for Steve Ray, who inspired me to think critically about generating and presenting synchronicities; and for Greg Bishop, who believed in me – but not too much.
My faithful readers will be aware that I’ve been interested in performing ‘synchronicity experiments’ for decades now – using attention and will in order to encourage/produce synchronicities in my field of awareness. In fact, I named this blog after an incident which popped up during the final day of my first formal synchronicity experiment.
I’ve written about the main difficulty of experimenting publicly in this way, namely that so many synchronicities cluster around very personal events and meanings. Even if you can succinctly convey the meaning behind events and symbols, it’s often the case that private or personal information is inextricably bound up with the synchronicities. If you leave this private information out of your account, the import and uncanniness of the events doesn’t come across to outsiders. But not everyone wants their private information and personal issues spread out for all to examine.
A little under a year ago, I decided to try my hand at inducing synchronicities which would come across well in public, open forums. I wanted clear symbols, understandable meanings, digital trails/witness collaboration, with no unreleaseable private or personal information that was crucial to conveying the strangeness of the events. Unlike previous experiments, I set no time limit or arena for manifestation. I simply set my intention, exercised my will, kept my eyes open, and documented any relevant evidence.
As an aside, I also craved synchronicities which challenged the idea of all premonitions and synchronicities being explained using a ‘closed self’ model, as Eric Wargo outlines in his blog The Nightshirt and his book Time Loops. I cannot recommend Eric Wargo’s work rabidly enough! He is very smart, so well read, his theories are provocative and well argued, he comes up with THE STRANGEST stories of premonitions and is quite the raconteur. I’ve gained so much insight and understanding into the different worlds and ways in which these events unfold through his work.
I just can’t reconcile his theories with my personal experiences.
This last fall I experienced a series of synchronicites which met my self-imposed criteria. I discuss them in the video at this link, but I wanted to present these events in written form for people without 45 minutes to spare.
These events were centered in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, where I’ve lived since I was five years old, though the last act takes place in London. I live in the Napa Valley, which since fall 2017 has been threatened annually with horrible firestorms. The most spectacular part of this synchronicity constellation took place during the Public Safety Power Shutoff of October 27-29, which affected around 3 million people. We had no power here at the house, I would have had to drive about an hour and a half to reach an area with power. This event was massive and unprecedented.
A Synchronicity in Four Parts
Key Themes: sugar, danger, bridges, podcasters, friends and family, narwhals
Edit Begins: Prelude
I originally published the blog post you are reading on January 16, 2020. On January 17, Loren Coleman tweeted a quote from my post emphasizing the importance of June 24 in the Fortean calendar and I realized I had to write this prelude. Until I read that tweet I’d completely forgotten about the huge grease fire I had when grilling sausages on June 20th. Flames consumed the grill, shooting over three feet high. I was really scared the house would catch on fire. Luckily it had mostly burned itself out by the time the fire department got here, and my mother’s idea of smothering the fire using a soaking wet towel was very effective.
click on the image to read the tweet
The day after the grease fire, Loren Coleman posted a tweet encouraging people to try their hand at predicting any strange events which might occur on June 24. I replied citing my grease fire (with pictures of the burnt sausages). I hadn’t made the connection between these events and the later ‘Danger Bridge’ cluster until Loren Coleman highlighted June 24 in his January 17 “Temporal Alert” tweet, and I recalled his June 21 post and my reply.
The themes of fire, danger to friends and family, predictions, and the date of June 24 are all present in this tweet thread, four months before the Carquinez Bridge Fire.
click on the image to read the tweet
This type of amnesia is to be expected when dealing with subconscious material. Note taking, screenshots, taking pictures, and even social media can be your friend in dragging the shadow into the light. End Edit
I first noticed my intention of clearer synchronicites begin to manifest while listening to the History Dweebs podcast. I’ve been an avid listener of numerous podcasts for at least a decade, and correspond with many hosts. However, I’d not been in touch with host Tim Scott for over a year, so I was very happy when he called me out by full name on a show discussing the San Francisco serial killer “The Doodler”.
I can’t say I was shocked, though, as I was thinking about my name as he uttered it. You see, the hosts had just mentioned Spreckles Lake, named after an heir to the Spreckles sugar fortune, when discussing one victim of “The Doodler”. They then said that this victim, Joseph “Jae” Stevens, had worked at Finocchios’, a nightclub featuring female impersonators.
I was named after a friend of my mother’s, who was an heiress to the Spreckles sugar fortune. The only person I know who actually went to Finocchio’s is my mother – as a guest of my namesake.
Jae Stevens died on June 24, 1974. Forteans and ufologists will be sitting up straight in their seats, as the modern UFO era began on June 24, 1947 when Kenneth Arnold spotted strange objects in the sky. Jae Stevens worked in drag and as a comedian, and there’s reason to believe he was gay. Trickster opens act one of this play.
Chuffed at my success, I wrote up this “Spooky Sweet Synchronicity” and published it on October 25, 2019.
High winds and excruciatingly dry conditions on October 27, 2019 led to a horrifying and, again, unprecedented event as a fire which broke out in Vallejo, CA rode the Carquinez bridge over a half mile to ignite more fires in Crockett, CA. I cannot tell you how bone chilling this was, for fire to travel so quickly over half a mile of cold water made all preparations and fire breaks seem pointless.
I was very concerned when I heard about the fire in Crockett, because a good friend and her son live there. We were neighbors for years, I watched her son grow up. They had to evacuate with nothing. Thankfully firefighters extinguished the blaze before it reached their home. Curiously, another fire broke out a couple of miles down the road from where we had lived on this same day, October 27, 2019.
I immediately made the connection to my earlier synchronicity. Crockett is known as the home of the C&H Sugar factory, with it’s famous neon sign. C&H Sugar ran commercials for years with a song featuring the line “From Hawaii, Growing in the sun…“. My mother met my namesake while living in Hawaii for a summer.
Foreshadowing: the C&H sign is best admired from the Carquinez Bridge.
click on the image to read my contemporaneous tweet on Part Two
Here’s where things start getting a little over the top. Within a day or so of the Carquinez Bridge fire, I learned that three family members were on the road headed towards the Carquinez Bridge at the time of the fire. They had to turn around (the bridge was closed for hours) and make huge detours.
But these three family members were in two separate vehicles, approaching the bridge from opposite ends.
My dad and bonus mom were headed north on 80, south of the bridge. Luckily they got nowhere near the fire, but a midday trip of a couple hours turned into a huge trek home that lasted well into the evening.
My brother had traveled a couple of hours down from his home to visit Berkeley via 80, and was on the road in Vallejo when the fire broke out (north of the bridge). He, along with everyone else, was turned around and had to spend many hours wending his way back home.
Fortuitously for my project, I learned of both these aborted trips online, where I could take screenshots as supporting documentation. However, I was sincerely hoping that this was the end of this ‘danger bridge’ cluster. No one was hurt but I didn’t like the narrative thrust of this series of events.
click on the image to read my contemporaneous tweet on Part Three
Remember podcast host Tim Scott, who captured my attention at the beginning of this story? He was visiting London in late November, 2019. He and his lady friend went to London Bridge on November 29, leaving the area several minutes before the terrorist stabbing attack began, narrowly avoiding the events.
This would be mind boggling enough. But many people remarked on the weird and brave actions of the man who took action against the stabber by grabbing a narwhal tusk which happened to be displayed on the bridge. It’s one of the more random details from the annals of terrorism.
One of my oldest and sweetest podcast host friends is Roejen Razorwire of Project Archivist. We’ve shared some fun synchronicities over the years. Roejen has been associated with narwhals for years, after he let slip that he thought they were fictional characters like unicorns. His daughter had a grand time ribbing him when she caught him in this goofy belief, and his many fans have delighted in reminding him of this foible ever since (myself included).
Bonus Micro Synchronicity: the narwhal tusk wielder is a fishmonger. My sister and one of my closest friends both worked as fishmongers for a few years.
In Conclusion – More Questions
I do think this cluster of synchronicities meets my aforestated goals. My name has an unusual and specific backstory which was clearly telegraphed very closely in time to my name being mentioned on History Dweebs.
It’s easy to follow the ‘Hawaiian Sugar’ strain through to the location of the Carquinez Bridge fire via the C&H Sugar factory, and the element of danger with the presence of three groups of my friends and family in the vicinity (all having to flee). The London Bridge incident loops nicely back towards Part One (podcast host Tim Scott) while continuing the ‘Danger Bridge’ theme from Parts Two and Three.
The narwhal tusk underlining the ‘podcast host’ theme of this cycle emphasizes the surreal nature of these events. The surrealist movement was concerned with “…resolv(ing) the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality…“. This concern relates to synchronicity’s origins in the bleed over between dream and real life. Many paranormal events are characterized by operating under the logic of dreams, yet having the temerity to do so in waking life.
What role does group consciousness and unusual meterological/atmospheric conditions play in creating or allowing these type of meaningful coincidences? Not only was the standard modern urban electromagnetic field/pollution absent during the Carquinez Bridge fire, but millions of people were hyperaware of the fire danger and had their lives drastically impacted. In addition, the dry winds created a huge amount of static. The London Bridge attack took place in normal weather, but received massive international media attention. Is it possible that these moments of focused group consciousness create conditions more amenable to manifesting unconscious concerns, without regard to traditional notions of time and causality?
I am still very struck by how many of these events flowed from the physical actions of people outside of me, with whom I had no prior contact about their actions. Dreaming of your reaction to a certain event before it happens, suddenly noticing a certain color or image become prominent in your field of awareness and finding it points to a future event – these experiences are strange enough, but still reflect more commonly acceptable ideas of access to one’s own unconscious or individual future.
But when someone you haven’t communicated with in a year calls you by full name in circumstances which harken to your own friends and family being placed unexpectedly in danger on a bridge in the future – and that same person, around a month later, ends up on a bridge halfway around the world just minutes before people are stabbed to death (also, narwhals) – to me, having gone through all this, I just find it simpler to accept that there are other people outside of me and that we influence each other in unseen ways.
Lastly, we are all subject to larger forces and processes, the mechanisms of which we remain largely unaware.