1. the art of foretelling the future by means of signs; divination.
2. an omen or portent from which the future is foretold.
I have received quite a number of private messages after my last posting for solo spiritual wayfarers, it seems to have hit some sort of nerve in many people, particularly on the ability and art in discerning how to read the signs which pop up in your life when travelling along your solo journey.
In some ways, these are the directions on your own personal road trip. While in ancient Greek myth, heroes would consult oracles or be met with wise men and women who often predicted their futures and told then what the gods wanted of them, these days, things have changed substantially. The idea is still the same, we all need guidance from time to time. Yet in a culture and world which is increasingly assaulting all 5 senses with plastic images, false messages, and programmed agendas, the only route left for the true spiritual wanderer is to go within, the only sacred space left now.
The art of divination goes back practically to the beginning of time. The ancient high priests of Israel wore the Urim and Thummin on their breastplates and often used them to render judgements of guilt or innocence. The Book of Samuel in the Old Testament considered Urim and Thummin, dreams and the word of the prophets as the only acceptable form of divine communication. The I Ching in China goes back millenia. Legends about the origins of the Tarot deck, attributed to the gypsies of India are still clouded in mysteries. The throwing of bones by African shamans, the use of Runes among the old Viking culture, Native tribes receiving visions after dream quests, Roman centurions interpreting animal entrails, Turkish housewives reading tea leaves, the list of forms of divining the future goes on and on and on and methods are as wide and varied as humanity itself.
Anyone who is on a truly spiritual path receives signs. They are all around us all the time. However, picking up on those signs, interpreting them effectively and what they mean to you personally is an ability in itself. Most of that work will fall on you individually. It is that quiet, steady voice inside, your intuition which is going to tell you what the message means for you. Signs, omens and auguries follow no formula. While it’s true that modalities like astrology, the Tarot or the I Ching are very useful to many people in the world, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this.
Signs can come to you in the natural world, when the wind suddenly picks up after you’ve done a ceremony or a visitation by an animal and their corresponding totem. I will never forget the morning I was snorkeling alone at a remote Mediterranean beach and suddenly encountered a massive, rare loggerhead sea turtle (an endangered species), swimming beside me, a few feet away. He allowed me to swim beside him for a few minutes and I kept a respectful distance (those things can snap off your hand) until he decided to head off to the high seas. When I returned to the shore, I felt like I had been visited by an angel. That’s when I knew that Turtle Medicine is one of my totems. It has been verified and repeated many times since then.
It can come in the form of a gift, a strange cloud formation which speaks to you, an interesting rock formation you encounter while on a meditative walk in a place like Markawasi, Peru, Bryce Canyon, Utah or Cappadocia, Turkey.
It may come as a line in a song which you hear as you turn on the radio, a line in a film or a book. Sometimes, it may come to you in a vision or a dream. Coincidences and synchronicity is the name of the game here. The messages you receive will completely depend on how fine-tuned and/or sensitive your own antennae are.
There are literally millions of books and websites out there now, claiming to have the correct interpretation of this Tarot deck or that astrological configuration. I gave up on that stuff years ago. What you need to figure out is how well something resonates with you, or doesn’t. Intuition is completely different from knowledge. Knowledge is a piece-meal process, research, look, digest and figure out, a bit like putting together a jig-saw puzzle, Intuition, on the other hand, is something which shows up complete in itself, it is a sudden flash of insight which seems to come from nowhere, an instant knowing. No guessing involved. You just know.
When you start listening and following the signs, you will also start to receive verification signs, to tell you if you are on the right path or not. Sometimes, you’ll need to backtrack. Sometimes, you’ll come to a dead end and realize you need to start again. Sometimes, you might meet an angel or find that pot of gold. For novice seekers or people just starting out on their path. It can be a terrifying and unsettling experience to head out into the unknown. There’s no instruction manual, no road signs, no support group or FaceBook group to join and get updates from.
It’s just you and the Universe. Trust it. Join it. The Universe knows exactly what it’s doing.