am

Salvete, amici Romani,

Worth noting from my standpoint, not as a Religio-nist, but as a long-time student of bird behavior: Pigeons don't normally fly in formation. They make a semi-tight cloud that takes off, circles a lot, then lines out for wherever they're headed. If these were pigeons or doves, and they were in a recognizeable formation, that all by itself is unusual enough to potentially mean something, ne'?

Pondering...
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:01 pm

Salvete Tite et Mari,

I should point out that at the time I was in the square, I was thinking of SVR and what I was going to do and say here.

Valete!
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:53 pm

Salve mi Draco

The fact that you took notice and thought some significance in their flight would indicate that the birds provided an omen. An auspicium is different however in that it is a special ritual where in a templum would have to be marked out in a special way, with appropriate sacrifices to a series of deities at nine stations, and, as Titus Iulius pointed out an auspicium would ask for signs (auspicia impetrativa)on a specific question or series of questions related to one matter of interest.

Whether a certain action can be considered a sign often depends on what Marius said. If what you see is unusual from known avian behavior, then it can be considered as auspicia oblativa. These, however, are lesser signs, used to confirm or deny auspicia impetrativa. Also, always in the ranking of signs, a single bird is more significant than a flock of birds; a soaring bird, high above other birds, has the greater significance; generally alites flying in a straight lines, as you mention, are more significant than circling birds. But, there are many things to take into consideration.

When you begin to see "signs". or more realistically when you begin more and more to realize that the Gods are sending you signs, then you ought to perform a formal auspicium on the question that concerns your mind.

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