What is Synchronicity?
Synchronicity is a term originally coined by psychologist Carl Jung that refers to the meaningful (or even miraculous) coincidences that occur in your life. When you experience synchronicity you’ll have experiences that seem far too significant to be mere day-to-day serendipitous encounters.
Synchronicity can manifest in an endless number of forms; popular types including names, numbers, words, symbols, and events.
What is the Purpose of Synchronicity?
A growing number of people believe that synchronicity is like a powerful ‘wink’ from the Universe telling us that yes, we’re on the right track. Synchronicity is also believed to be a form of guidance from the Higher Self; a way of showing you where to go and what to do next in your life as you proceed through your spiritual awakening.
Common Forms of Synchronicity
Synchronicity is different for everyone – it’s as unique as people’s needs and desires.
But there does seem to be a few common ‘categories’ of synchronicity out there. I’ll touch on them below:
- Seeing repeated numbers (such as 11 11)
- Thinking about something, then having it happen
- Being in the right place at the right time
- Dreaming about people/animals/places, then seeing them repeatedly in real life
- Seeing repeated symbols (such as the infinity sign, the triangle, the tree of life, etc.)
Difference Between Serendipity and Synchronicity
Serendipity is when something good accidentally happens. For instance, we may need cash to pay for unexpected vet bills and find some in our jacket pocket that we’ve just put on. Synchronicity, on the other hand, is not just a single experience of good fortune. Synchronicity is a string of events that seem to be highly symbolic and meaningful in nature. If serendipity is like the bread crumb, synchronicity is the trail that leads us toward a new destination. Many people see synchronicity as a lesson, affirmation, or message from Life. One example of synchronicity is hearing the same name over and over again (in books, on TV, on number plates, in dreams) and later discovering that the name is suburb where you finally find your dream home.
Here are some examples of synchronicity:
- Overhearing a couple of strangers talk about something that is of great significance to your own life
- Watching episodes of your favorite TV shows that all somehow have the same underlying storyline/focus
- Getting the exact message you need the most at the exact right time (e.g. if you’re going through a divorce, depression, betrayal, major life change, etc.)
- Meeting the exact right person at the exact right time (e.g. a partner, friend, teacher, etc.)
- Seeing the same symbols or images repeated everywhere (e.g. in magazines, on commercials, on buildings, on tattoos)
- Glancing at the clock the exact same time of the day for many days on end (and seeing 11:11, 14:14, 23:23, 2:22, etc.)
- Reoccuring signs that seem to lead you somewhere special (e.g. your ideal job, home, relationship)
- Hearing the same song repeated many times in unusual circumstances
- Strange alignments of birth dates between friends, partners, etc.
How many of these experiences can you relate to?
Theories About Synchronicity (From Skeptics to Believers)
What exactly is synchronicity? Let’s examine some popular world views:
- Hindus believe synchronicity is a manifestation of Brahman or the fundamental connection of all living things within the universe
- Behavioral Economists would classify synchronicity as a form of confirmation bias. For example, if you’re told to look for yellow cars, you’ll start seeing a lot more of them than you initially thought existed
- Quantum physicists attribute synchronicity to the “non-local” mind (or universal consciousness)
- Skeptics call synchronicity Apophenia or the practice of seeing connections and patterns in random and/or meaningless data
- Everyday spiritual folks believe synchronicity is a sign from their Higher Self or Soul
- Psychologists (particularly those who follow Jungian theories) believe synchronicity comes from the unconscious mind and collective unconscious
Whatever causes it, synchronicity is far too common and too intriguing an experience to overlook or quickly dismiss and forget about. As the author of You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney concludes:
Just remember that meaning comes only from within.
The only person who can understand why a synchronous experience occurs and what it means is you.
What Creates Synchronicity?
Common explanations for the origins of synchronicity include the following:
- The unconscious mind. We get warning messages in our dreams, so why can’t we get them in waking life as well? Our unconscious mind influences a lot of our behavior, and at the same time, can also communicate with us. Signs and omens (or instances of synchronicity) are the unconscious mind’s way of guiding us.
- Harmony of energy. As everything consists of tiny vibrating atoms (aka. energy), synchronicity could also be a manifestation of global/environmental harmony, where the frequencies and vibrations of the moment sync together in perfect equilibrium (or Oneness) producing such uncanny experiences.
- Law of attraction. This theory states that good and bad events in life are caused by your thoughts and feelings. Thus “like attracts like,” which possibly explains why synchronicity occurs.
- Psychic abilities. Synchronicity is also thought to be a manifestation of psychic abilities where, for example, we intuit that a certain person will call us or significant event will befall us, and it does.
Here is an illustration from my own life of synchronicity:
For some reason, the number 9 has been extremely significant in my life. When I need confirmation of anything, paying attention to number 9 is one of the most obvious places to look for me. I was born on the 19th, my partner was born on the 9th, my mother was born on the 29th, my uncle was born on the 29th, my brother is born in the 9th month of the year, and both myself and my partner share number 9 as our favorite number. What are the chances?!
How to Welcome More Synchronicity into Your Life
When you remain connected to the Divine, She will speak to you — in patterns and connections, signs and synchronicities, and all sorts of gifts. When magic rises to the surface of your awareness, and your life, you know you’re blessed. It makes life a wild adventure. It’s also a source of incredible strength, coming to you when you most need it … – Phyllis Curott
Have you ever thought that perhaps the synchronicity in your life right now is a message in disguise?
Whether you’re a skeptic or not, I encourage you to take action and see where you’re led.
Welcoming synchronicity into your life is simple. Here are some basic practices and mindset shifts to adopt:
- Be mindful and aware. Practice alertness and pay attention to the present moment.
- Be open and receptive. Maintain an open-minded outlook towards synchronicity. This will enhance your receptibility towards such experience.
- Be humble. Sometimes what you desire or think is best for yourself is not. Learn to have a very loose hold on your desires. In this way, you won’t be imposing yourself on Life, but you will allow Life to impose itself on you (in the form of synchronicity).
- Be trusting. Trust that synchronicity will appear in your life and when it does, trust your intuition and follow the paths presented ahead of you. When you learn to trust yourself, you also learn to trust Life.
- Follow your instincts. Listen to what your gut instinct is telling you – your unconscious mind is vast, limitless, and extremely wise. Doors are being opened for us all the time, and when we listen to our instincts, we can actively see them.
Other spiritual tools/practices you might like to use to increase the synchronicity in your life include:
- 6. Prayer – mentally or verbally express your desire to receive synchronicity (you don’t have to be religious to pray – you can pray to whatever you believe in).
- 7. Sigils – sigils are intention-infused symbols that are used to communicate to your unconscious mind – they can be used to increase the synchronicity in your life.
How to Interpret Synchronicity
So you’ve had an increase in synchronicity lately. You might be wondering what it means and how you can correctly interpret it.
By learning how to correctly interpret the signs and omens that appear in your life,
You’ll be able to know when you’re on the right path, when you’re making the wisest choices, and when you’re living aligned with your deepest needs and values.
Sometimes synchronicity heralds new doors (or opportunities) that may open in your life. Other times, synchronicity is simply trying to teach you a lesson, for instance, to stop pursuing the relationship/job that you’ve set your heart on because it won’t work out.
Here are some of the most accurate ways to interpret synchronicity:
- Meditate and go inwards. Ask yourself, “what does this synchronicity mean?” Wait for images, feeling or words to enter your mind. If you still feel doubtful, repeat the same practice three times and see what answer you get.
- Tune into your body. Your body is a repository of wisdom and will tell you the truth no matter what your mind tries to make you believe. When you think you know what the synchronicity means, tune into your body. Do you get any goosebumps, shivers, or feelings of expansion as though an inner lightbulb has gone off? If this is the case, you’ve likely found the right explanation. If, on the other hand, your body doesn’t experience any notable changes, you probably haven’t found the right answer.
- Use a pendulum. Pendulum dowsing is a powerful way of getting a direct answer from your unconscious mind. Simply get a pendulum (or a make-shift one) and ask it a question that demands a “yes/no” answer. For example, you may like to ask, “does this synchronicity mean that this relationship is right for me?” Read more about pendulum dowsing.
- Find patterns. One easy way to interpret the synchronicity in your life is to find patterns in your behavior. What issues or questions have been emerging a lot in your life at the moment? What has been the biggest source of anxiety/frustration you’ve been dealing with? Synchronicity often arises when we need answers and solutions. Find the patterns and relate them back to your synchronicity.
- Explore the symbolism. Often, synchronicity is symbolic in nature (e.g. the black dog you keep seeing in your dreams and waking life that symbolizes negativity/bad choices, the repetitive number “1” which symbolizes “being number one”). Is there any symbolic aspect present in your synchronicity? If so, what does it mean to you? Yes, you can consult a symbol dictionary or look up the meanings online. But remember, the most important meaning is the one you create and believe in.
- Use oracle and tarot cards. Renown psychologist Carl Jung once commented on the Chinese divination method of I Ching: “For more than thirty years I have interested myself in this oracle technique, or method of exploring the unconscious, for it has seemed to me of uncommon significance.” Thanks to the I Ching, Jung developed his theory which he coined ‘synchronicity.’ I’m sure if Jung was alive today he would believe the same about oracle and tarot cards – which, in my opinion – are much more accessible. One of the easiest ways of interpreting synchronicity is to consult an oracle or tarot deck. You can read intuitively (which is largely what I do) and pay attention to what feelings emerge within you. You can pick up affordable decks online such as the Vintage Wisdom Oracle. Before pulling cards it’s always best to ground and center yourself, preferably through a meditation. Then, shuffle the cards and stop when you intuitively feel the need to pause. Pull the card from the top of the deck and turn it over. Pay attention to the feelings you get from the image – is it positive and welcoming or unfriendly and negative? Depending on what type of card you receive you’ll have your answer. You can also use tarot and oracle cards for far more than simple “yes/no” answers – they can help to reveal the very core meaning of the synchronicity you’re experiencing.
- Listen to your dreams. Your dreams reveal a lot about the synchronicity occurring in your life – they are the language of the unconscious mind. You can either try to passively analyze your dreams or actively trying to “incubate” (or create) dreams that help to answer your question. To practice dream incubation, think about the synchronicity that has been happening in your life lately about half an hour before bed. Write down your question or draw a picture that symbolizes your synchronicity and put it under your pillow. This will help to prime your unconscious and prepare it to give you answers during your dreams. Upon first waking in the morning, record your dreams in a journal. Do this for one week and see what patterns emerge.
Try one of the above techniques that you’re drawn to – if you try too many you may get overwhelmed. So it’s best to keep it simple.
Synchronicities are the mysterious and beautiful occurrences that spontaneously happen in life. They can help to guide you and open your eyes to new potentials you didn’t know existed.
by Mateo Sol