You have probably heard the expressions ill-Omen and bad Omens. But, could there more to this expression? Is there a connection between Synchronicity and Omens?
What is an Omen?
No one knows the exact origin of the word Omen. The term has morpheme links to several languages. These are the basic meaning of the word. They are the parts of a word we cannot divide into smaller units of meaning.
For instance, we can trace it to the Greek word “Oiomai.” This means, “I suppose, think and I believe”. It is also lineage to the Latin root word “Audire,” which means “to hear”. Last, its Proto-Indo-European lexical root means, “a sighting and to believe”.
You’d think that hearing, seeing, or believing something would be a good thing. Yet, in the 16th century, the meaning of Omen took on a different meaning. An Omen became a signal of something bad happening in the future. It left people in fear of an unforeseen calamity.
This negative association was an intentional act. This is an example of demonizing specific things, situations, and people. Labeling these is a way to make them off-limits and unacceptable. The term Omen is an example of this type of labeling.
When an authority figure supports this negative meaning, it becomes a part of the cultural narrative. In other words, the bias, prejudice, or superstition becomes a cultural standard. The relabeling of the term Omen in the 16th Century is due largely to the Catholic Church.
Omens as Signposts
Omens are important signposts. A signpost is a metaphor. It’s a clue pointing to a message. And, it’s up to the observer to unravel or reveal the meaning. You need to figure out what your subconscious or the Universe trying to communicate.
The meaning of an omen is unique to the observer. Everyone has a different history. So, the meaning of any one omen defers. An omen is something that “sticks out.” We recognize a pattern. Or, it’s unusual and memorable. The thing you think might be an omen could be an everyday occurrence. Omens often manifest in our awareness as a feeling. Deja Vu events are a common omen. This is the feeling that you’ve seen something before.
So, almost anything could be an omen. The list is almost endless. Omens can be unusual weather events like lightning, and cloud shapes to encounters with birds, animals, and people. Omens are often subtle, like a wink by a stranger or that Deja Vu feeling.
Omens can either be good or bad. It depends upon the observer’s point of view. For example, let’s say you saw a black cat. You say, it felt like someone was walking on my grave.” So, in this case, the black cat is a bad omen. I see the same black cat and say, an old friend will come to visit. Hence, for me, it is a good omen. But, because omens are metaphors, the meaning may not be straightforward. So, people seek help to unravel their meaning.
Synchronicity is the apprehension of an unusual relationship between things. It’s a signal that it’s more than a coincidence. Often these events or things are seemingly unrelated. Yet, we sense some type of connection between them. These situations come to our attention because they are odd. And they are unusual because they are outside the probability of chance. Something is going on here but we are not sure what it is. Consequently, it’s this unique quality that brings these events to our attention. Carl Jung is the first to coin the term Synchronicity.
“Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.”
― Carl Jung
People describe these events as Eureka moments. This is when the veil covering our perception lifts. At these points, our awareness sharpens. And then we glimpse something unusual. The event is familiar on an internal level. It’s as if they have lived this event before. This is where we get the term Déjà vu which translates as “already seen”. Is this evidence that time is not necessarily a constant? Similarly, some think these events are evidence the Universe is trying to communicate. Or, perhaps they are proof of some type of supernatural intervention.
Is Synchronicity a Rare Occurrence?
The interesting thing about synchronicity is the more you look for them, you more of them you’ll find. This means is that we miss a lot of these events. This is because of two things. First, we fail to spot them because routines run our lives. Routines keep our awareness from seeing what’s going on. The second reason we miss them is because of our cultural programming. This is a filter to keep us from seeing anything outside the boundaries of our worldview.
How Synchronicity and Omens Are Similar
They certainly appear to be similar events. Omens may come to our attention because they are an unusual event. Or, perhaps because it elicits that feeling of Déjà vu. This is the same as synchronicity.
Moreover, just like omens, it is up to the observer to recognize the synchronic event. And, like omens, the meaning of synchronistic events depends upon the observer.
So, is there a difference? Not really. It’s logical to conclude that synchronicity is a more sophisticated way of explaining omens.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Tell a Good Omen from a Bad Omen
Omens are powerful symbols. Some symbols link to powerful typologies like resurrection, rebirth, and reincarnation. These typologies influence our thinking and values. The moment we see one, we attach either good or bad meaning to the situation. This is a testament to the power of the programming of our worldview. What’s interesting is that everything could be an omen. That’s right. Everything has the potential to become an omen.
So, what’s important is to trace the meaning of these arbitrary assignments back to their source. We need to find out if the meaning is ours or that of the culture. It’s important to remember whether something is a good, bad, or ugly omen is an arbitrary judgment. It’s a bias. So, that means we can see them and change them.
For instance, our black cat crosses the path in front of us. In many cultures this a bad omen. But if it’s just your cat, then it simply means it’s walking around. There’s nothing bad about it.
What’s worse, is when our cultural narrative uses this tactic to label people. Prejudice becomes a part of social programming. We can see this type of negative branding with Witches for instance. Similarly, some cultures use this negative branding to demonize races and ethnicity. These are negative social prejudice.
Interpret the meaning after you do your research on the source. Learn the difference between personal meaning and the superstitions and bias of the culture. This isn’t an easy task. Also, we recommend using a spiritual journal to track trends. Finally, add intuition.
Can Synchronicities appear as numbers?
Yes, it is common for us to spot unusual patterns in numbers. That’s because our modern culture runs on numbers. We may associate meaning to any number or pattern of numbers. And, our cultural narrative is full of numeric associations. So, you need to be mindful of which number patterns are significant to you and not just superstition.
Interpreting Synchronicity and Omens
There are people with spiritual gifts who can help you interpret the meaning of an Omen. Shaman, Seers, and Witches are often those who specialize in this type of guidance. The name depends upon the culture. I have first-hand experience observing this process. To me, it seems exactly more like a modern psychological session than a ceremony.
An experienced guide will ask a lot of questions. In this way, they help lead you to your answers. They ask about your dreams, your family history, what you like, and dislike. The most question most repeated is, what do you think it means. Thus, the meaning comes from the unique history of the observer. The guide merely helps you find the most likely meaning.
How to Spot Omens and Synchronicities
The key to spotting Omens, synchronicities, and special patterns lies in your ability to observe. We probably miss most of these important events for two reasons. First, due to the programming of the cultural narrative. This cultural programming writes over our worldview blotting out our natural situational awareness. Second, our skills of observation are numb. Again, this is a result of cultural programming. It has the effect of blinding our abilities of perception.
That being the case, we all need to work on enhancing our powers of observation. It’s the only to combat our continual exposure to the programming of the cultural narrative. A well-rounded spiritual practice will include these practical exercises as a part of your skillset.
Separating Superstition from Personal Meaning
Another issue you need to be aware of our propensity to confuse superstition with the personal meaning for an Omen. There are some tools we recommend which will help you separate the two. The first tool is the Enneagram Personality Profile. The second is a set of tools to enhance our critical thinking. This includes the study of logical reasoning, logical axioms, and tools for spotting logical fallacies.
You must spend some time doing your own research. Everyone starts in a different place. One thing for sure. Once you conduct your research, you’ll probably be walking on your sacred ground. That means you’ll be touching on beliefs. This will bring up strong emotions like fear and anger. So, learn how to use emotional checks as part of your research process. It will help you to keep on track with less emotional stress.
Can Science Explain Omens and Synchronicity?
Science shows that the observer affects the object they are observing. Consequently, the object we observe also affects us. For example, we view a sunset. We think it is beautiful, and this makes us happy. In this case, the sunset is affecting us. The question is, how do we affect the sunset? The latter effect is the apprehension that something notable, significant, or unusual is taking place. This is what some describe as a “Eureka” or Déjà vu occurrence.
This means there are a countless number of opportunities for these events every day. The number we capture depends upon our level of awareness.
Are Omens or Synchronicity Paranormal?
It all depends upon how you define paranormal. Paranormal experiences are those beyond a scientific explanation. We know from the above example that science can explain help us to some extent. It tells us what may be happening when we experience them. However, it does not explain how or why, or what is causing these events.
Synchronicity Versus Coincidence
A Coincidence is when two or more similar things happen at the same time. When there doesn’t seem to be a causal connection. This could be a synchronistic event. It depends on how it relates to you.
When we recognize something similar or unusual it could be our intuition trying to make us pay attention. It’s important to write down these events. When you document these events it gives you the chance to see possible connections that you otherwise would have missed.
Synchronicity Versus Serendipity
Serendipity is an unplanned fortunate event. So, this would be the same as a good omen. Or, similarly a positive synchronistic event.
Synchronicity and Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to fit data into the framework of your current worldview. It’s a way of confirming your current beliefs. So, in a way, confirmation bias is necessary to some extent. Our worldview is the filter that spots these unusual events we call omens or synchronicity.
We cannot eliminate our worldview or our confirmation bias. However, we can change the programming. We can expand the depth and bandwidth by eliminating things that clutter our perception and cognitive abilities. This requires self-reflection and analysis through serious inner work.
There are several tools we can use to identify the roadblocks to our perception and awareness. The Enneagram Personality Profile is one tool we use. The Study of logical reasoning can help us unravel our thinking.
Is there a connection between Synchronicity and Omens? Is it more here than chance or coincidence? Is this some kind of communication from the universe? Synchronistic events and omens can show up in many forms. We call it a coincidence, a twist of fate, spooky action at a distance. No matter what you call it, it is something we all experience from time to time. One thing is for sure if we look for them we are more likely to find them. What is your experience?
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia