Lessons in Magick: The Power of Signs and Omens

Rachel Baran

Image: Rachel Baran

“It is your omen, only you know the meaning. To me, it is but another star in the night.”

Gerald R. Stanek

Witches, Mystics, Cunning Folk and Wild Women (People) have used signs, and omens to guide and help direct them in life since the beginning of time. The mentioning of and superstitions surrounding these otherworldly messages crosses many cultures and traditions; varying only slightly between them.

It is extremely important to pay attention to the signs, and follow them with an open heart but it’s equally important to know when the signs are not yours to follow. And, you absolutely need to know when it is NOT a sign at all but simply a result of cause and effect.

The latter is super hard for me, personally, to grasp.

I put a lot of faith in the Universe, and I know that sounds crazy coming from a Luciferian but it’s true. I have lived my life following signs and they have never led me astray, until recently; the delivery of these false signs was through hard, painful lessons (all dealing with the same subject matter which is the greatest sign of all). As I write this in fact, the wounds are still open.

It’s a healing process, a learning process, and a shedding process. It’s a process that requires faith in Self with equal parts determination and stubbornness.

Yes, I have wanted to quit when signs revealed to me an answer I did not like.

Yes, I have been angry when signs took me down an entirely different road.

Yes, I have been sad when the signs were not there at all, or when I followed them and they turned out to be nothing.

Even then, though, everything IS something, even if it’s just an experience, or an opportunity to lift your heart to the sky and say “fuck you, I have been hurt, burned and beaten but here I am, I continue to show up and show out. You can’t and won’t defeat me”.

For clarification purposes when I say Universe I use it as an umbrella term for the Universe as a collective, primordial energy, my deities/Spirits, and Ancestors—kinda like, everything not of the physical world. And, even then I refer to signs from birds, animals and nature as the “Universe speaking to me”. We will get to that though.

So, WHAT are signs? How do you know when they are for you? How do you know when the lesson is learned? SO many questions, right?

Let’s start with the basics.

For me I define signs as messages from the Universe (definition above), they are little bread crumbs from Spirits and Guides letting us know what we should or should not do.

For example, my Grandparents are both passed now and they talk to me through old black and white films, sounds crazy, I know but it’s true. There will be a compulsion to watch a movie, and then it will be playing on TCM (the channel I would watch with them for hours) and during it, certain words will sound distorted, or will be louder than others and often the word correlates with what I am physically doing, or thinking about at that time. They usually correspond with number sequences on the clock, too, and phantom scents in the air.

I don’t (often) subscribe to the concept of coincidence, which is probably why it’s hard for me to grasp that sometimes stuff happens and there really is no reason for it.

Life sucks and so I *know* that shit, does indeed, just happen; I still want to believe there is a reason, though, no matter how messed up.

Is this Denial? Hope? Ignorance?

All of the above?

I don’t know but it keeps me curious, and it keeps me going.

You will know a sign is for you because you will FEEL IT in your gut, it’s incomparable and no, it cannot be confused. I know that some of the more logical folk out there will suggest that we cause ourselves to “feel” whatever it is we want. Or, conversely, we cause whatever we subconsciously fear, and are bending reality to fit into those boxes. I see the point in this train of thought and logic should always be taken into consideration but when you are communicating with the Universe, there is no confusing it and there is no applying logic to it.

Signs are everywhere and they are obviously not all for us, but they most certainly surround us.

You will know when a lesson is learned because you will stop finding yourself in the same repetitive pattern. Life is cyclical and it is NORMAL to have periods of time where you find yourself in a rut, or stuck in a pattern of behavior; this does not always mean there is some major sign to be seen, it could just be the ebb and flow of your life. If you find yourself stuck for a long time, or unable to get out despite your best efforts then the Universe might be testing you.

The further you venture on your Spiritual path the more you will come to understand the difference between normal “life shit” and what is Spiritually motivated or induced. You will also come to know when the lesson is learned because you will feel it lift off you.

Here are some of the most common ways the Universe talks to us:

NUMBERS: The Universe is nothing but one big mathematical equation, so it makes perfect sense that it would use numbers to communicate with us. You can start by reading up on Angel Numbers—don’t let the title fool you, even if you don’t believe in Angelic beings, the breakdown of Angelic Numbers by Doreen Virtue and Sacred Scribes will help you tremendously (as they have helped me). It is also good to start understanding numbers and their role in Tarot, Numerology, and Astrology. Don’t overwhelm yourself, start slow and with the numbers that you are seeing the most—the message you need to see/hear will show itself. Listen to the feeling in your gut.

SCENTS: As mentioned in previous blogs our sense of smell is one of our most useful senses because it can trigger some of our deepest memories. Have you ever wondered why you smell something so simple like a light perfume or flower, even a food cooked a certain way and you were transported back to another time? Smell is a powerful indicator of energy, and depending on the smell, can tell us a lot about our situation. Always pay attention to phantom smells: who do they remind you of, where do they take you, where is your mind the moment before the scent appears, how long does it linger, how strong is it, etc.

DREAMS: Our dreams reveal to us a lot about what is going on within. It does not matter if the dream is prophetic in nature, a vision or travel of some sort or simply because you ate that extra piece of chocolate too late—dreams are the easiest way for our Spirits to communicate with us because they can access the Dream state, as we can access the world beyond the veil through our dreams. I keep a dream journal, and try to encourage everyone to do the same. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and to be honest, it’s usually just written on the memo pad of my phone but it’s important to notate what sticks out in our dreams. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a dream, and written something down, knowing damn well it made no sense to me, only to have it make complete sense later. Don’t doubt yourself, and write it down, no matter how ridiculous it seems; it will pay off later.

ANIMALS: This is a big one and refers to my comment in the beginning about the Universe speaking through animals and nature. I find that messages come to me a lot through birds, and spiders. In some cultures, birds represent Bird (or Animal) Medicine (mostly Indigenous cultures) but in other cases, the species of the bird (or animal) is the message itself. Here is an article I came across regarding the 15 most common animal messengers. Pay attention to how you feel when you see the bird or animal, what are you doing, what is going on in your life at that moment, what are you trying to manifest—these questions factored in with the basic symbolism of the animal will reveal to you what you need to know.

SYNCHRONICITY: This is those little moments where you experience intense déjà vu and you find yourself having moments of alignment. Examples, you think of someone and they suddenly call or text. Your manifesting abilities become more potent, and your intentions become clearer; abundance and prosperity come flowing into your life (no this does not mean money). Synchronicity is the Universe telling you that you are BECOMING.

These are just a few of the common ways the Universe communicates with us, you just have to be tuned in enough to hear it.

This is a hard path and I know sometimes the signs and lessons are harder but they are all worth it.

It’s always worth it.

Never regret the choice to wake up, never wish to go back to sleep.

Always trust the process.

Serendipitous Synchronicity

Jordie Hennigar

Image: Jordie Hennigar

“Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue…. ”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


My days have been filled with interesting events lately, to say the very least. It seems that life is really blossoming for me, something I have been waiting for, for what seems like eternity. Now that it is here, I don’t know how to handle it, and I feel myself becoming lost, buried in the fears and anticipation for what comes next; the unknown is a terrifying thought for me.

I am a control freak, so these random happenings, and synchronicities, dream manifestations, and amazing experiences have me paralyzed with fear.

I don’t know how to surrender, which is ironic because a few months ago I wrote about the power of giving up control, a fact I still believe in. So why can’t I let go and submit?

Why can’t I let these feelings of happiness, and pure joy overtake me, and soak up their bliss? Why am I so scared of the good in life? Why am I so scared to allow myself to be happy?

I had a lot of motivation 2 weeks ago, finally making the first of many steps on my path to change. I have started to focus on my jewelry venture, even selling several pieces, and I have begun to dive back into the book project. I have/had writer’s block, and instead of battling through it, I gave up; I am not a quitter either, I just don’t know where I want to be, or what I want to do, maybe I am questioning who I am, although, I know that. I just feel so fucking lost amid all these changes, constantly reminding myself that they will evolve me, help me, and benefit me.

I have kept my emotions, my hesitations, and my feelings inside, not wanting anyone to worry, or judge, the only reason I am writing about this now is because something happened that pulled me back from the brink of abysmal death; I was really far inside, but a conversation and a special someone pulled me back.

I have been withdrawing from social media, not wanting to spend hardly any time at all online, but would rather spend it focusing on more tangible things. I thought my withdrawal was a sign of going into a depression, but what it really is, is me coming out of one.

I am ready to jump back into the real world, but it feels so foreign to me, and shall we not forget my hatred of people, of the mundane—of socializing with said mundane people? The thought alone makes me wants to run and hide.

On Sunday morning I received a message from a dear friend, an old roommate of mine, and how it unfolded had me scratching my head, only now realizing that the conversation was a sign from beyond the veil.

She is a 29-year-old Woman living in NYC with her amazing boyfriend, and their awesome dog (English Bulldogs are my fave, which makes him awesome).  She is currently in school finishing her Bachelors in Health Care Administration. I speak of her accomplishments because she has come a long way from where she used to be. She once lived a life of addiction, and is a domestic abuse survivor, who is now an advocate. To get to where she is, she worked 2 jobs, went to school at night, and worked her ass off. I am extremely proud of all that she has accomplished.

She even recently travelled abroad (did the whole European excursion thing). From the outside she looks, and seems happy, so why then was I getting a message from her telling me how lost she is, and that she needs someone to speak truth to her?

I had never lived the “grass isn’t always greener on the other side” but I have many times lived “I wonder if the grass is greener on the other side”. I think we all at one point in time or another experience both of these but to act it out, in real life, was surreal. I think it is part of human nature to be curious of other’s lives, even comparing ourselves to them.

She told me how she hates her job, that she questions continuing school for it because it is not what she expected, she told me that all they do is “take people’s money”. Then she said how she feels trapped, and stuck, that she wishes to just pick up and go someplace quiet, and open a shelter or safe place for domestic abuse victims, and help them become survivors.

What is holding her back?

Fear, and her own control issues.

Sound familiar?

As I sat there in that moment I couldn’t help but think that something, or someone, was behind the conversation.

What caught me completely off guard was how proud she said she was of my writing, and all I have built for myself (which in my eyes is nothing to brag about). Following those compliments was this:

“I’m so happy you are not following society norms, and following what you love to do. I admire you.”

I am full of emotion even now as I write this, and reflect back on how powerful those words were, and are still, and how desperately I needed to hear them.

I have been weighed down by thoughts of “what if I were normal”? I have been almost wishing away some of my well-earned Divine madness, withdrawing from my writing, and other creative art forms; all because I suddenly want to be normal?

Since when has normal ever appealed to me?

It hasn’t, and it doesn’t.

You see, we all get lost on our path’s sometimes, we lose our “mojo” and our goals seem out of reach, but if we pay close enough attention, the motivation and validation to continue our endeavors is all around us, just waiting to be acknowledged.

The true moral of this story is, we need to learn how to fertilize our own grass before we go comparing it to someone else’s.

As for losing my own motivation, Madre always told me, “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get back on the horse. There is work to be done.”

So, off to work I go.