Old Souls XII
Signs and Omens
Listening to the Messages of Spirit
Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. ~ Albert Einstein
Signs and Omens
With the constant exposure to digital news, ads and social media interaction, we’ve lost the valuable skill that our ancestors had of gathering information firsthand from our surroundings.
We’ve lost the ability to perceive the deep interconnection between “us” and the natural world, and the different ways nature is alive and communicates with us. The patterns of birds in flight, the blooming of trees outside of their season, the temperature of the ocean’s water, the invasion of ants or snails … there are so many occurrences in nature that carry valuable information and significance that we don’t pay attention to anymore.
In the modern fast-paced world, signs have been divorced from their significance.
Nature is always communicating with us and often this occurs by showing us omens and signs. Indigenous traditions understood this as working and being in harmony with the flow or web of life. Through Physics we now know this as the “unified field.”
These signs and omens present themselves to us daily on our spiritual journeys. Like breadcrumbs to follow, we can re-learn how to trace the wisdom of this subtle guidance.
A Story of Signs
Over the last few years, Luna and I have been finding new ways to deeply connect to the world around us. One of these ways is by paying close attention to the signs and omens we encounter through our daily lives. Watching out for signs and omens not only provides us with guidance, but it is also an effective method of grounding our awareness in the present moment.
I asked Luna to share her recent experience:
I have always been something of a daydreamy person. But only in the past few years have I taken a
conscious step out of this dreamland and into reality. When seen through clear and present eyes, I
realize that life sends us so many signs, messages and omens every day. It’s just that many of us don’t
have the eyes to see it. We get so lost in our chaotic and blurry thoughts of the past and future that we
forget the wonders that lie with us in the present. Keeping this in mind, I try to start every day with
grounded and aware presence and receptivity to life. And I often discover something amazing on my
morning walks: Life or Spirit is directly communicating with me. My unconscious needs or questions
are frequently met with signs and omens of various natures. Recently I’ve been seeing three birds
constantly cross my path: the wagtail, white ibis and duck. The wagtail represents playfulness and joy,
the white ibis represents opportunity, and the duck represents nurturing. To me the message from Life
is very clear, “Every day is an opportunity to experience joy and self-love, no matter what happens.“
The Difference Between Signs and Omens
The Soul communicates itself in different ways throughout our lives but the most common way for us to understand is through metaphor and symbol. From dream omens to serendipitous signs, metaphors and symbols all originate from our rich imaginations which are direct windows into our Souls.
You might ask yourself what the difference is between a sign and an omen. I understand the difference to be the following:
Signs appear in moments when we are facing a difficult decision or need help integrating a realization about ourselves that we’ve recently had. It’s like consulting an oracle; you know you need guidance or have a question and the answer will present itself when you are open and receptive to it. Luna’s story above would serve as a great example of this.
Omens on the other hand, come without any prior request on our part for guidance and catch you by surprise. They are rare, of great significance and stand out because of their weird, outlandish, even bizarre nature. They can also be wondrous, conspicuous, and astounding. But they are always mysterious.
An omen indicates that an ominous, important or prophetic event is about to occur or is occurring. My personal experience with an Omen occurred many years ago when I first arrived in Australia. I was going through a powerful personal transformation and on one of my early walks on a rainy winter morning, I came across a brown snake. I froze in place as did the snake, both of us staring at each other for what must have been a few minutes, though it felt eternal. I felt a strong connection to her, almost as if she was communicating something intuitively. A few moments later, she slithered back into the bushland.
To me, that was a prophetic omen for several reasons. It occurred during twilight when doors between the different realms open. Snakes are symbolic of the wisdom and transformation as they are constantly shedding new skin. And most importantly, brown snakes are very rare in this area of Australia, especially so in winter when they are in a state of semi-hibernation.
This brings me to the final aspect of Omens. In order to know you’ve encountered an Omen you have to be quite familiar with your natural environment to know if it is a common event or something bordering on the impossible.
Photo Credit: Elido Turco
Ways You Might Encounter Signs and Omens
We are all connected to one universal force, but that doesn’t mean that we all flow down the river of life. If we aren’t aware and if we don’t listen to the signposts that are guiding us toward wise and powerful decisions, we’ll miss out on the wonderful opportunities that Life is presenting to us.
There are a few ways signs and omens will present themselves to you. Most commonly you’ll find them in nature and through animals as they are alive and directly driven by Spirit. But signs and omens also present themselves in many other ways, shapes and forms.
Signs and omens most commonly occur in the following ways:
Signs and Omens in Dreams
These include unusual dreams, sometimes so “real” that they cannot be distinguished from waking life. Dreams of paralysis, visits from the dead in dreams, hag-riding, and prophetic dreams. These are all often heralders of things to come or epiphanies to soon be fully understood.
When interpreting your dreams, don’t rely on books of dreams which are preconceived ideas of what each image means. Dreams symbology is a very personal thing. Some people might like horses and in their dream the horse could be a positive sign, while for others the horse might be a negative omen (i.e. like the horseman of the apocalypse). There are teachers that can help you understand the meaning behind your dreams but just like sacred writings, your dreams can have many levels of soulful meaning.
Signs and Omens in Daily Life
Throughout our daily life we’ve undoubtedly been given guidance. But due to our often busy and stimulation-filled habits, we’ve zoned out to it, almost as if we’re in a state of trance. Examples include right or left ear ringing, stumbling across the same book multiple times, seeing repeated numbers or symbols and even circumstances that seem “beyond” pure serendipity or luck. For example, wanting to find a new house, and being randomly offered a place to stay in the exact suburb you’re interested in.
There are an infinite number of possible ways Spirit is trying to communicate with you in your everyday life.
Signs and Omens in Nature
Of all the possible way that signs and omens can be expressed, nature is my favorite medium. This is because it is so full of life, is ever-changing, and always vibrating with an endless variety of messages.
These messages might be reflected in a puddle, through an insect Spirit Guide, the affirming way a tree sways in the wind, or the enlightening way the cloud’s part on an overcast way in response to a thought you’re having. These messages might also be expressed through death or decay, such as a fallen tree, or a carcass that reminds us of our own mortality.
How to Know That You’ve Received a Sign
If it is a valid sign, it will come short after you’ve been pondering about something in your life, or shortly after you’ve directly been asking a meaningful and difficult question. Trivial or superficial questions are disrespectful toward that which is sacred (e.g. “should I dye my hair red or pink,” “how can I become famous”).
When a sign comes, it will come as an event that felt powerful to you, attracted your attention, enlivened your imagination, and created a significant emotional response within you.
What do you do when you’ve been given a sign?
I like to thank existence for any sign I receive, often giving something back to it to maintain reciprocity and express my gratitude (what the Incans call “Ayni”). I usually offer some form of food, if I have it, but if I don’t, a simple “thank you” suffices.
The important thing is to make the sign meaningful to you so that you can fully absorb it. You may want to sit down in the place where you received the sign, remember what inspired you to ask for guidance, and contemplate on the answer.
Spirit loves symbols and images, so you have to ask yourself what that sign evokes in you. What is the first thought that came to mind? How did you emotionally react to it? Has it brought back any memories? Try to avoid imposing a mental answer onto the sign and instead, allow your intuition, your gut feeling, to be the translator of the sign.
The meaning might not be apparent right away, if it isn’t, let time pass and it will unveil itself when the moment is right.
When we open our awareness to how the universe is involved in our healing, our growth, and our conscious evolution, life takes on a deeper meaning. Signs can be given from without, but significance can only blossom from within.
Have you experienced any signs or omens? Did you respond and acknowledge it in that moment?