(previously published on Medium.com January 2016)
In the last blog post, I discussed the basic properties of what most people would call an omen. As a refresher, I argued that if you strip away the cultural and personal significance, most if not all instances of omens have a set of characteristics:
- Omens are subtle
- Omens are natural
- Omens are persistent
- Omens are part of a larger picture or pattern
If we accept these characteristics as being accurate, questions arise. How or why does something that has all characteristics of being part of the natural world have a supernatural connotation? How has the omen become associated with the telling of future events and with divination?
Well, I believe that the answer lies in the idea of communication, and the illusion of separation. Of course, this is only my opinion– your experience and your opinion may be different.
If you have noticed in these blog posts I am very careful not to use the terms “spiritual realm”, “spirit world” or “supernatural” to describe the spiritual aspect of reality. There is a reason for this. Simply put, these terms indicate that the spiritual aspect of reality is something separate from the mundane world, that it is a separate physical location, that one has to move into either mentally, physically or spiritually.
But in my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. What most people separate into physical and spiritual “worlds” or “realms” are in fact aspects of the same, single reality. And if you think about it, the idea of the separation between the two is nothing more than an illusion created by the human mind.
Let’s say that you and I are standing in a room with wood paneling on the walls. The paneling is nice enough, a warm brown color with a few water stains and marks from old crayons scattered near the base. There are even a few patches where the color has faded over time. We both look at the paneling and make note of what we see. Simple, plain old wood paneling.
Now suppose that you put on a pair of glasses that magnify what you see by one hundred times. Look at the wood paneling on the walls again. What would change? You might start to see the imperfections in the wood, or perhaps where a knot had been sanded down. You might even see a sticky fingerprint left over from when a hand leaned against the wall. What if I increased the magnification to one thousand times or even one million times? What would you experience then?
Remember, you have not moved from your position in the room. You haven’t fallen asleep. You’re not in a trance state. And yet, by simply changing your perspective on the world with one of your senses, your view on reality has completely changed.
Now think about doing the equivalent with the rest of your senses. How would the would panels sound? Would you hear them creaking and groaning against the dryness in the air? Would you taste the sweetness of the lacquer as it slowly evaporated off its surface? Would you feel the sharpness of the cut where the wood was severed and fashioned into nice, neat parallel boards?
If you consider how much a person’s point of view can change, how many new details can be uncovered simply by changing how our senses and our mind experiences the world, can we really say that things such as spirits, energy, ghosts, demons, aren’t just a different aspect of this same reality?
It’s hard to say, but it stands to reason that they could be. The potential is there.
So what does all this have to do with omens? Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about that.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that things such as spirits, ghosts, gods, and demons exist in the same reality as you, me, and the natural world. Why don’t we notice them? Well, if you walked into a busy train station, would you notice the color of the jacket of a young man in a crowd five hundred feet behind you? Probably not. The human brain has developed an ability to take in vast amounts of information, and only pay attention to what is either necessary or a threat. Everything else gets filed away in our minds for later retrieval if needed.
For most people, noticing the spiritual aspect of reality isn’t really high on the list of necessary things.
But here’s the thing. We do notice things in the natural world, or what could be called the mundane world. The human mind is also quite good at recognizing patterns, and associating those patterns with certain things. We might not consciously think about doing it, but we do it all the time.
Red sky at night- sailors delight/Red sky at morning- sailors warning.
Darkening sky and a stronger wind– a storm is moving through.
A growling dog and some rustling in the nearby leaves– something or someone unknown is nearby.
We have learned, through collective experience that certain patterns can indicate that certain things are going to happen, or are happening.
Second verse, same as the first, if you will.
Humans, by their very nature, look for and recognize the patterns in the world around them, on a subconscious level. Spirits and various entities, through their experience, have learned this about us, and use this to their advantage when they choose to communicate with us.
Think about it this way. You have a dog or a cat for a pet. You basically communicate in two different ways, or languages if you will. And yet, you have learned to communicate with each other through a series of words, tonal inflections, and visual cues that have a universally accepted meaning- at least in your house. When your dog hears you say “Go lay down!” in a sharp tone, he realizes that you are upset, and that “lay down” means to do just that. When you hear your dog whine and see him try to crawl underneath your bed after a thunderclap, you probably will surmise that he is either scared or his ears hurt from the sound.
Together you and your pet have developed a system of rudimentary communication.
So why couldn’t the same thing happen with the various spirits and entities that also inhabit this reality?
In the case of the various entities and humans, our common ground for communication is what you see in the natural world. But not everything you experience in the natural world is an omen- very few things are in fact. So how do we tell the difference?
Remember for the most part that the various entities such as angels, demons, spirits, gods, ghosts, nature spirits exist as various forms of energy. They are incorporeal by their very nature. So they are naturally more adept at manipulating energy than humans.
In other words, they probably have the ability to strengthen or weaken the energy associated with an event.
Ever feel a cold wind blow that feels somehow a little bit different?
Ever see a crow hop on a branch nearby, and somehow the color appears a little bit sharper, or a sensation that you’re not used to seems to come across?
Or perhaps you’ve heard your phone ring, and known without any proof, that it was good news on the other end, just by the tone you heard.
In all these cases, either your imagination is having a field day with you, or something about the energies in the area has changed. Perhaps the spirits or entities are saying “Hey- pay attention to this- there is an important pattern here to notice…”
Now, I have one more thing to say about the subject of omens- at least for now. I reserve the right to re-visit this subject later. Remember that omens only indicate a pattern or a series of events. Patterns do have the ability to change and often do. Never make the mistake of thinking that the future is set in stone, or that you know the future with certainty thanks to the ability to recognize and interpret omens. All you know, all you have learned, all anything could possibly learn, are the most probable outcomes at that specific moment in time. It’s up to you to use that knowledge and information to altar how you interact with the world around you.
Until next time, safe journeys along your path.
© 2016 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.