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13 Common Ways The Universe Sends Us Signs & Messages, According To Experts

Sarah Regan
June 22, 2023
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
Image by mbg creative X Ulas&Merve / Stocksy
June 22, 2023
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Some coincidences are just too synchronistic to be a random chance occurrence. And when you experience those synchronicities, like seeing an angel number when you're thinking about starting a new project, or hearing your favorite song after you asked the universe for a sign, these instances can very well be the universe sending you a message.

Here are 13 common ways the universe can send messages, plus how to actually figure out what the message is.

13 common signs from the universe:


Spirit animals

From deer to blue jays, animals have different spiritual meanings, and spirit animals can appear to us (in real life or in dreams) when we need to hear their particular message.

Lions, for example, represent courage and leadership, so you might start seeing lions everywhere as you're stepping into a new position at your job. Or take hawks, as another example, which represent protection and trust. You might start seeing hawks a lot if you've been feeling nervous or unsure of yourself, reminding you to trust that you're protected.


Angel numbers

Angel numbers are sequences of repeating numbers, often seen in sets of three or four (i.e., 222 or 2222), though they can also show up as split numbers (i.e., 3433 or 717). As professional intuitive and creator of the Awakening Intuition Oracle Deck Tanya Carroll Richardson previously wrote for mindbodygreen, "Angel numbers are a synchronicity, or a meaningful coincidence—divine guidance from angels and the universe."

For example, angel number 111 represents new beginnings, and if you were to see it when thinking about moving to a new place or getting back on the dating scene, this would be the universe saying, "Yes, do that!"



Our intuition is like our connection to the universe, and it can show up in four primary ways:

  • Clairaudience: With this clair, your intuition comes to you as words or voice
  • Clairvoyance: With this clair, your intuition comes to you as seeing images
  • Clairsentience: With this clair, your intuition comes to you as physical feelings and sensations
  • Claircognizance: With this clair, your intuition comes to you as knowing through instantaneous downloads or insights

When you get an intuitive hit (i.e., feeling a pit in your stomach around someone who's no good for you, or seeing the image of a baby around a friend who's about to discover they're pregnant), it's akin to the universe telling you to pay attention and trust your instincts.


Snippets of conversations

Ever walked down the street and heard a snippet of a conversation that was weirdly relevant to whatever you had just been thinking about? Take that as a sign from the universe.

For instance, you might be thinking that it's time to buy a house, and then a few minutes later, walk by a couple that's raving about how great their real estate agent was in helping them find a home.


Song lyrics

According to Richardson, music is one of the more melodic ways the universe sends us messages, whether through song lyrics or our own favorite songs.

You might hear your favorite song during a first date, which would be a good sign, she explains. Or perhaps you're flipping through radio stations and hear a lyric about persevering when you're thinking about how you've been struggling lately, which would, of course, be a sign to persevere.



Dreams are as mysterious as they are fascinating, and sometimes, they even serve as a way for the universe to send us a message. There are a number of common dream symbols that relate to specific messages, such as snakes, which speak to transformation, or spiders, which warn against lies and criticism.


New opportunities

The universe is always conspiring to give us opportunities, and often at just the right moment. As Richardson explains, bumping into a former colleague who tells you a job opening at their company would be perfect for you would be yet another synchronistic message from the universe.

In the case of new opportunities, it's like the universe is saying, "This is lined up for you—don't miss it."



We already mentioned repeating numbers, but that's not the only thing that can repeat as a way for the universe to send you a sign.

For example, Richardson previously wrote for mindbodygreen, "Seeing a billboard ad for a certain book on your way home, then having a friend mention out of the blue that they're reading this same book, and then seeing a flyer that the author will be appearing at your neighborhood bookstore," is essentially the universe saying you should get that book.



Have you ever felt empowered and then suddenly the wind is at your back? Or perhaps right as a tear fell from your cheek, it suddenly turned gloomy outside and started pouring? There's a sign from the universe for you.

As another example, Richardson says, a strong wind kicking up out of nowhere as you ponder pulling back from a business partnership while taking your daily walk would also be the universe giving you a sign. Pay attention to what you were thinking when you noticed the weather change.


Inexplicable phenomena

According to Richardson, some things just can't be explained, and that's when we look to the universe. For example, she says, you might be grieving the loss of a family member, only to find one of their favorite keepsakes in your mailbox with no explanation.

In this case, this is a sign from the universe that your loved ones are energetically with you and watching over you.



There are Earth angels all around us that can act as messengers from the universe (perhaps without them even knowing it!). If you're walking around town in a bad mood, for instance, and see a happy-looking guy wearing a shirt with a smiley-face on it, it's like the universe saying, "Hey, try to lighten up champ."



Colors are another way the universe sends us signs, especially when we ask for signs in the form of certain colors. Richardson notes you might set the intention that you'd like to receive signs with the color indigo for ways to improve your mental health, for example, and then get handed an indigo-colored flyer about a new yoga studio near you opening up.



It's one thing when a car alarm goes off when you're just minding your own business, not thinking about anything in particular, for example. But when a car alarm starts going off as you're realizing your latest love interest has some major red flags? It's like the universe is saying, "Here, we set off alarm bells for you."

And sounds won't always be bad either—perhaps you hear a bell chime when you have a great idea, or hear someone's phone ring outside when you're thinking about calling an old friend. Again, it all depends on the context of the moment when the sign appears.

How to understand the message

Only you can truly decipher and interpret the messages you're receiving from the universe because they're entirely dependent on what was happening at the moment you received the sign.

As Richardson explains, upon receiving signs from the universe, you can write them down, reflect on them, and/or talk about them with someone you trust.

"A good rule of thumb is to notice how the sign registers with you—does time seem to slow down, does the moment feel heavy with meaning, or do you get a physical reaction when the sign comes (like chills on your body)? If the sign keeps popping up in your thoughts hours or even days afterward, it's definitely something to pay attention to," she explains.

More often than not, though, many signs from the universe will be so synchronistic that the message is pretty clear (like hearing that car alarm when thinking about your recent date), and the more you get into the habit of paying attention to signs, the more they will come to you.

"When the universe sees a sign registered with you, it will know that you are becoming more open to guidance and send more guidance," Richardson says, adding, "Remember that you receive more signs than you think, so if something feels like a sign to you, it probably is."

Here's our full guide to how to recognize when the universe is giving you a sign for more information.


What kind of signs do you ask the universe for?

You can ask the universe for signs in the form of colors, numbers, animals, repetition, music, and more.

How do you know the universe is giving you signs?

You can tell the universe is giving you a sign through a combination of synchronicity (a meaningful coincidence) and how that coincidence makes you feel, which is the message. For example, feeling excited when you see angel number 111 upon thinking about starting a new job.

The takeaway

The universe is always reaching out and sending us messages to help guide us on our life's path—but we can only hear those messages when we're open to receiving them and know the signs to watch out for.

Sarah Regan author page.
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.