Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.– Albert Einstein
With our constant exposure to digital news, ads, and social media, 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 our modern fast-paced world, signs have been divorced from their significance.
Nature is always communicating with us and often this occurs through the appearance of signs and omens.
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 (or at least once-in-a-blue-moon) on our spiritual journeys. Like breadcrumbs to follow, we can re-learn how to trace the wisdom of this subtle guidance. The result is an increased sense of understanding, awe, reverence, interconnectedness, love, and self-awareness.
Signs and Omens Are a Magical Doorway to the Present Moment
Over the last few years, I have been finding new ways to deeply connect to the world around me. One of these ways is by paying close attention to the signs and omens I encounter throughout my daily life.
Watching out for signs and omens not only provides me with guidance, but it is also an effective method of grounding my awareness in the present moment.
When seen through clear eyes that are rooted in the present moment, 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 (as one being ultimately inseparable from It). 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. Upon reflection and deep observation, I understand that 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.“
Signs, Omens, and the Spiritual Awakening Journey
On a similar note, just as seeing signs and omens are powerful ways of reconnecting with the present moment, they also commonly signify that you’re going through a deep spiritual shift. Some call this an expansion in consciousness, others call it an evolution of the Soul, but in essence, a spiritual awakening is what happens when we “wake up.” In other words, we start questioning the decisions we’ve made, the paths we’ve chosen, and even the beliefs/values we’ve automatically adopted or inherited from others. The proverbial “veil” of unconsciousness and living on autopilot ends – and a new era begins.
So where do signs and omens come into the picture? The uncanny, strange, serendipitous, and (sometimes) even miraculous occurrences you might experience are all ways of deepening your awakening and keeping you alert. It’s like a nudge from the Divine who is trying to get your attention. Many times, these signs and omens are messages in disguise – your Soul, after all, doesn’t speak in words, but communicates through signs, symbols, feelings, instincts, and vivid dreams.
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 unconscious which is a direct window into our Souls.
You might ask yourself what the difference is between a sign and an omen. I’ll differentiate them for you below:
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, and the answer will present itself when you are open and receptive to it.
Omens emerge spontaneously into our lives – they usually arise without any prior request on our part for guidance. They are rare, of great significance, and stand out because of their weird, outlandish, and even bizarre nature. They can also be wondrous, conspicuous, and astounding. But above all, they are always mysterious. In other words, an omen often indicates that an ominous, important, or prophetic event is about to occur or is occurring.
So as we can see, a sign is a form of guidance that emerges at our request, and an omen is a form of guidance that arises spontaneously and out of the blue.
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 the doors between the different realms are said to open. Snakes are also symbolic of 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. As a result, I understood that an intense shift was about to happen in my life, giving me time to prepare, be open, and stay mindful.
One final word on omens: to know that you’ve authentically encountered an omen, you have to be quite familiar with your natural environment to know whether what’s happening is common or totally out-of-place. This is why getting out in nature and connecting with your local environment is very important.
3 Ways You Might Encounter Signs and Omens
We’re all connected to One universal force, but that doesn’t mean that we all harmoniously 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 that 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:
1. Signs and Omens in Dreams
Signs and omens often occur in dreams, but not any “usual” or commonplace dream. You’ll know that a sign or omen has emerged in your dream when it is extremely vivid, unusual, or intense. Some of these dreams feel so “real” that it’s hard for us to distinguish them from waking life (as is the case of lucid dreams).
Dreams of paralysis, visits from the dead, shape-shifting into wild creatures, wielding magical powers – all these are examples of dreams that can potentially be deeply meaningful. These types of dreams often herald things to come or epiphanies that are soon to be fully understood (such as understanding the meaning of life).
A quick note: When trying to understand the meaning of your dreams, try to avoid relying on “dream symbol” books which are full of preconceived ideas about what each dream 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 that horse might be a negative omen (i.e., like the horseman of the apocalypse).
2. Signs and Omens in Daily Life
Throughout our daily lives, we’re often given guidance. But due to our often busy and stimulation-filled days, we’re zoned out to this wisdom – almost as if we’re in a state of chronic trance.
Examples of signs and omens that we may experience in daily life can include sudden ear ringing, stumbling across the same book multiple times, seeing repeated numbers (like 11 11) 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. This is known as synchronicity.
There is an infinite number of possible ways that Spirit and your Soul are trying to communicate with you in your everyday life. All you need to do is open your eyes and pay attention to anything that feels deep, unusual, or somehow “special.”
3. Signs and Omens in Nature
Of all the possible ways that signs and omens can be expressed, nature is my favorite to observe. Why? The answer is that nature is so full of life (and one of its purest expressions), and 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 clouds part on an overcast day 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.
When going out in nature, be mindful of what you see and experience. What catches your eye? What is out of place? Keep a journal and reflect on your discoveries.
5 Ways to Know That You’ve Received a Sign
With all this talk of receiving signs and omens, how do we know when we’ve actually received a sign (or a form of guidance that we’ve asked for)? Pay attention to the following:
- If it is a valid sign, it will come shortly after you’ve been pondering about something in your life, or shortly after you’ve directly asked a meaningful and difficult question. This might mean a few seconds to a day or two.
- It intuitively feels “special” or meaningful in some way. (You don’t need to know how or why right away.)
- It grabs your attention in a sudden or unusual way – kind of like a tap on the shoulder by the Universe.
- It makes you feel something such as awe, gratitude, relief, curiosity, etc.
- It puts you into a meditative or self-reflective state. In other words, it will make you think “what does that mean?”
What Do You Do After Being Given a Sign?
Being given a sign is like receiving a wink from the Divine – it is a moment of joy, knowing that you are being guided.
There are a number of things you can do after being given a sign. Some of them include:
- Offering your gratitude (simply saying thank you to God/Universe/Spirit)
- Contemplate its meaning (reflect on what the sign means and is showing you)
- Journaling your thoughts and feelings (write down any discoveries or insights that emerge within you)
- Observing what happens in the next few days, weeks, or months
How to Understand What Exactly a Sign Means
Spirit loves symbols and images, so you have to ask yourself what the sign you’ve been given 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 or your gut feeling, to be the translator of the sign.
The meaning might not be apparent right away – and if that’s the case, just let time pass and the meaning will unveil itself when the moment is right. This is often the way of things.
When we open our awareness to how the Universe is involved in our healing, growth, spiritual awakening journey, and conscious evolution, life takes on a deeper meaning. Not only are we drawn back into the present moment, but we also rediscover the magic and mystery of being connected with something beyond the limited ego. The result is a greater feeling of expansion, faith, trust, hope, and peace.
Signs can be given from without, but significance can only blossom from within.