January 8, 2011

On Omens and Wishful Thinking

[Please excuse my long absence. I meant to post this around Christmas and never got the chance.]

I thought Christmas might be an appropriate time to post these particular musings.

A few weeks ago after reading one of Gordon's excellent posts, I fired off some sigils to St. Nicholas on his feast day. The day after, I mailed the cards they were written on to the North Pole (seriously, read the address and tell me it's not perfect) and dropped the remains of the candles that had burnt down over them into a storm grate at a three-way crossroads. I felt it was a unique, but mostly silly endeavor.

The next day, I happened to be in a mall with my ladyfriend. Being rather tired, I was completely oblivious to everything except for whichever clothing rack happened to be directly in front of me at the moment. It was loud enough that my ladyfriend, only feet away, was struggling to hear me over the general din of the customers around us (and I'm not exactly a quiet dude). Very suddenly, though, my ears pricked up, and the hubbub seemed to die away very suddenly as I heard a blip of the music that the store had been playing. "Santa Claus is coming..." and the noise jumped up just as suddenly, drowning out the rest of the song.

Now, I thought this was funny and ironic, but not particularly revelatory. Still, it did make me pause for a moment with a stupid grin on my face (note to dudes: standing with a stupid grin on your face while holding a lady's scarf and skirt may earn you some odd looks). We moved along to the next store.

And wouldn't you know, it happened again. Same song, different store, exact same four words seeming to jump out of nowhere before disappearing. Bigger, stupider smile (at least this time I was holding something with an appropriately witty statement on it). Of course, this set me to thinking.

I've never been one for Omens; I rarely have moments where I know something Significant has happened, and it's even less often that I know what that moment means. Part of me would love to pass this off as Priming and wishful thinking; to say that my attention pricked up so readily simply because I'd gone to sleep thinking about my experiment. And yet somehow the suddenness of that shift of attention makes the moment seem almost external, as if it were a message being purposefully conveyed.

A lot of occultists will mention in passing having a particular "zing" that separates an omen from a funny or ironic coincidence (and since my life is pretty much an exercise in irony, I've got plenty of the latter). I'm not sure if a sudden shift in the acuity of my hearing counts, but it's gotten my interested in what exactly people mean when they talk about their "omen zing". Try to qualify it for me; what does it feel/sound/look/taste like? Leave a comment, for science!


  1. Interesting question about the zing, I am curious too. A friend of mine says she gets goose bumps. I don't seem to have a physical reaction unfortunately. :( It tends to hit me like a ton of bricks in a delayed mental reaction.

  2. Hopefully it will mean good things for the coming year!

  3. Did you wake up on christmas morning and find a whole bunch of womenswear addressed to you under the tree? :)

  4. @Gordon: Only because I was hiding them there so the lovely lady they belonged to wouldn't put them back on =p

  5. Very cool--next time, you should request something of the Gent.=)

  6. It looks like you got his attention! It feels like exactly what you described. A song, a conversation.. some innane event that has the distinct feeling of someone looking at you behind it.

  7. It is very distinctive, that sense when they get our attention. I usually feel like a nerf football's been dropped on my head. It usually has a note taped to it: 'Pay attention, you jackass, or you might miss something... Yes, YOU!'

  8. @AIT: You, I've seen your comment on my blogger dashboard every so often for the past... 9 months? and I only just now figured out what you meant. Jesus I'm dense sometimes.