Bat Symbolism

Moon and Bats

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d write about poor, misunderstood bats.  Don’t get me wrong; bats freak me out a little too.  But I do appreciate their symbolism and their place in nature.

Bats represent transition and initiation according to Ted Andrews in Animal-Speak.  The Babylonians considered them the souls of the dead; the Mayans thought they were symbols of rebirth.

Symbolic meanings often come from observations of an animal’s traits and habitats.  Since bats literally come out of darkness (a cave), we say that they represent death, transition, and rebirth.

Change and death are scary to many of us, and so this association makes bats a source of fear for many.  But Andrews has a wonderful way of looking at change:

When the bat comes into your life, you may see some part of your life begin to go from bad to worse.  That which worked before may no longer.  This is not negative though!  And it will only be upsetting to the degree we are emotionally attached to the old way of life or to the degree we focus on the past rather than the infinite possibilities of the future.

Change and transformations are blessings.  They are not triggered from without but from within, and the world is our mirror.

Other bat traits include its great auditory perception, its ability to fly (bats are the only flying mammal), and its sociability.  Therefore, bats also symbolize clairaudience (clear hearing, or the ability to hear spirit), the ability to move to new heights, and the opportunities we might find in groups.

If bats show up in your life, you can be sure of some great–and perhaps difficult–changes, but you just might be experiencing an initiation into a new way.

Happy Halloween!


Spider Wisdom

My house is full of spiders.  In general, I really really really do not like bugs, insects, and  things with many legs in my house.  I am all for them staying outside.  There was one particular spider that had taken up residence behind my stove, and every morning I saw a new web spun across the back burner.  I was determined to squish that spider, but she always escaped me.  So, partly out of respect for her squish-dodging skills and partly out of a desire to walk my talk, I looked up Spider and tried to learn from it.

Wouldn’t you know it, turns out spiders are the guardians of ancient languages and alphabets.  Perfect symbols for aspiring writers like me.  So that’ll teach me to try to squish a Messenger of Wisdom. . . .

Anyway, now I have something else to add to The Wisdom List:  Take the time to learn before trying to squish something.

Entries for The Wisdom List accepted until August 31st!  Best entry wins a groovy prize!

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Perhaps it is my Scorpio Sun Sign, but I am drawn to symbolism like a vampire to a silky smooth neck.  We Scorpios love to interpret symbols and untangle a good mystery.  For example, I am looking back over my first two sentences here and noticing all the “s” words (like a snake hissing, and snakes are a Scorpio symbol).  And don’t even get me started on the vampire symbol. . . . blood and death and regeneration.  Doesn’t get more Scorpio than that.

One of my favorite symbolic languages–other than the obvious one of astrology– is that of animal totems.  Many cultures look to nature for messages, and if we can learn the “dictionary” of animal symbols, we too can receive these messages.

Now, first let me state that I don’t necessarily believe in “signs” or “omens” the way you might think.  I believe too strongly in free will to think that there are set-in-stone meanings.  Rather, I believe that one should pay attention to the symbol that appears, and then ask what that symbol means for oneself.

Here are two examples of animals and their symbolic meanings:

Squirrel:  Are you planning and preparing properly?  Are you too busy or not busy enough?  Are you balanced in gathering and giving?

Snake:  Are there areas of your life that require transformation?  Are youpaying attention and being discriminating in what’s going on around you?

Just for today, why not be open to the messengers that appear to you?  Observe, research, and reflect.  Just by the very act of wondering, you will be inviting new possibilities into your world.