Recognizing Signs from the Other Side by Traci L. Bray

“Where is my sign? Why am I not receiving any signs?,” are the predominate questions so many of us utter regarding confirmation from a loved one who has passed away is, “If only I had a sign!” We look for answers from the Universe for a plethora of things including:  

  • Confirmation that they are alright
  • Wondering what to do about our own children, our parents, our relationships
  • Seeking assistance with questions about career shifts or changes
  • Speculating about the Universe-itself!

So often, we believe the signs are not available to us, or accessible. We pummel ourselves for missing them, or not recognizing them in the first place. Let me assure you, the signs are there in plentitude. We only need to know what we might look for, and where, and when. Hints on how to do this are something few of us learn along our way, in school, during our upbringing, from family or friends.

As a Medium, I am accustomed to working with signs from all known measures of communication via what I hear, see, sense, touch, feel, smell and just have a knowingness about. Learning to recognize these things is like learning a new language. Even the most fluent of speakers of a secondary language state that the development of the locution constantly and  perpetually is in forever-motion. Likewise, signs are the same.

Sometimes signs are sent directly from loved ones passed. Other times they arrive from a variety of realms including Angels, teachers, spirit guides, animal totems, councils of elders, and the elemental realm which includes fairies.

What follows are some common place signs that are readily available. Also offered are considerations as to how to tap into each, plus a list of suggestions for tools you might look to add to your library for each:


Nature abounds with a plethora of material providing signs. A feather landing on your car seat through an open window, an oak leaf on the sidewalk when no oak trees live near,  or a living mirage of a watering hole surrounded by shade trees on otherwise barren land, all can be signs.

While freshly grieving my two adored basset hounds, Rudy and Ricco, I uttered the words, “Oh please let me have a sign to know you’re alright.” Do note, that for me to want a sign was followed by a bit of a chortle, as I knew without a doubt that they were well, sniffing on bushes coinciding with lifting a leg to pee. As I chuckled, a dragonfly carcass dropped from the sky onto the picnic table smack-dab in the middle of the document I was working on. Ask and it shall be given! I suspect that the deadness of the said dragonfly was not anything at all grim, but instead the closest object nearby that Spirit grabbed. Or, it may have been symbolic of the humor the two beastie brothers brought to my life. 

Tree bark presents faces, and shapes - sometimes letters/initials that have grown into the bark that grant messages. I recall a client who was missing her intimate partner horribly whilst walking in the woods. Glancing at the base of a tree, she noted a knot formed by a piece of the tree that had broken off at some point. It had grown into the shape of a Valentine heart. In addition to Valentine being a symbol of romantic love, it was the shape of her wedding ring.

In another example, a family returning from a funeral for the husband/father pulled into their driveway on a cold winter day. Laying in front of the garage door in the snow, was a single red rose which appeared to have been cut fresh from a bush versus not having been trimmed of leaves and thorns as if a florist had done so. There were no vehicle tracks or footprints in the snow - only the rose. That rose remains in the wife’s kitchen window sill, as evidence of her husband letting her know he was alright. Every Friday when living, he brought her red roses.

Great Resource: Nature Speak by Ted Andrews; and Celtic Tree and Animal Spirit Astrology by Carole Somerville.


Remember your caretaker as a child, joyfully making you pancakes in the shape of a rabbit, or Mickey Mouse? Certainly you’ve noticed clouds in different shapes which you identify. Try asking a question of something you would like the Universe to help you with, or to receive a message from a passed loved-one. Put the question out-there by speaking, thinking or writing it. You might find it immediately, or it will come to you before you know it.

Personally, I have viewed words such as, YES, or OK written in cloud formations during a meditation on clouds during a workshop I was taking some summers back. Another time while driving, I asked of my deceased Father, “Dad would you support me in what I am about to write,” which was a rather personal topic to be included in an upcoming book. I thought little more of my question until some minutes later looking to the sky noting a HUGE rooster that appeared to be stretching his neck skyward, crowing! I accepted that as a message from my Father, “Go ahead and crow about it!”

Great Resource - Nan Moss with David Corbin, Weather Shamanism


When animals in the wild appear at random, or in numbers when unexpected, pay attention. Perhaps you never see squirrels in your yard, yet three days in a row one has been standing on the hood of your car. Or perhaps you notice a herd of deer in a field, or a gaggle of snow geese rising from a pond. Make note, and either web search, or order the wonderful books Animal Wise, and Animal Speak by nature and animal loreist Ted Andrews. Although post-death, Andrews’ work and reputation have been questioned, I find his material fascinating and relevant in offering information on behavior and lore of a number of mammals, reptiles, fish and birds. At the end of each animal discourse is a suggestion concerning the reason you might be encountering the critter in question. I have yet to see that this is not applicable to any person/animal I have applied it to in my over thirty years of practice.

Having grown up in the Great Midwest of the United States, three times a wild badger and I have crossed paths. Most humans will never see a badger in-the-wild. Badger is one of my animal totems. They can be fiesty to say they least, and hold-their-own against major foes. It is difficult to pull-the-wool over the eyes of a badger - they are bright, cagey and intuitive. Because badgers protect themselves and their young by building extensive and deep tunnels beneath the Earth, they are known to be attuned to the underworld, and world of the dead. Were one to know me well, these attributes are familiar to me and my behavior. At the times the badgers appeared, occasions to implement and capitalize on some of these behaviors was prudent. Studying badger, I learned more about myself, and how to navigate my world.

Great Resource - Ted Andrews, Animal Speak and Animal Wise


Upon returning home following his only daughter’s funeral, a good friend walked out onto his deck overlooking his large back yard. There perched on a deck post was a huge red-tailed hawk, only feed from him. It stared at him as he stared back at it. It cocked it’s head to the side as if to say, “This is painful, eh?” It was the first time, he reported, that he was able to relax since learning of her violent, gruesome, ill-timed and tragic death. He believed the hawk, the likes of which he had never seen around his property was letting him know that she was well, and had made it to the Other Side, and was in her-way, flying free. The hawk took off, never to be seen on the deck after.

You may be aware of people who know that the pair of cardinals that appear on their back fence are representative of their grandparents, or another loved-one. It is not unusual that they find themselves thinking of the grandparents, and lo and behold, the cardinals show-up!

For one woman I met as a client, the bird of significance was a wild turkey. Her passed fiance’ was an official in a well-known wildlife group, and a turkey hunter. When turkeys are present in-the-wild a turkey for her, it is a sign of his presence.

Great Resource - Ted Andrews, Animal Speak and Animal Wise, or, books concerning bird identification by organizations including the Smithsonian, National Geographic, or Audubon Society.

Dismissing signs is so incredibly easy to do. Many people in my world would never take note of a feather on the car seat, or a lone shell on a beach. They may miss the orange Baltimore Oriole whizzing by them low in flight. A cool breeze on their neck on an unusually hot and windless day may pass them by, as they might take note of big stars in the sky, not realizing that perhaps two planets are appearing in conjunction. I remember swimming with some friends in the Gulf of Mexico when a wave, much larger than others prior or after slammed us as we stood gazing out to sea. There were no boats or other sports craft on the horizon at the time. We all laughed, and I asked, “What were each of you thinking of when that wave knocked into us?” One of the women said, “I was thinking of my Dad (who had died the year prior), and how he would have enjoyed this.” My reply was, “Well I think he just let you know by the spectacular wave that just hit us!”

Keep your ears open, your eyes peeled, and your other senses aware. Make note of, and even photograph whatever wonder crosses your path, and research it for amazing confirmations...

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Name: Traci L. Bray, BS, MA is a Medium, and Certified Research Medium


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