Actually, I am being really unreasonable. However I would like to ask those who have experienced Angel Feathers to....

(806 Posts)
DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 22:43:03

...answer a few questions that I have.

1). What does it feel like when you see that feather?

2). What are your thoughts when this happens?


3). What would you say are the long term (if any) effects that you would attribute to these encounters.

I understand that this belief has been the subject of some ridicule here. I have no intention of ridiculing anyone. This thread has been inspired by a previous AIBU thread, but is not a thread about a thread. I am not a journalist. I am not seeking results to use in an academic submission or publication. What I am seeking is knowledge and understanding in the hope that I can use it to help others.

IABU for the following reasons:
I only posted in AIBU for the traffic. If MN rule that I have breached guidelines, can it be moved and not deleted.

And I ask the skeptics not to put people off answering honestly. If you think it necessary, I can start another thread for all your thoughts to be discussed. Perhaps the scientifically minded of you could look at this as an information gathering

Anchoress Tue 12-Nov-13 22:47:30

Maybe as a public information service, you or someone else could explain or point to some information on this phenomenon????

manicinsomniac Tue 12-Nov-13 22:48:06

what's an angel feather?

lessonsintightropes Tue 12-Nov-13 22:48:42

YABU for posting here for the traffic and my arse you're not a journalist...

How do you 'experience' Angel Feather (capitalised - really?)?


comemulledwinewithmoi Tue 12-Nov-13 22:53:28

She's a regular. I sometimes find feathers and think ahh is that from an angel? Or maybe it's from my duvet. Serious.

diagnosticnomansland Tue 12-Nov-13 22:53:56

Can I put my vote in for "Oddest thread I've seen on MN"?

And yes...AF?.....hmm

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 22:54:45

I'm not a journo. I'm not collecting info for a survey. I have no personal gain in asking.

I have been here for quite a few years. Apart from the first Halloween here, when I NC'd from Dione to Dione the Diabolist, I have not NC'd. I have met local members and they have met me.

Oh, I sometimes find a feather, I like finding feathers.
They are usually from flying rats pigeons or seagulls though.
I am not sure I'd recognise a feather from an angel hmm.

There are people who find feathers that they believe are shed by actual angels? Wow. All we get round here are dirty great pigeons. Am clearly mixing with the wrong kind of feathered friends.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 22:58:42

Pacific what do you like about finding feathers?

Strumpetron Tue 12-Nov-13 22:59:44

I really hate it when people type like this I imagine their voices to go up at the end when they say it, and tilt their heads to the side

curlew Tue 12-Nov-13 23:00:01

Do you mean finding white feathers? I do this all the time. Because lots of birds have white under feathers, and lots of duvets and cushions are stuffed with white feathers.

Whenever I see a robin I think about my late mother and smile. She loved robins and loved it when one came and joined her when she was gardening.

Strumpetron Tue 12-Nov-13 23:00:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FutTheShuckUp Tue 12-Nov-13 23:00:43

Found one on the window at work the day after my Grandad died

I like how pretty and pristine they look. Even when they come from a common pigeon which more than likely has just crapped on DH's car grin.
And yes, white feathers are v common.

Strumpetron Tue 12-Nov-13 23:01:29

I find them quite often, oh the joy of feather pillows.

steff13 Tue 12-Nov-13 23:01:50

Since Angels would be roughly the size of a human, wouldn't their feathers be really huge? Eagles are bigger than robins, and their feathers are much bigger, too.

DeepThought Tue 12-Nov-13 23:01:58

the feathers we often get are from small birds being punched outta the sky be the peregrine, sigh [country bumpkin land]

children like finding feathers, mine certainly did, only really stopped being oooh and ahh and let's take it home, Mama at about age 8.

UniS Tue 12-Nov-13 23:02:07

i like finding the kind of feather that looks good stuck in a hat band.
why- because my family morris dancer has a feather in his hat band and he loses them occasionally.

angel feathers??? what they ?

I have a feather duvet and pillows. I just think "oh another feather."

Am I supposed to think something different?

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:04:17

what an odd thread! Why have you spent so much time saying what you're not doing, instead of telling us what you are doing? Hm? [head tilt, upward inflection, unnecessary capitalisation/text in bold]

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 23:04:41

Thank you

As per last week's thread on the same topic.....

It's utter steaming horseshit.

The meaningful explanation for 'angel' feathers is as follows

Birds possess feathers. Birds fly. Gravity works.

Ta fucking da.

Steff, depends whether the angel feather enthusiast is imagining something pretty and dainty out of a children's book or St Michael with his flaming sword!

Minshu Tue 12-Nov-13 23:05:24

A local National Trust Halloween treasure hunt wanted children to find feathers, among other things. I was going to mug a lady in a down coat / gilet if we didn't find any on the ground. Everyone got lucky.

But, I've probably missed the point.

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:05:27

And lols at the 'long-term effects' of finding feathers! At a guess, I'd say an outside chance of collecting enough of them to stuff a pin cushion after a few years....

steff13 Tue 12-Nov-13 23:06:14

So, we're talking about random white feathers, not feathers that fall off of Angels? Hmm, clearly I am unfamiliar with the phenomenon. smile

I have no idea what this is all about...

timidviper Tue 12-Nov-13 23:07:17

Whenever I find a nice white feather I like to think that an angel is near and watching over me. On the other hand I do live at the seaside and my friend always huffs and tells me that's rubbish, it's come from a seagull's arse! grin

I think angels sound much nicer though.

YukonHo Tue 12-Nov-13 23:07:35

My DM is convinced every feather she finds is from her dead husband. It seems to give her solace, I hold my tongue and try not to mention the chickens we keep or the feather cushions/pillows/duvets. But that's clearly what it is.

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:07:40

Honestly if all that shite existed, why would they (angels) go around being so utterly cryptic? Seems a tiring waste of time....

AngelsLieToKeepControl Tue 12-Nov-13 23:07:44

I speak to people about this on a fairly regular basis, I had a conversation about it today actually.

From what I hear people see/notice them when their loss is weighing on their mind, or they are going through a difficult time.

Seeing these feathers makes them feel like they are being watched over and looked after, and gives them some comfort and strength.

I can't see how it can be a negative thing, even if you don't believe it, if someone else gains comfort from seeing a feather then it's all good.

lottieandmia Tue 12-Nov-13 23:08:02

This has only happened to me once that I could remember. After a night of worrying about something that frightened me I found a large, single white feather positioned on the floor in a place I could easily find it. When I saw it I felt relieved and that I could stop worrying

steff13 Tue 12-Nov-13 23:08:04

And lols at the 'long-term effects' of finding feathers! At a guess, I'd say an outside chance of collecting enough of them to stuff a pin cushion after a few years...

I found a feather on a piece of fried chicken one time, and the long-term effect was that I can still hardly eat fried chicken.

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:09:27

steff grin

Twitterqueen Tue 12-Nov-13 23:09:31

Stealth post by Any Fucker,,

If there are angels, I love them
If feathers mean I'm being cared for, I love that thought
If someone - anyone - anywhere - is watching over me I feel blessed.

#cos there are fuck all people here on earth who care for me (aside from my beautiful, fantastic, BRILLIANT DDs.

DeepThought Tue 12-Nov-13 23:10:04

An old country saying from round these parts is if a crow sits on your fence someone you know will die.

<looks at patchwork of higgledy fields with miles haphazard fencing suspiciously>

I think there is something in it. When I was a child, my friend and I was for ever hunting for the elusive golden feather. We would see them drop, and they shone like gold, but once we came near, it just looked like a regular feather. So disappointing.

Bear in mind, I saw men in our living room. Soldiers.
Only later was I told that the germans had a cabin where they stored fallen officers before transporting them home, on the site where our house was build.
In my neighbourhood, people had also seen hordes of people coming out from the sea, the Tirpitz was blown up nearby. No wonder there were so many golden feathers flying about.

Also, every time I was out rowing, I would look out for rainbow shells, they were so pretty, and I could not believe nature could make something so beautiful, a shell, in magnificent orange, purple and red.
And how come the shells were all white as soon as I picked them up and they were no longer in the water? wink

Mostly you will find there is Horseshit, and there is Truth. And sometimes, Truth is not what it seems, but closer to the laws of science.

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Nov-13 23:16:24

Oh Dione. Do you really have no limit to what you can believe? I mean, have you ever said to yourself "No, I won't believe that because it's just nonsense"?

Seriously. Long-term effects of angel feathers grin

HicDraconis Tue 12-Nov-13 23:16:31

I find a lot of feathers. It's either because I keep chickens or because the cat, in spite of loud bells on her collar, is a fab hunter.

I don't think the cat has brought in an angel yet (and while the eggs are amazing, I don't think I have angels squatting in my chook house either).

Pogosticks Tue 12-Nov-13 23:16:56

I started reading this feeling deprived that I know nothing of angel feathers. But now, I am rather jealous of the poster with a family Morris dancer! I want one. We have a family car, very useful and all that, but just think how much more jolly life would be with a family Morris dancer!

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Nov-13 23:18:48

steff grin

This thread has the makings of an MN classic.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 23:22:52

Thank you Lottie and

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:24:50

quintessential I assume you are talking about the refraction of white light through water droplets giving a rainbow effect? Not sure about the other capers though from a scientific point of view!

CoteDAzur Tue 12-Nov-13 23:25:39

Bunny grin

And to think I got slated the other day for saying I'd used homeopathy - if only I'd known there was a thread about finding angel feathers I could have pointed all the critics over there instead...

Rural, you just have to distinguish between the Horseshit and the science, dont you. grin

This just proves again the length that humans will go to to find meaning or comfort themselves.

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:27:25

Dione sorry to break it to you but nobody has experienced angel feathers for the simple reason that they are made up. People may say they have, which is different. For that reason, in answer to your original AIBU, the answer is YABU.

DeepThought Tue 12-Nov-13 23:27:26

oi oi oi Dione

what about my little point wrt children and feathers, huh huh HUH? Well? I don't see you thanking me for THAT little nugget. pfffft.

To clarify, magic feathers are better for comforting and meaning-giving than horseshit - as a rule grin

Ruralninja Tue 12-Nov-13 23:28:08

You do indeed Quint

BlingBang Tue 12-Nov-13 23:28:19

Not long after my mum died, me and my sister were at her favourite spot by the sea and on our walk along the shore we seemed to be followed by a white feather. My sis is convinced it was mum. I don't believe in this stuff but it was quite comforting and a nice thought.


Pogosticks Tue 12-Nov-13 23:28:28

It's like butterflies though isn't it, when you are going through bad times you notice anything that is nice and takes you back to childhood. Butterflies/rainbows/feathers/songs - it's the mind making connections to pull you out of crapness, a self protecting mechanism.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 23:29:42

Pacific, what do you think is wrong with finding "meaning or comfort themselves"?

Pacific, what do you think is wrong with finding "meaning or comfort themselves"?

Nothing at all - the world could do with more comfort and meaning.

I am not sure it should be limited to or associated with, of all things, feathers - angelic or otherwise hmm.

Why did you start this thread?

thebody Tue 12-Nov-13 23:32:33

what pogosticks said ^^.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyRules Tue 12-Nov-13 23:34:50

I don't think the feathers that are being referred to are meant to come from Angels wings but more that when you ask a question or feel you need reassurance then a feather will appear where you least expect it.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 23:35:08

Sorry Deep.blush. Your story about birds being harbingers of death reminds me of similar stories I heard in my youth.

Thank you for reminding

Didactylos Tue 12-Nov-13 23:35:22

Serious question re long term effects of angel feathers - can you develop psittacosis

and if so what do you call it? Angel believers lung?
does it count as a zoonosis? angels presumably being a different species to us?

Enquiring minds want to know

Blueuggboots Tue 12-Nov-13 23:40:21

Do people who believe that feathers are from angels also believe that the dust that shows up on the cameras in programmes about ghosts are actually "orbs"??
And that magpies congregate to tell you something?

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 23:40:45

Pacific, I do not mean to limit anyone's sources of comfort. My OP concerns this one because it was discussed recently. I started this thread in the hope of gaining knowledge and understanding.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 12-Nov-13 23:43:04

Would it be good if I started a Skeptic's thread?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyRules Tue 12-Nov-13 23:46:55

Look online Dione. Plenty of sites that will tell you all about Angels sending feathers.

lottieandmia Tue 12-Nov-13 23:47:23

You're not 'better' asking this kind of thing on any board - the same people take the p wherever it's posted. So you just have to ignore.

BrianTheMole Tue 12-Nov-13 23:51:12

Yes. Maybe you should ask to get it moved to bereavement. Whether people believe in it or not, theres no doubt that many bereaved people do get some comfort from the idea of white feathers being a sign. Anything that helps, even a little, is a good thing. It seems a little sad to watch this be torn apart on aibu and be the focus of such ridicule.

plecofjustice Tue 12-Nov-13 23:57:58

I love seeing feathers, white ones, grey ones, seagull ones, crow ones, any sort. Feathers are amazing, they are light, insulating, waterproof. They can be shaped for soaring flight or for incredible acrobatic manouvring. Birds can lose their tails to predators and recover.

Very few things give me more contentment than watching birds going about their daily life, whether at the bird feeder or at a nature reserve.

I don't believe in "traditional" angels, like wot school taught me! I do believe in the wonderful power of nature and the universe to adapt, develop, evolve and survive.

Feathers bring comfort to me because they remind me of a living thing that makes me happy. They remind me of the ultimate goal of the Earth - to survive, and give me hope that, whatever we do to the planet, it will recover.

Monty27 Tue 12-Nov-13 23:58:29

Dione there's a, probably a myth, and that is probably all it is, but as much as people understand, if they have heard it, if a white feather passes their path it's the spirit of a loved one giving you a sign they are around. That's what I know of it. And from my experience a catholic thing.

When I see one, it gives me a bit of hope, momentarily. I do pick it up and wish it was all true. If only. I wish it was. But it is momentarily comforting.

Monty27 Tue 12-Nov-13 23:59:27

I've lost my faith haven't I? sad

BlingBang Wed 13-Nov-13 00:03:44

See, sorry I shared my experience. It cheered up my sister who is really struggling with mum's death in a big way. Taking the piss out of berieved people.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 00:04:30

Thank you Lunatic and Brian.

You are probably right. But I knew that this would be a contentious issue for some, hence the bits at the end of my OP. But I will not ask for this to be moved to Bereavement. I do not wish for those already hurt by bereavement to be hurt by this thread.

BrianTheMole Wed 13-Nov-13 00:10:59

Do you not think that people who have suffered bereavement may also read and post in aibu op?

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Wed 13-Nov-13 00:19:57

If an angel is capable of dropping a feather in your path to give you some undefined message/warning, why can't they write you a note/speak to you?

I would love, love, love to believe in angels/ghosts/God but if all they can do to ease your huge pain is shed an unwanted feather/ turn lights on and off/ send their son to inspire a book over 2000 years ago, then what fricking use are they?

Where are angels/ Gods when someone is desolate or crying themselves to sleep? Where were God and his angels in the Philippines last week? If God makes/lets that sort of shit happen then ain't no way I'm worshipping him, or giving headspace to angels, ta.

IAlwaysThought Wed 13-Nov-13 00:22:30

Is this an online version of Chat?

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 00:24:50

You sad

My child would be 22 now, but she went to 'God' at 4 months.......

I almost moved into chapel form comfort, it took me years and years and years, to come to terms with it.

Everyone is entitled to some comfort wherever or however they find it. flowers

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 00:26:56

I do Brian, but as I said before, I do not wish to bring the spotlight of skepticism onto those who are in so much pain. Unfortunately the subject and perhaps my name, would do just that.

I would prefer non disclosure or PM, rather than draw unwanted attention to people in pain.

I found a parrot feather the other day <random>. smile
Unless it was a particularly funky green and orange angel.

If finding feathers consoles the grief-stricken, then I'm glad. Anything that comforts the bereaved is helpful.
I am a skeptic but I like to be gentle and wish people well if their beliefs are harmless but comforting. We all need comfort sometimes.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Wed 13-Nov-13 00:32:38

Of course Monty I'm so sorry for your loss. Take comfort wherever you can xxx

It's just I, personally, can't believe in/worship a god/angels who let the things that happen to me and to the world, happen.

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 00:41:55

You me too, I so wish it were all true. Sadly, I now feel it is not. At the time though, I drew a lot of comfort from my religion, it did help me through it, they helped me through it, so for that I am grateful. What can I say, 'let those that seek comfort find it?' I had my religion before this tragedy so I didn't just adopt it all of a sudden.

In whatever guise people seek help, because boy did I need and it did help, so let people do what people do. Don't judge,care, encourage, love and empathise.

(Wow can't believe I just wrote that lol!). flowers

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 00:44:27

Anyway, so back to the thread, I feel comfort momentarily when I see a white feather.

There's no harm in it. smile

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 00:45:37

Oh Monty, sad.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 00:46:58

Thank you Monty. I'm sorry if my thread has hurt

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 00:47:50

This really should go in philosophy topic as its not an AIBU -- and more importantly so i can hide it--

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 00:52:45

To answer the question. Until a few weeks and 1 MN thread ago white feathers did not register on my radar any higher than a tuft if cat fur floating past. Now they piss me off because they remind me of how utterly frustrating it is to know perfectly intelligent people who believe in some higher being/cloud living friend/heavenly afterlife.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Wed 13-Nov-13 00:53:31

Of, course, Monty, again I am so sorry sad

I'd never try to change anyone's mind abut what they believe or ridicule it.

What I'm saying is I wish, wish, wish I believed and that angels/God was there for me when I was in my time of need. They weren't. Any feathers were from the decapitated robins my cat brought in and any help came from me seeking and pushing for it from the NHS.

I'm glad they were there for you.x

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 00:59:28

Depends if its genuine or not, ie: can I,see a logical reason why its there - but the ones that have no source, such as the tiny soft downy one that fell from mid air above my head just after I ad heard my DM had just passed - this was indoors in an upstairs room with no window to open - & we have no feather duvets or pillows at all anywhere due to allergies

1. Peaceful, calm, happy.
2. That I am blessed, that I have just been send a wonderful message.
3. That I neither fear death, nor believe when anyone I love passes that its the end, just a transition to another level & if we are open to seeing & hearing, the sign are always there.

Can I ask in what way you intend to hopevtomusecthe info to help others ??

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 01:08:31

Di and You honestly, please don't apologise, you both sound absolutely lovely and I'm sorry if I made you feel bad.

My point is, let the suffering be healed, in what way they find.

I wish to 'god' 'it' was all true, but at this stage in my life I don't. I miss that. But I simply am not convinced any more.

Perspective, one lost daughter.... Phillippines, tsunamis, earthquakes and wars that have happened since. I just cherish my memories and glad I have so many loved ones around me.

Sorry for getting so deep.

All about a white feather smile

Sorry for thread hogging or whatever its called, but my message is still the same. Please don't judge people's ways of dealing with grief.

I'm going to shut up now smile

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 01:14:02

Thank you for your answers Rockinhippy.

I am a counsellor and issues arising from grief loom large in my work with my

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 01:18:43

Monty, you hog all you

As I have said, my hope from this thread is to gain knowledge from those who find comfort, not heap more unpleasantness on those in pain.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 01:20:51

In which case I'm glad I answered & very glad to see someone in your profession taking the time & trouble to study this phenomena - but feathers are only one part if it smile

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 01:31:57

Yes, in grief, you'll grasp anything smile

(Still up) smile

Di pm me if you like. All the counselling in the world didn't help me, but you're welcome to have my take on it, others are different smile flowers

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 01:33:41

smile Rockinhippy

And thank you to Fut and all the other posters who have taken time to respond to th OP.

Off to bed now and am working tomorrow. But I will read all replies. I wish you all a good night's sleep.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 01:39:22

I should have added to number 2 - that sometimes no matter how bad it seems - I suddenly just know everything is going to be alright.

Like the time DD was admitted to hospital with double pneumonia - we got onto the ward, she as wired up in intensive care & barely able to breathe, I felt so scared & helpless & it had been a battle to get her there at all, I thought it was too late & I was going to lose her, she looked so,tiny & frail & they were doing such awful things to her, but they had to & I had to help her understand that & stay strong, she must not see my fear - but I was screaming with fear inside.

Right there above her hospital bed came floating down a a large fluffy single white feather & I felt suddenly very calm & strong again & just knew, that no matter how bad it got, she was going to be okay.

This was in a brand new kids hospital that had opened that week - DD was the only child on the ward, the only child that had ever been on that ward

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 01:46:25

A white feather landed beside me at my Mother's burial. Take what you want from it.

Nite nite smile

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 07:28:16

We see white feathers as symbols of hope, so we take hope from them. It's that way round.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 07:42:28

Bit unnecessary there monty

paxtecum Wed 13-Nov-13 07:42:34

White feathers are a sign that we are not alone.

We in the modern western world have mostly lost our ability to notice and read signs.
To Native Americans and native Australians who lived their lives connected to the Earth it is a way of life.

Anyfuckerisnotguilty Wed 13-Nov-13 07:50:59

It's like that person that has died letting you know they are ok where they are now

They want you to be ok

Like a reassuring message of love

I'm ok and your ok type message

friday16 Wed 13-Nov-13 07:59:58

It's like that person that has died letting you know they are ok where they are now

Wouldn't writing a letter be easier? Or a phone call?

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 08:21:39

Look, this is in AIBU. It's not in a "please don't challenge my beliefs" thread.

The ground is covered in whit feathers. Many birds, pigeons for example, have white under feathers. Go outside now and look. Properly look.In a couple of minutes you will have found a white feather.

Most feather pillows and duvets are stuffed with white feathers. If you have feather bedding, go into a bedroom you haven't hoovered for a while and you will find white feathers.

They are everywhere.

It's absolutely fine to use them as a reminder that there is always hope, or to lift your spirits- they are pretty. And we are programmed to need symbols. As I said, robins make me smile because I remember my mother's pleasure when one joined her in her gardening. But the robins aren't messengers from her or anything like that- they are memory triggers. And, like white feathers, they are symbols. In a world full of white feathers, don't you think angels would use ones that stood out from the rest if they were really messages?

I just dont understand how all these dead people are meant to find the feathers? Do they go pluck them off birds? Which birds? Pigeons? Parrots? With what fingers do they pluck? Do they then just float invisibly down to where ever there is a loved one and drop a feather in their path? Or, are these feathers meant to be plucked from an angel?

BraveLilBear Wed 13-Nov-13 08:31:02

I believe in angels as one of the terms of expression used by whatever universal ether connects everything on this planet. Some people call it god, others 'the universe', others call it metaphysics etc

When I see an unexplained or very out of place white feather, it reminds me that we're not alone and makes me smile or feel a little better.

When I see a robin I see it as a specific indication that everything's going to be ok. Eg a few years ago I needed to find somewhere to live in London on very short notice. I had a tiny budget and was very vulnerable. I went to see a house and liked the housemates but there was a question mark over whether I'd get it and all the other housemates were moving out too. I asked my angels to send a sign if everything would be ok and as I left, there was a robin sat on the hedge in the front garden.

I got the room and everything was good.

expatinscotland Wed 13-Nov-13 08:32:46

I think, 'Oh, a feather.' If supernatural beings wish to communicate with us, don't you think they'd just do so rather than using cryptic feathers?

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 13-Nov-13 08:35:08

I CBA to RTWholeFT because this kind of stuff makes me cross.

I have no objection whatsoever to people having comfort from inanimate objects or religion. It's an extension of a baby's blankie etc and that's fine and dandy.

What does make me cross is that they don't acknowledge that that's whaat they're doing. Look - this angel feather thing is horseshit. There are no angels and no angel feathers.

If someone wants to have comfort when they see a feather that's fine - just do it but don't ascribe that feather to some woo woo source and then expect others to think they are not as stupid as mud. It gives me the rage when I am expected to be tolerant of stupidity.

It also makes me sad because people should just own up to being sad or needing comfort without wrapping that up in woo.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 08:42:27

Maybe the OP as a counsellor could help you delve into why it makes you feel "so cross" letsface bit of an OTT a reaction to others personal belief systems wink

firesidechat Wed 13-Nov-13 08:42:41

Seriously? Seriously, there are people who actually believe this stuff?

It's not like white feathers don't actually exist is it and that birds don't moult a few on occasions. Now if they were covered in 18 carat gold...

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 13-Nov-13 08:51:18

Thanks Rockin best laugh of the MN morning so far grin

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 08:52:08

"When I see an unexplained or very out of place white feather, it reminds me that we're not alone and makes me smile or feel a little better. "

Good. But there is no such thing as an unexplained or out of place white feather. Except in a hermetically sealed clinically cleaned room, I suppose.

Morloth Wed 13-Nov-13 08:53:34

Falling white feathers make me very angry.

Because it means those goddam cockatoos are chewing my aerial again.

firesidechat Wed 13-Nov-13 08:54:25

Sorry, my comment above was a result of never having heard of this before and total astonishment.

I could never believe that these are actual real angels feathers, but if the appearance of a white feather gives others comfort, then who am I to judge. I'm a Christian and I'm quite aware that a majority of people think that is just as deluded a belief system as angel feathers.

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 09:09:08

"White feathers are a sign that we are not alone."

I agree. They are inconvertible proof that we share this planet with...


lottieandmia Wed 13-Nov-13 09:10:59

People do believe in it - I think Gloria Hunniford has talked about her belief in angels and particularly after the death of her daughter.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 09:12:21

Dione- what does your supervisor say about white feathers?

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 09:30:39

Do believers of this silliness think that these white feathers literally come off angels' wings or that angels pluck birds to put their feathers in the paths of the sad & needy?

friday16 Wed 13-Nov-13 09:31:39

I agree. They are inconvertible proof that we share this planet with...



TSSDNCOP Wed 13-Nov-13 09:35:37

My face has done nearly all the yellow emoticons while I read this thread.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 13-Nov-13 09:40:09

grin Morloth!

fluffyraggies Wed 13-Nov-13 09:49:26

I don't understand why people get so angry about other's beliefs. Are the posters here that seem so cross also angry about Christianity? Hinduism? They are all belief systems. Are all these people who have a religion also being ''stupid''?

I'm not religious, but i don't think beliefs are stupid. Some people believe in faeries. Some folk believe in angels. Some folk believe in the devil. Some folk believe there is a heaven. Some folk believe we live our lives over and over again until we attain perfection/nirvana.

I can understand anger at lives lost in the name of religion.

The first time i heard of the white feather thing was when i read Goodbye Dearest Holly, by Kevin Wells. It chronicled the time of the murder of his daughter and her friend Jessica, and some of the time afterwards. I remember he found white feathers at difficult times - and found them a comfort. If pushed hard enough he may well admit it was unlikely to be a real angel feather from his daughter. But why would you feel anything but pleased to see someone finding comfort in anything as innocent as this in their lives?

LeeLooLahLah Wed 13-Nov-13 09:52:07

Before my Dad died 5 years ago I was a total sceptic. However, in the days that followed his death I kept seeing white feathers in random places, even on the doorstep of the funeral directors. It led me to explore my spiritual beliefs and while I don't believe in God, I now believe in a spiritual afterlife. I started going to a spiritualist church where they have mediums attend the services and I have since received messages from my Dad (things were said that had no meaning to anyone except me and my Dad).
The "angel feathers" were the start of things that have led me to achieve peace and acceptance of the hardest and saddest part of my life.
I understand others not getting the concept and finding it ridiculous as I used to think the same, But I now enjoy a happy existence and don't fear death.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 09:55:04

Thank you all for your contributions. I am back only briefly because I have just realised that I will not have a much time this evening as I thought.

Cote your question regarding the belief in the origins of the feathers is an interesting one. However, I am not so much interested in this as I did not want this thread to descend into a belief bunfight. Rather I wanted to know more about the role they play in helping the bereaved process their grief.

Curlew, my time with my supervisor is limited and expensive. Therefore our sessions focus wholly on efficacy, ethics and difficulties in my practice with my clients. I would like to ask you and others who have responded: when you see a robin, feather etc. how long does that feel good effect last? Is it momentary or does it impact the rest of your day.

Rockinhippy, that's a whole other thread.wink

TheWickedWitchOfTheWest Wed 13-Nov-13 10:01:37

I find white feathers all the time, several times a day. It drives me crackers because they get everywhere. My couch is stuffed with them so I'm always finding them. I usually think "Oh FFS not another one". I don't believe in angels. HTH.

"Rather I wanted to know more about the role they play in helping the bereaved process their grief."

I think you indulge them. Let them believe what they want. If people see robins or cherubs or mating ladybirds as a significant sign for something, you let them run with it. I am sure it brings them a lot of comfort.

I can be quite woo. My sister is as woo as they come. She is so woo that even I think she borders on psychotic some times, but there you go. She sees past events, in flashes when she comes to places where something dramatic has happened, and when asking around, we get stories about this that and the other that has happened. She has had dead people come to her with messages for their sons/daughters, and even if it seems like nonsense to her, it makes perfect sense to the recipient. I believe a lot is true, from having known her and her experiences all my life, but even I draw my line at feathers from angels. There are some aspects of Woo that even the woo themselves will just sigh in exasperation. But as a counselor, I think you need to stick to "that must bring you so much comfort" and keep an eye out for any other "ideas" that could be an indication of a deeper mental health problem.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 10:10:21


It will at very least impact on my day in a very positive way, often much longer -

I still have the feather that fell from mid air into my lap during the prayers at my DMs funeral - in the chapel - my DD, DB & DF got one too - this I keep in my purse & it me smile everytime I see it smile

Feathers aren't always white though - when my very flamboyant gay friend died, I got shocking pink feathers - I still get them from time to time when I think of him

Not too many flamingoes around here grin

Mumsyblouse Wed 13-Nov-13 10:22:37

I don't get what fun there is to be had laughing at people who love to see feathers and feel they are angelic.

There is a point to scrutinizing homeopathy because it cost money, large companies produce it, people charge a hefty fee for diagnosing with it and we need to know if it is effective so we can stop spending NHS money on it.

But feathers are free, there is no purpose to laughing at people who find comfort in times of bereavement in white feathers. Plus, feathers are magical (in the sense of ethereal and lovely)- white feathers often look amazing and very pure against the muck of our everyday lives.

Children also love collecting feathers, they float, they are interesting to examine, when one of mine was a toddler, we could hardly walk along a road as she would be collecting feathers.

I see feathers as one of nature's wonders, even a simple feather is very cleverly constructed, and just like a pile of autumn leaves which are the most amazing colours, just remind you that life is amazing every now and again. I don't find them angelic (as in actually from a real angel) but they are still symbolic to me, I love seeing them.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 10:29:54

A councillor should be completely neutral on a subject like this unless it seems to be getting in the way of a person's progress. Probably not even comment. Or ask an open question. Certainly not collude.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 10:43:22

No need for a councillor to be neutral- a political stand on whit feathers is perfectly acceptable. A counsellor, however...........blush

MillyRules Wed 13-Nov-13 10:44:25

If people who believe in Angels and Fairies and all things woo, are happy and content and enjoy their life and not nasty or critical of others beliefs then nothing wrong with that. Who really knows what is around us. Its thought that what we call Angels and Fairies are Beings who dwell in different dimensions to us but can easily move between worlds. There are a lot more possibilities to life than we are all aware of but most people choose to live in the "matrix" and have their thoughts, feelings and beliefs controlled and chosen for them rather than explore these possibilities for themselves.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 11:08:00

Ah, yes, the old "that's all right for the mundanes but those of us who operate on a higher plane see things differently" line. grin

MillyRules Wed 13-Nov-13 11:16:42

No, not at all Curlew its just that its healthy for us to be open to other possibilities not just live within narrow perimeters. That's what keeps us fresh and young mentally. Don't just decide that something isn't so just because we don't believe it to be. There are many things I have learnt by delving a bit more into subjects that previously had been closed to me. Im not saying I believe in anything or everything I look at, just that I like to keep an open mind.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 11:23:48

"Don't just decide that something isn't so just because we don't believe it to be."

Ah, that's fine. I don't do that.

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 11:26:32

I'd still like to know if believers think those feathers come off angels' wings or if angels have plucked the wings off birds.

MillyRules Wed 13-Nov-13 11:26:32

ha ha.....whatever.grin.......have a good day.

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 11:29:52

What keeps us mentally fresh & young is exercising the analytical capabilities of our brains.

Can you say with a straight face that is what "white feathers come from angels" people are doing?

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 11:32:53

Laughing at ridiculous stuff. Why would people do such a thing, I wonder hmm

I hadn't heard of this belief before the 'woo' thread the other week. The average bird has a few thousand feathers, and moults all of them every year - and when a predator kills a bird the feathers get scattered far and wide. Pigeons nest in church towers a lot, and as well as moulting their own feathers they bring feathers to their nests as lining material...

For those who believe in angel feathers, do you accept that at least some of the feathers we see floating about/lying around must have come from birds via the natural process of moulting/being eaten by a predator? If so, how would you distinguish an angel feather from a bird feather?

Notsobad Wed 13-Nov-13 11:48:56

Can I pm you, don't want to be torn to shreds

Mumsyblouse Wed 13-Nov-13 11:49:01

Laughing at ridiculous stuff. Why would people do such a thing, I wonder hmm

It obviously makes some people feel superior otherwise why continually point out that God doesn't exist, or homeopathic pills are just water? It's not as if they thought this stuff up all by themselves.

I find people who continually repeat Ben Goldacre a bit ridiculous, his own belief in the scientific method somewhat zealous, if not religious, but I don't go out looking for opportunities to belittle those that believe every word he says and don't appear to apply the same critical thinking faculties to it.

And- laughing at the things people do to make themselves feel better in a very cruel universe just adds to the sum of nastiness IMO. There's plenty of things to get righteously steamed up about in this life, but I wouldn't think a recently bereaved lady smiling at a white feather and thinking of her lovely husband is one of them.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 11:59:59

"There's plenty of things to get righteously steamed up about in this life, but I wouldn't think a recently bereaved lady smiling at a white feather and thinking of her lovely husband is one of them."

Nobody has done that. Many of us who do not believe in angel feathers have talked about the importance of symbols. Please do not accuse others unfairly.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 12:01:19

But please can I ask why somebody might think a white feather is actually a message from beyond the grave and not just a feather? And how you tell the difference?

lottieandmia Wed 13-Nov-13 12:17:25

Mumsyblouse - excellent post.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 12:21:30

Here here * mummiesblouse* smile

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 12:23:51

You have noticed that this thread is in AIBU, haven't you?

Oh, and you have noticed that mummiesblouse's post makes unsupportable accusations?

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 12:25:04

Not laughing at people, and not "to make themselves feel better".

Laughing at ridiculous stuff because, well, they are ridiculous.

Looking up the definition of the word "ridiculous" might help you understand.

friday16 Wed 13-Nov-13 12:27:47

Here here

Tempted, tempted, tempted...resists.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 12:33:18

But please can I ask why somebody might think a white feather is actually a message from beyond the grave and not just a feather? And how you tell the difference

I will give that the benefit of the doubt as being a genuine question * curlew*

In my case I know because its also accompanied, or should i say preempted by a sensation something akin to mild static electricity usually in the back of my neck & spreading outwards & can cause visible goosebumps & hairs standing on end even on the hottest day - it's not an unpleasant sensation, a tingle - though it's something I've had at other times too & isn't always mild, or pleasant depending on what it preempts

Dons hard hat & leaves the thread...

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 12:37:19

Friday I know, I spotted it too, but CBA - autocorrect is a bitch & I need to work out how to sort this machine out - I can't however sort out my silent migraine induced carp eyesight, nor intermittent fibromyalgia, M.E. & EDS induced cognitive disability, so so long as its understandable, I'm past caring smile

Anchoress Wed 13-Nov-13 12:41:08

I'm with the laughing at ridiculous stuff posters.

Or I was, until I Googled 'angel feather' out of curiosity, having never come across this particular piece of fluffiness. Then I got cross, because some opportunists are making big money from people's vulnerabilities and willingness to believe in nonsense. $300 dollars for an angel statue for your garden! Angel 'intuitive readings' over email, Skype or Tupperware style parties at $60 per half hour reading, at a minimum of six guests plus hostess, with travel expenses added! Packaged 'health/prosperity/love blessings' feathers! Angel Club Silver Memberships that sends you daily newsletters full of products and special offers!

Apparently you can be a Certified Angel Practitioner and make lots of lovely money from unhappy people.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 12:49:26

Absolutely, Anchoress.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 12:51:12

Rockinhippy- as you're posting on an AIBU thread, I feel it's OK to ask you whether the tingling sensation you describe might possibly be something to do with the fibromyalgia and migraines you mention in your next post?

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 12:53:07

It's like anything else anchoress there will always be charlatans that jump on the money making bandwagon - you only have to look at the pseudo science wrinkle cream or gut bacteria enhancing yoghurt drink ads - it's just life

friday16 Wed 13-Nov-13 12:53:56

$300 for an angel statue for your garden!

You want to be careful of those.

garlictrivia Wed 13-Nov-13 12:56:11

My question, too, curlew. Although, if Rockinhippy has all that going on, health wise, I wouldn't begrudge her taking pleasure from some of the symptoms.

Latara Wed 13-Nov-13 13:01:33

One of my friends had a miscarriage. After leaving hospital she was outside her front door when a white feather floated down to her from a clear sky.
She likes to think that it's a 'sign' from her dead baby.

I think a gull probably flew over hundreds of feet up so that it's feather floated down slowly and the bird had flown on by the time the feather arrived at my friend's feet.

I'm not going to tell my friend that because she probably deep down knows it's more likely to be from a bird anyway; and because I don't want to upset her.

If a belief in something helps someone and causes no harm, then that's fine IMO.

HairyGrotter Wed 13-Nov-13 13:03:36

Aren't they just bird feathers, you know, like what we have knocking about in the sky?

Surely and angel feather would be FUCKING huge wink

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 13:05:21

Oh, and how come the angels have only started dropping feathers in the last 20 years? Up until then, a white feather was a symbol of cowardice.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 13:05:33

No, I've always had it, way way before i took ill -

though I have at times wondered if I'm just more tuned into certain frequencies missed by others (& not yet understood by science) as a result of some sort of hypersensitivity of CNS, or something - I've always had a very acute sense of taste & smell - could recreate the recipe for anything I ate as I could accurately pin point al ingredients - my hearing has always been well above average & I used to have well above 20/20 vision, could in the past accurately tell you the fibre content of a piece of cloth, etc etc - so my other senses have always been very finely tuned - so it's an idea & I see this in my DD too & she is very sensitive whatever this frequency is too & just accepts it as a normal part of life - it is for us & others too

ButThereAgain Wed 13-Nov-13 13:05:36

Either I have a very blingy guardian angel or my pet cockatiel is moulting again. I keep her feathers because they are pretty. I could become a Certified Angel Practitioner and sell them online.

itscockyfoxagain Wed 13-Nov-13 13:07:30

White feathers appear at the stop of stairs under a hideous large picture from my gran's front room that I rescued from a skip because it is her favourite. The first time it happened I thought it was her saying thank you, she died nearly a decade ago it still happens although now I realise it is normally when I have changed the beds.
Being rational didn't stop me taking comfort when she first died but I don't think I ever truly believed.

Latara Wed 13-Nov-13 13:10:10

I think that round my way the feathers are seen as not necessarily OF an angel but SENT by an angel.

Some people round here also believe in having to salute lone magpies. (I live near the countryside).

Also many here believe in spirits and mediums.

*BTW I don't believe in all that woo stuff myself, just saying what some of my friends and acquaintances believe in.

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 13:18:36

Angel practitioners read Angel Cards, they are just another version of Tarot cards, no great mystery & nothing new, neither is the concept of feathers as signs & symbols of the deceased or spirt guides or angels or whatever, comfort from beyond etc etc - it's just a resurrection of old Native American Indian beliefs etc etc its been around for ever

friday16 Wed 13-Nov-13 13:27:43

Angel practitioners read Angel Cards, they are just another version of Tarot cards

Well, Tarot Cards as re-imagined by Thomas Kincaid.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 13:28:39

Really? Are there any references to native Americans thinking white feathers are messages from beyond the grave? Certainly in the UK, white feathers have been a symbol of cowardice since at least the 17th century..........

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 13:33:14

But he was born in the 1950s, Friday- that's ever so long ago..........

I think that if you ask for a sign, whether consciously or not, the likely hood is that you will find a sign.
Ever since I was a small child I have found unusual objects picked them up and taken them home. Currently in my kitchen there is a small multi coloured feather tucked into a cupboard door, a nut that I haven't yet been able to identify, a stone with a stripe through it, several fossils, a short stick that looks a bit like a fairy...
I am atheist, it has never even occurred to me that they might come from angels but they still make me happy.

Filimou Wed 13-Nov-13 13:45:50

I know I will likely get ridiculed, but, when we were doing our first carol service at school, my dad, when he got in from work, would sit me on the kitchen table and help me practice my songs. One I had particular trouble with was ‘silent night’. We went over it and over it and over it until I got it right.
10 years ago I lost my dad. it was awful and I still can’t fully come to terms with it now. At the time I worked in a shopping centre that had a theatre-y stage bit in it with a glass ceiling (waves to anyone familiar with Merry Hill).
The first Christmas after we lost my dad I got my lunch and took it to eat on a bench there, there was a nice Christmas tree and it felt really nice and festive.
At the time I was there there was a school choir, and when I sat down they just finished whatever song they were doing and started singing silent night. I tried so hard not to cry. After about the first verse I saw a small white feather float from the glass ceiling and landed at my feet. I know its all bollocks and coincidence, but you know what? For a moment it felt nice, and reminded me of all the good memories I have of my dad. Even now at Christmas when I hear that song, I think of him and it comforts me inside.

nellieellie Wed 13-Nov-13 13:57:01

Filimou - oh my goodness, I am snuffling ridiculously into kitchen roll. Life can be so cynical and world weary these days - sometimes it is lovely to let a bit of magic in...

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 14:01:38

The links with birds & therefore feathers as symbols & messengers of the spirit world go way way back in time in many different, if not all spiritual & religious teachings from all over the world including Christianity (white dove, Angels) Ancient Egypt, Shamanic teachings & much more & is even born out in the very ancient Lascaux cave paintings, Angels are another manifestation of that - there is a lot written on it if you care to look, though I'd be here all day trying to google links as would need to wade through the crap to find anything you might read with an open mind, but it's there if it genuinely interests you - I CBA as I suspect it would just be ridiculed anyway

Rockinhippy Wed 13-Nov-13 14:03:54

That's lovely Filimou personally I don't think it's crap at all - we've had a lot of the same & more too

Filimou Wed 13-Nov-13 14:22:45

Sorry nellie

expatinscotland Wed 13-Nov-13 14:52:04

Well, I think it's crap and I lost my daughter, age 9, 17 months ago.

It's a feather.

If people want to see it as a sign, good, but I think it's just a feather.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 15:29:28

Filimou, what a beautiful story.:-) Thank you for posting.

Notsobad please do PM me.

Hi Expat. (waves)

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 13-Nov-13 15:50:54

Expat I'm very sorry about your daughter and can't imagine how awful such a loss must be. I hope you are very well supported IRL.

Hugs - Mumsnetty or not.

Anyfuckerisnotguilty Wed 13-Nov-13 16:09:31

The reason I really believe is,

We lost our middle child our son, shortly after he was born' the same day in fact sad

After he died I saw a lot of white feathers all the time, in ways I couldn't see how festers could end up in certain places.

Like I would leave the house stick and span

When I would return home, there would be a white feather in the middle of the room soap bang right in the middle

Now how could that get there while I'm out ?
Right in the middle of the room

Ah yay what really convinced he was this
One evening I was talking to dh in bed at night about feathers
And how some people believe the say when festers appear angels are near

He listened in a a kind I'm not believing this but i will listen type way

Then the very next morning before going anywhere or doing anything I put my Jeans on

In the pocket was a mini booklet of tesco clubcard vouchers that was folded in half and folded in half again
I took them out of my pocket as I wonder what it was in my pocket had when I opened it up
There was one single white feather inside
And it had been folded up and folded again and was inside my pocket

And three times I felt my ds1 presence
Can't explain but felt like I've felt him near me
That was only in the very early days
Not felt that in a long time

Also had weird experiences with dreams and crows
I really do not like crows

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 17:23:20

"I think that round my way the feathers are seen as not necessarily OF an angel but SENT by an angel"

So angels pluck poor birds bald to lay their feathers on every human's path?

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 17:44:28

Just checking. Has this thread become one of those ones where we have to respect everyone's beliefs and not challenge them or even question them? Because it is in AIBU.......

hiddenhome Wed 13-Nov-13 17:49:56

If I walk around the seaside I find seagull feathers. If I walk in the woods I find wood pigeon and pheasant feathers and if I go for a walk next to the river I find swan feathers.

Lastly, if I'm changing my duvet I find duvet filling feathers.

I don't think finding feathers has much to do with angels.

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 13-Nov-13 17:53:54

If it gives comfort to anyone that's lost a loved one, that should be enough really.
I don't believe myself but would never mock anybody that does.

firesidechat Wed 13-Nov-13 17:57:39

Just checking. Has this thread become one of those ones where we have to respect everyone's beliefs and not challenge them or even question them? Because it is in AIBU.......

Well Curlew I did back track ever so slightly from my first post because I then noticed a few bereaved parents on the thread and had a slight panic that I had been too flippant and scathing. Cowardly I know but I don't want to be massively unkind.

firesidechat Wed 13-Nov-13 18:06:09

I've just been reading some of the recent posts and it rang a few bells.

A few years ago we were thinking of emigrating to Australia. All of a sudden there seemed to be references to Australia everywhere - in magazines, books on shelves, programmes on the tv, everywhere I tell you. I'm fairly sure that this had more to do with Australia now being on our radar and therefore we noticed this stuff. It was always there, but it just seemed more significant now. It wasn't some kind of sign (the opportunity fell through and we didn't go in the end).

Isn't the finding of white feathers the same thing? If you're not looking, you don't see them.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 18:27:10

Absolutely fireside. As I said earlier, we think white feathers are symbols of hope, so we take hope from seeing them. It's that way round.

Confirmation bias is what you are describing, firesidechat - a recognised problem when setting up studies in research. You see what you want or need to see. It is v hard to ward against.

English is not my first language although I have lived here for 20 years now. However, every now and then I come up against a new word or phrase and I am forever amazed how that phrase that I was not familiar with and had never noticed before, suddenly seems to be used everywhere.

Nobody in their right mind would go out of their way to be unkind to a bereaved person and as said above, whatever gives comfort is fine by me. That does not mean, however, that 'angel feathers' are a real phenomenon.
And yes, homeopathy has no active ingredient (because water by definition has no 'memory' and also because Hahnemann simply stipulated that he would tread 'like with like' without any basis for that stipulation hmm and tarot cards can be read in whichever way you want, just as palm reading done by a skill-full practitioner will tell the client exactly what they need or want to hear.
Still nonsense.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 18:43:55

Cote, you seem to be incredibly interested in the origins of these feathers. Perhaps if you start your own thread people will answer your questions.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 18:51:20

Anyfuckerisnotguilty, thank you. It is interesting in your case that these experiences tailed off after a while.

Monty, I can't PM you. However I can reply to your PMs, so feel free to contact me if you wish.

Fireside, I wouldn't call it cowardice, I would call it sensitivity and it is an admirable quality to

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 18:53:54

I'm not incredibly interested. Just interested. And this is just the thread for the question.

And I am not interested in the origin of the feathers, I know their origin- they come from birds.

I am interested in what the faithful here believe is the origin of these feathers - birds' wings or angels' wings.

I would think that it is the basis of this belief. Why can't anyone answer the question?

Latara Wed 13-Nov-13 18:54:03

Cote I did state that this is what other people I know believe, not what I actually believe myself.

Maybe they think the feathers materialise out of nothing rather than from random birds.

Strumpetron Wed 13-Nov-13 19:16:25

I think a lot of us know what the rational answer is, but if people draw comfort from believing it is a sign then what does it matter to anyone else? Do you deny someone grieving a tiny sign of hope? I admit I cracked jokes at the start of this thread but after reading input from people I do believe people find comfort from it and that is a good thing. No need for questioning them just because it doesn't fit with our mindset a.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 19:46:50

I repeat. Is this a thread where we have to respect other's beliefs absolutely, without challenge or even question? If so, what is the purpose of the thread? And why is it in AIBU?

Strumpetron Wed 13-Nov-13 19:48:34

I'm not sure why you'd want to question or challenge someone's process of grieving to be honest.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 19:57:29

That's the point. I want to question and challenge beliefs and myths- but obviously I don't want to challenge a grieving parent. There are two types of threads on subjects like this- ones where people who have suffered share experiences, and ones where people discuss belief systems and mythology. This thread started out as one sort, and seems to be turning into the other. I want to know where we are on this thread. Because I want to debate, but I don't want to hurt people.

Strumpetron Wed 13-Nov-13 20:09:14

That's not what this thread was started for though was it? It clearly states in the OP. I can understand why you would like to debate this, but maybe 'let' them have this thread to discuss, and like the OP suggested start your own if you'd like a debate?

It probably was posted in the wrong section, but it's here now and I think we should have some consideration for the OP and the posters who like to speak about things like this.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 20:13:28

OK. But it always happens. The minute somebody starts asking awkward questions, the "how very dare you" brigade come out. It almost seems that people don't like anybody shining even the dimmest of rational lights on their feathers and such.

Strumpetron Wed 13-Nov-13 20:16:49

I get what you mean. You can see that right from the beginning I had a joke about it and suggested feather pillows and the like but the minute posters with genuine intentions posted I stopped. These people don't want to be involved in a debate, they want to speak about their experiences and it's a bit off to try and engage them in something they don't want

Although if you do want to start a debate thread on the matter I'd happily join in grin

Anchoress Wed 13-Nov-13 20:35:45

Look, I imagine half the people on here have been bereaved at some point, losing parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends. I'm as respectful as anyone of grieving people and their coping mechanisms - and the one thing we can be sure of in life is that we will lose people we love. My point is that the bereaved is hardly a minority group, it's everyone, so the idea that people need to tiptoe around the sensibilities of a tiny, vulnerable minority just isn't accurate. It's a club we all join sooner or later.

Also, I am agnostic, but I appreciate how religion can console with ritual and giving individuals a sense of community in the aftermath of a death. And angels have their place in various cosmologies -Christian, Jewish, Muslim etc- generally as messengers if the divine.

But this angel feather stuff just takes one specific element of an entire belief system and turns it into a fluffy, meaningless platitude, religion-lite, if you like, without the necessity to do any of the tough stuff like being good, living selflessly, praying, acquiring a full knowledge of whatever your religion actually is. It's divorced from any belief system, and it has no more value than a meme on the Internet, or people who 'order' yellow balloons from the universe as a way of trying to control their lives.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 20:39:03

Thanks for coming back Strumperton, it's good to know that I am not the only one gaining understanding from this

CoteDAzur Wed 13-Nov-13 20:44:39

"Maybe they think the feathers materialise out of nothing rather than from random birds."

Interesting. In their place, wouldn't you take one of those feathers & find some way to find out if it comes from a bird? I mean, there are myriad sources on the internet about bird feathers, their shapes, how to recognise them, etc. Wouldn't you take one of those feathers and try to figure out which bird it comes from, if any?

Imagine holding in your hands possible proof of the supernatural. A feather that doesn't come from a bird. Would you not try your best to find out for sure?

Talk about confirmation bias... I was on the beach today and thought of this thread, there were hundreds of white feathers. There was also a dead seagull, which wasn't very nice but funny how this thread came up, then I see hundreds of feathers.

curlew Wed 13-Nov-13 21:31:23

"Although if you do want to start a debate thread on the matter I'd happily join in"

No point. I'll just be accused of being insensitive and tramping on people's sincerely held beliefs. Brilliant silencing technique.

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 21:43:45

Why was my post unnecessary Rockin?


Strumpetron Wed 13-Nov-13 22:09:09

curlew I was trying to be reasonable and now you're just being obnoxious. If you made a topic of your own you wouldn't be doing that at all, you'd be starting a debate for people to join in. Right here you're just trying to derail a topic that like minded people are trying to have a discussion in, you're attempting to engage them in a debate that they don't want to have. That's rude and a bit selfish.

Like I said, I don't believe in this feather malarkey but I'm not ignorant enough to try and shoot people down when they're trying to talk to others- who also believe - about their experiences.

Monty27 Wed 13-Nov-13 22:56:09

Well said Strumpton

Curlew, we're chatting, not debating, open you're own debate if that's what you want. It's up there, it's called 'start a thread' or something. hmm

I don't particularly believe in woo but, I will take comfort in whatever way I can, even if its just a reason to remember someone for a second, and everybody is entitled to that.

Anchoress Wed 13-Nov-13 23:04:27

Maybe post in the 'Spirituality' forum if you want only breathless encouragement from the like minded...? This is AIBU, where posters can be expected to be held to a vague resemblance of the rational, including investigating the possibility that a passing wood pigeon or a leaky duvet was responsible for the feather, rather than the Archangel Gabriel trying to avoid a pylon.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Nov-13 23:27:29

Anchoress unfortunately many of the threads on Spirituality end up just like this one.sad

Latara Wed 13-Nov-13 23:32:06

cote People who believe in the supernatural don't want to be proved wrong so aren't going to investigate what kind of feather they've got.

Latara Wed 13-Nov-13 23:34:17

Actually I can't believe i'm discussing where supernatural believers think that random feathers may or may not come from!

Mylovelyboy Thu 14-Nov-13 00:08:05

The way this thread is written is really odd to me. Not the usual MN speak. Im new and getting the gist of how things and people work on here and I love it. Is this thread odd? The way it is written is not like other topics on here. Or is it me hmm

AngelsLieToKeepControl Thu 14-Nov-13 00:09:49

I don't think anyone actually believes they come from heaven, an angel or anything like that. Those who believe see it as a sign that their loved one is thinking of them.

If my dh came home with a bunch of flowers I would know they were from a shop, but I know he would have seen them, and thought they would make me happy and got them for me, just because he didn't grow the flowers himself it wouldn't make the thought any less special.

It's the same principle for those who believe in angel feathers, they believe that it's a sign of love and support from their loved one, it doesn't matter where it came from, or how it got there, it just matters that it's there.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 14-Nov-13 00:15:33

I have reported the thread, so in case it goes pop I would like to thank all those posters who took the time to answer the OP on this thread and via PM.

Thank you.[Thanks]

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 14-Nov-13 00:16:25


Monty27 Thu 14-Nov-13 00:23:52

I think the OP was clear and concise in the first post. But probably didn't expect such cynicism confused

Whatever your purpose is OP, I hope you've learned what you wanted to learn by posting smile

MN doesn't normally delete or move posts unless they see fit. Perhaps IABU may have been a bad choice of traffic. But good luck in your endeavours to help others.

Monty27 Thu 14-Nov-13 00:26:03

The fact that you cannot pm people is somewhat questionable. Why is that?

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 00:27:06

Sorry Monty I actually don't know, I think I got you mixed up with someone else - apologies blush

& Dionne is right, I've seen countless so called "Woo" threads derailed by the self righteous harpies who insist on forcing their own view down everyone's throat - it's never a debate because they don't know how to listen hmm it's attack & mockery thats all, not a debate.

Personally I hate drum banging religious zealots, but take away the religion & I see no difference to the behaviour of some posters here - how can you challenge something you have absolutely no experience or understanding of, you simply fly in from the point if complete ignorance & presumptions & piss all over the thread - surprised its not a cloud if black feathers floating around right now as you drop them in your feeding frenzy grin

& why are you so arrogant to insist that you have a right to "challenge" others beliefshmm - you don't! No one is interested in your opinion - it's all in the thread title AIBU or not, you would still be playing the same silly game if it were posted elsewhere & you know it

I will answer a question though, but more for the purpose if real debate, as opposed to your bombastic nonsense.

Of course I don't believe the feathers are actually from an angel - how ridiculous to think that, if it were true then they would be gathered up & put under a microscope until they were analysed to dust.

But rather they are a gift one with a spiritual connection meant to bring comfort, protection & strength, if someone buys me a gift I don't feel the need to demand to know where it comes from, I simply accept it gratefully in the spirit it is given - that's all.

I do feel the need to make it clear though, my own experience with this phenomenon isn't just about grieving - yes it's become part of that recently, but for me it's something I have experienced all my life, it sent taught to me, it was just there & I've experienced so much "woo" in many forms that I just cannot go back to not believing & trust me I do analyse, some experiences I would much rather find a logical explanation for, because is not all positive stuff, but I can't deny it, that would be lying o myself & I'm way too long in the tooth for that.

But this is positive, very positive & it has probably saved my life on occasions too - for example I was once walking home across a common along side a road - it was quiet, not much traffic at all, lovely sunny day & I w enjoying the walk - I suddenly heard an urgent screaming in my head - JUMP, JUMP NOW - & I don't know why, but I did jump - I jumped & felt myself dragged & lifted too - it all happened in a split second - I ended up rolling head first onto the grass

& I then realise that a car had left the road & hit the tree right where I was standing a few seconds earlier - I would have been crushed without doubt - I took off my glove to check my fingers as they hurt - & there in my hand was another white feather - someone, or something was looking after me that day

Turned out he car had gad a blow out, the woman driving was thankfully okay, though her car wasn't so good, I had not at any level seen that coming.

So it's not just a grief coping mechanism for me, but it has been a positive part of my life for as long as I can remember -

I could tell a lot more stories, but it's a bit like been cornered by the school bullies & telling them all your secrets - why do that when some people only intend to be negative & take the pee - no pointgrin

I do understand that your experiences are different to mine though & understand that it can sound barking mad if you have never experienced anything, that just cannot be explained in any normal, logical scientific way, so I don't expect you to believe me, nor do I need that from you or anyone, I respect your right to not believe & completely understand why to you it is so "woo" that's perfectly fine by me.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 00:34:26

Good point Monty I had missed that - why is that Dione ??

Or should we be looking out for the Daily Wail tomorrow grin

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 14-Nov-13 00:57:55

I am posting from an iPod and I don't have a Message Poster option. But once someone PMs me I can PM back.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 00:59:34

Ahh, I didn't know that you could post from one if those at all, I struggle with my phone smile

Thanks for answering & good luck with this flowers

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 06:47:33

"curlew I was trying to be reasonable and now you're just being obnoxious"

Could you explain exactly how I am being obnoxious? Are you saying that any questioning of people's beliefs is obnoxious? That the only acceptable response is mindless acceptance? On a thread which the OP has charecterised as an "information gathering exercise" on AIBU?

Strumpetron Thu 14-Nov-13 07:48:52

If you can't see it yourself then there's absolutely no point. But you carry on, if questioning someone's believes makes you feel better. There's a time and a place and I don't think this is it. But you just steam roll ahead smile

Strumpetron Thu 14-Nov-13 07:49:07


Strumpetron Thu 14-Nov-13 07:51:56

The OP said it was an information gathering exercise, but you chose to ignore where she asked skeptics to not put people off posting, and to make your own thread if you wish to do so

Like I said I don't believe, but I'm not rude enough to question people who don't want to be questioned, who just want to have a discussion.

thegreylady Thu 14-Nov-13 08:12:14

I love finding individual small fluffy feathers which are snowy white. I dont know why and I suspect either moulting birds or ineffient cats. I knew a small boy whose mother was dying of secodary breast cancer. He collected these feathers in a little box and gave them to her "for your wings Mummy". The box was put in her coffin. This is a true story.

myroomisatip Thu 14-Nov-13 08:31:41

I went through a few years of finding small white feathers in odd places, i.e. on the passenger seat of my car when I got in one morning. This was after my mother died and while I was going through a particularly difficult time.

For many years I used to put a lot of effort into feeding the birds in my back garden. I had over fourteen different species regularly visit but never a chaffinch, despite the fact that there were many to be seen in the field at the front of our house.

On the day that my mother died a male chaffinch came to the bird feeder. Probably coincidence but I like to think not.

Rufus44 Thu 14-Nov-13 08:55:22

I wouldn't be rude to anyone but I agree with curlews point. It is chat, if I chat with my friends I do not expect to have to agree with them

This sounds like a lovely supportive thread but if you don't want people to day I don't believe it then it should be in bereavement IMHO

Rufus44 Thu 14-Nov-13 08:56:41

Oops, just realised its inAIBU

In which case it really shouldn't be here,

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 09:00:52

Rufus, it's perfectly ok to say "I don't believe you" what's not okay is the presumption that, that view is more valid & to be beaten home & believers are to be mocked & implied as stupid, which is what's happening here at the hands of certain posters & happens on all the " Woo" threads I've seen - disbelieving is fine - it's not for everyone & we all have different life experiences that bring us to where we are. smile

Some lovely further stories

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 09:03:47

I agree it shouldn't be here, it's a bad idea, but as the OP has already said, this attack mentality happens over in the spiritual section too, so it makes no difference really, these threads always end up like this sad

Rufus44 Thu 14-Nov-13 09:11:52

Thanks rockinhippy

I do absolutely believe that people get comfort from all sorts of things, feathers, butterfly's, bees

But I also think that people who challenge should have a say, I'm sorry if I have missed something but it started jokingly and most people modified their tone once believers started posting

For the record I don't believe in any of it myself and I still think its in the wrong bloody place

Rufus44 Thu 14-Nov-13 09:13:37

Ooh sorry rocking hippy

I am so slow at typing!!!!!!!!!!

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 09:28:03

I don't think I have mocked or been rude to anyone. I have said that I love symbols, and think they are important. I have said that robins make me happy because they remind me of my much loved mother.

But I have been labeled obnoxious. For asking questions, and offering alternative explanations. This always happens on any sort of thread about supernatural and paranormal beliefs. And often on ones about religion too. If you really don't want to be asked about why you believe something, and how you manage the illogical and irrational elements of your beliefs, then surely you should post in the prayer threads, or in bereavement, or say very clearly in the thread title that you are feeling fragile and want support only.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 10:03:43

Meanwhile back in the real worldhmm

curlew the really is no hope for you is there, you protest your are innocent & not being obnoxious in yet another arrogant & obnoxious post - which you so obviously just don't see - youbreallyvdo need a reality check confused

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 14-Nov-13 10:11:01

There is a difference between saying "I don't believe" and goading and derailing.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 10:23:40

Exactly Dione smile

I had a strange experience. My mum was a carer for a man who then became close so were effectively partners. I knew him well and he believed in feathers being left to let you know that a person is at peace. He related a story after his wife had died of liver cancer in his arms that as the doctor was called and he left her body he went into the front room and on his chair was an enormous white feather.

He related another story that when his mother died he felt she had been around and then would find a large white feather in the hallway or somewhere you couldn't easy explain it on several occasions.

Around five years ago, I was walking my youngest to school and the largest white feather floated down and landed at my feet. Ten minutes later I had a call from my Mum that that partner had died. It was exactly ten minutes before..... So quite a co-incidence really.

Anchoress Thu 14-Nov-13 10:46:41

I don't recall any of curlew's posts being rude. Her most recent post is a good example. She is upfront about her interest in symbols/mythology/ why people believe what they do, but impatient with the responses to her perfectly reasonable questions. It was another poster, and in fact one of the Angel Feather Brigade, who referred to those who challenge such views as 'self righteous harpies'. That is rude.

Why, those of you who are believers in this extraordinary phenomenon, are so afraid of people asking rational questions about it?

If you can't find a place on Mn for the kind of unchallenging, mutually supportive thread you seem to want, there seem to be hundreds of 'Angel Feather' websites with chat fora on them. Everything on the ones I've glanced at at takes an attitude of awe-struck, unquestioning belief in the phenomenon. Primarily because they are heavily moderated by the 'Certified Angel Practitioner' team that also flogs angel readings, blessings, jewellery, fridge magnets etc etc.

friday16 Thu 14-Nov-13 10:55:35

There is a difference between saying "I don't believe" and goading and derailing.

There isn't if you believe that anyone saying "I don't believe" is by definition goading and derailing.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 10:57:39

Funniest thread I've read in ages.

For what it's worth - neither Cote nor Curlew have been remotely rude or arrogant - just presenting the common sense view, which is sadly in the minority (as ever).

And what do they get? "Who cares what YOU think? How dare you not respect our childish beliefs"?

Well, I can answer that - because they are not "respectable". Respect for a belief is earned, not demanded.

It is in fact the faithful who get their knickers in a twist over stuff like this, never the skeptics. And I'm pretty sure the reason why is pure embarrassment.

If I was a grown woman who thought a diseased pigeon feather was a message from an angel, I'd be pretty embarrassed by myself too.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 10:57:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:03:23

Excuse typos/autocorrect fail - I'm sure you get the drift grin

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 11:06:23

If my 9.28 post is arrogant and obnoxious, and if my posts on this thread are "goading and derailing" might I suggest you report them to Mumsnet and get them deleted. Because I really, really don't see it. I have no desire to cause offence. I have a real interest in this subject and love to talk about it. But I don't see why any discussion has to be one sided and unquestioning.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 14-Nov-13 11:10:17

Friday, this is not a belief that I hold. I asked my questions in the hope of gaining some understanding of it. There is a difference between saying "I don't believe" and goading and derailing. It is sad that some people seem not to understand that.

reelingintheyears Thu 14-Nov-13 11:11:37

So, if I don't find a feather or a Robin doesn't visit my garden (assuming I have a garden) then nobody who has died gives two hoots about me?

I don't believe any of it.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:18:12

It doesn't have to curlew lots of others on this thread question it too, no one is taking offence at their posts, because its done in a none goading, none confrontational way, doesn't imply that to believe means you are the same sort of air head that is daft enough to spend a fortune on charlatan cures & gizmos etc etc - as you & a few others do.

I've known plenty of none believes who change their minds, more recently my extremely atheist DF & DB - I've never known a believer who has, once your eyes/mind are open, they are open forever, so the bombastic approach you do have makes no sense if you genuinely have an interest & want to discuss

Anchoress Thu 14-Nov-13 11:19:32

Exactly, Reeling. Dead people are ignoring you.

Either that or you have yet starting filling your bird feeder.

Rockin, that wouldn't deserve a response even if it was less bedevilled by mis-spellings.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:23:13

^Exactly, Reeling. Dead people are ignoring you.

Either that or you have yet starting filling your bird feeder^

Point made - rude & goading

Wanders off shaking head & tutting in disbelief at how blinkered some posters are to their own actions

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 11:24:44

Dead people are very unimaginative, it would seem.

Why do none of them think of trying to communicate with a scientist to share this world changing information that we survive our own deaths?

Is making the curtains flap, spooking cats & babies, fiddling with light switches & dropping feathers the best they can come up with?

IAlwaysThought Thu 14-Nov-13 11:26:31

Believers, how do you think the feathers get there? Do you believe that the 'angels' create them or do you believe the 'angels' move them around and put them in a place you will notice?

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 11:28:51

Rockin- please could you do me a favour? Please could you go back over the thread, look at my posts (there haven't been very many) and C&P the ones that are obnoxious, arrogant and bombastic?

Because I really think that you are being unfair to me, and I would like to understand.

I see this is going well... hmm[hides thread]

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:31:12

Move them Ialways smile

Someone pointed out that white feathers used to mean cowardice. It would be interesting to know just when that changed. Perhaps a specific money-making scheme was brought over from the US say 20 years ago.

I can't think otherwise why someone would suddenly leap to a conclusion about a random feather.

On the other subject. Several people have expressed disaffection with the rules that allow people to post who don't agree with them. This is a common complaint and I'd like to point out to them that if in future they write their post in their diary instead of on a public forum they won't have to deal with the emotional turmoil of being disagreed with.

I have had several things happen to me and that I can't explain but am a very rational person. I keep an open mind. The feathers thing was my Mum's partner's belief. Just relating what happened.

My best friend and her Mum are very open to an afterlife and experiences. It was the norm in their household. When her Nan died and they inherited her piano they would often hear it played in the night after she died and the room would be filled with her perfume. They took comfort in that and weren't in the least bit spooked. Her Nan was said to be psychic so all sorts of stuff was not out of the ordinary for them. So for some it is not just a feathers thing they experience.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:48:27

BackOnly that has already been covered up thread - basically the feather as connection with spirit thing massively predates the white feather as a cowardice symbol, it's a very very ancient concept within a lot of cultures & faiths - the whole tacky commercialism of it is new though, probably why it's seen as new as its now more in your face in a bad way.

You latter point has already been covered a lot too

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 11:52:28

Rockinhippy, could you let me know whether you have seen my post to you at 11.28?

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:53:08

True SteppedOn my very atheist DB would never have recognised a feather as a sign from our DM - even though he got one in the chapel during her service - he mocked.

He didn't mock the next day, after talking to me after the service, upset that in his words he had lost his best friend - he opened up his computer to find a Facebook friends request from our DM - he also had a Skype one

DM had accounts with neither when alive

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 11:55:24

No curlew I hadn't - TBH now I have I can't be bothered - too much to go though & I really don't think you would see it anyway, if I did, then maybe I would make the effort, but I'm ill here & don't have the energy to waste my effort on what is probably a fruitless task - sorry

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 11:56:16

DM had accounts with neither when alive

Then someone was playing a very sick joke.

YoDiggity Thu 14-Nov-13 11:58:51

Ok I will tell you my story because it is a bit weirdy.

I had never heard of the thing 'angel feather' thing, i.e.. a white feather floating down and landing near you or just appearing out of nowhere as a reminder of a dead loved one, or of the presence of an angel watching over you. I had reached the age of 40 and never heard of this. Until one day I was chatting to some people on another forum and the subject of angel feathers came up. I asked what on earth they were talking about and it was explained to me. I thought 'hmm sounds a bit woo and a bit superstitious and far fetched, but ok'.

At that moment I turned to look out of my window, at my garden pond which was right outside thew window, very close to me - no idea why I did this but anyway, and OMFG shock a pure white feather was floating down right in front of my eyes, and landed on the surface of the water. confusedshock

I will never forget how I felt. Sort of creeped out and yet comforted all at once. I am not in the habit of talking to dead people or sky fairies but I did that day, I can tell you.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 12:03:08

You've probably seen thousands of white feathers floating down in front of you, Yo, just not registered any interest before.

It's a bit like when someone uses a word you think you haven't heard before - but then you hear it in virtually every conversation from then on.

Happened to me with "segue".

Rockinhippy you said "the feather as connection with spirit thing massively predates the white feather as a cowardice symbol"

Of course it does, but does it in the UK? It does seem to be a new thing here so it's reasonable to suppose that it might come from another country.

It could even be that people picked it up from US forums where it was talked about casually.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:05:03

No, there was a lot more that happened, still does,

besides DB is a recluse, he only had me, DD & 3 of our cousins as friends on Facebook - none would see that as funny - & he only uses it for a game & as a way if keeping in touch as we don't live close - people don't know he is on there, he is also a shifty git, doesn't use his name for lots of reasons his account is tightly locked down & he can't be searched - he showed me his settings, I was sat with him when he discovered the requests -

there was no logical explanation - though I could see why someone who didn't know him or his situation would jump to that conclusion as it makes more sense to an outsider, but it doesn't in reality

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:07:11

Yes BackOn it's an ancient part of pagan, shamanic & probably Celtic belief too

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 12:11:25

Sorry, really, but you can't honestly, truly believe that the only logical explanation for that is that your mother opened FB & Skype accounts from beyond the grave?


HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 12:13:41

And I think you've been incredibly rude, btw, to curlew. You went off on a rant about her "obnoxious & rude" posts, and then when she politely asked you to show her where they were, you can't be bothered hmm.

Well, let me help since you're too unwell to do it yourself.

I've looked at her posts. None of them are rude, goading or obnoxious. And I think by ignoring her polite request, you've proved that.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:14:42

I agree with that Hettie that does happen a lot, our perception for words or whatever is suddenly tuned in because attention has been drawn to it, yes it happens lot.

What doesn't happen though is the feeling that accompanies it - THAT is what makes the difference - I see lots of white feathers that don't make me tingle & feel calm & at peace, some might seem to be in an odd place, but there usually turns out to be a reason - I see others that do give me the feeling that Yo describes & they usually defy all logic as to why they are there - not always, but the accompanying feeling is enough for me

In that case do we know when in the UK that went from obscure footnote in a history of paganism to an actual belief among 20/21st century christians that white feathers came from angels. Note that it's a very different belief system and I'd not heard of the white feather before I saw it on MN.

Not actually expecting you to know. Just saying that the appearance seems to have been quite abrupt.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 12:16:50

They don't defy all logic. The logic is ignored.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:20:20

I don't know what I believe Hettie I only know it did happen & the sick joke angle doesn't fit - the accounts disappeared by the way - DB didn't delete them or the email notifications - but they were gone after a few days

I wonder what your take on a large sharp knife suddenly hurling itself across a room & smashing a mirror - only missing me because I bent over at that same moment - ironically to pick up a white feather I had presumed my cat had brought in

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 14-Nov-13 12:24:49

I don't think Curlew has been obnoxious at all.
Why are we not allowed to question all the woo on here.
I can say on MN I'm an athiest and don't believe in God, why shouldn't we be able to question other's beliefs?

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:27:36

Not actually expecting you to know. Just saying that the appearance seems to have been quite abrupt.

I don't know Hettie & you are right it's definitely become a more mainstream idea - I wonder if its down to the Internet & people discussing it as we are here - the time scale would fit that as would the charlatans jumping on the bandwagon & it becoming popular - though the America Indian art thing becoming popular since the late 80 s would fit that too.

That said, I've been experiencing it & more, since I was tiny (& Im oldgrin) - I had no idea it was a known phenomena, just something that happened to me, it's only in more recent years I've realised others get it too

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 12:31:00

I wonder what your take on a large sharp knife suddenly hurling itself across a room & smashing a mirror

I would need evidence, I'm afraid, to believe that anything like this happened at all.

And before you have a go - no, I'm not calling you a liar. But probably mistaken in what you saw and how you interpreted it. There's loads of evidence that people mis-remember things, and none whatsoever that inanimate objects can fly across a room of their volition.

Anchoress Thu 14-Nov-13 12:32:42

Backonly, just guessing here, but I imagine with the advent of the Internet when American websites purveying angel chat and tat created a market for that kind of belief became accessible in the UK. It's basically an Internet meme.

I think that is also the spurious 'backstory' of an origin in shamanism and Celtic mythology. Certainly birds are crucial to Celtic myth - particularly birds of prey, crows, ravens, and their connection with battle goddesses - but there's no connection at all to white feathers being dropped by supernatural design to comfort the bereaved, and which sounds Christian- lite, if anything. I think the mythic backstory comes from websites and blogs written by people who just think having a 'spirit bird' is kind of cute.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:34:33

that has already been covered & covered again, it's not the questioning, but the way that its done by some posters that is so offensive - questioning it is fine, not believing it is fine, mocking those that don't, derailing & goading is not fine

In your opinion hettie which is fine, you are entitled to that, but not fact as you insist on stating it - you weren't even there nor know the people involved so you cannot state it as fact.

Right that's me done on here


sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 12:34:37

I like to muse upon the imagery in RL. Much like an author creates imagery in stories to give clue to how events turn out I think life can contain imagery.

There is something deep within our psyche that will make sense of things, like how we see faces in trees for example.

I am a Christian and I have also studied literature and narrative theory. When images from the Bible appear in real life it draws my attention. Prophecy is often communicated in imagery. It can be very mundane and seemingly everyday. I can find meaning in cleaning my floor!

Anchoress, yeah I think it's a bit of a leap from battle goddesses too.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:39:07

That's fair enough * hettie* I'm not offended by that at all, you explained it well without being at all offensive

& I agree - I would have loved nothing more that find a logical reason for i, but none was found - it was the final straw on a long list of incidents that had me moving out of that house

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 12:40:13

"No curlew I hadn't - TBH now I have I can't be bothered - too much to go though & I really don't think you would see it anyway, if I did, then maybe I would make the effort, but I'm ill here & don't have the energy to waste my effort on what is probably a fruitless task - sorry"

Ah. So you can be as rude as you like. You can make accusations and insults. But you don't have any obligation or responsibility to back them up. Wow.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:47:10

Yes - though I feel entitled as I become rude in response to the rudeness - I am also now seeing double on this thread & have things I need to do & don't have any more time nor energy to waste - I've gladly hung around longer to reply to posters who were questioning, but weren't been rude about it & as I said - if I thought you would take it on board if I pointed it out to you then I would gladly do so, but the evidence so far suggests you won't & I would be wasting me time & energy

So I'm done here - I'm happy to hold onto my beliefs & you are welcome to yours smile

a large sharp knife suddenly hurling itself across a room & smashing a mirror

I wasn't going to say anything, but this is not just about that post, but about every post I've seen over the years where people have had knives fly into bedposts, creatures hovering over the baby's cot, settees turning over and windows opening and closing on a regular basis.

So to all those people out there. "It didn't happen". I know it didn't happen because of the laws of physics, but perhaps more relevant is that I know it didn't happen because none of you would still be living there. No one is going to say "oh the ghost was rocking the baby again this evening and btw I've ironed your shirt for you".

If any of this happened you'd be running down the road screaming and you'd never let your kids go back there. You'd sleep in a ditch rather than leave them with a knife throwing ghost or one that throws heavy furniture.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 12:51:49

I think what believers fail to grasp is how much we skeptics would LOVE to have evidence demonstrating that their beliefs are really true.

Our universe is amazing enough - but it would trillions of times more amazing if:

1) It was created by an intelligent being just for us
2) Death is not the end of our existence
3) Our deceased loved ones were trying to communicate with us
4) Illness could be cured by drinking tap water that's been clouted with a belt

...and so on.

If any of these things were actually true, I for one would love, love, love to know about it.

But the evidence is not only entirely absent - the stories themselves are stunningly banal.

Birds drop feathers. Sometimes they drop them, or they float on the wind, in the direction of a bereaved person. That's it.

How anyone can claim that such an event "defies logic" or proves an afterlife is completely beyond me. Really.

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 12:52:44

BackIn if you read my follow up response you will see that is exactly what I did do - in fact I fled barefoot & never went

Rockinhippy Thu 14-Nov-13 13:00:02

Aaaaggghh I really need to get off here & do RL stuff

I love that's how you see it Hettie smile & no doubt there will come a time when you do see it, but I understand your need for science, I really do

Damn my migraine addled brain as I just can't remember the soddin names I need right now - but there is some very interesting scientific work currently happening in this sort of field by Russian scientists & it is proving the existence of the soul with specialist photography - they are working on it as a medical device but they have already recorded the soul leaving the body as a separate entity at the point of death - maybe google might throw up some info for you to peruse

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:03:31

You only have to look at Quantum Physics to realize how woo Science can be. grin

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 13:11:18

I would say strange, rather than "woo", sublime. It's very counter intuitive.

But with ref to your previous post - that is a good example of confirmation bias.

If you and I were walking in the woods together, I doubt I'd see the biblical imagery, even if it was pointed out to me. You do & attach meaning to it because of your beliefs.

(I know you know this, you said as much, I just think it's a perfect example).

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:13:25

If you study language and the language of imagery, you can begin to see how the same phenomena could be described in a scientific manner and a more spiritual manner.

Our language's etymology includes analogies, derived from religious and folk belief. I have sometimes thought upon how viruses act similarly to the way spirits are sometimes described in the Bible. Viruses are even believed to be able to affect the way we think and mental health. Using newer Scientific language could just be calling a rose by another name....

Anchoress Thu 14-Nov-13 13:14:05

Google 'Russian scientist photographs soul leaving body' and what you get all links back to the same 2009 Russian news story (source not given) about someone called Konstantinos Korotkov at the St Petersburg Institute of Physical Culture, who does something called Kirlian photography, which apparently 'photographs gas-discharge visualisation'.

Everything Google brought up on the first couple of pages was from David Ickes, alien, UFO or 'Debunked' websites, nothing from a medical journal or reputable newspaper.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:14:50

Hettie No argument there. I am a believer after all. smile

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 13:17:11

Yeah - the "Russian scientist photographs soul leaving body" story was debunked as rubbish ages ago.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:18:15
CoteDAzur Thu 14-Nov-13 13:18:24

Quantum Physics is not woo. It only looks that way to you because you don't understand any of it. HTH.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:20:01

Cote Please explain it to me then....

Perhaps I've just a more sensitive woo detector!

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 13:25:32

The thing is - would a believer expect a soul to be something that could be photographed?

Photographs work by capturing light bouncing off things & creating an image (like our eyes & brains do).

For this to work there has to be material reactions. So the soul would need to be something, as in a material thing. Not just some supernatural energy, which - by definition - is non material, and not part of the natural world.

If souls exist, then not only can they not be photographed, we wouldn't expect them to be.

And if they could, then they are material parts of the universe detectable by science.

Same with these stupid "orbs" people are always impressed by.

friday16 Thu 14-Nov-13 13:31:02

You only have to look at Quantum Physics to realize how woo Science can be

And yet both digital cameras and USB flash memory work, both of them deeply reliant on quantum effects (measuring the quantum efficiency of silicon is key to designing sensors, and flash memory uses quantum tunnelling directly). They don't just work when your mum's died, or when you believe they work, or in mysterious ways you can't quite put your finger on, they just work. Millions of times a day, they just work.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:32:56

Hettie There is the physical and there is the spiritual (in Christianity).

Spirits can act as an agent which affects physical matter, thus you get physical manifestation. However if you studied that manifestation, it is physical, whether or not you give a spiritual explanation, depends on your belief.

With Christian belief the physical and spiritual are tied up together, thus separation is difficult.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:35:41

If you look at the psychology of eyesight or perception generally, it throws up some very interesting questions for example.

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 13:37:02

"Cote Please explain it to me then....

Perhaps I've just a more sensitive woo detector!"

I can't explain quantum physics. Because I'm not a physicist. But just because we can't explain it doesn't mean it's supernatural. We just haven't explained it yet.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:40:04


But just because we can't explain it doesn't mean it's supernatural. We just haven't explained it yet.

Rather depends on your definition of supernatural and your beliefs concerning the limitations of the capacity for understanding within humankind.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 13:41:47

If anything could affect matter at all, this would be a material interaction. Science can look back 13.5bn years to the very beginnings of the universe, but it can't detect a force that's bound up in all of us or manifests in such a way that it's visible to eyeballs?

.......depends on your belief Yep. That's the point.

And yes - agree with your last comment.

Eyes don't "see" - the brain takes the information & constructs an image. Sometimes that brain is heavily influenced by beliefs, or isn't quite sure what it's seen, so constructs around that.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:42:01

To me life itself is supernatural.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:43:30

Hettie* It is impossible to get through your day without beliefs, assumptions, prior assumptions or faith.

How would you plan for anything?

CoteDAzur Thu 14-Nov-13 13:43:33

sublime - Did you just ask me to explain an entire field of physics to you? shock

There are these things called "books" that people use when they want to learn a subject. You should try them sometime.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:45:36

cote grin you are easily [shocked]!

Lol about the books. You should see my house! I had a dream I was eating them once. Interesting...

CoteDAzur Thu 14-Nov-13 13:48:36

Oh ffs. Quantum Physics isn't some newly discovered planet. It is an entire field of study where scientists have been doing experiments in for decades.

The particles are discovered and documented, theories are being refined every day. It is very far from being woo.

It is only the extremely ignorant who confuse advanced physics with magic.

Fecklessdizzy Thu 14-Nov-13 13:49:15

Mmmm ... Winchester brothers ... 'Nuff said grin ( filthy thoughts emoticon )

CoteDAzur Thu 14-Nov-13 13:50:43

I was talking about non-fiction books. Like, on Quantum Physics.

Fecklessdizzy Thu 14-Nov-13 13:50:59

Oh bollocks, missed a page! ( stupid and easily confused by lust emoticon )

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:52:18

Have you studied the history of science?

Alchemy anyone?

It is interesting in alchemy making alcohol was an attempt to extract the spirit, (hence Spirits) from a plant for example, and it affects you physically when consumed.

Matter of language and belief system really...

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 13:54:47

Alchemy anyone?

That wasn't science. Once the scientific method was established, alchemy died a death.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:55:04
sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:56:26

Hettie Has it (alchemy) died? Some would just say it evolved.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 13:56:48

Hettie It is impossible to get through your day without beliefs, assumptions, prior assumptions or faith

Not all beliefs are equal. Some are justified, some not. And we justify them based on evidence.

All my beliefs are supported by evidence. If someone could show me that I believe something for which there is no evidence, I would stop believing it. Immediately.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 13:59:52

Hettie What if you reassessed the whole of Scientific belief with Bayesian Probability in mind too take account of the prior assumptions?

friday16 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:00:20

Am I missing some gag, in which a nineteen century children's book is used as evidence that quantum mechanics is woo? Or what?

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:00:20

Well, define "alchemy"?

Newton used to practice it. He spent more time on that than he did on gravity! Do you think he still would if he was alive today?

Alchemy is chemistry's pre-runner. Modern chemists would not be impressed if you called them "alchemists".

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:01:14

I have experiential evidence for my beliefs.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:02:09

What if you reassessed the whole of Scientific belief with Bayesian Probability in mind too take account of the prior assumptions?

I wouldn't. I'm not qualified & don't know enough about BS.

But, honestly, you don't seem to know how science works if you're talking about prior assumptions and so forth. The scientific method specifically corrects for that kind of thing - that's why it works.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:02:34

BP. See, even get the initials wrong wink

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:02:58

Friday Was not supplied as evidence. Just a comment on the origins of science and how it is still incomplete.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:03:37

Unified Theory anyone?

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:03:54

OK. But that's extremely poor evidence, since it's neither verifiable or testable, which evidence needs to be in order to be considered sound.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:05:01

Science does not correct Prior Assumptions. New Scientist had an article on it the other year.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:06:09

I could dig it out from my back issues but that would take a long time....

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:06:18

Unified Theory anyone?

What about it?

It's not known how Relativity & QM work together - although they must do otherwise we wouldn't be here. The quest for the Theory of Everything is to find an overarching explanation of how they work together.

What's woo about that?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:07:33

A truly wise person recognises how much they don't know.


curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 14:10:54

"Science does not correct Prior Assumptions."

The scientific method certainly tries to, and tries to eliminate the bias of the tester. This is very different from the way belivers look at pseudo science, where confirmation bias is rampant.

friday16 Thu 14-Nov-13 14:10:57

Just a comment on the origins of science and how it is still incomplete.

Oh FFS. "Science doesn't currently understand how to merge the electrostrong and electroweak forces, and our understanding of gravity is incomplete, therefore white feathers are signs of angels?" You'll have to do a lot better than that.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:12:05

A truly wise person recognises how much they don't know


And a not very wise one assumes they do even when a) they have absolutely no evidence that they are and b) rather a lot of evidence that they're not.


curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 14:13:10

A truly wise person recognises how much they don't know.


Absolutely. And is happy to wait for the gaps to be researched, tested and understood, rather than filling them up with the paranormal, supernatural and pseudoscience.

Nothing wrong with gaps in knowledge.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:15:17

Friday I didn't know this was some sort of test. Do I have to do detention for my non scientific comments?

This is a thread about belief and thoughts and feelings. I don't think the OP was looking for scientific proof. Just anecdotes.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:16:15

It all comes down to the same, tired argument.

Theist: I have evidence that god is real
Skeptic: Really? What is it?
Theist: Well, it's personal to me. Experiential.
Skeptic: So not really evidence then? I'll wait till there is some before I accept your claim
Theist: How very closed minded of you. A wise man knows how much he doesn't know....


sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:16:49

curlew And for me God lives in the gaps and outside them and everywhere

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:17:24

Hettie Why are you blathering on then?

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 14:20:03

Hang on, sublime, you were the one who started talking about Bayesian Probability and Unified Theories and things!

Surely you have to expect to be questioned about your science if you bring in stuff like that?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:24:26

curlew Question away. I am not a Scientist though. Don't expect me to perform as in an exam.

I have read a fair bit, scientific stuff included. I understand Bayesian Probability. Science is interesting to me. I like how I can link it to my beliefs. I ponder upon it. The cutting edge stuff fascinates me. The pseudo science scares me, some terrible things done in the name of science. All in all fascinating.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:28:17

Hettie Why are you blathering on then?

Well... because you directed a lot of questions towards me, and then intimated that we're not wise because we don't agree with your point of view.

Pseudoscience, btw, is manifestly NOT science. That's the point.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:28:39

There are also some very interesting analogies in Science that can be made with the Bible, but you have to know your Bible.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:29:15

All of life is supernatural?


HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:29:48

I do know the Bible, possibly better than you.

Try us.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:30:19


and then intimated that we're not wise because we don't agree with your point of view.

Not personal. Who is truly wise? Where is all the perfect Science?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:31:22

Hettie Oh. Interesting. Do you not believe it? No spiritual experience?

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:36:13

No such thing as "perfect" science.

I doubt there's any "truly" wise people around.

No. I don't believe the Bible. I think it's an historically interesting set of books written by extremely primitive people trying to make sense of a world they didn't understand.

No. I've never had a "spiritual experience". I've had experiences that others might consider spiritual if they had one, but not me.

Seriously. There are interesting analogies in science that can be made with the Bible. Like?

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 14:37:08

OK, sublime. What does "Science does not correct Prior Assumptions." mean?

IAlwaysThought Thu 14-Nov-13 14:37:21

Is believing that white feathers have been moved by angels a very new idea? I have had a google but can find no reference to it being anything but a very new 'belief'. What about other cultures? Is it just a British thing?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:41:30

There are interesting analogies in science that can be made with the Bible. Like?

Inheritance. The way inheritance works in the OT and then in the NT, where we are joint heirs with Christ. Bloodlines, genetics and epigenetics.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:42:31

But this is off the subject I have no particular beliefs concerning Angel feathers. I don't disbelieve either.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:45:43

OK, sublime. What does "Science does not correct Prior Assumptions." mean?

An example. The assumption that the 'repeatable result' is not just part of a larger pattern, maybe more a wavelength, where at some point the result will not be observed and in fact the opposite may occur.

Do you mean where Jesus, whose father is supposedly god also inherits from Joseph, Mary's cuckolded husband?

IceBeing Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:52

<is waiting for cote to explain quantum mechanics>

Woo = believing something to be true even though there is no substantiated evidence to support it.

Quantum mechanics = a mathematical description of the way light interacts with matter. Quantum mechanics makes many testable predictions of the way in which small collections of particles behave at low temperature all of which have been experimentally verified reproducibly. Hence there is a vast body of evidence to support it.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:52:29

Have absolutely no idea what you're on about, sublime.

Can you elaborate? Chapters & verses?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:52:41

Back The OT was superseded by the NT Back, with the arrival of Jesus.

The assumption that the 'repeatable result' is not just part of a larger pattern, maybe more a wavelength, where at some point the result will not be observed and in fact the opposite may occur.

Could you break that down a bit. Do you mean "scientists always assume that at some point the opposite may occur" or that that assume this is not the case?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:53:51

Hettie I could elaborate but won't on this occasion. I expect if you looked you could find them with a concordance.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:55:30

An example. The assumption that the 'repeatable result' is not just part of a larger pattern, maybe more a wavelength, where at some point the result will not be observed and in fact the opposite may occur

Strictly speaking, you're right.

An experiment can be done 1,000,000 times. We can never be certain that the 1,000,001st time won't produce a different result.

Every single scientist on the planet knows & acknowledges this. That's why you'll find that they will freely admit that they can't be 100% certain of anything. (Except possibly in mathematics).

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:55:33

Back Assume a result is repeatable because it has repeated several times. Could be part of a much larger pattern. Like chaos is not actually chaos, there are some, very large, patterns.

About the whole mockery thing.

The problem with people who believe in spite of a lack of any credible evidence or testable hypothesis is that they rely on faith. It is impossible to have an evidence based discussion with someone who has an invisible friend and thinks that feathers are in some way connected to angels, the afterlife, spirits or the ether or whatever. You see, they believe. Evidence has no impact. None is needed.

The evidential amongst us are derided for not having an answer to everything around us (i.e see above on quantum mechanics - though it is one of the most tested set of hypotheses about and it keeps standing up to measurement and logical scrutiny)

Oh and Bayes theory around probability is a mathematical approach to binomial tests. The scientific principle is based on the statistical analysis of out comes. Bayesian probability is about looking at the complete probability based on a number of discrete tests. Or at least thats how i read it. So applying it as suggested isnt quite right - unless you are applying it to probability calculations.

So when it is all said and done, when faced with people who disregard evidence and rely on faith and belief, for whom no amount of rational explanation will do, then I am afraid incessant, cruel and wholly unpleasant mockery is all that will do. Moral relativism and belief equivalence is all very well, but that doesn't get wheels invented or medicines tested.

In a thousand years, school children will look in their history texts and laugh at such fools as people today laugh at those who believed that the sun orbited the earth and that vast doses of arsenic were good for the skin.

I have a tin hat and a fireproof suit - flame away. Tis water off a ducks back - for i know that I am right and you are the ones that believe in fairies, pixies, crystal healing, the bermuda triangle, alien greys, invisible friends, the arctic nazis, homeopathy, magic amulets, holy water, the power of prayer, david icke and the feathers of angels.

Those that peddle these beliefs to people in pain and who are grieving are the worst sort of snake oil salesmen. They should be ashamed and shame on us for not tearing down their hoardings and exposing their lies.

Bah - religion.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:58:01

Strictly speaking,

Have to be otherwise you get pseudo science.

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 14-Nov-13 14:59:08

Good post, Voice.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:59:16

For me my Faith is the thing that stops me from relativism.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 14:59:22

I'm not aware of anything in the Bible, sublime that says the slightest thing about genetics or epigenetics. If you've found a highly shaky analogy, then good for you. It's a bit like:

"The Bible talks about the Big Bang. It says "In the beginning....they're talking about the Big Bang!" hmm

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 14:59:59

Faith and science (small s) are not mutually exclusive.

The OT was superseded by the NT with the arrival of Jesus.


A) what has that to do with your mention of genetics in the bible.

b) don't be surprised if people in the bible could tell that babies looked a bit like their parents. They lacked science, but they were not stupid.

c) The whole "OT superseded by the NT" thing in christianity is a feeble attempt to hide the fact that Christianity was invented a little under 2000 years. Saying it's based on the OT (to gain authority and make it sound older) but nothing like the OT so that you can make up your rules is quite transparent.

It worked though. Which is why Muhammad did something similar to create Islam and then much later still Joseph Smith did it again to create mormonism.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:01:19

Hettie 'New Scientist' used 'The Sins of the Fathers, as part of the title in an article on the subject.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 15:01:21

Have to be otherwise you get pseudo science

Er, no you don't!

ChubbyKitty Thu 14-Nov-13 15:01:51

The first time I went to visit my mums grave after we buried her there was a little white feather on the mound of earth behind the grave.

I'm not saying any of it is true but I found a lot of comfort in the feather.

Just after she passed I found tons in my house but I'd been very restless at night (her death was incredibly traumatic) so I think they just filtered out from my pillows and spread around the house. But since burying her there's not been any in the rest of the house, just the bedroom.

Make of it what you will, that's just what happened to me. Doesn't mean I'm right, doesn't mean anyone else is wrong. It's all subjective really.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:02:09

Back And you say you have no beliefs!

Sublime I get the bit about the repeatable pattern. But are you claiming that scientists say that if a thing repeats say 10 times it can never be different? Because I'm not aware that they have said that.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 15:04:06

Yes - like I said.....a shaky analogy. I can probably come up with quite a few from virtually every book of fiction I've ever read.

"The sins of the fathers...." does what? Proves the Bible writers understood epigenetics?!

sublimelime you said "And you say you have no beliefs!", but I can't reply unless you give me a hint of what you are referring to. You may be mistaking knowledge for belief.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:06:56

Hettie No you have to go deeper. However, Epigenetics shows we are not the victims of our inherited genes, supports Free Will, as does Redemption through Christ.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:08:36

Back But how much of your 'knowledge' is actually belief? (If you say none you are very arrogant.)

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:10:28

Back Scientists do not say that (re repeatability) pseudo scientists often do, as does popular science. How may times do we here 'Research proves...'

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 15:11:29

The last thing "Redemption through Christ" supports is free will.

Sorry, the Bible says nothing about genetics, let alone epigenetics. Of course it doesn't. Such things had not been discovered.

I've no doubt, if you screw up your eyes, look sideways & approach the Bible from the point of view of your "faith", you can find vaguely analogous passages. But that's all.

Not much, is it?

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 15:12:47

But how much of your 'knowledge' is actually belief?

in my case - all of it.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:13:03

Hettie Redemption through Christ does support Free Will as you are no longer a slave to sin or the victim of your genetics.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:13:39

in my case - all of it.

Good answer grin

oh I think I know what Sublime means by epigenetics and the bible smile

ok I'm no expert on epigenetics and I'm not sure it's even proven to be significant, but it's about changes to a person affecting the genes they pass on.

It used to be believed that blacksmith's children would have big strong arms because daddy worked hard at the forge. That turned out to be nonsense, but if epigenetics is real there are 'some' small changes that can be indirectly passed on for a few generations.

Sublime is therefore claiming (well she read it on a website) that when god said he'd visit the sins of the fathers onto their children unto the fourth generation he was referring to epigenetics and was not a raving psychopath making a bloody thirsty threat to torture and kill someone's family after all.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 15:17:34

well she read it on a website

There Back is with her crystal ball! Not very good at this psychic lark are you?

I read it in New Scientist (the science bit), the musings were my own. I'm not claiming anything because God came before anything we called epigenetics, which just describes what we have observed.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 15:20:49

Yes. Like I said, a shaky analogy. An analogy, none the less - but not one that would lead us to suppose the Bible writers had an understanding of epigenetics.

The difference between you & I, sublime is that my beliefs are founded on solid reasoning & evidence.

Yours are not, which you acknowledge every time you use the word "faith".

Not all beliefs are equal. The fact of someone believing it does not, in itself, lend that belief any credibility at all. Only evidence can do that.

Sublime, now let me explain why I don't have beliefs the way you do. I ought to cut and paste this I say it so often.

Belief is where you pick something and decide it is true without any reason whatsoever to suggest that it is true. Pure guesswork.

Ok here goes.

I don't not have any knowledge which is 100% proven. However I can assign strong probabilities to things for which there is extensive evidence and weak probabilities for others.

I have not seen New York so of course I don't believe it exists, that would be silly. But I have 1000s of overlapping items of information supporting the existence of New York so for practical purposes I will act as though it exists. If evidence turns up that it doesn't then I will cease to act as though it exists. There will be no loss of faith since I had none in the first place.

If you show me evidence for the existence of god I will accept it. I never believed that god didn't exist.

I might use the word 'believe' in casual conversation, but it's a shortcut for "to the best of my knowledge".

"I believe I left the car keys in the kitchen' isn't a declaration of faith, but a statement that the available evidence points that way.

I read it in New Scientist (the science bit), the musings were my own well it's not impossible that you came up with the link between epigenetics and god's statement on your own, but it is remarkably like that can be found on right wing loony christian sites.

It's also been posted on MN before I think.

Hullygully Thu 14-Nov-13 15:47:40

I imagine it's all moved on from the first page, but I shan't let that stand in my way.

If asked generally, I don't believe in anything supernatural of any kind, but when it comes to a personal level, a dear friend whose son committed suicide believes in spiritualism, reincarnation and "signs" and I couldn't begin to poo poo that belief because it helps them get up in the morning.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 16:12:43

Back and Hettie - It works for me <shrugs>.

rabbitlady Thu 14-Nov-13 17:39:13

I've heard of angel feathers and received one earlier this year. it was a bit lost on me. I think it was for my non-relationship and was an encouragement. but I might be wrong. I can't understand why people want direct contact with angels - big nasty four-faced things, they are.

IAlwaysThought Thu 14-Nov-13 18:46:22

I asked the following question earlier but I think it got lot in the debate. I am really curious if anyone can answer it

Is believing that white feathers have been moved by angels a very new idea? I have had a google but can find no reference to it being anything but a very new 'belief'. What about other cultures? Is it just a British thing?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 19:08:10

IAlwaysThought I don't know the answer to your question but it amazing how beliefs and superstitions are 'catching' or common across cultures.

Beliefs surrounding blood,for example, Holy Communion, Blood Sacrifice, Medicines made from blood, warriors bathing in blood, Cannibalism, Vampires, are prevalent across different cultures and religious beliefs. Somehow being able to take on the Spirit (unadulterated as in Vampirism, strengths as in warrior cultures, 'medicine), through blood, seems common.

headinhands Thu 14-Nov-13 19:57:58

If angels send feathers whenever people are distressed why isn't most of the third world knee deep in the fuckers? Or maybe angels don't give a shiny shit about people with dark skin?

IceBeing Thu 14-Nov-13 20:18:59

oh dear....racist angels.....I am trying to remember the stained glass in my childhood church....and non-white I don't think so. Odd that.

I appear to be the only one on various threads (which I find both unbelievable and surprising) that is comfortable about science religion and mystic. I'm able to accept Santa to quantum physics. I kinda think they all have a place, dependant on my mood or situation. I'm as comfortable thinking a feather could be my nan ( I'm sure they often are) to saluting a magpie and preparing for Xmas and finding something scientific in the paper fascinating.

Is this an mn thing where you can only be one thing? Because RL I find is much wider and sometimes more believeable.

I think it's lovely that an adult can admit to believing in Santa and don't worry, you are no different really to those who believe in Allah, Jesus or Orbs.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 14-Nov-13 21:04:53

Just as people are free to post on a thread. Others are free to ignore them. Curlew, your posts last night remind me of those annoying men in pubs who are always trying to get into the conversations of others in order to work it round to whatever axe they wish to grind (usually immigration or capitalism or something like that), right down to your You're trying to silence me bit at the end.grin

I often feel sad that these men can't start their own conversations because they know no one would be interested.

curlew Thu 14-Nov-13 21:58:15

I find it fascinating that being on a higher plane seems to give you licence to be as rude as you like!

HeartVHead Thu 14-Nov-13 21:59:20

This probably wont go down to well but my feelings on angel feathers is much the same as religion. I believe religion, the bible and religious scriptures, as basically fairy stories for adults which were used to explain unexplainable phenomena before scientific explanations were developed and understood. Early religious leaders were basically charismatic people who narrated these 'stories' for the good of communities and then these 'stories' then became laws and mantras in order for social control to exist. With congregations falling, I believe the media now exert the same control over society.

As for angel feathers, in my opinion, people who have experienced bereavement or difficulties in life that their mind cannot deal with, look towards a spiritual explanation and find meaning in a phenomena that has scientific explanation (a bird has dropped a feather) and apportion meaning where none exists.

headinhands Thu 14-Nov-13 22:10:53

Why is it always cutsie stuff that gets chalked up as being a message? You don't get people saying 'I was just thinking about my dear old, long dead Uncle Bert when I saw I dog shit/ant/mosquito?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 22:17:43

head it's not just cutsie stuff. Diviners commonly looked for signs in entrails...boak.

Geraldine Mackeesh (Sp?) examined faeces for her 'nutritional advice'. grin.

Pagan rituals contained all sorts of gruesome practises.

Like the idea of dog shit as a sign. Round here I'd say that means the apocalypse is due any moment.

Do people in heaven have wings? I just want to clarify that the feathers are not from grandad's wings, but are either from birds or from angels who are non human servants.

I know there are plenty of pictures of people with wings in heaven, but I don't recall seeing that in the bible and I think it says you get your own body back. At least one sect claims that that you do based on the words of the bible.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 22:24:59

Carrier bags blowing across the street is another urban anecdote.....

AnandaTimeIn Thu 14-Nov-13 22:26:49

love angels, love feathers..

Who cares what anyone else's opinion is...

headinhands Thu 14-Nov-13 22:32:26

Okay so get these feather sent to a lab and establish where it's from. If it's a bird then it's been plucked out by an angel you'd say? So angels can physically interact with worldly stuff? Are they invisible? What do they do when they're not plucking? Do they eat? Sleep?

headinhands Thu 14-Nov-13 22:34:08

I guess I'm referring to the cupcake brigade. angels/feathers/rainbows/robins.

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 22:35:45

Could be just a bird feather head. The meaningful thing is you found it at an appropriate moment.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 22:37:23

Maybe that white dog shit we used to see was angel shit?

We don't see it anymore because they realised we weren't paying attention, so started mutilating birds.

AnandaTimeIn have you met many angels? and were they all as nice or are some nicer than others.

After all Lucifer was an angel once so you must be able to get bad ones.

Mushypeasandchipstogo Thu 14-Nov-13 22:45:15

Dione are you my SIL ? You have a lot in common if not.

headinhands Thu 14-Nov-13 22:48:20

So you think some of these feathers are from angels? From the actual body of an angel? Or they're all from birds but some are specifically plucked out and dropped on people who need a bit of a boost? We'll that system's not very effective is it! Imagine someone's dog is ill, really ill, and a bird happens to shed a feather on the owner whose feeling worried. The owner could think 'ah Rover's gonna pull through, and he doesn't take Rover to the vets, and Rover dies. That'd be the angels fault for using such an ambiguous communication method. How does the angel know when you're thinking about Auntie Joyce? Does it also know when you're thinking about the filthy sex you had at the weekend? How does the angel know the outcome in advance?

sublimelime Thu 14-Nov-13 22:51:49

head God knows everything. Angels are God's servants. There is mystery because Faith is a central part of being a Christian.

HettiePetal Thu 14-Nov-13 23:04:13

Not only does God know about the filthy sex you had at the weekend, head - he was watching. While eating popcorn with the angels wink

reelingintheyears Fri 15-Nov-13 00:28:14

^That Hettie , is the best reply I have ever seen on MN.

Where in the bible does it say that angels have feathers??

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 09:02:50

I thought the white winged gentle angel was a Victorian invention? Certainly biblical angels are much more warlike and fierce creatures.......

HettiePetal Fri 15-Nov-13 09:29:03

Whatever you do....



Oi, reeling - ya being sarcastic? I was a bit wine last night. Made myself laugh, anyway wink

Mushypeasandchipstogo Fri 15-Nov-13 10:00:29

You made be laugh too Hettie. smile

reelingintheyears Fri 15-Nov-13 14:16:19

Not at all Hettie, it was a good 'un. grin

headinhands Fri 15-Nov-13 14:45:53

You made me larf although I'm toning my bedroom antics WAY down from now on.

HettiePetal Fri 15-Nov-13 15:06:44

I walked into town today, and guess what I saw everywhere - and I mean EVERYWHERE.

Big ones, small ones, grey ones, white ones.....

Must be a lot of bereaved people in need of comfort where I live. I reckon, if I'd wanted to, I could have counted about 60/70 in a 25 minute walk.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 15:10:23

Hettie See there is also irony everywhere! grin

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 15:29:51

What do you mean "higher plane" Curlew?confused

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 16:07:21

Maybe she's got a Pilot's Licence Dione?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Fri 15-Nov-13 16:07:22

I see angel feathers! Lots of them, everywhere! Angel crapped down my car windscreen the other day too. Sometimes an angel flies into one of my widows and brains itself - always makes me jump out of my skin when that happens. You'd think they'd learn. Also, had one of them nesting in my chimney during the summer.

I put up with a lot of grief from them angels, because they watch over me.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Fri 15-Nov-13 16:07:56

*windows, not widows. Argh.

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 17:04:51

"What do you mean "higher plane" Curlew?"

That's what happens if you don't have a spirit guide operating your autocorrect.......

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 17:50:52

I get that it's a typo. I still dont understand what you meant by it. What did you mean?confused

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Fri 15-Nov-13 18:03:40

Short of dipping all pigeons in glue as soon as they hatch, there doesn't seem a whole lot that can be done to stop people believing in this nonsense? And no OP, I'm sure you're not a journalist, probably not even one that makes up the drivel in those psychic magazines ("Joanna, north of the m25, the squirrel in your garden has a message for you").

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 18:04:30


I was just commenting that belief in the paranormal/supernatural/higher powers seems to give people the right to be as rude as they like. As exemplified by several posters on this thread.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 18:38:14

curlew I would say the opposite! in fact voiceofnoreason said,

"when faced with people who disregard evidence and rely on faith and belief, for whom no amount of rational explanation will do, then I am afraid incessant, cruel and wholly unpleasant mockery is all that will do."

And people applauded her post. Not that I lump you all in the same group - atheists are as in-cohesive as believers. Good job really....

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 18:43:15

Really? My experience is that anyone can be be rude. It would never have occurred to me that rudeness would more or less prevalent depending on belief or lackthereof.shock Do you have any further information on this?

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 18:53:18

Oh we should hold judgement, Dione it could be the conclusion of sound scientific research....

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 19:53:08

This thread is a mine of anecdotal, experiential evidence.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 19:54:20

Now that I'll agree with Curlew.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 20:00:39

But you do not base your beliefs on "anecdotal, experiential evidence" Curlew. So what scientific evidence are you basing your belief regarding rudeness on?

Or are you now saying that you do base your beliefs on anecdotal, experiential evidence? In which case how did you miss the post that Sublime just quoted? Is it another example of your confirmation bias?

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 20:07:26

I have observed on this thread that the rudest people are the ones who believe in the supernatural/paranormal/higher powers. Based on this observation, I have formed a theory. I will need to test this theory at some point soon, so I will have to work out some protocols to ensure a fair test. But currently all the available evidence supports my theory. This is of course subject to change if significant new evidence emerges or if the theory fails to hold under rigorous, properly conducted testing.

HettiePetal Fri 15-Nov-13 20:11:51

Nice try, Dione. I don't think you understand science or the nature of evidence enough to carry this argument through. Just sounds ridiculous.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 20:18:31

Science and religion are not mutually exclusive you know.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 15-Nov-13 20:40:02

Curlew, before you begin, what steps are you going to take to overcome a blind spot so big that you missed Voiceofnoreason's hate rhetoric and the subsequent posts which appear to support it?

Nice try at what Hettie?confused

LaGuardia Fri 15-Nov-13 20:51:28

I ran a pigeon over today. There were a lot of feathers.

HettiePetal Fri 15-Nov-13 21:23:25

Your passive-aggressive needling, Dione. It's very obvious and quite repellent, actually.

No, sublime - they don't have to be. But I think your particular brand is 100% incompatible with science. But then you'd actually have to understand science first to know that. You don't.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 21:28:50

You don't know much at all about me Hettie , have you been at the old divination too?

What qualifies you to make such an assertion about me? I am a Christian, so what? There are a lot of us about, all walks of life.

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 22:40:59

Two things, Dione.
Voiceofnoreason was forthright and outspoken. But she wasn't personally rude to any individuals. To call what she said hatespeak makes a mockery of people who really suffer prejudice and persecution

And you may have noticed that I didn't say that the believers in use supernatural, the paranormal and a higher power were exclusively rude. I said that on this thread they were the ruder. By far.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 22:51:17

How do you measure rudeness curlew? What do you base your assertion on? Are you actually attempting to quantify rudeness? Interesting, how do you account for cultural differences?

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 22:59:55

Poster says something regarding beliefs> do not match Curlew's beliefs= rude

Curlew expresses disapproval> poster elaborates on beliefs= very rude

Curlew emphatically expresses disapproval> poster elaborates more = very rude indeed.

Please tell me this is not your rudeness measure, Curlew...

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 23:06:44

Well, calling someone who hasn't been, arrogant and obnoxious is rude. Comparing somebody to a boring drunk man in a pub is rude. Unfortunately, the rudest posts have been deleted by Mumsnet (why on earth do that if the person concerned hasn't asked for a deletion? Why not let them stand for all to see? Who reported and why?)

There is benchmark of rudeness, regardless of cultural difference. And I reckon those examples meet it!

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 23:23:09

Ah, got to admit not read the whole thread. Soz.

Although I suspect I have been an inebriated bore in my time, as I would guess most of us have unless we don't touch the stuff. I have also indulged in my fair share of arrogance and obnoxiousness in my time, this is rife even in polite society. Some would call it vigorous debate. An accusation of this would not offend me, in this instance, puzzle me maybe, but I would apologise.

I must say the assumptions made about how well read I am amusing in their irony, reading is one thing I can claim to do avidly.

I don't really have a benchmark of rudeness though. Some comments I do find to be in bad taste, the dog muck, swearing, bedroom antics but I suspect this was intentional.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 15-Nov-13 23:31:01

Oh dear, seems some non-angelic feathers are flying.

Just dropped in to say that I washed my cushion covers today and am mystified by why humankind hasn't invented a substance impermeable to feathers suitable for making cushions and pillows. How do the feckers get out of tightly woven cotton? confused

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 23:37:28

I can answer that one for you Errol, they're pointy!

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 23:40:40

Sublime- you obviously haven't read the thread. Your characterization is completely wrong. But hey ho, who cares? Whatever you want to believe is fine. There is no such thing as truth, after all- it's all relative.

Mignonette Fri 15-Nov-13 23:41:24

Charles Bonnet Syndrome is a good example of Hetties last point. A brain constructing an image that is 'seen' by a Blind person.

Mignonette Fri 15-Nov-13 23:43:17

Or not her exact last point....grin

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 23:46:20

Truth relative curlew? Speak for yourself! grin

curlew Fri 15-Nov-13 23:48:22

Oh, for Darwin's sake! Why isn't there an irony typeface???????

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 23:52:16

I did not say I believed my possible scenario I asked you about it, curlew because I was amused by the idea of a rudermeter.

sublimelime Fri 15-Nov-13 23:53:23

I like irony especially the double variety.

DifferenceEngine Sat 16-Nov-13 00:15:29

I realise it is getting a bit bunfighty op, but I'd like to share my experience.

We were having a stressful time this summer, I was stressed over work and family issues dh was revising and I took toddler to a local fete to give him space. She was going throughba tantrummy phase and screamed and howled all the 10 miles there. In a want to go - don't want to go sort of way.

The fete was held in the grounds of a Buddhist world peace centre / retreat sort of place.

I carried my kicking screaming baby banshee in, and as I got to the main entrance, by some trees a single 4 in long feather landed at my feet. So did an overwhelming sense of peace and relief. Really really odd. Nice odd, but odd.

Dd eventually calmed down, mainly due to the kindness of strangers who distracted her with random leavesand flowers even someone with a guide dog in training stopped to engage her in conversation. We ended up having a really lovley day. The sense of peace stayed with me. The feather I kept and tucked it behind the interior mirror in my car. It still fills me with peace if I look at it or touch it.

Woo, or just memories of human kindness....? Who knows.

Mercury713 Sat 16-Nov-13 02:06:16

haha, I also thought of my feather pillows. whats the point of this thread?

Callaird Sat 16-Nov-13 03:40:52

It's like the messaging dead loved ones on Facebook thread all over again.

It gives some people great comfort in their hours of darkness.

I didn't believe in it before my boyfriend died, part of me still doesn't but when I am missing him and feel like I just cannot cope anymore and I see "a sign" it gives me comfort and stops me taking many pills with a bottle of vodka.

So you don't believe, your life choices but please please don't ridicule someone who does. It might make their living hell a little more easy to cope with.

MiniMonty Sat 16-Nov-13 03:41:45

OP - learn to spell "sceptics"

PS - there's no K in schedule.

lljkk Sat 16-Nov-13 03:47:14

I wonder if I used search wrong.
My search says there were 7 MN threads in last 3 months that mention feathers at all, never mind Angel ones.
So I guess the supposed premise of this thread is false, and it was started out of nowhere just to promote the idea?

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 07:21:56

My 'bad taste' comments are used to bring the whole idea of feathers back into the domain of real life, which is where people are claiming it exists. If these angel feathers are real, and angels are real and like you say, they know everything, what are they doing when people are having sex, killing each other, starving to death?

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 07:30:35

If you google Angel feathers, one of the first "hits" is this - somebody making money out of vulnerable people. Consultation with angels by email, anyone? Oh, and apparently finding a penny is a sign from an angel too. As is hearing your favourite song on the radio, or seeing a pretty shaped cloud.
$80 an hour. You can pay by paypal.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 08:07:20

You don't enjoy the same fluffy books that you used to read
Yeah, because books about angel feathers are really heavy going with their long technical sciencey words.

Anchoress Sat 16-Nov-13 08:27:27

Curlew, I know the thread has moved on, but you were wondering about deletions. I reported one of Rockin's aggressively unpleasant and personal responses to me, and it has been deleted. She seemed so blind to her own rudeness while being terribly sensitive to any perceived slights directed at her/feathers/angels that I thought it might be salutary for her to recognise that a moderator thought that what she had said was unacceptable.

I wasn't steamed up about it, but I was making a point about neutral perceptions of levels of rudeness.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 08:50:20

I don't read books about Angel Feathers, nor do I consult websites which you pay for emails, nor do I look for signs in everything. Such stuff belongs in the realms of superstition. The majority of books I read are not very fluffy either.

However I have also studied a lot of literature, narrative theory and folklore along with reading the Bible. The imagery is like a language you pick up. Even the etymology of our words is packed with meaning in terms of imagery. I don't go looking for meaning in things, it finds me sometimes IYSWIM. For me it is not particularly woo, or showy, just normal everyday things. Just puts a smile on my face, a lot of the time, these things act as sign posts to something more profound.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 08:55:51

Some of the stuff is also much folklore and pseudo science. This book shows how 'science' can uncover the darker side of human nature,

Makes you more sceptical concerning some of the motives behind 'scientific' research and the results.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 08:57:23

How can you decide that books about angel feathers belong to the realms of superstition when technically there is as much evidence for that as their is your religion? What criteria have you used to discount it? Finish this sentence: 'Books about angel feathers belong to the realm of superstition because_______________________________________.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:03:23

However, if someone has found great comfort from a feather, that to me is good, it does not matter if it comes from a bird. The Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a Dove. Angels are God's servants. The feather be it bird's or Angel's if it acts to comfort someone, from the manner of its appearance is special.

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 09:08:52

"Makes you more sceptical concerning some of the motives behind 'scientific' research and the results."

Good. You should be sceptical. That's the point!

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:13:22

You don't know much at all about me Hettie , have you been at the old divination too?

I know what you've written on this thread, sublime.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:14:26

head that sentence referred mainly to looking for signs in everything and paying for emails to be sent to you.

In theory there could be a good study of the Angel Feathers books, covering history, anthropology, folklore, religious belief and psychological effects but I suspect there is a lot of the 'fluffy' variety. I am not very New Age because of my beliefs and I find superstition can be particularly dark.

This does refer to belief, yes, because in my belief structure superstition is the opposite of being a Christian. It is dead, the power is assigned to ritual and signs rather than faith in God. Some of 'science' would fall under this bracket.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:15:32

Hettie I refer to the conclusions you made about me! from limited evidence.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:22:07

My reservations would also cover some religious practises, especially the more ritualistic ones. However if the result of them is to increase a person's faith in God rather than being reliant on ritual I can understand this. The Pagan connotations and cross over leave me uncomfortable though.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:23:19

The Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a Dove. Angels are God's servants

This is compatible with science, is it?

And what is religion if it's not superstition?

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:24:24


I said your scientific understanding was shaky - based entirely on what you've written in your posts.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:25:29

Part of meaning of the word religious includes a repetitive, ritualistic, element. It is why I describe myself as having Faith rather than being religious.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 09:26:01

What's your definition of superstition Sublime?

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:26:05

Not enough evidence there Hettie.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 09:30:18

How is superstion dead but Christianity alive. Both give people comfort. Both give people meaning.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:34:48

More than you realise, sublime.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:36:55

It is a folk belief which assigns an added meaning to common occurrences.
The meaning tends to remain the same, such as walking under ladders in unlucky. Often it derives from obsolete danger or belief. Ladders are associated with the noose.

It is different to Faith and relationship with God, because this is dynamic, live. The Bible is described as the living word because it is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. Christians should not be looking for signs or putting their faith in rituals, although they may perform rituals and see signs IYSWIM.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:40:48

Hettie indulge me. Point out my great gaffs, the ones which compromise my scientific understanding.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 09:42:13

How do you know that a superstitious person is wrong in their belief that walking under a ladder is baseless yet your belief is valid? How have you decided that their folk belief is wrong? What do you mean by folk?

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 09:43:48

How do you know cracking a mirror won't bring 7 years bad luck?

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:47:16

Superstition is dead in the harm it can do, it is not responsive. Walking under a ladder may be the safest option. No one should have their day ruined due to the number of crows they have seen. The Victorians had no reason to mistrust a person because their eyes were only a certain distance apart....

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:48:52

Advancing a God of the gaps argument....... "Unified theory anyone?"

QM is "woo".

That kind of crap.

Not convinced your grasp of epigenetics is all that sound either. Neither is mine. particularly, but it's extremely easy to see why it's really not remotely analogous with anything in the Bible.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:48:55

head there is no bad luck for me because 'I am the head and not the tail.'

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:50:34

Hettie you've not convinced me. I think you are lost in translation for me.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:50:48

Oh - and all that nonsense about alchemy, of course.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:51:23

Folk is just a term for people.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 09:51:48

Well, maybe I'm mistaken.

"QM is woo" does indeed sound like someone who knows what they're talking about.


sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:54:00

You'd have to know more about Alchemy to see the connections Hettie. A lot was linked to belief if they could turn base metal into Gold they themselves could transform into Gods, become Divine. The ultimate Humanists...

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 09:55:43

The woo was slightly tongue in cheek, however it does hold a certain amount of mystery.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 11:42:17

Sub I still don't understand how you are able to reject the superstition as essentially false (although comforting) yet accept the claims of Christianity.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 11:59:31

head because superstition and Christianity are not the same thing, as I explained in my 9.47 post.

I do not find superstition at all comforting, quite the opposite.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:00:45

^and 9.36 post.

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 12:07:01

I don't actually think the angel feathers thing is anything to do with folk law. I challenge anyone to find a reference to it more than...ooh....20 years old.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 12:08:30

No I meant how you know Christianity is true beyond what you think it is i.e. Relationship with god

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 12:09:23

Such as how do you know your relationship with god isn't just in your head as it were

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 12:10:39

Christianity is many things, one of which is superstitious. (Illogical and historically wrong are two more things)

Praying to a god is as superstitious as not walking under a ladder. Or saluting Mr Magpie. Or touching wood.

And it has the same effect. Nada.

Letitsnow9 Sat 16-Nov-13 12:15:37

A friend occasionally found them in difficult times including in an ambulance and in hospital while she was waiting for her first dose of chemo. She believed they were from her aunt and they brought her great comfort.

ADishBestEatenCold Sat 16-Nov-13 12:15:52

Just spotted this thread. Thought it referred to some new type of ultralight condom.

Guess that's a bit inappropriate? Sorry. blush

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:18:35

curlew There is such a thing as modern folklore or urban myths, if you like.

Hettie you are confusing Christianity with false religion.

head how do I know? That is where Faith comes in.

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 12:21:58

But the superstitious person has faith that it works too. So not sure how you logically reject their system per your own? The way you explained superstition is essentially the same for religion: pattern seeking, looking reasons etc

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:23:39

I am not saying Angel feathers are merely folklore or superstition, just they can be. Where people find comfort from them I am happy to believe they are the work of God. Where people become superstitiously obsessed with them and seeking them out I would not connect this with God, that is something rather darker...

headinhands Sat 16-Nov-13 12:29:31

So if it comforts you it's from god. That's pattern seeking behaviour though isn't it.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:30:41

head I could say the same concerning science, pattern seeking, looking for reasons. I have explained the difference earlier, the best I can in words.

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 12:35:45

Th difference is that, with science, the "patterns" form the theory, which is then tested, and abandoned if the patterns are not repeatable, or if new evidence comes in to show that they weren't patterns after all. In pseudo science, if the patterns are not repeatable, it's the test that was wrong not the theory.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:45:57

As I said in a previous post, there is an

...assumption that the 'repeatable result' is not just part of a larger pattern, maybe more a wavelength, where at some point the result will not be observed and in fact the opposite may occur.

Thus conclusions always require assumptions or a type of faith if you like, since it is impossible to know whether these patterns are not part of a larger pattern until that pattern is discovered.

Not that this means science is invalid, however personally I am interested in what exactly people put their faith in. As the book I referenced earlier, illustrates,

people's motivations are very important regarding the outcomes of any scientific research. The scientific method may seek to limit this, however, it cannot entirely, there is always bias.

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 12:53:16

"assumption that the 'repeatable result' is not just part of a larger pattern, maybe more a wavelength, where at some point the result will not be observed and in fact the opposite may occur."

So obviously it is possible that one day the sun will rise in the West, not the East. It is impossible to say that that will never happen. Is that the sort of thing you mean?

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:56:40

A lot is possible Curlew, however I put my Faith in the Bible.

When you see prophecy it can be difficult to imagine how it can happen, but when it does, it is like the twist in a really good plot (think like Macbeth).

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 13:03:36

I'm sorry- I now officially have no idea what you're talking about.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:14:54

Sorry I assumed you would have read Macbeth curlew and the Bible (since you comment on it).

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:14:57


No, I'm not. There is no difference.

Although I'm happy to be proved wrong with some actual, you know, evidence?

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:17:26

The woods moving, is one portent that comes to mind, from Macbeth. The audience wonders how tis would be possible, then it happens.

you are confusing Christianity with false religion.

Does 'false religion' include islam and say hinduism? If not then what?

how do I know? That is where Faith comes in

Faith is why you think it's true, but knowing is something else. People had faith in thunder gods and leprechauns.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:20:01

When you see prophecy..... Not likely, since it's never happened so there's no reason to suppose it ever will.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:21:13

Macbeth is fiction.

But good example, because so is the Bible.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:26:38

Hettie you prove God does not exist...

back I will not be drawn into comments regarding other religions. I am a Christian and believe as such.

Who can say they actually know rather than believe? Our perceptions are different. Scientific theory is not absolute truth! It is always ready to be superseded by new discovery. I know by faith, the same as anyone, except where I put my faith, God. Where do you put your faith?

back I will not be drawn into comments regarding other religions. I am a Christian and believe as such

You were the one who brought it up.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:30:15

There can be psychological truth in fiction. Studying common themes tells us something intrinsic about the make up of humans beings and our understanding of the world. Art reflects life.

Science is just another type of narrative.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:30:50

back where?

And I don't have 'faith'. Faith is simply deciding something is true without any reason to think so other than wishing it were.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 12:18:35
curlew There is such a thing as modern folklore or urban myths, if you like.

Hettie you are confusing Christianity with false religion.

head how do I know? That is where Faith comes in.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:36:07

Hettie you prove God does not exist...

No. There is absolutely no requirement for me to do your legwork & prove the slightest thing about your god - including it's existence/ non-existence.

You do at least understand about burden of proof - what with all your reading?

Tell you what though...

...whatever methodology you used to prove that:

Lord Vishnu
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
& The Tooth Fairy

....don't exist is the exact same one I'll use to prove Yahweh doesn't either.


sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:37:13

Science contains assumptions, assumptions require faith. How do you decide whether to pursue the study of a suspicion (or superstition).? How do you draw your conclusions, taking in to account your repeatable pattern may just be part of a larger pattern, which could loop round on itself at some point? How do you decide the result is due to the element you have decided is causal and not some other variable?

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:38:21

I carry no burden Hettie.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:41:41

I did not mention any specific religions though did I back.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:42:25

There can be psychological truth in fiction

Yeah. There can also be an awful lot of made up nonsense - like little boys in glasses flying around on brooms. Or ancient Palestinian men walking out of a tombs three days after they died.

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:44:01

Yes, sublime you do.

sublimelime I asked you if you would mine defining what you meant by false religion.

I gave a couple of examples, but surely you do have an answer or you wouldn't be using the term.

curlew Sat 16-Nov-13 13:46:30

I do know both the bible and Macbeth. What I don't understand is what you are saying about them!

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:47:05

hettie I use the knowledge I gain through Christ as a measure. I suspect you do not use the same measure...

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:48:56

curlew Ah, then our perception of them is different. I could ask how well you know...

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:52:48

Back* when I speak of false religion, it is in reference to belief in the power of ritualistic practises, over the power of God.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 13:54:43

Hettie have you not heard of Allegory?

HettiePetal Sat 16-Nov-13 13:59:03


What's that got to do with anything?

Is prophecy real or is it not? If it's real, there should be solid examples you can point to. If you can't then it's probably not real.

There's no real for you, real for is or it is not. Not amount of claiming allegory is going to get you out of that.

hettie I use the knowledge I gain through Christ as a measure. I suspect you do not use the same measure... True. I use Sitting Bullshit, my spirit guide for all of my information. He says Jesus never existed and Christianity is a lot of fanciful claptrap. Sorry to break it to you sad

sublimelime ah that is little clearer I think. Thank you. So you were not referring to other religions as false, but a false way of practising religion. As in say a catholic who thought more of the cross itself than of god himself.

sublimelime Sat 16-Nov-13 14:11:03

Hettie Don't be sad, because I do not believe you or your Sitting Bullshit, he is deceiving you.

There is absolute Truth, it lies with God. Humankind does not always realise Truth, it is us, as humans, that are fallible.