Portents, Omens, and other Signs
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Noble words have substance. Constancy may be valuable too. Signs are thought of as "noble words" of Nature, but may needs decoding to be of benefit. Suppose you see a flower on your way. The first thing to see is that the flower is what it is - and hopefully appreciate it deeply too. The second thing to do is to consider whether there is something wrong with you or the course you have taken. for example, if the flower is found in a thorny thicket. There are many sorts of thorny thickets, remember. The same rules apply for pets. Hopefully you can appreciate the one you meet most often, and then you may consider what is wrong with having one. Some do. And some get awfully tired of walking the dog and pick up its excrements. What sort of lot is that?
Those who keep mental space to receive words or signs that appear where and when they appear, could benefit from the signs if they are understood somewhat.
So if you see wild swans ploughing the sky ahead of you, ask yourself whether their unfolding journey says something of value to you andfor you, on your behalf. And next, is there a way that you could progress by, by gradual efforts?
In other times people put a lot of energy into these concerns. An omen - portent, presage - is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying a coming change. In ancient Rome, augurs interpreted the flights of birds. The said art of reading internal organs of sacrificed animals or other parts of them, such as turtle shells, was greatly respected and in vogue. The priests would inspect and then deduct something for the future.
Natural events and beings may be interpreted differently - maybe arbitrarity. Thus, in England a black cat across the road is an omen of good luck. In other countries the black cat across the road signifies bad luck, but maybe not so seriously as in the Church, when they went cat-hunting and talked bad of goats too, because these animals did not have round pupils. Crazy gangs existed then, too.
Comets can be considered to be both good and bad omens. Halley's Comet in the sky in 1066 was a "bad omen" for King Harold II of England and King Harald Hardrada of Norway when they tried to seize England, but a "good omen" for William the Conqueror who came right after their battles and conquered the remaining English army. "One man's meat, another man's poison" in that case. or: "One army's bad omen was another army's good omen," if you like.
Omens from some Indian sources
Omens and portents are included in part of a branch of Indian astrology, along with dream interpretations and the faith that events cast their shadows before them and can be presaged, and often are. If the signs are perceived and decoded well, omens may be used profitably. Indians have made rules to interpret various types of omens by. The said strength or impressiveness of the omen is figured, and its whereabouts inspected as to where they are placed in relation to the one(s) who note them. A time factor is thought about too, and much else, including speed or motion, expressions, and direction. Several of the handy rules of dream interpretations seem to apply well.
What are thought to be auspicious omens differ from place to place and country to country, as the black cat across the road.
Among Indians, the following are auspicious things at all times": Curd, mirror, wet soil, cow dung, cow, veena (sitar), flower, medicine box, parasol, elephant, goats, drums, tail of animal used to whisk flies, gold, silver, copper, tree with fruit, fresh vegetables.
To see the following persons is thought to be auspicious: A happy brahmin, a well dressed person sitting on an ox, a child saying something on his own, a beautiful person -
Biblical Signs and Portents
Yahweh said, "As my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared - to Egypt's shame. [Isaiah 20:3-4]
Jesus said he was a sign after the pattern of Jonas - he held up that "role model". [See Matt 12:40]
Simeon said to Mary: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against". [Luke 2:34]
"Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by . . . signs, which God did among you through him." [Acts 2:22]
There can be future sign value in a name too. [Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21; John 1:42]
Apostles were instructed by Jesus to shake up dust of dismay and displeasure as a very alarming sign or portent. [Matt 10:14-5]
It is also said that signs would accompany those who believed, such as "when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them" [Mark 16:17-8]. "Many . . . signs were done by the apostles." [Acts 2:43] "Things that mark an apostle - signs, wonders and miracles". [2 Cor 12:12] "I'll show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below (some day)". [Acts 2:19.21]
"You are gods," said Jesus [John 10:34], and gods can fly. So can some ants till they hit a windshield.
Solomon also teaches that ants are not lorded over - a terrible mistake, but perhaps less than ruining the dynasty - even if Jesus called him the wisest man on earth, which is unfounded. Wise ones do not live so as to lose heavenly favours, actually.
There are flying ants around. And did you know that at least four sorts of woodpeckers eat ants? So "Go to the woodpecker (too), study its ways and learn to rise above those of ants."
Another point is: The lower the animal that we draw information from, the baser our comparison has to be. Gods can fly - reputedly. Can you? The Bible says God created man in his own image . . . male and female, and crowned him with honour and glory and all that [Genesis 1:26-7; Psalm 8, Hebr 2:6-8].
Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword because Moses had been standing on a hill, lifting his staff. [Exodus 17:8-14] On another occasion Moses stretched his hand toward the sky "so that hail would fall all over Egypt . . . on men and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt." [Exodus 9:22-33]
There was a king of Gerar Abimelech. He sent for Abraham's half-sister-wife Sarah and took her. But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman."
Now Abimelech said, "Will you destroy an innocent nation? I have done this with a clear conscience."
God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience ..." [Genesis 20:1-7, extracts]
Joseph once came to the Egyptian king's chief cup-bearer and the chief baker one morning, and they were dejected. For "We both had dreams," they said, "but there is none to interpret them."
Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams." [Genesis 40:2-8, excerpts]
The loss of God's favour in the Bible manifested as not getting divined answers, such as in the case of Saul [Samuel 8, 10 etc.].
The future is not always unknown to all, if you do not ascribe fit prognoses to good luck. The astrologer William Lilly predicted in his 1644 Almanac a Great Plague of London in 1665 and the catastrophic Great Fire of London in 1666.
Omens and signs may have different sources and purposes, and interpretations differ. For example, in England it means good luck if a black cat crosses the road in front of you.
What it boils down to is a practice of interpreting scenes, others, dreams and much else as portents, that is, auspices. Auspices also involve looking at birds, but not exactly as an ornithologist. The basic aim to get at certain portent values. What a Roman augur studied was the flight of birds, the feeding of birds to discover omens. An augury can also reveal kind patronage and definite guidance, in such an understanding. And also, an augury can stand as a prophetic sign and a likeable, favourable one.
Mammon is Aramaic for wealth, affluence. And what is more, mammon is a sign of God's approval in many Bible places. Having great wealth is fairly opposite to being persecuted, And, as it is said, "Money can't bring you everything, only about 95 percent." Don't be shy about it.
Preserve your life and its wonderful assets, and go for the Buddhist Middle Path because there is great all-round or future help in it. Have great riches and honour; a happy, fulfilling, fit and loving, rewarding long life along your climb.
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