(previously published on Medium.com December 2015)
One of the most powerful forms of communication that are associated with the spiritual aspect of reality is the idea of an omen, sign or portent. An omen, for the most part, can be defined as a prediction of potential future events. That’s it. Some would consider it a warning, or a blessing. It is neither. It is important to realize that the omen of the event is not the event of itself, no more than a weather forecast of a coming thunderstorm is the thunderstorm itself. And if we want to carry this metaphor one step more, just like the weather forecast, an omen doesn’t have any real certainty associated with it.
One of the first questions often asked in regards to omens is how to recognize them.
If we assume, for the sake of argument, that omens are real, and they can be interpreted (large assumptions, I know, but please bear with me), how can they be recognized?
If you were to consider the various examples of omens that are presented in various stories and subjective accounts and strip away the various cultural details such as what each omen means, you’ll find that omens in general consist of a number of general traits.
Omens are subtle. In my experience, about 99.8% of what people view as omens are nothing more than the natural world operating as usual. A deer crossing a person’s path usually means nothing more than the deer was there, and perhaps searching for a tasty morsel of grass. A strong wind barreling through the alleyway may be due to only a pressure change in the area. Omens speak to a person on a more subtle, almost instinctual level.
Omens are natural. Now I realize that I will probably get a great deal of flack from the magickal or occult communities for this one, but I submit that there is absolutely nothing supernatural or “magickal” about omens. If you take a look at the historical examples of omens in literature or folklore as well as omens experienced by people today you will find that they are all naturally occurring phenomena. They can be a strong wind blowing, a hawk flying in the sky, a comet racing through the night… whatever example you chose to bring to the table, I can show it to be a perfectly normal, natural event in this aspect of reality.
Omens are persistent. Looking back again at various examples of omens in folklore, you’ll see examples of where omens in various subtle forms are presented to a person three, four, even five different times. Some have claimed that this is the gods providing a message to a dimwitted human. I believe it is something else entirely, one that fits more in line with the last characteristics of an omen.
Omens are part of a larger picture or pattern. Think about it for a moment. The purpose of an omen- the reason so many people look for them and try to interpret them is because they want to know future events, and possibly how to change them, correct? In order for that to occur, a person, or any entity for that matter needs to understand that similar events will have similar characteristics associated with them. For example, when a seer looks up into the sky and sees a group of crows flying in a certain way or pattern he can surmise that they may be associated with a certain type of event, much like a meteorologist can look at a certain group of clouds in the sky and know that there is a good chance that a tornado will be forming soon. How can they do that? Simple. Both the meteorologist and the seer have learned to recognize that certain things are often associated with something else. They have learned to recognize the pattern indicated by what they see or experience.
Now as I indicated previously, the last two traits of an omen are linked. If one accepts the idea that omens are part of a larger pattern that is associated with a certain type of event, it would stand to reason that if that pattern does not change or alter, more examples of the “omen” would present itself in various forms. The exact nature and the characteristic of the omen may change– a black cat may be replaced with a winding black road– but the overall pattern indicated by them would remain relatively the same.
Remember, this is only my interpretation of what an omen truly is, based on my experience and research. I could very well be mistaken.
In the next blog post, I’ll try and discuss how the idea of omens fits into the larger picture of the mundane and spiritual aspects of our reality.
© 2016 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.