5 Reasons Why Pagans & Witches Are More Likely To See Faces in Nature

5 Reasons Why Pagans & Witches Are More Likely To See Faces in Nature March 1, 2019

I’m reading a book called The Hidden Brain, which discusses an intriguing idea: if you see faces in nature and random sceneries, it means you have a greater connection with your unconscious brain.  After doing a little more research, I feel that pagans and witches are more likely to see faces than any one else.  Here’s why.

green man see faces leaves trees pagan witch pareidolia
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

I love to look into forest leaves and let my mind drift.  After a moment, I can usually see a green man or woman staring back at me.

This tendency to see faces in random objects is called pareidolia.  According to The Hidden Brain, it’s an important instinct formed in our brains that when we’re very young — babies who can detect faces have a higher survival rate.  This ability is largely unconscious, and for most people, it fades into the background as they grow older.

I posit that pagans and witches have this ability more than other people for a few reasons.

1. We’re Spiritual Folk

According to a scientific study, seeing faces in random places is more common amongst spiritual people and those who believe in the paranormal.  Atheists and agnostics saw fewer faces in random objects compared to religious/spiritual people.

plant see face trees leaves nature random scenery pagan witch ability pareidolia
Do you see the Green Man in the leaves? Photo courtesy of MaxPixel, CCO 

2. We Believe in The Paranormal and Spirits

The study also revealed that people who believe in spirits (specifically ghosts) are more likely to see faces.  Animists and anthropomorphists, or people who believe spirits and consciousness is everywhere, are more likely to see faces.

And pagans and witches?  We believe in spirits, for sure.  Most of us are highly sensitive to them.  Spirit work seems to be a fundamental pagan and witch practice, which can’t be said for other, more conservative religions (which are almost all of them).

3. We’re Artistic Folk

Pareidolia is also common in artists.  Leonardo da Vinci wrote about seeing faces in walls.  Other artists have webpages built on their pareidolia photos, or the art they made to resemble them.

I can’t prove pagans and witches are more artistic than other spiritual/religious people, but amongst my friends, they most certainly are, by a long shot.

4. We Go Into Altered States

Pagans and witches who trance, scry, do automatic art, and practice other forms of altered states are very open to the unconscious.   We delve deep, meditating, journeying to the otherworlds, or do dream magic.  We open ourselves up to the unknown and feel it out.  That part of our brain becomes more active.  If we’re lucky, we’re somewhat more aware of the unconscious and/or that altered state even when we’re doing everyday, normal tasks.  This definitely enables us to see faces more easily.

Additionally, because many religions consider harmless altered-state activities such as meditation and yoga “the devil’s work,” pagans and witches are more likely to go into altered states than most other religions.

see face trees leaves nature random scenery pagan witch ability pareidolia
The “Merlin Tree.” Photo courtesy of Pixabay

5. We Do Shadow Work

As witches, we face our our hidden parts.  We examine and honor the wisdom of intuition.  We also do shadow work.  It’s more than just peering into the darkness — it’s about embracing it.  People who attempt to look at their shadow will likely see faces appear more often.

Not everyone has shadow work built into their spiritual beliefs.  We’re lucky to know about it and have tools about how to reintegrate it.


Whether seeing faces happens because of who and what we are, or if it’s our ability to see actual spirits in random places, or if it’s just a flashback, it’s an interesting phenomena.

Do you see faces in random objects?  I certainly do, all the time.  I have a particularly lovely shower curtain with birch trees that shows me new faces all the time.

If you’d like, you can share your experiences of seeing faces in the comments below.  Have a blessed day!


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About Astrea
Astrea is the author of Intuitive Witchcraft: How To Use Intuition To Elevate Your Craft (Llewellyn Worldwide). She also leads the fire dancing group Aurora Fire and stirs up magic for the Blessed Be Box, the service that ships a "ritual in a box" with all vegan and cruelty-free items. You can read more about the author here.
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  • Rodge De Dodge

    Great article. Spotted this on Instagram so wanted to read. I see faces everywhere. It drives me absolutely crazy at times. Faces in clouds, trees, walls, tiles, in fact almost everywhere. So glad you highlighted this as I actually thought I’d lost my mind. I’ll seek you out on Facebook and connect. Rodge

  • DandelionViolet

    I don’t necessarily see just faces, but I can remember looking out into the yard and seeing animal shapes, letters, and numbers within the light and shadow patterns in the grass. My family thought I was crazy, so I kept it to myself and tried to ignore what I saw.

    • Laura Wilson-Anderson

      I can relate to that.

  • Wolf

    I see faces and shapes in woodgrain: on doors, book cases, etc, , especially if the wood is bookmatched. I have a friend who creates pictures from woodgrain, usually of faces or masks. They are in an art gallery and are very popular, so that confirms the artistic temperament theory.

    Come to think of it, ironically the first time I noticed seeing faces in a bookmatched panel of woodgrain was in an interior door in the Methodist church we attended when I was a small child. I must have been around 6-ish years old, but that revelation is still strong in my mind over 50 years later.

  • Mark Green

    Sorry. Parodeilia. Nothing more.

    • Lupa

      “Feeling” that you’ll see faces more because you’re pagan doesn’t equal evidence that pagans are more susceptible to parodeilia.

    • How do you come to that conclusion?

  • Richard Moore

    When I am meditating I sometime see the head of a dragon in the candle flame

  • Liz Carney

    A lovely article. I do see faces, lots and lots of faces, but there is a lot more to it. The faces have a meaning. To each person that sees them each will have a different meaning for a different reason. Focus on those faces, really see the detail in them, what stands out? Any colors? How do you feel when you look at it? Does it respond to you?, etc. Answering these questions can help you determine what the message or reason for seeing the faces indicate for you at that time. 🙂

    • herbprof

      All matter is energy, so your suggestion could get very interesting!

  • Hex Nottingham

    Oh yes. All of the tyme. I have several photos scattered about from where I’ve caught faces and humanoid/animalistic forms in leaves, branches, flowers, trunks, etc. One day, I’ll have them collected in one album. Thank you for the article. Blessings.

    • Susie Adkins

      I can really relate to what you are saying!! Blessed be!

  • Monica T

    I see faces, animals, letters, etc in nature, in the tiling in my bathroom, in the popcorn texturing of the ceilings, clouds, just about every where. The first time I remember experiencing this was sitting in our catholic church and staring at the wooden pew ahead of me.

  • Falkenna

    Interesting to note that many prehistoric cave carvings are based on a natural pattern they saw in the rock.

    • herbprof

      One of the most interesting comments here, thank you!

  • I’m neither, but I see faces a lot

  • herbprof

    There is a theory that the word “Pareidolia,” is a scientific way, to explain away something that science does not want to actually deal with?

    For instance, when the word Pareidolia first went around the internet years ago. There was a site that stated, “that Pareidolia became more than Pareidolia, when identifiable features began to reach 100 percent!” And they had a graph that defined when common Pareidolia, began to have too many features, and was reaching a higher level! At that time I was curious about the phenomena, and I skimmed over the article and moved on. Since that time I have run into more articles discussing Pareidolia, like this one. And I have tried to find that site, but it seems to have been taken down? But it is definitely an interesting thought, when you see an image who’s features go toward 100 percent?

    Today, you can find Pinterest sites that offer hundreds of examples of Pareidolia for the year 2019 so far… Most of them are cutesy fluff, and some are obviously altered to form impressive examples, but a few cause you to pause, and wonder?

  • snowflake
  • Susie Adkins

    I am so glad that I came across this blog! I’m experiencing a spiritual awakening and I have been seeing many images everywhere. In trees, flowers, pictures, and so on. I was actually kind of scared at first because I thought I was losing my mind. It is good to know that I am not alone in this. Some images are vague and some are very detailed. Most I have no clue where they stem from. Maybe past lives, I’m not sure. I do feel that I have at times crossed into a different vibration of energy field that most won’t see because so many people don’t really notice what is all around them. Just want to say Thanks for your blog, now that I have a word for it, I can learn more about it. Sending love and light your way. Blessed be!

  • Susy Crandall

    I have heard that our thinking creates our reality. That we see what we expect to see. I see faces everywhere, in nature, in the shag rugs in my bathroom. But I also see dragons in rocks and in the clouds. I see animals everywhere also. One thing I never expected to see was a tiny blue spaceman in the sand in my backyard. He was about two inches long and the most interesting intense dark turquoise color that seemed to glow from the inside out. His spacesuit made him look like sort of a Mayan or Aztec figure that they carved into stone in Mexico. It had sections and tubular apparatuses. I thought he was a toy action figure at first, but as I leaned down to get a better look at him, I picked up a sensation of intense terror and even screaming so I let him alone. When I went out later to look for him, he had disappeared. Hopefully he made it home OK. And no, I do not have a diagnosis, nor do I take any medications for any mental illness.

  • dave

    Seeing faces in nature is a sign of Genius, intelligence, creativity, and artistic ability… also people who go through spiritual Awakenings or ascension experience this like I did.. The powers-that-be like to tell everyone that it’s abnormal that there’s something wrong with your brain that you’re schizophrenic psychotic… These theories were created by atheists,scientists, people with no imagination or creativity… These are the people that live in the dark their entire lives.. perhaps these people forgot about the famous song.. when you’re smiling, when you’re laughing, the whole world smiles at you.. I see smiley faces everywhere in nature because it reflects the joy that I have inside..