Is Belief in Omens a Superstition?
Theosophist, July, 1882
Article Selections by Dhame Dinanath Pandurang | Editor’s Note by H.P.B.
To the Editor of The Theosophist:
Madame,—Having had with a friend . . . a discussion about the various theories of the ancients . . . the conversation turned upon what we are agreed to term—good and bad omens (śakuna), in the fulfillment of which many Hindus believe at the present day; though for my own part, I cannot come to any definite conclusion upon the matter. I am at a loss to understand how the howling of a dog or a jackal; the hooting of an owl [etc.] . . . can become so many stumbling blocks, as it were, to the fulfillment or the desired objects!
My friend who firmly believes in such things strained every nerve to prove, from his personal experience, that prognostication through various omens is a fact . . . Will you have the kindness to fully enlighten me upon the subject . . .
Will you be kind enough to explain to be likewise, whether prognostication is, like astrology, based upon any scientific facts, or—but a popular superstition?
Editor’s Note. [H.P.B.]—It cannot be denied that there are correspondences, relationships and mutual attractions and repulsions in Nature, the existence of which scientific research is constantly making more apparent. Nor can it be contradicted that, under this law, the theory of omens and portents has some basis of truth. But the credulity of the superstitious has carried the matter to absurd lengths. The subject is too vast to enter upon until we have exhausted the more important branches of Occultism.