/ Photo by bfick /
Tracking is like hunting, except instead of an animal, we are hunting guidance and wisdom. When a hunter tracks a deer, he observes its movements in order to capture and kill the deer. When we track a sign – a deer showing up unexpectedly in our backyard – we move into a deeper relationship with the deer. We recognize that the deer brought us a gift — a message. Tracking asks us to merge with the natural world, and to listen with all of our senses.
Tracking requires a stillness of mind and a willingness to enter dreamtime, a more fluid perceptual state. In dreamtime, we see beyond the material world to experience the energy of a thing; we are aware that material objects exude energy, character, and personality. This task is easier in the natural world. We recognize a happy river by its clear bubbly waters. We feel good in its presence.
In urban settings, our senses are overloaded with stimuli to the extent that our senses are dulled, numbed, and imprecise. We have trouble making energetic distinctions. With practice, we can retrain our senses to feel again. When we are in material-world sensory mode, we will see five different chairs with various colors and shapes in a room as interesting, but we may not be able to discern anything unusual between them. In dreamtime, we are able to discern each chair’s history and personality. Is it a happy chair, depressed chair, or agitated chair? Your senses will tell the difference.
Let’s begin learning a new set of tracking skills.
1. The name of a person, place, or thing reveals its character and quirks.
If a beauty salon’s name is “Rumors,” this salon might talk and socialize like a buzzing bee, or at the extreme spread gossip within its quarters. The name of the tattoo parlor, “Scarred for Life,” makes us nervous, and doesn’t give us a confident feeling about their technical expertise. The name could suggest that the owner and clientele are emotionally traumatized.
Names have power and the name itself is a metaphor. When you are choosing a new place to shop, look to the name first for insight into the heart of the place. When you are naming your child, your business, assign an upbeat, powerful name. Don’t be casual about your email address either – change it up.
2. Birds are messengers. If you see a bird flying around the grocery store, this means a message is “in store.” The bird is announcing that a sign is approaching and to pay special attention to your surroundings.
Pay attention to where the bird is and the behavior of the bird. If the bird is perched on a telephone pole, you will discover upon arriving home that you have a voicemail – bird on the wire.
3. There is intelligence in moving objects. If a cup falls out of your hand and breaks, this could suggest an emotional outbreak is coming. Cups represent emotions. If the rearview mirror on the left side of your car falls off, this is a sign that you are not taking care of yourself or heeding your internal voice (left side = mothering, nurturing, the intuitive voice).
Moving objects are talking objects. If a painting of your friend falls from the wall to the floor, your friend may take a fall and experience a hardship. Signs don’t discriminate between the picture of something and the actual person; the picture holds the energy of that person.
4. Car alarms, smoke alarms, and building alarms are distress calls. A couple’s smoke alarm went off in their home at 5 pm, and within 5 days they got a call that the husband’s mother entered the hospital with a serious health condition. The time it happens suggests an event in the future that will cause some alarm, an event that will be worrisome or upsetting.
When someone’s car alarm goes off, the alarm is a Mayday, a call for help.
Hearing a car alarm could suggest that someone you know is simply having a bad day, or that a challenging situation is up for a loved one that may require your assistance.
5. What happens when you first meet someone gives you a clue of what to expect further down the road.
Your car gets a flat tire on route to meet a new date prospect. You find that the conversation is “flat” (no air = little communication) and that you both had very little in common. Before you got married, you knew that your man slept around with other women. Are you surprised that he still is?
Whenever you are at the beginning of new situation, you are at the beginning of a trailhead. Whatever you encounter near the beginning marks the whole trail. You encounter blizzard conditions while driving to a job interview. This tells you that the new job will also be stormy and icy cold; the job environment will feel emotionally distant. Since visibility was affected, you know that the company lacks vision.
6. Power outages suggest that “the power is down” in a situation. This is similar to the void of course in astrology, a time when everything seems out of order, a time to lay low. If your office is planning an event at the end of the week, and the power goes out earlier in the week, this event may not go well, or at the very least, expect some sort of chaos.
Power outages are usually temporary mercury retrograde periods representing a few days when things don’t go well. Wait until the storm passes, and the sun will shine again. Sometimes power outages have a longer-term influence, and they inform you that a situation (example: pending divorce, laid off from work) is out of your control.
7. When a clock stops, this indicates an ending and a new beginning. If your desk clock stops, a new phase in your work is beginning. If a grandfather clock stops in your living room, you will see changes in your household. Also, check to see how your grandfather is doing. Sometimes a clock stopping can indicate a death.
Always write down what time it is when the clock stops. The time on the clock signifies a future event of importance.
8. Seeing a body double is similar to a déjà vu experience, but it connects more to the present than the past. You see someone downtown who reminds you of your best friend, similar face and hair color. You notice that this familiar-looking person is walking into a shop specializing in wedding dresses. Then, you find out the very next day that your best friend is getting married in six months.
A déjà vu experience gives you a quick snapshot of a person you previously knew – the experience is fleeting. Seeing a body double gives you insight into the life of someone you currently know. You will receive a confirmation in your daily life from what you discovered from seeing the body double.
9. Light and shadow reveal energy patterns. Pay attention to gradations of light. When you look at a photo, is any part of the person’s face in shadow? If the right side of the person’s face is in shadow, this person may have issues around their relationship with their father. Does the kitchen in the house you are thinking of buying seem too dark? If this isn’t repaired, your nutrition and sense of nurturance – your health will suffer. Don’t buy this home, or make sure to upgrade the kitchen to bring in more light.
Lack of light reveals areas of stagnation and congestion. These areas need cleansing, healing, and rebalancing. Don’t ignore the shadows in people, places, and things. They need our attention and care.
Remember that tracking isn’t mere observation. It’s about hearing the call of the natural world. The spirit world has its own communication network, a call and response system. When you have a concern or a question (the call), signs will appear sending you some helpful instructions (the response). There is a universal echo in the natural world. Can you hear it?
Tracking takes you beyond the material world. You form a relationship with the spirit world, a relationship like any other that includes dialogue. The next time a sign appears, follow its lead, and see where it takes you.
See previous blog post on tracking signs: An Introduction to Tracking Signs and Symbols: Part 1.