Angel Signs (Folk belief)

“My mom does this really sweet thing where when she goes on walks she’ll pick up things that catch her eye and puts them on this shelf in her room and she calls them her angel signs. She’s picked up feathers, rocks, pinecones, stuff like that – but not just regular ones, ones that are special looking, like if they have an interesting color to them or shape or something. They make her feel like angels are watching over her. She thinks this about a lot of things, like signs from nature mean someone or something that’s passed is looking out for us – like when our pet rabbit died, she starting saying every rabbit that came into our yard was an angel sign that the rabbit was still with us. She likes to take the objects with her to bring us more protection by those angels I guess.”

My informant spoke very affectionately about her mother as she recalled this folk belief/ritual that she often partakes in. While I find complete validity in her assumption that her mother brings home these objects as a way to bring protection to the household, I wonder if she does this knowingly. My informant was quite specific about how her mother felt about these items, that they were signs from angels, but she wasn’t certain about her mother’s intentions upon bringing them home. I wonder if it is partially due to a fascination with the objects in general, mementos so that she will never forget a moment when she felt seen, protected, and closer to something spiritual.