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Recurring Patterns:

How to Recognize the Answers to your Questions



John William Waterhouse "The Crystal Ball", c.1902

~~ Waste Land 1888-1965 publisher T.S. Eliot,

The Hollow Men

Between the idea

and the reality

Between the motion

and the act

Falls the shadow.

Q: for most of my life, I've been aware of a recurring number pattern"444". It shows up in various ways. When I was a child, long before digital clocks, I would sometimes lift up my head from after-school homework to see the clock-hands at 4:44 p.m. At boarding school, my mailbox number was 444.

My first telephone number at my first flat in Toronto was - amazingly - 424-4444. When my son was critically ill in hospital and I thought he might die, I noticed that his patient number on his medical chart was #4444. - at which moment I felt enormously relieved.

Recently I was pumping petrol into the fuel tank of my car, while deeply worried about the financial health of our family business. The fuel amount registered 4.44 gallons - and instantly I knew that, for this season at least, our business would survive and thrive.

What do you think about this number pattern? I've been noticing it for so long - decades - that it doesn't seem silly or superstitious.

On the other hand, there are millions of numbers in the world. Why am I sensitive to this particular pattern?


The moment of recognition of a personally significant pattern is taken seriously in divinatory practice. From a Jyotisha perspective, that type of recurrent signal (4:44, 44:44, 44:4444) from the guiding spirits is considered to be an omen.

An omen may be interpreted as a sort of"alarm clock ringing". The divinatory signal serves to"wake up" the experiencer, calling their attention to:

  1. the signal itself
  2. background imagery (in one's own mind)
  3. foreground imagery (in the immediate scene, such as the gallon total on the petrol pump).

One of these three items, or ideally all three taken together, contains the answer to your question.

The Signal

When one's personal-pattern is noticed in the environment (4:44 on the digital clock, or the car repair invoice = $444) an answer to your question is being delivered.

Divinatory signals flash constantly when an"answer" is being shown. Yet without a meditation -honed readiness to recognize the signals, they tend to go unnoticed. In order to know"what question?"and"what answer?"-- it helps to have an ongoing meditation practice -- or at least to have a reflective sort of personality.

Foreground Narrative

Most people have a foreground narrative running constantly while awake. During most waking hours, we are thinking consciously about safely physically performing a forward movements such as driving the car, boarding the train, walking up the steps, writing on the chalkboard, hoisting the baby, stirring the pot, skiing downhill, or landing the airplane. The foreground narrative is loud and direct.

Background Narrative

There is also a background narrative running perpetually. We humans are generally much more aware of this background narrative during sleep, when the body stops moving. However the background narrative runs 24/7, during both waking state and sleep state. When we notice it during sleep, it is called a 'dream sequence'. Many folks can recall at least some part of their dream narrative from the night before, and may continue thinking about that night-narrative during the next day.

The background narrative processes the deeper pressing questions that the person is working on behind the scenes, behind the urgent survival actions of the day. The background narrative may be sorting through questions about a relationship, reflecting on sacred teachings, pondering health of the flesh-body, or worrying about money.

Typical background concerns

Many of the questions in the background narrative have to do with social worth and the value of one's existence , thus for many adults in the modern age the predominant background narrative is about work.

However if a major life change is pending such as a possible divorce, death, relocation, rebirth, or outside catastrophe such as a destructive storm, the background narrative may produce a surge of prescient information about the impending crisis.

Background invading Foreground

If the background narrative gets too loud and distracts our attention from the survivalist forward movements of the day, then we may hear the all-too-familiar story of a car crash"I didn't see the stop sign because I was thinking about that board meeting" or a sports injury"I skied smack into those trees because I was thinking about work" or a home accident"I burned my hand touching a hot kettle because I was thinking about my school exams ".

  • Theory of Relativity 1879-1955 Physics Albert Einstein was often pulled into his background narrative when working out large conceptual problems. He used to walk into walls and had to be retrieved from remote neighborhoods when he got lost walking home from his university office.

Generally it is safer to keep the background in the background and attend to it only when meditating or asleep. However mystics, psychics etc. can tend to it when they are awake in a grounded sanctuary space. Even sensitive people who are not doing a conscious divination may experience"bleed-through" during the normal course of daily tasks.

Spirits Talking

The"444" pattern which is personally meaningful for you is likely to be a form of"bleed-through" from your subconscious narrative.

We humans are permanently surrounded by and supported by spirit guides who stand ready-and-willing to supply us with information and instruction whenever one might want to ask. Also, we humans are always operating a background movie projector which displays a perpetual loop of scenes from our past-and-future inventory.

However, during the mad rush of a busy day in the modern world, it might not be obvious that the background narrative has indeed produced a question, which the guides have heard, and it might not be obvious in what form their answer has been delivered.

How to Capture the Answer

When the"444" pattern occurs and you notice it, try to freeze-frame whatever scene = thought + emotion + color + shape = was running in the background movie. That interior scene contains the question.

Then, if possible, freeze-frame the exterior scene of the material environment. There will be the signal"444" (and its unitized variants such as 444 meters; 04hr44min; 4:444 gallons, room #44, etc.) in the outside scene. There will also be key props (such as a fuel pump which symbolizes re-energizing, sustenance, and flow) along with moving objects, colors, and human conversation. The outside scene contains the answer.

An Inadvertent Divination

example scenario containing question, answer, and wake-up signal

A middle aged lady was on her fourth marriage. She was a successful shop-keeper in a busy English village, but she definitely had some marriage karma and she was often thinking about her marriage situation in the background, even while in the foreground she was serving customers or balancing her cash accounts.

At the lunch hour, it was her habit to walk out the door of her shop, cross the High Street, and fetch her lunch at a small cafe. She always first listened for the sound of a car motor, and if no motor-sound was heard she would then cross safely at the 'zebra' striped pedestrian walkway.

One sunny day, she closed her shop for a lunch break and stepped into the crosswalk. Bam! She was hit by a car moving about 20 miles per hour. A stout lady, she was thrown to the kerb by the impact, but she felt more shocked than hurt. The car-driver, a middle-aged man, had kept going some distance before the local constable stopped him. She had neither seen nor heard his car approaching; he had not seen the vividly zebra-painted crosswalk.

When told that he had hit a lady some yards back, the man was distraught and immediately ran back to the spot, where he found her standing, surrounded by helpers, smiling and dusting herself off. Weeping, he immediately offered to pay any expenses for hospital etc. She patted his arm and assured him there was no need - she was fine."Please try to drive more carefully" was her only request; she refused to file any complaint.

What happened?

This lady was psychically attuned and (like many business owners) she had a long-term practice of morning prayer requesting spiritual guidance for the day. The moment she realized that she was not hurt, she checked the background, the foreground, and the"wake-up" signal.


  • she had been fretting about her current husband who was on holiday in Russia, supposedly visiting his elderly mother.
  • She was worried that the husband might be consorting with his ex-wife, who lived near the old mother.


  • 1.5 tonnes of steel moving forward at 20 mph - enough to pack a wallop but not enough to hurt her well-padded self.
  • A man the approximate age of her husband, thoughtlessly mowing her down in what should have been a protected space, who was himself so distracted that he ignored the public rules for conduct.
  • A lovely sunny day and many helpers rushing to her aid.
  • A crosswalk = a passage.
  • The man profoundly apologetic and embarrassed of his own behavior, also pledging to cover all expenses.

The wake-up signal:

  • a big thump to her left hip.

Principle of interpretation:

  • Left = past; right = future.
Her reading of"the answer"


  • The infidelity had indeed occurred (left side = past).
  • Hubby was not thinking of consequences at the time. Whenever he might realize the consequences, he would be overwhelmed with sorrow and regret.
  • Although under no obligation to forgive him, after a minor censure, she would do so.

Finally, recognizing another background narrative of worrying about her weight, she heard the answer that

  • carrying a few extra pounds at her womanly hips, whilst perhaps less fashionable, provided a natural soft buffer against both emotional and physical trauma.

In her nightly prayer she thanked the spirits for their guidance and steeled herself to confront the marital betrayal, knowing that she would feel shocked but not badly hurt.

How she used the information:

  • This lady had long wanted to shift to a nicer house, but hubby had been resisting the cost. Having heard from the spirits that she would have some bargaining leverage on the bhava-shift, she prepared to negotiate and did indeed achieve this concession. Within a short time, they moved"down the road".

There is much more information to be 'harvested' from this freeze-frame. Only the most salient features of the scene have been mentioned.

It is helpful to appreciate that

  • Several questions can be answered within the same scene.
  • However it does take time to analyze all of the data.

Avoiding accidents and injuries

Most psychics would agree that a basic condition of two-way communication with spirit guides must be:"and nobody gets hurt".

Spirit beings-without-bodies often do not know, or have forgotten, how excruciating it can be to feel our flesh-body nerve pain. They may create a physical injury to answer a question, because it is such a vivid attention-getter.

  • However, they should be discouraged from using physical trauma to answer a question, because non-injury events can be equally evocative to the attentive listener.

Ketu and psychic sensitivity

Ketu bhukti periods are particularly sensitive due to Ketu's natural scattering of customary boundaries. The clear perceptual line between psychic and physical becomes somewhat blurred during Ketu periods. Also Ketu can produce more frequent"bleed-through" experiences during Ketu transits to radical lagna or Chandra lagna or Ketu transit via the karakatwa representing the agent or environment in question.

If one has the inclination, Ketu periods are fruitful times to pay closer attention to the personally meaningful wake-up signals such as "4:44" or, like the lady in the example above, be willing to inspect a traumatic event (such as a surgery or injury) for valuable answers to deeply important background questions of a spiritual or philosophical nature. In this way, even a frightening invasive event can yield a richly healing answer.

In any single moment of reality, there is a goldmine of divinatory information. However only you know which questions were running in your background narrative when your personal number-pattern appeared. If the running questions can be matched to the signs and wonders of the number-pattern, the interior question, and the exterior scene, the answer from your always-attending spirit guides may be known.

Wishing you every success,


Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotishavidya


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