Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Historical examples of when omens occurred ( No Answer,   9 Comments )
Subject: Historical examples of when omens occurred
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: anuttama-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 03 Oct 2006 17:47 PDT
Expires: 02 Nov 2006 16:47 PST
Question ID: 770608
I am writing a book about omens.  I would like to know historical
incidences where an occurrence foretold of a future event.  An example
would be the star that foretold the birth of Jesus.  I am interested
in all religions and historical eras.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: myoarin-ga on 04 Oct 2006 05:35 PDT
An answer to your question could be quite difficult.
"Historical incidences where an occurrence [an omen] foretold of a
future event" are very much subject to subsequent interpretation.
Maybe it is human nature to seek omens and signs that seem to foretell
a major event in the world, in personal life, but until the event
occurs these precursors cannot be recognized.  After the event, with
hindsight, someone makes the connection, and with the passage of time,
the records of long distant historical events become religious beliefs
or accepted myths.
Religions that have an omniscient and omnipotent God have omens; they
demonstrate God's foresight and the veracity of prophecies.
The story of Alexander's severing the Gordian Knot may be true, but it
may also be a fiction to give credance to beliefs at the time that
rulers were annointed by the gods, who guided their actions and could
provide signs of their future success.
Similar is the myth about the sword Excalibur, that the person who
could draw it from the rock would become ruler.

Here are a couple of websites about "star that foretold the birth of
Jesus" and the "wise men."
        Click also on the "related topic" about the star.
Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: jim_spinner-ga on 04 Oct 2006 08:49 PDT
I believe Halley's Comet is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry
"fortelling" the death of Harold in 1066.
Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: anuttama-ga on 04 Oct 2006 17:57 PDT

I do believe that omens may be recognized at the time they occur.  For
an occurrence to be likely to be an omen, something needs to be "hot"
about the occurrence--the time, the place or the unlikliness of the
occurrence.  If something unusual happens during a time that is
important (im-portent) such as signing a contract, starting out on a
journey or beginning a job the unusual event is likely to portend
something.  I was recently arriving at the first Workshop that I was
conducting and just as we drove into a parking spot in front of the
building, BANG!  People on the sidewalk all turned to see.  My husband
had driven over a full can of air freshener (lilac).  This occurred
right at the beginning of an important event, and was a highly
noticable and unlikely occurrence.
Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: myoarin-ga on 05 Oct 2006 06:37 PDT
Hi Anuttama,
You are writing the book, and I don't want to discourage you, but what
did the bang and scent of lilacs portend?
Not your first workshop  - it was going to occur anyway.

Perhaps we need to agree on a definition of "omen".  You can find
several with a Google search using:  define:omen     (without spaces)

My feeling is that an omen portends a good or bad incident or outcome
of something, and that it is not recognized by just one person but by
most of the persons who experience the omen.  But as I said before, I
think this results from hindsight.
The example of Halley's comet is useful.  It was interpreted as a bad
omen, as were most apparently unique heavenly occurances (the star of
Bethlehem excepted), because anything that upset the normal passage of
the stars was seen as an ominous exception to God's  - or the gods' - 
order.  It could just as well have been interpreted as a good omen of
William's success.  But since the outcome of the battle was going to
leave one or the other as winner, the comet didn't really portend
anything prior to later interpretation.  And now that we can predict
its return, most people don't consider it an omen, just as we don't
get upset by eclipses, which frightened the dickens out of earlier

Maybe you should forget this discussion for your book  - maybe I
shouldn't have imposed my thoughts, they are not what you asked for.

Here are a couple of articles that could be interesting, if you can access them:

and these:
     Scroll down half way for "More about Ancient Astronomy"
     This points out the obvious relationship between omens and
astrology, as does the following:

And many more found with searching for:  historical omens

Maybe this course outline and the bibliography is of interest:

Good luck, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: anuttama-ga on 06 Oct 2006 10:26 PDT

I really appreciate the thought that you have put into this.  In fact
the first chapter of my book deals with the subject of beliefs. 
Beliefs and omens are subjects that are impossible to separate.  For
instance I find it really interesting that 56 people, a committee,
writing the Declaration of Independence could come up with the
statement ?...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit
of Happiness.?  This statement was contrary to the belief at the time
that God created some people such as nobles and landowners who were
obviously superior. So it is startling to me that a committee of 56
could all agree on something so controversial.  However having such a
strong statement in writing could be considered to be an omen for a
country that has been able to achieve some level of equality for
genders and races.  It is interesting to note that many of the authors
of the Declaration were slave owners.  Yes, beliefs is a very
interesting subject.

Thank you for your input.  I'll look at your links, and if I use the
info in my book, I'll tell you so that you can reap the paltry reward
I've offered

Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: anuttama-ga on 06 Oct 2006 10:59 PDT
Jim Spinner,

The Bayeux tapistry link is exactly what I'm looking for.  Feel free
to collect your reward.  Sorry about the amount, but I'm on a

Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: anuttama-ga on 06 Oct 2006 11:00 PDT

Your first link looks really promising.  How can I access the rest of
the information in the book?

Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: anuttama-ga on 06 Oct 2006 11:04 PDT
Wow Myoarin,

the link beginning with "thefamily"  was great.  Just what I'm looking
for.  Definately worth the $5.00--I wish I could pay more.  I'll check
the other links later.

Subject: Re: Historical examples of when omens occurred
From: myoarin-ga on 06 Oct 2006 17:41 PDT
Hi Anuttama,
I am so pleased that the links appear useful.  I don't know how to
access more information about that book  - in fact, I could not access
the site again.  Glad you could.

All the comments here are for free!  Only official G-A Researchers
with blue names can post to the answer box and get the price.

By the way, the Declaration of Independence was written mostly by
Thomas Jefferson  - a committee could never be so poetic and
philosophical  ("A camel is a horse designed by a committee.")
I believe that the passage you quote expresses sentiments that Locke
and Hobbes had espoused, political philosophers whose works were very
instrumental in the development of democratic thought.
I don't think it is an omen but rather an expression of principles.
An omen has to be independent of the will of the persons involved:  in
the stars, tea leaves, augury, etc.

Good luck with the book, Myoarin

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy