The Jack-o’-lantern is carried by a drunkard named Jack. Jack sold his soul to the devil, so that the devil would pay his pub tab. When the devil returned from the pub to collect Jack’s soul, the man tricked him into climbing a tree, then drew a cross under the tree, trapping the furious devil in its branches. Later, when Jack died and was rejected at heaven’s gates, he had to beg the devil for a place in hell. The devil was delighted at his chance to get revenge. He cursed Jack to wander the earth, with only a small frame for light. Jack put this flame in a carved turnip and used it as a lantern.
The Ignisfatus, or exhalation termed “Will-with-a-Whisp,” or “Jack-with-a-Lanthorn,” which is sometimes seen in churchyards, or marshy and fenny places in summer and autumn, was considered by many old inhabitants in this neighborhood, when the author was in his infancy, to be a kind of device of the evil spirit to draw human beings from the road they were pursuing into some frightful abyss of misery; and there leave them without any hope of regaining the enjoyment of happiness in the land of the living.
Stories of the origins of the jack o’ lantern are many and varied. Here are some of the ones I found:
- A Stupid Devil
A popular legend giving the origin of the jack-o’-lantern in Wales deals with the idea of a stupid devil. A long time ago there lived on the hills of Arfon an old man of the name of Sion Dafydd, who used to converse much with one of the children of the bottomless pit.
One morning Sion was on his way to Llanfair-Fechan, carrying a flail on his shoulder, for he had corn there, when whom should he meet but his old friend from the pit, with a bag on his back, and in it two little devils like himself. After conversing for some time they began to quarrel, and presently were in the midst of a terrible fight. Sion fell to basting the devils with his flail, until the bag containing the two little ones went all to pieces, and the two tumbling out, fled for their lives to Rhiwgyfylchi, which village is considered to this day a very wicked place from this fact.
Sion then went his way rejoicing, and did not for a long time encounter his adversary. Eventually, however, they met, and this time Sion had his gun on his shoulder.
“What’s that long thing you’re carrying?” inquired the devil.
“That’s my pipe,” said Sion.
Then the devil asked, “Shall I have a whiff out of it?”
“You shall,” was Sion’s reply, and he placed the mouth of his gun in the devil’s throat and drew the trigger. Well; that was the loudest report from a gun that was ever heard on this earth.
“Ach! – tw! – tw!” exclaimed the smoker, “your pipe is very foul,” and he disappeared in a flame.
After a lapse of time, Sion met him again in the guise of a gentleman, but the Welshman knew it was the tempter. This time he made a bargain for which he was ever afterwards sorry, i.e., he sold himself to the devil for a sum down, but with the understanding that whenever he could cling to something the devil should not then control him.
One day when Sion was busily gardening, the evil one snatched him away into the air without warning, and Sion was about giving up all hopes of again returning to earth, when he thought to himself, “I’ll ask the devil one last favor.”
The stupid devil listened.
“All I want is an apple,” said Sion, “to moisten my lips a bit down below; let me go to the top of my apple tree, and I’ll pick one.”
“Is that all?” quoth the devil, and consented.
Of course Sion laid hold of the apple tree, and hung on. The devil had to leave him there. But the old reprobate was too wicked for heaven, and the devil having failed to take him to the other place, he was turned into a fairy, and is now the jack-o’- lantern.
- The Welsh Story of Lantern Jack
This is one of the apparitions of the night, and one of the most mischievous and tricky of the ghostly family. What form or color he has we know not, as no one has ever clearly seen him; his lantern has been seen, and he has been heard splitting his sides with laughter at his own tricks, and the perplexity of those whom he might have led astray; and people say that his laugh was not unlike the loud sudden neighing of a horse.
His light was seen on dark nights like a lighted lantern on the sheep-paths on the hillsides. If he happened to be far off, no one was deceived, as his ungainly movements betrayed him as “Lantern Jack in search of his sheep,” and as the saying goes:
An ignis fatuus
Deceives not many of us.
The time when he generally succeeded with his mischief was when he found someone all alone travelling a path on open fields. He would begin by appearing as a small speck of fire, of a clear blue flame, which he moved before the wayfarer along the middle of the path until his attention had been secured; then the flame would gradually grow until its brightness would completely blind him, after which the traveler was entirely at Jack’s mercy, and he would lead him where he pleased.
Stories are related of men who have been led miles out of their way in this manner, especially young men going to see their sweethearts on dark winter nights.
- The Spirits of Unrighteous Men
Jack o’ lanterns are the spirits of unrighteous men, which by a false glimmer seek to mislead the traveler, and to decoy him into bogs and moors. The best safeguard against them, when they appear, is to turn one’s cap inside out.
When any one sees a Jack o’ lantern, let him take care not to point at him, for he will come if pointed at. It is also said that if any one calls him, he will come and light him who called; but then let him be very cautious.
Near Skovby on the isle of Falster there are many Jack o’ lanterns. The peasants say they are the souls of land-measurers who in their lifetime had perpetrated injustice in their measurements, and therefore run up Skovby bakke at midnight, which they measure with red hot iron rods, crying, “Here is the clear and right boundary! from here to there!”
- Another Jack o’ Lantern Story
There is, however, another story as to the origin of the jack o’ lantern. The haunting spirit is that of a blacksmith, who could get no admittance even into hell. He was very cold, and begged for a single ember to warm himself, and at last one was given him, and he has gone shivering about with it ever since.
- Jack o’ Lanterns Baptized
Jack o’ Lanterns are, as tradition tells us, the souls of unbaptized children. Because these souls cannot enter heaven, they take their abode in forests, and in dark and desert places, where they mourn over their hard lot. If at night they get sight of any person, they run up to him, and then hasten on before him, to show him the way to some water, that he may baptize them therewith. And that no one should neglect to do, because the poor beings must remain without the gates of paradise until some one takes pity on them.
The crocodile family includes the largest of all living reptiles. They live in tropical parts of the world and have an ancient and mixed symbology and mythology associated with both destruction and birth. They are the devourers and mothers.
- Keynote: Primal strength and creation
Crocodiles in particular are associated with the Great Mother, for they are excellent mothers, a rarity among reptiles. The appearance of the crocodile indicates the presence of primal strength and creation, the mothering forces.
Although cold-blooded, crocodiles rarely let their body temperatures vary much. They come ashore at sunrise to bask in the sun and then they cool off in the water as the sun becomes hotter. They float low in the water, with little more than eyes and nostrils showing.
When crocodile appears, it heralds a time of balance within all environments within your life. The balance may come unexpectedly, but it will come as a result of your own efforts, strengths, and creativity. It is time to trust your instincts in what will work.
The Nile crocodile breeds when 5 to 10 years old and the males will fight for breeding territories. The female will dig a huge pit and can lay up to 90 eggs. After four months, the eggs hatch, and the mother crocodile takes the hatchlings in her mouth down to the water, guarding them from other predators.
When the crocodile appears, we should watch over and protect the things we give birth to for at least a four-month period. We may get assistance from others or assist others in some new births.
Our instincts will be very accurate and strong in regards to whom or what we can trust. Our creative energies are fertile now, along with practical applications. This is the time to trust what is right for us, our home, our children, and our endeavors. We have the opportunity to tap very primal creative energies. New birth and initiation are near, as is the strength necessary to accomplish them.
When the young crocodiles begin to develop within the eggs, they begin to speak. The mother hears them, answers them, and helps them to hatch. She then assists them to the water, carrying them in her mouth. If crocodile has appeared, it is time to heed our primal instincts or we may miss the calls of new creative opportunities.
An adult crocodile captures its prey by lying in wait near game trails and water holes. It then comes out of the water, seizing its prey in its powerful jaws, dragging the prey under water, trying to drown it or knocking it out with its whipping tail. The crocodile may even grip the prey’s body in its jaws, rolling over and over beneath the water, tearing into it.
Questions To Ask If Crocodile Shows Up
- Are we ignoring our instincts, our intuition?
- Are we missing creative opportunities?
- Are we being too emotional about what we have created?
- Are we trusting those we shouldn’t?
- Are we being too domineering?
- Are we unbalanced and too open?
The crocodile may indicate that we are not taking advantage of our opportunities or our impulses. We may also need to be careful of things that are hidden and unexpected, especially in environments that usually nourish us. There may be reason for distrust. If we are not careful, we may be in danger of being dragged into or under in some way.
The Mythic Crocodile
A dangerous creature with a strange and frightening appearance, wherever the crocodile appears in the world it has a rich set of meanings attached to it.
The creature that is feared is also often revered as a way of appeasing its collective spirit. The Egyptians even honored the crocodile with its own city, Crocodilopolis, where sacred, tamed crocodiles lived, treated like kings and decked in gold and jewels.
These Egyptians deified the crocodile as a god called Sobek, who had the body of a man and the head of the crocodile. Sobek keenly observed the ritual of the weighing of the souls after death, waiting for the ones that could not explain their actions, at which point he would eat them.
Because the crocodile can stay still for so long before striking very quickly, for some, such as the Chinese and the Cambodians, the crocodile symbolizes lightning. In Cambodia the word for the deity that governs the earth and water has the same name as that of the crocodile ~ Nak.
In many myths, the crocodile is one of the sacred creatures that helped create the planet. Because the animal is equally at home in water and on land, it makes sense that it would have been present when the earth was “born” from the sea, a legend that resonates in creation myths all over the world.
The crocodile, in its guise as the devourer, is synonymous with birth, which cannot happen without death. The significance of this aspect of the crocodile is enacted by the adolescent boys of Liberia as part of a rite of passage. Prior to the ritual circumcision that marks their entry into manhood, the boys are sent out into the forest to fend for themselves. This time in the forest can be as long as four years, during which time the boy is said to have died and been eaten by Poro, the spirit of the Great Crocodile. After a period of “gestion,” Poro spits the boy out, minus his foreskin.
It was once thought that crocodiles could be created by new combinations of matter, instead of by natural birth. The ancient roman historian, Pliny said that the crocodile was the only land animal which lacked the use of its tongue. It was believed to conceive by the ear and bring forth by the mouth.
An old story from Madagascar is that crocodiles and lizards come from the same nest or den by the side of a river. When the eggs are laid and numerous little ones are crawling about, the crocodile comes out of the water and beats the ground with its tail so as to frighten the young ones. Some take to water, and others to land. The ones that go to land never grow any bigger and remain as lizards, but those in the water grow to be crocodiles.
When walking by river, do not let your shadow fall on water, lest a crocodile seize it (soul), and draw you in.
It is widely believed that it is unlucky to kill a crocodile. If you kill a crocodile you will soon die. Seeing a crocodile was considered an evil omen, and in some areas crocodiles were considered as being the embodiment of an evil spirit. Interestingly, it was also believed that a person devoured by a crocodile, went to a place of perpetual happiness.
The liver and entrails of a crocodile are supposed to be most powerful charms, and whoever becomes possessed of them can cause the death of any man he pleases. For that reason, killing a crocodile was a very heinous crime in West Africa.
Dreaming About Crocodiles
To see a crocodile in your dream foretells a new beginning or changes in your waking life. This dream can also indicate danger in some way. The crocodile within your dream can highlight your intuition, your spiritual insights, and the spiritual steps you need to take in the forthcoming future.
Independence is important to you, and this dream shows it is time to claim it back.
This dream may also indicate that you need to improve or encourage financial security. No matter how well off you are, money just seems to be difficult to obtain. According to 1930’s dream dictionaries, a dream of seeing a crocodile reflects how you feel inside about others.
The crocodile is consistently related to the soul. Spiritually, the dream represents a coming together of power and intelligence. When we are affected by negative energies caused by difficult people, situations or even stalkers the dream normally arises.
- If in your dream you are trying to kill or harm the crocodile then this dream is associated with your intelligence.
- To dream of shooting a crocodile indicates the need to take intellectual tests – you maybe surprised!
- Dreaming of swimming with a crocodile connects us with our necessity for basic emotional, physical and material needs.
To be swimming with more than one crocodile signifies that one may be shafted by hope and faith. As with many other interpretations of reptiles, this dream represents the ultimate feminine wisdom, and indistinct feelings, as well as fertility. The crocodile can be the symbol of the great mother.
Because of its association with religion, the crocodile can mean that negative aspects signify a danger which will shortly come into your life. The crocodile might imply deceit or someone who will cross you! Don’t trust anyone when this symbol appears in a dream.
- If the crocodile chased you in a dream it can suggest your fears in life.
- If the crocodile opened the jaw of his mouth in the dream it indicates something is jammed or stuck in waking life.
- If the crocodile was deformed, this indicates your performance needs to develop some masculine traits.
- Dreams of seeing a crocodile in a zoo or in captivity means that you have access to the particular characteristics which make you unique.
- If you visit a jungle and see a crocodile, this dream signifies there is a new beginning on the horizon.
- If you dream that the crocodile was tamed, it means that you have acquired influence and lots of power.
- If the crocodile is on a lake, and the dream seems beautiful, it means that you will have love in your life.
- To be bitten by this animal denotes that you need to make sure you stop worrying, as things will sort themselves out.
- A large (massive) crocodile appearing in a dream indicates that you cannot win no matter what happens – unless you kill it.
- It denotes possible worries and the failure of a project if you are eaten by a crocodile in the dream.
- If a crocodile is eating someone in the dream, it can mean that an untrustworthy person will create problems for you.
- If you hunted a crocodile this denotes spiritual acceptance.
- For the crocodile to be swimming in a dream is connected to water indicates that you have the emotions and energy to succeed in life.
The crocodile chasing you or hunting you in a dream illustrates that you are going to discover many attributes about yourself on a psychic level. The end result of the dream is equally important. If the crocodile kills or bites you after chasing you then this indicates that you’re going to try to move beyond your comfort zone, it can also signify somebody’s going to be rather deceitful.
To see the crocodile’s teeth in a dream indicates somebody is going to be consulting in the future. Is also connected to our physical attributes of life. The crocodile influences us to think and challenge about how we grow in life. Try to connect with other people in order to think outside the box.
Killing a crocodile in a dream is great luck, it means your worries are over. This is a positive dream. It indicates that you will encounter great luck – beyond your dreams. Killing crocodile can also represent persistent actions in the future. It may be that you’re trying to work towards gaining wealth all you’re looking at clinging to projects that you know will be a success. Rallying for success is also associated with such a dream. If you kill the crocodile in the dream then this can indicate that you are going to be committed to the causes which you believe in life. To kill the crocodile by shooting the animal illustrates that you have the strength and the strong interest in uncovering successful business opportunities.
To kill the crocodile in your dream may also mean that you hold angry feelings inside of you. If you do not kill the crocodile, then this dream may be unfavorable or a warning to be cautious.
If you decide not to attack the animal, then seeing this creature is associated with the capability to survive in difficult situations. You may need to understand social instincts in order to secure your desires. The main negative potential is associated with any type of attack.
To see baby crocodiles in the dream is associated with our strong interest in protecting our young. If you are a parent it is not uncommon to see baby crocodiles in your dream. It indicates that there is somewhat an immature person who surrounds you in daily life – It could be a child alternatively a partner or family member that needs support. You are very committed to your family you believe in giving and also receiving. Baby crocodiles can also crop up when you feel that you are not necessarily supported by immediate family.
If you see the crocodile open its jaws in a dream, you need to hold yourself responsible. We generally have such a dream when we are reaching higher levels of consciousness, in some dreams the crocodile could bite you and you wake up startled or even in deep fear. The actual details of the dream are equally important.
Where did the crocodile bite you?
- If the crocodile bit you on the leg then this indicates that you are going to find blockages in regards to moving forward in a business matter.
- If the crocodile bit you on the hand then this is related to work and can indicate some delay or co-workers who are going to be dishonest in the future.
If a crocodile is trying to bite you in the dream then this indicates that you have a desire to meet somebody that is going to treat you right. The crocodile biting you indicates that somebody is going to use you or alternatively give you displeasure. On the long road to happiness we often encounter displeasure. We are deceived by people who are close to us in life. This could indicate a disappointment or alternatively and an attraction towards somebody of the opposite sex.
The size of the crocodile biting you is also equally important. The bigger the crocodile the more important the dream is on a subconscious level. You may capture moments where the crocodile is opening its mouth and snapping at you during the dream. This can indicate snappy attitudes, being annoyed or possibly ostracism.
For a crocodile to run away from you during the dream state indicates you’re going to overcome any sudden change or phases in life. You will need to study but in the end you will succeed. If however, the crocodile itself is chasing you during the dream then you are trying to move away from somebody who is dishonest. Obviously, all the dream details are also equally important to interpret. In any case, to see a crocodile chasing you hunting you down illustrates an incredibly difficult task with somebody who is deceitful.
If the crocodile in your dream is small, perhaps you are feeling guilty about something in waking life. A small crocodile normally appears when you have not forgiven somebody. Forgiveness is always an option in life, if not there when going to be shadowed by bitterness doubt and distressed. A small crocodile indicates a minor problem in life which you can overcome. It can also symbolize betrayal, not only of ourselves but also the people that we care about greatly.
To see a number of crocodiles in a dream illustrates that there are multiple threats in the future. You might be desperate in order to break free from job that does not give you satisfaction. If the crocodiles were circling you in a dream, especially if you are in water in this indicates a feeling of congeniality. To be attacked by multiple crocodiles indicates that you should never give up.
More Crocodile Dream Meanings
In a negative way, the crocodile demonstrates wasted potential. Think of it as a human associated with triggering control issues. The crocodile is true to its nature, and there is an element of trying to work towards goals.
You need good judgment about how to move forward in a work situation. Thinking and planning is important in your life, and you may soon become obsessed with seeking answers to difficult questions, in order to understand a greater awareness and ease your life.
It is important to take any energy released over the next two months and use it to your advantage. There may be some conflict between the masculine attributes and the female ones, but it is important to maintain some kind of balance between the two. This dream is often connected to your feelings. As time passes, you recognize familiar aspects of what this dream means, and it is important to develop your personality coupled with strong sense of family values.
Someone that is in your circle of friends or family is not acting in a correct manner. You will recognize that the person is an enemy, and he or she seeks to trick you into thinking that you are a friend.
To have this dream also means the release of the power in us called Jungian, an archetype known as the ‘Shadow.’ This is a dark power associated with enemies and conspiracies. This shadow casts itself as the heroic victim (martyr) of dark and stupendous forces. The shadow inside us is dangerous.
- Have you been having bad thoughts?
- Are you struggling to come to terms with a situation?
This dream often signifies a warning. It may also signify that you have been having some worrying times recently. The hidden features of seeing this in your dream is that you are looking to solve a problem in life, you yearn the freedom of expression, you have the strength to challenge anything and the power for success.
It can also suggest that you have the ability to work towards something that will become a success – materially. Crocodiles are associated with a work situation, they are spiritually about gaining satisfaction in life. Compassion and talent are often important in daily life when a crocodile appears in one’s dream. You need to be somewhat passionate in life.
The crocodile tends to be decisive in eating its prey and is connected to the way we gain promotion at work. Remember that you need to fight in order to win.
Every dream can be connected to our own reality. If, in a dream we find ourselves seeing a crocodile, there are many different lessons that we can learn. There are two key dream states that we can encounter, lucid dreaming and prophetic. If you had a dream of a crocodile and you feel that you’ve taken an active involvement in the dream, even influenced a dream in some way it indicates that you have the opportunity to manage a deceitful person in the waking life.
The omen of the crocodile dream suggests dishonesty and deceit, as well as the inner ability to overcome any obstacles. It is important to try to use your unconsciousness mind to understand the real problems in waking life. To see a crocodile in a dream and yourself as the third person, or to view the event as if it is on television indicates that you have the hidden intuition to look beyond people’s personality.
The crocodile is associated with storing your own power and energy, in the case where you see a crocodile chasing you during a dream, this denotes that your goals will be achieved, moreover this dream is more than just an illusion it is a specific call to action in waking life. If you are successfully able to perform actions in the dream to change the event of the dream then seen a crocodile can be an emotionally powerful experience.
Old Fashioned Crocodile Cures:
- Epilepsy: Caelius Aurelianus prescribed crocodile’s dung against epilepsy.
- Eye problems: Crocodile blood.
- Eye sickness (ositananana): Crocodile skin is used for eye-sickness. Piece of skin is burned and at the same time another piece is put in water, patient inhales smoke from burned skin. Ashes then are put in water and liquid ribbed into patient’s eyes.
- Hair growth: Rubbing crocodile dung on the head will make hair grow.
- Quartan fever: Democritus also states that a quartan fever is effectually cured by attaching a crocodile’s heart to the body with the wool of a black sheep without a speck of any other color, due care being taken that the sheep was the first lamb weaned by the dam.
- Scorpion’s antidote: Crocodile (!?!)
- Snake bite: Pulverized crocodile teeth used for snake bite. Also crocodile blood.
- Teeth and teething: If a child wears a crocodile’s tooth around its neck. This helps the teeth to come through, and guarantees their being strong.
- Whooping cough: In Malabar, a bone of a crocodile was suspended about the neck to cure whooping cough.
Wounds: Fried crocodile meat can be used to dress wounds.
The image of the crocodile as a dishonest trickster is expressed perfectly in the notion of “crocodile tears,” the hypocritical tears that the crocodile is said to shed for its victims.
“Crocodile tears” has become proverbial in speaking of people who cry without feeling any pain, or who feign tears. This comes from old stories that portray the crocodile as the most deceitful of animals. It will treacherously weep over a man’s head when it has devoured the body, and then will eat up the head too.
It is also said these tears turn to jewels to lure further human prey. This belief goes one step further with the idea that crocodiles moan and sigh like persons in distress, to allure travelers and make them their prey.
Butterflies have been known to drink crocodile tears. Scientists think it’s because the tears contain salt and other minerals.
The Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool
I found this really fun article about witches, crocodiles, and fertility rituals on a travel site, and had to share it here. Billed as the world’s most dangerous tourist attraction, the concept is that stroking a crocodile makes a person extremely fertile. Here’s the article:
According to one version of the local legend, the story of the Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool involves a cunning — but good natured — witch.
One day the witch was apparently crying by a well when a stranger came along. Claiming that her children had fallen down, she asked the man to help. The man climbed down to find them, searched hard but saw no trace.
He regretfully told the bawling lady this, to which she replied that she hadn’t lost her children after all. She was just testing to see whether the man had a good heart. As a reward, she gifted him the supposedly magical waters of the pool. Anyone who bathed in them would become fertile and as proof they were magical, she would fill it with crocodiles that would never bite anyone.
Well that’s alright then. Perfectly safe.
Try telling yourself “it’s perfectly safe” as the scruffy-looking guide by the poolside hut leads you over to Charley. Charley is a two-metre-long Nile crocodile and he is probably not a vegetarian. It seems rather difficult to believe that he is placid enough to enjoy being constantly manhandled by a stream of petrified tourists, but the guide insists that Charley has never attacked anyone.
The Steve Irwin moment
For those stupid enough to believe him, the Steve Irwin moment follows: a ginger walk-up to Charlie. The guide puts his hands on the lazy croc’s back and encourages you to do the same. The feel is rather harder than expected, but that’s probably not your major concern. Especially when he encourages you to start lifting Charley’s back legs.
Surely he’s not going to stand for this sort of manhandling much longer? He’ll turn round one of these days and just lash out at the nearest person. And when the guide surreptitiously buggers off, that nearest person will be you. All alone with a big croc, caressing his back like a grinning imbecile.
Don’t Touch This Crocodiles:
In truth, the scariest part isn’t touching Charley himself — it’s his not-so-little friends around him. There are well over 100 of them in and around the pool. It’s a fluorescent green color, so it’s not possible to see into the water for the crocs that could leap out at any moment.
More worrying are the ones lounging around on the banks in very close proximity to Charley. There’s no fence and surely they aren’t all friendly? Indeed, one has a (somewhat ungrammatical) sign by it saying:
Don’t Touch This Crocodiles.
All praise the witch:
Thankfully, the witch’s magic spell appears to work. Thousands of people visit the Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool every year — the tourists to stroke Charley and the locals to become extra-fertile.
Given that no-one has been attacked and many people have become pregnant soon after splashing themselves with the water, there may be something in the superstition after all.
Crocodile vs Alligator
Many people are unaware that there’s a difference between alligators and crocodiles and use both terms interchangeably to describe any large water-dwelling lizard with big teeth. What they don’t realize is that, despite some similarities, the two reptiles don’t look or behave the same. They also belong to different biological families.
8 ways to tell alligators and crocodiles apart:
- Shape of the snout. The crocodile’s snout is pointed and V-shaped, and the alligator’s is wide and U-shaped.
- Location. Alligators are only found in parts of the US and China, whereas crocodiles can be found across the world.
- Habitat. Crocodiles prefer water that is more saline or salty than the alligator’s preferred freshwater habitat.
- Toothy grin. Crocodiles can’t hide their teeth, but alligators’ teeth are sometimes hidden when their mouths are closed.
- Size. A full-grown crocodile will likely be several feet longer than an adult alligator.
- Color. Crocodiles are generally lighter in color than alligators.
- Speed. On land and in water, crocodiles are usually slower than alligators.
- Behavior. In terms of aggression, an alligator might seem tame compared to a crocodile.
Once you understand the differences, it is actually pretty easy to tell them apart.
“I do believe that an intimacy with the world of crickets and their kind can be salutary – not for what they are likely to teach us about ourselves but because they remind us, if we will let them, that there are other voices, other rhythms, other strivings and fulfillments than our own.”
~Howard E. Evans
Cricket will attune to new vibrations and will aid in heightening intuition, sensitivity and awareness. Crickets can teach effective communication techniques and subconsciousness communication cues to obtain what is needed or wanted.
- Keynote: Sensitive intuition, Power of belief
- Most Powerful Time: Late summer and autumn
Crickets are about resurrection and transformation from stages as in the molting process. Is it time to shed old ideas to make way for the new? Expect changes and new developments that will bring growth through reflection and patience as the sensitivity to mental, emotional and physical challenges are coming your way.
- Are you singing your song to be heard at this time?
- Is it time to rest in contemplation or jump toward your intended target whether it be at work, in relationships, or personal goal and dream?
Cricket will help in finding the right balance of action using intuition and subtle awareness.
If A Cricket Shows Up
Crickets have an abundance of myth and folklore surrounding them, almost all having to do with a stimulation of intuition and the power of our beliefs. In China the cricket is considered a summer animal symbolizing pluck and a fighting spirit. In fact, ceremonial cricket fights were once staged to awaken such a spirit in their human captors.
In England and parts of Europe, to find a cricket upon one’s hearth was a sign of great good luck for the home Although some superstitions speak of a cricket in the home as a foreboding of death and bad luck, such teachings were rare. The opposite is the more common interpretation.
Crickets in the home were often thought of as the familiar that watched over and guarded the home’s occupants ~ especially against bad spirits. In the 1800’s many people believed that crickets were lucky to have about the house and would do no harm if treated well. Bad luck would befall only those who harmed this creature. In most traditions, it is best to leave the cricket alone. To remove it from the house or to kill it would bring bad luck.
The Cricket As A Guide
There are several thousand species of crickets around the world. They are also known as bushcrickets, and although they are related to the grasshopper, they have a distinct symbology. They have been kept as pets, many believing them to be the reincarnation of relatives. They have been considered a familiar by some and the devil by others. Their singing was believed in parts of Europe to herald good luck. To do them harm was unlucky, while to honor them brought good fortune.
While some species do sing in the day, most crickets are mainly nocturnal. The appearance of cricket in your life heralds an awakening of sensitivities and the finding of light within the dark. This is primarily because of their nocturnal activity and their darker coloration. They are perceptive within the dark times and are able to use whatever light is available to them.
Their appearance reminds us to trust our own intuition, as it is much more accurate than we may believe. Dreams will become more clairvoyant, and cricket reminds us that we can truly rely on our dreamtime perceptions.
Crickets are distinguished from grasshoppers primarily by their long antennae, which reflect our heightened sensitivity. They further remind us to trust our own intuition and our own expressions of light, even if different from others. Now is the time to believe in and rely upon our long range perceptions and insights. We should trust in what we have always believed.
The male cricket sings by rubbing its wing bases together. Their calls are often shrill, but it is a call that is connected to mating. The song of the cricket is a song of good cheer, especially in relationships, a reminder to trust in our beliefs and perceptions about the other people within our lives. If cricket is singing within your life, now is the time to be of good cheer. Your believing is about to be rewarded, and the song they are singing is of success and pleasures ahead.
Most crickets live on the ground. Some can fly, but many have no hind wings. Some have no wings at all. If cricket has appeared, we may need to stay balanced and grounded when exploring or working with our intuition and psychic abilities. Our belief system may be a bit askew. It is not unusual to find a cricket appearing at times for professionals in the psychic or metaphysical field when conscious efforts are not being made to be balanced and grounded.
Most crickets molt at least once, and a cricket may warn us that it is time to shed old beliefs that are no longer suitable. It can warn that the psychic energies of ourselves or others may be over-stimulated and exaggerated at this time.
- Are we not seeing things properly?
- Are we denying our own beliefs?
- Have we forgotten how to believe?
- Is it time to get some new beliefs?
- Are we exaggerating what we perceive?
- Are we not hearing the true songs of the people around us?
- Do we need to listen to what is not being said as much as to what is?
- Are we not holding true to our beliefs? Are others?
Beliefs and ideas are more likely to be distorted and embellished, and this should be taken into consideration before taking any action. Perceptions may lack depth and there may even be some deception about what is being perceived. Others may be trying to make us believe something that is not entirely true or to which there is incomplete information. The cricket should stimulate some self-examination.
Beliefs about crickets vary considerably. As a rule, these friendly little insects, which love to make their home with human beings, are thought to be fortunate. If they leave a house suddenly, after long dwelling therein, it is an omen of death, and to kill one brings sure misfortune.
On the other hand their chirping is sometimes regarded as a death omen or a sign of a coming storm. If they suddenly invade a house where none was before, bad luck is expected in some parts of the world.
For thousands of years, it has been considered lucky to have a cricket on the hearth, especially in Asian countries where crickets were once used as “watchdogs.” When danger approached, the cricket’s chirping would stop. The appearance of a white cricket on the hearth, however, is almost everywhere considered an extremely bad omen, foretelling a death in the family soon.
The chirping of crickets predicts changes in the weather, the arrival of friends, and changes in luck.
The cricket is known as “the poor man’s thermometer,” and is believed by some to be a good indication of the temperature. To know the temperature, count the number of chirps a cricket makes within’ fifteen seconds and add the number thirty-seven. This will give you the temperature in degrees. An alternative measurement calls for counting the number of chirps in 15 seconds and then adding 40 to it.
In East India the superstition of the cricket lies in the story of the peril of the soul which, it is held, can leave the body during sleep. The soul, says this Indian fable, leaves the sleeping person in the form of a cricket emerging from the nose.
Native Americans believed crickets brought good luck as well, and avoided mimicking the chirping out of respect for the insect. At one time, it was said that Cherokee Indians drank tea made of crickets, in order to become good singers like the crickets.
It was generally believed that killing a cricket in your house would bring bad luck. It’s possible that this superstition of misfortune from killing a cricket comes from the idea that such an act is a breach of hospitality, the little insect invariably taking refuge in houses, and singing it’s cheerful “all is well” songs.
The singing of crickets in the folklore of Brazil and elsewhere is sometimes taken to be a sign of impending rain, or of a financial windfall. In Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s chronicles of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, the sudden chirping of a cricket heralded the sighting of land for his crew, just as their water supply had run out.
In Caraguatatuba, Brazil, a black cricket in a room is said to portend illness; a gray one, money; and a green one, hope. In Alagoas state, northeast Brazil, a cricket announces death, thus it is killed if it chirps in a house.
In Barbados, a loud cricket means money is coming in; hence, a cricket must not be killed or evicted if it chirps inside a house. However, another type of cricket that is less noisy forebodes illness or death.
More Cricket Superstitions:
- It was believed that a cricket can tell of oncoming rain, death, and x-lovers.
- It’s very bad luck to kill a cricket, even by accident.
- If you kill a cricket you will tear your drawers (underwear).
- If a cricket is caught in a deep crevice in the rock, or between boards, the bystander who does not release him will suffer from bad luck.
- If you kill a cricket other crickets will come and bite holes in your clothes.
- A cricket in the house brings good luck.
- Finding a cricket in your house tells of money on its way or some other prosperity coming. Make sure to not disturb the cricket.
- It is very bad luck to kill a cricket on a Sunday.
- A cricket is a lucky house spirit that takes it’s luck away when it leaves.
- The chirping of a cricket foretells sorrow.
- If a cricket chirps behind the stove, some one in the family must die. Others consider it an omen of good luck.
Celtic Cricket Lore
The crickets are believed to be enchanted. People do not like to express an exact opinion about them, so they are spoken of with great mystery and awe, and no one would venture to kill them for the whole world.
But they are by no means evil; on the contrary, the presence of the cricket is considered lucky, and their singing keeps away the fairies at night, who are always anxious, in their selfish way, to have the whole hearth left clear for themselves, that they may sit round the last embers of the fire, and drink the cup of milk left for them by the farmer’s wife, in peace and quietness.
The crickets are supposed to be hundreds of years old, and their talk, could we understand it, would no doubt be most interesting and instructive.
Chinese Cricket Lore
In early China, farmers used crickets as a symbol of the growing season. When crickets appeared each year, it was time to plant crops; when they disappeared in the autumn, it was time to harvest.
Crickets also are symbolic of success and family size in China. The insects lay hundreds of eggs before dying. Centuries ago, large families were very important to the Chinese, as they were equated with success. To wish someone to have a family like crickets was to wish them success.
The Chinese believe the crickets make not noise, but beautiful music. Songs have been written around the chirping sounds made by male crickets. The cricket also symbolizes summer as well as courage and a fighting spirit.
Even in the 21st century, the Chinese still revere crickets. They still buy them in little cages so they can take them home and listen to them sing. China’s major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai even have insect markets where crickets can be purchased. Cricket fighting is as popular today in China as it was centuries ago. Crickets perceived to be good fighters can sell for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars.
Crickets As Pets and Fighting Animals
Crickets are kept as pets and are considered good luck in some countries; in China, they are sometimes kept in cages or in hollowed-out gourds specially created in novel shapes. The practice was common in Japan for thousands of years; it peaked in the 19th century, though crickets are still sold at pet shops. It is also common to have them as caged pets in some European countries, particularly in the Iberian Peninsula.
Cricket fighting is a traditional Chinese pastime that dates back to the Tang dynasty (618–907). Originally an indulgence of emperors, cricket fighting later became popular among commoners. The dominance and fighting ability of males does not depend on strength alone; it has been found that they become more aggressive after certain pre-fight experiences such as isolation, or when defending a refuge. Crickets forced to fly for a short while will afterwards fight for two to three times longer than they otherwise would.
Cricket in Slang and Metaphor
By the 19th century “cricket” and “crickets” were in use as euphemisms for using Christ as an interjection. The addition of “Jiminy” (a variation of “Gemini”), sometimes shortened to “Jimmy” created the expressions “Jiminy Cricket!” or “Jimmy Crickets!” as less blasphemous alternatives to exclaiming “Jesus Christ!”
By the end of the 20th century the sound of chirping crickets came to represent quietude in literature, theatre and film. From this sentiment arose expressions equating “crickets” with silence altogether, particularly when a group of assembled people makes no noise. These expressions have grown from the more descriptive, “so quiet that you can hear crickets,” to simply saying , “crickets” as shorthand for “complete silence.”
Below are listed some of the animals denoted by Celtic Shamanism and Druidism along with their spiritual denotation:
Adder, Snake (Nadredd):
The snake has long been associated with wisdom, reincarnation, and cunning. The Poisonous adder of the British Isles has the same reputation. Although there were no snakes in Ireland, the Irish Celts knew about them. The Druids were known in Wales as Nadredd. The Druids also carried an amulet called gloine nathair (Serpent Glass); which was supposed to be formed from the eggs of an adder.
This animal is unyielding in the face of danger and is noted for its tenacity and courage. In the Welsh tale of Pwyll’s courting of Rhiannon, a badger is mentioned as a guide during dreaming. The badger will teach you to fight for your rites and defend your spiritual ideas.
Associated with the underworld or Awwyn, as the bats radar guides it through the night avoiding obstacles and barriers, so it can teach you to do the same.
Although the bear was native to the Isles, it is now extinct there. The word Arth, means bear, which is the root word for the name Arthur. The bear was noted for its strength and stamina. It is said to help give you balance in life and the strength to do what is necessary.
The bee is revered as industrious, single minded when performing a task, and fearless when defending its home.
Blackbird (Druid-dhubh, Lon Duhb):
Legends say that the birds of Rhiannan are three blackbirds, which sit and sing in the World Tree of the Otherworlds. Their singing puts the listener into a sleep or a trance which enables him/her to travel to the Otherworld. It was said to impart mystic secrets.
Important in the arts and myths of the Celtic people, the boar was known for its cunning and ferocious nature. A famous legendary boar was Orc Triath, which the goddess Brigit owned. In the Arthurian tales of the Mabinogion the boar Twrch Trwyth was a terrible foe to Arthur. The White Boar of Marvan sent inspiration to its master to write music and poetry.
A common animal figure in Celtic mythology, the bull symbolizes strength and potency. Certain divination rituals required the sacrifice of a white bull. In the tale of the Tain Bo Cuailgne (Cattle raid of Cooley), two special bulls are coveted by two rulers. The Tar-roo-Ushtey (Water bull) is said to haunt the Isle of Man.
In many cultures the butterfly is thought to be the souls of the dead and keepers of power. There is said to be no negative energies experienced in any Otherworld area when there is the presence of butterflies. It is said that they will help you to view matters with greater clarity.
Cat (Caoit, Cat):
Many of the Celtic legends picture the cat as a ferocious, evil creature, but that may have been because cats at that time were untamed. In Ireland Finn mac Cumhail was said to have fought a clan of “cat-headed” people. The cat is a strong protector, especially when placed in confrontation.
In several Celtic legends the cock chases away ghosts and unwanted spirits by his crowing at dawn. It represents the power of the word to dispel negativity.
Once so important to the Celts it was used as a form of currency or monetary exchange. Ancient Irish lords were known as bo-aire or cow-lord. The cow was sacred to the goddess Brigit. The cow symbolizes contentedness, defending the inner child, and providing for daily needs.
At one time the crane was a common animal in the British Isles. One later Celtic tradition, apparently originated after the arrival of Christianity, is that cranes are people who are paying a penance for some wrong doing. The crane is associated with the Cailleach and Manannan Mac Lir, who made his crane bag from its skin. The crane with its colors of black, white, and red, was a moon bird, sacred to the Triple Goddess. Magick, shamanic travel, learning and keeping secrets, reaching deeper mysteries and truths is said to be taught by the crane.
This animal is to be treated with care. Along with the raven, the crow is a symbol of conflict and death, an ill-omen associated with such Goddess as Macha, Badb, and Morrigan. The Irish word for crow is badb, which is also the name of a Celtic war Goddess. Although the crow was ill-omened, it was also considered to be skillful, cunning, and a bringer of knowledge. It teaches you to learn from the past, but not to hold onto it. It is of most value when trickery is in need.
Deer (Abhach) or Stag (Sailetheach):
In its form of the white doe or white stag, the deer was often a messenger and guide from the Otherworld. Following such an animal led the unsuspecting human into contact with supernatural beings. The antlered headdress of Cernunnos is a symbol of the stags stature. The deer represents keen scent, grace, swiftness, and gentleness. These are the ways of reaching our goals without using force.
Dog (Abach, Mada) or Hound (Cu):
Devoted hounds are often mentioned in Celtic myth, such as Bran and Sceolan which belonged to Finn mac Cumhail. Underworld hounds, such as the Welsh Cwn Annwn belonged to Arawn, are always white with red ears. The Underworld Hounds run down and punish the guilty. Dogs represent tracking skills, the ability to scent a trail, and companionship.
This creature was associated with the sea deities. It deals with dreams and harmony, and recognizing and balancing the rhythms of your body with those of nature.
Dragon (Piastras, payshtha, Horn):
The dragon in Celtic-British mythology has more varieties than the standard legged form; it is sometimes represented as a water serpent or worm-shaped beast. There are many references to serpents or dragons in Celtic myth. On many occasions the Fianna fought huge dragons in lakes. Most cultures consider the dragon a benevolent dweller of caves, lakes, and the inner Earth. It was an ancient symbol of wealth. The dragon symbolizes the power of the Elements, especially that of the Earth, but also of the treasure of the subconscious mind.
A bird noted for wisdom and long life in Celtic stories. The eagle represents swiftness, strength, keen sight, and the knowledge of magick. It helps you to see hidden spiritual truths.
One of many stories in which the eel is mentioned is the story of the swineherds who battled through a variety of shape-shifting forms. In their final forms as eels, the swineherds were swallowed by cows who later gave birth to magickal bulls. Cu Chulainn’s spear Gae-Bolga got its name from the eel. The eel symbolizes adaptability, wisdom, inspiration, and defense.
Fox (Mada Rua):
In Taliesin’s Song of His Origins, the Bard says he assumed the shape of a satirizing fox, a reference to the cunning, slyness, and ability of the fox to make fools out of those who chase it. The ability to watch the motivations and movements of others while remaining unobserved is the skill which we may learn from the fox.
In many cultures the frog is a symbol of magick. It can teach you to leap swiftly from one level of consciousness to another, from this world to the Otherworld. The frog can also help you find the courage to accept new ideas, nurture yourself, and find connections between ideas.
Hare or Rabbit (Coinin):
An animal sacred to the Goddess Andraste in particular. Its movements were sometimes used for divination; Boudicia used a hare this way just before her last battle with the Romans. It is associated with transformation, the receiving of hidden teachings, and intuitive messages.
Celtic oral tradition lists the oldest animal as the Hawk of Achill. As with other birds, the hawk is a messenger between the Otherworld and this world. However, it is of greater skill and strength than other birds. It symbolizes clear sightedness and longevity of the memory. If you hear a hawk cry during a journey, be alert to upcoming situations that need boldness and decisiveness to keep from being thrown off balance.
Horse (Cab-all, Capall):
A popular animal of the Celts. Sacred to the Goddesses Epona and Rhiannon. The horse was considered to be a faithful guide to the Otherworld. It symbolizes stamina, endurance, and faithfulness.
The lizard symbolizes the shadowy plane of manifestation where events are constantly changing shapes and patterns. If you see a lizard on a journey, be alert to all below the surface activities going on around you.
This creature is considered the keeper of deep secrets and hidden knowledge. It can help with divinatory skills and the development of psychic senses. Sometimes it symbolizes the need to look deeper within yourself to see that which is often hidden.
This bird is said to deal with omens and prophecies, as well as the mysteries of life and death.
The mouse is often mentioned in Celtic folklore. In a Welsh story with Manawydan and Pryderi, a mouse is portrayed as the shape shifted wife of the magician Llwyd. The mouse represents secrets, cunning, shyness, and the ability to hide in times of danger.
These animals were considered very magickal by the Celts. Otters were said to appear and help during the voyages of Maelduine, Brendan, and others. The otter is a strong protector who helps with gaining wisdom, finding inner talents, faithfulness, and the ability to recover from any crisis.
These birds were most often associated with the Crone aspects of the Goddess. The word “cailleach” in the Scottish Gaelic means “owl.” The owl is often a guide to and through the Underworld, a creature of keen sight in darkness, and a silent and swift hunter. It can help unmask those who would deceive you or take advantage of you.
A swine was considered to be the magickal, sacred food of the Tuatha De Dannan and an animal of Manannan mac Lir. In the Mabinogion Pwyll received a gift of pigs from the underworld God, Awrawn. Their later theft by Gwydion caused the death of Pwyll’s son Pryderi. The writings of Merlin say that he spoke with a little pig in visions. Symbolic of the spiritual food necessary to the Druids who were said to be swine herders.
Rats are not mentioned in a favorable light in Celtic folklore, but they have their place. Rats are sly, sometimes aggressive, creatures who can track down whatever they seek, defending themselves ferociously.
Take care when dealing with this bird. An important animal of the Celts. In Ireland the raven was associated with the battlefields and such Goddesses as Morrigu or the later Welsh Morrigan, just as the crow. The bird was connected with Bran the Blessed. In Welsh, bran means, “raven.” Although its reputation is dubious, it is an oracular bird. It often represents the upsets and crisis of life that are necessary for new creation.
A very wise, magickal creature in Celtic lore. A salmon of great knowledge is said to swim in the Well of Segais, eating the mystical hazelnuts that fall into the well. When the Irish hero Finn mac Cumhail burned his thumb on a salmon and then put the thumb in his mouth, he gained shamanic knowledge. The salmon teaches how to get in touch with ancestral knowledge and how to put it to practical use.
The Goddess Cerridwen was known as the White Sow. The sow was considered a very powerful creature in the Underworld. As a creature of Cerridwen, it was associated with the Sacred Cauldron and the granting of inspiration; also a creature of death and rebirth.
This creature is always preparing for the future; it is said to have shown the druid how to do this in a practical way. Sometimes its appearance heralds changes, even adversities. Plan ahead so that you may always be prepared.
A mystical bird who finds its way into several Celtic stories. Its feathers were often used in the ritual cloak of the Bards. Swans are connected with music and song. Swans also help with the interpretation of dream symbols, transitions, and spiritual evolution.
The turtle is a slow moving, methodical creature, carrying its protection constantly with it. It is said to teach the druid to be grounded, how to stay in tune with Earth energies, the wisdom of flowing with the cycles of life, and to be gentle with the body’s needs.
This mythical Celtic creature had the body of a white horse, the legs of an antelope, tail of a lion; and a single horn on its head. It is the symbol of supreme magickal power. It teaches that every action is creation, so make every day count.
The wolf is a cunning, intelligent creature, capable of out thinking hunters. It can teach you how to read the signs of nature in everything, how to pass danger invisibly, how to outwit those who would wish you harm, and how to fight when needed.
Wren (Dryw, Dreoilin):
A sacred bird to the Druids specifically, its musical notes were used for divination. As with many other birds, the wren was considered a messenger from the deities.
Source: Father Oak
The Magnificent Snake Totem possesses the following virtues:
Wisdom, healing, intuition, awaking of creative forces, ability to handle change without resistance, new opportunities for change, material vitality, intellect, power over rashness in speech and thought, emotional control, increased sensitivity to the environment, increased powers of smell, transmutation, and increased powers of observation.
When Snakes enter into your world expect swift changes to sweep through your life. These changes signify a death of the old and a birth into untapped power, creativity and wisdom. Snake is a powerful totem to have. Only those with a high degree of spiritual training, be it past or present, will be awarded this totem. It is the guardian of sacred places and the keeper of hidden knowledge.
The snake is a symbol of transformation and healing. Anytime a snake shows up as a totem, you can expect death and rebirth to occur in some area of your life. This rarely reflects an actual death but rather a transition. Look for change in conditions and a movement to new life. Examine what is going on around you:
- Are you needing to make changes but aren’t for some reason?
- Are you trying to force change too quickly?
- Are you striking out at people and shouldn’t?
- Are you not striking and should?
- What is needing to be healed?
- What new opportunities are surfacing that you need to strike out for and take advantage of?
- When you are frightened, how do you bluff?
- Do you exaggerate your fears?
- Do you want to appear bigger or more important than you really are?
- Are you bluffing?
It can also reflect that your own creative forces are awakening. Spiritually, it can stimulate greater perception of how to apply your insight and intuition. Your own vision and intuition will become more accurate. Learning opportunities, formal and informal, will surface frequently. You will be able to swallow and digest whatever you take in.
Snakes have speed and agility, so those who have snakes come into their life will usually find the changes and shifts occur quickly and are soon recognized and defined. When snake comes into your life you can look for a rebirth into new powers of creativity and wisdom.
The snake dwells in so many places, climates and environments, comes in so many colors, shapes and sizes that this creature can be said to be one of the most versatile of all. Indeed snakes represent versatility, transmutation and change, their natural inclination to “shed their skins” leaving behind the old, and adapting to the new, supports this idea.
The snake has been, throughout the ages, controversial in many regards. Some see the snake as a bearer of evil or bad news, but most see the snake as the healer and spiritual icon that it is. Like any creature, human or animal, they possess both noble and questionable qualities. Some people fear them and many more are charmed by them.
Most of us recognize the snake as the symbol of physicians and alchemists, which shows two snakes wrapped around a staff. This again, supports their totem reputation as healer. Snakes are highly respected in India and their lore and symbolism is highly regarded by their culture; Vitana, the mother of snakes, is the symbol of water and the underworld and the Goddess Shiva always wears snakes on her body as jewelry, which represents sexuality. Native Indians also see the snake as a representation of fertility and healing.
Those who are said to posses Snake like qualities have control over their emotions, excellent intuition and the ability to heal quickly. They are slow to anger but have enormous coiled power within them and will strike with control and precision when they must. Some snake type people, like their reptile counterparts, will give their opponent fair warning before striking, others will attack powerfully and without any warning. Snakes rarely, if ever, attack unless provoked, which is an excellent lesson for all of us to learn. Others should be on their guard when in snake territory and should respect the snake’s province.
Snakes awaken spiritual and magical intuition in the person who chooses this totem or is chosen by it. Snakes are associated with unseen creative forces at work. With the snake totem the powers of intuition and observation becomes keener and more precise. As snakes represent change and intuition the combination of these characteristics will allow for great new developments in life and the proper instinct for deciding which changes will be effective and which should not be made. They represent openness to new experiences, and thus, opened horizons.
The Snake in the wild is generally clam and peaceful. They hunt for food when hungry and can go long periods of time without eating again. They bask on warm rocks and will usually not attack unless prompted. To annoy or provoke a snake is a very unwise mistake, which many people make. Because of their calm and somewhat shy nature, many believe that they are too still or quiet to be much harm, however, as many have discovered, while a snake may seem as though it is still and unaware, if pressed they can and will deliver a dangerous blow or bite, sometimes without warning, that can leave permanent damage or even cause death to its victim.
Snakes are very sensitive to their environment, they are silent, calm creatures and seem to be very serene on the outside, but within this animal is coiled power that can deliver lethal blows, with well timed and startling accuracy. The snake is a powerful totem, symbolizing eternity, wisdom, transformation and intuition. Their wisdom is expressed as healer and the snake has been used as a symbol of this for centuries.
More Snake Lore
Snakes are fascinating creatures that deserve respect. Throughout history the snake has had many legends associated with it linking them to creation, fertility and transformation.
In Israel the snake was regarded as the earth mother and played a beneficial role in fertility. In Egypt the cobra was known for its ability to expand the upper neck into a disc shape by spreading its ribs which symbolized immortality. In Christian lore the snake is seen rising from the chalice of St. John wound around a cross sometimes portrayed with a woman’s head to symbolize lust and temptation. In Eastern cultures a snake rising up through the spine represents the kundalini, or life force being awakened.
One of snakes most noticeable characteristics is the regular shedding of its outer skin as it grows. Once the skin is shed, the old inner layer becomes the new outer layer and a new inner layer of skin begins to develop. Crawling out of its old skin is very significant for those with this medicine. It is a metaphor for how we shed old ways and habits as we grow into higher spiritual energy symbolizing the death and rebirth process. It is also associated with astral travel and out of body experiences.
The eyes of a snake are always open protected by immobile transparent scales. Prior to shedding its skin the snakes markings become obscure and the eyes appear opaque or blue. This gives it a trance like appearance as if it is looking right through you. Learning how to see into the hearts of others is part of what it teaches us.
Snake has been a symbol of life and sexuality for thousands of years in many cultures. It is a totem of power, renewal and transmutation. Soundless in motion and invisible at rest snakes are unable to produce their own body heat. They are often seen lying in the hot mid day sun. The suns warmth coupled with the snakes behavior regulates their body temperature. Not relying on the energy of food to generate body heat, they can survive on meager diets for extended periods of time. Those with this totem need very little food to energize themselves. They are usually cold and prefer warmer climates. Their body temperatures are often lower than normal.
Snakes lack eardrums and external ear openings but have small bones in the head that conduct sound. They are able to hear low frequency sounds and sense vibrations that travel through the earth. This links them to the underworld where secrets are stored. The snake symbolizes healing on a cellular level. Because their bodies are lightweight and flexible they have speed and agility.
Snake Beckoning Spells
The snake is the totem animal of prophets, so it’s no accident that the staffs of Asklepios, Hermes, and Moses were embellished with snakes. Over the centuries, magical divining women, from the Minoan snake goddess to Marie Laveau, have danced with serpents. There is even a traditional divination system that interprets the movements of snakes.
Because snakes are the repository of Earth’s wisdom, there are may reasons why one would wish to communicate with them. Snakes are among people’s primary magical teachers and are invoked in spells for childbirth, fertility, healing, protection and financial well-being.
That said, it may be easier for most people, for a variety of reasons, to access that knowledge through visions rather than actual contact.
The scent of lavender allegedly invokes the spiritual presence of serpents and the legendary Serpent Spirits. Here’s how to use it:
Place an image on an altar, either of a snake or of an affiliated deity – the Minoan Serpent Goddess for instance. Surround this with fresh lavender or warm the essential oil in an aroma burner. Call the spirit. Be prepared to explain why you have issued the invitation.
Do this spell before bedtime, to receive a visitation in your dreams.
Alternatively, you can burn yarrow. Yarrow smoke allegedly stimulates visions of shakes. Burn yarrow and allow the smoke to permeate the area. Have your questions or goals ready.
Dreaming Snakes – What does it mean?
Gillian Holloway, Ph.D. identifies being bitten by a snake as meaning different things. She says, “In many dreams a single snake will come to bite you, and you may in fact be bitten after a brief struggle. To your amazement though, you will not die, and may find that the situation is not as bad as you thought.”
According to Holloway you have this kind of dream if you are struggling with some problem, relationship or challenge. “Such a snake-ordeal is an important signal that you are going through a kind of initiation; a psychological and spiritual trial that has the potential to change your life for the better if you deal with it bravely and with a clear heart. You may have to give up something you thought you couldn’t, or take a stand for your principles or faith.”
- Other interpretations:
When one is bitten by a snake in a dream, this often actually points to overcoming a situation that appeared dire. The a snake bit dream may point to learning to overcome a situation and regain your power in life. Snake bites can be viewed as in injection of wisdom, rather than life threatening venom.
The Lotuko-speaking Lango of Africa believe that to dream that a snake bites you is a very bad omen. Immediately on waking you should bite a piece of charcoal and spit it out and then prick yourself with a thorn. This will avert the omen and even if you meet a snake, as you surely will, it will not bite you.
- An historical perspective:
In some cultures snakes are highly regarded and symbolize the ability to transcend into higher levels of consciousness or into areas of knowledge that exist outside perceived time and space. In the pre-Christian days, snakes were considered symbols of fertility, healing, and nurturing (the healing serpent representing a god). Post Adam and Eve, snakes are often considered symbols of temptation and evil, anger, and envy. Snakes emerging out of the ground may represent your unconscious or repressed materials coming to your conscious mind. Freud thought that the snake was a phallic symbol.
- You are not alone:
It is amazing how many people have snake dreams! Most snake dreams seem to be disturbing and they leave the dreamer feeling anxious and afraid. There are no simple interpretations to the snake dreams. Each dreamer must consider their own situation and all of the details of the dream. Sometimes snakes may be phallic symbols and other times they represent negativity in our lives that hampers our progress and constantly threatens us.
In the long run the snake may be a positive symbol; it may represent difficulties that lead us to the center of personality and result in feelings of completeness.
Is That Snake Poisonous?
Snakes that are members of the pit viper family are easy to distinguish:
- Identifying a poisonous snake by its pupils.
Harmless snakes have round pupils (the black part in the center of the eye). Poisonous snakes have egg-shaped or cat-like (elliptical) pupils. In good light, you easily can see the pupil shape from a safe distance because snakes cannot jump, nor can they strike, from more than one-third of their body length.
Poisonous snakes also have a conspicuous sensory area or pit (hence the name “pit viper”) on each side of the head. The pit looks somewhat like a nostril and helps the snake locate warm-bodied food. It is located about midway between and slightly below the eye and nostril. Harmless snakes do not have pits.
- Identifying a poisonous snake by its tail.
The underside scales of a poisonous snake’s tail go all the way across in a single row from the anal plate. The tip of the tail may have two scale rows. Nonpoisonous snakes have two rows of scales from the vent to the end of the tail. This characteristic also can be seen on skins that may have been shed.
- Other features may help you identify a poisonous snake at a distance:
Usually, poisonous snakes have a triangular (wide at the back and attached to a narrow neck) or “spade-shaped” head. Be aware that many other harmless snakes flatten their heads when threatened and may appear poisonous.
Usually, rattlesnakes sound a warning rattle (a buzz or a dry, whirring sound) when approached. However, many nonpoisonous snakes (black racers, corn snakes, rat snakes, milk snakes and pine snakes) and several poisonous snakes (copperhead and cottonmouth) often vibrate their tails when threatened. The sound produced by this vibration often imitates a rattle or hissing sound when the snake is sitting in dry grass or leaves.
Snakes with lengthwise-striped markings are nonpoisonous. Most solid-colored snakes also are nonpoisonous, except the adult western cottonmouth, which has dark crossbands that often are indistinct. If a snake is marked in any other way, use other characteristics for identification.
You easily can recognize young cottonmouths and copperheads by their bright yellow or greenish yellow tails.
Don’t Do This!
While researching snakes, I came across this nifty little tidbit. It’s a list of what not to do when it comes to snakes.
A. Don’t cross a snake’s path unless you slide or shuffle your feet.
B. You’ll have leg aches – other diseases – bad luck.
A. Don’t eat in front of a snake.
B. When you get older, your throat will close.
A. Don’t watch a snake swallow it’s food.
B. Your neck will swell up.
A. Don’t watch a water snake swallow.
B. You’ll lose your voice.
A. Don’t open your mouth when you see a snake.
B. He’ll jump in.
A. Don’t kill snakes or lizards.
B. It will make your heart small – dry up – you will get a crooked back.
A. Don’t burn a snake.
B. You’ll get sores – rash.
A. Don’t kill a snake when it is raining.
B. Lightning will strike your house.
A. Don’t put a snake in the open when dead.
B. The lighting will bring it back to life.
A. Don’t put a dead snake on a rock.
B. You’ll cause a thunderstorm – it will come back to life.
A. Don’t kill a snake with your hand.
B. Your hand will swell up.
A. Don’t go to the bathroom in front of a snake.
B. He will be jealous of your wife and turn her yellow.
A. Don’t pick up things between two fingers.
B. Only snakes do that.
A. Don’t watch snakes having intercourse.
B. You’ll go blind.
A. Don’t step on a snake.
B. Your legs will swell up – get crooked.
A. Don’t draw in the sand with your fingers.
B. Snakes will come to it.
A. Don’t talk about snakes.
B. They will come around.
A. Don’t laugh at a snake.
B. It will bite you.
A. Don’t make faces at a snake.
B. It will bite you some day.
A. Don’t spit at a snake.
B. It will get after you.
A. Don’t watch a snake crawl out of its skin.
B. You’ll get sick or jump out of your skin.
A. Don’t shoot an arrow at a snake.
B. It will go crooked – hit something else – be spoiled.
A. Don’t run over a snake in your car.
B. You’ll have a bad life.
A. Don’t break snake eggs.
B. The snakes will get you.
A. Don’t wear anything made out of snakeskin, especially boots or shoes.
B. You will get crippled.
A. Don’t touch a snake.
B. It has nothing and it will make you have nothing.
A. Don’t call a person a snake.
B. You’ll be bitten by one.
A. Don’t urinate on roads that cross each other.
B. That is the same as a snake trail
More Navajo snake taboos can be found here: Navajo Snake Superstitions.
The concept of the familiar has been a vital component of various cultures throughout man’s history. The Romans, for example, believed that each household was protected by a familiar whose job it was to keep the family from harm, and shamans and medicine men of various tribal traditions have long honored the spirits of animals for their wisdom and assistance in magickal workings.
Yet despite these positive influences, when we think of a familiar the most common image is that of the evil witch with her fearsome-looking black cat. This archetype, straight from the fairytales of our childhood, has its roots in the fear and superstition of the Dark Ages, and it bears no resemblance to the modern-day familiar.
Today’s witches view their familiars in an altogether different light. For the modern witch, a familiar can be any animal with which the individual feels an affinity. While these animals are not considered evil spirits, they’re far from being just a household pet and are treated as partners in the practice of magick.
Because animals are believed to be more sensitive to vibrations from the unseen world, they are useful to the witch as a kind of psychic sensor, indicating the presence of negative energy by their behavior. Familiars also bring added energy to magickal workings because of their close affinity with the spirit world and their attunement with their witch.
The finding of an animal familiar is a very personal thing, and often the witch will send out a psychic call to attract a suitable one. An immediate and overwhelming feeling of kinship between the witch and the animal usually signifies the discovery of the new familiar.
In some cases familiars are not confined to physical bodies. Although they play the same role as animal familiars, spirit familiars are more versatile in that they can move about more freely. The presence of these sprit familiars is often experienced as a voice, vision, or strong feeling of peace. If necessary, they can be associated with inanimate objects, such as a stone or piece of jewelry, to make contacting the spirit an easy task.
Creating A Familiar
This rite it designed specifically for cats, but may be employed with any animal you wish to make your familiar spirit.
Each night during the cycle of the waxing Moon, sit closely with the animal. Arrange it so that you are both facing toward the horizon where the Moon shall rise. Stroke the creature firmly, but with love, until he or she begins to purr or relax. Align your own breathing with the purr, or in the case of a creature other than feline friend, align your breathing with that of the animal.
Continue to do this each night at moonrise. When the Moon is at full, your will shall be as one with that of your familiar. You shall see through its eyes, and it will see through yours. Your thoughts shall be as one, and you will share a single heart.
Source: M. Williams
Think about animals to whom you’ve always been attracted – and remember that “animal” includes birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects.
- Do you collect owls?
- Draw pictures of dragons?
- Live for the sight of horses?
Swear that you would never want to live without a cat? (I believe that Cat is one of the most popular (and certainly one of the most accessible) power animals, closely followed by Dolphin and Wolf.)
- What animal do you feel is most like you?
- If you could be an animal what would you most want to be?
- What would you least want to be?
- Are there animals you dream about regularly?
If none of the above questions produce any inspiration, or if what you come up with doesn’t feel quite right be open to and affirm that your power animal(s) (there may well be more than one) will show themselves to you soon.
- Before you go to sleep each night ask for your power animal to appear.
- Make the same request while in meditation.
- Be aware of the animal images you see in the course of the day.
- Someone sent you a card with a picture of a wolf? There’s a special on the wolves in Yellowstone National Park on TV? This may be worth investigating.
- If you live in an area where wildlife abounds see who the most frequent visitors are.
- Which birds come most often to your feeder?
- Take out books on animals, preferably with pictures, from the library, and see whether any of them stir feelings within you.
You can also choose power animals based on qualities you would like to have in your life. For a listing of animals and their qualities, you can visit these posts: Animal Symbols in Magick and Animal Symbols and Archetypes.
Above all, be patient. You may be just opening up to the idea that animals have something to teach you. Your relationship with one will flower in its time, and you may find as you grow and evolve that your power animals change.
Meditation To Meet Your Power Animal
This guided imagery is about meeting your power animal. Like the ancient ones, the power animals come from deep within the consciousness of our Earth Mother. Power animals are our deepest memories. We all share DNA with all the animals alive on earth. A lion has the same DNA as we do for many systems. We can, in our memories, see out of the lion’s eyes. We are them. They call to us deeply, loudly.
Power animals are easier to contact than ancient ones. Their voices are louder. They are easier to see. They will come and speak to you when you need them. The animals are helpers. Like ancient ones they are guides. They tell you what you need to know. They give you their immense energy. No shaman would ever go into sacred space without their animal helper.
Read the following meditation a number of times, and then take the journey from memory. Alternatively, you could record it and play it back.
Close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, let your abdomen rise and fall. Allow yourself to become really relaxed. Think about a place, real or imagined, where you feel really safe, where you feel deeply connected with the earth. Now put yourself on a path. Feel your feet touch the earth, smell the fresh air, feel the warm breeze on your face. Walk down the path. It goes downhill slightly. The ground is hard and has small stones in the soil. It is solid and secure. Feel the ground and the grass that is on each side of the path. Walk down the path. It crosses a wooden bridge across a rushing stream. The bridge has stout railings. You can hear your feet echo on the bridge like a drumbeat as you walk across. If you need to drop something in the water that you want to get rid, of you can do that now.
The path now goes upwards slightly and comes over a rise. Below you is a large meadow. In the center of the meadow is a grassy circle. Sit in the circle and wait. Now ask for your power animal to come to you.
It might come from a distance or appear from nowhere. Whatever animal appears to you is your animal helper. It is your power animal. Allow the animal come towards you. Watch how it moves, listen to it speak.
You can stay in the meadow as long as you like to and feel connected to the earth. Your power animal is part of the earth. It has tendrils that reach deep into the earth, the sky, and you, and connect it all together. If you feel comfortable, you can invite your animal to come to you, touch you, even come into your body. You can merge with them and see out of their eyes.
When you feel complete, stand up and leave the meadow. The path goes out of the far side and you can walk down the path further. It leads to the edge of an ancient forest of old growth trees. Stand at the edge of the forest by a great ancient tree.
Find a tree that speaks to you and tells you to come to it. Now put your hand on the tree touch its rough back. Feel its warmth, it life. Now imagine that when you put your hand on the tree, you spiral deep into the spiral of your own being. You spiral deep inside yourself, into your heart. And inside your body, your heart opens with wings. A spirit eye opens within you and sees this experience.
Walk back to the meadow, then to the bridge, retrace your steps until you are back to where you started. Bring your spirit animal with you. Bring the connectedness with you. Now move your feet, your hands, your body. Look around. Your life has changed.
A Simple Shapeshifting Exercise
Here is an exercise in trading places (mentally) with a dog, a cat, or other animal. Once you become adept at this exercise, you will find animal communication, animal healing, and contact with power animals and guides much easier to accomplish.
- Setting: Home, Zoo, Wilderness, etc.
Relax your body as completely as you can. Calm your mind, eliminating all thoughts which do not relate to your intent and purpose. Sit so that you are comfortable, and as nearly as possible on the same level with the animal you will be working with. Lie down if you like. The important thing is that you are able to comfortably make eye contact with your animal partner in this exercise. It is also important to satisfy yourself that the animal is likewise comfortable and secure with you.
Take a deep breath. As you slowly exhale, look into the animal’s eyes, and imagine that a part of your awareness is being transmitted through your breath into the animal’s mind. Watch the animal breathe, and imagine that a part of its awareness is being transmitted into your mind.
Continue looking directly into the animal’s eyes until you fell your consciousness merge with the animal’s consciousness.
What to expect:
- You may begin to feel compassion for another species.
- You’ll also probably recognize some of the artificial differences between the human and animal worlds.
- You may be able to feel or sense the actual flow of the animals emotions and mental imagery.
As the boundaries between you and the animal dissolve, you may feel as if you’ve really traded places with a member of another species, as though a part of you has become the animal – this is the height of subjective merging.
Should you accomplish this, then it should be no trouble for you to contract with the animal to serve as your magical partner or “familiar.”
Asking another to become such a partner also places upon you the responsibility of becoming its partner. I would not recommend contracting an animal to become your familiar and then treating the animal as a pet. A pet is something you possess, own. A familiar, is an individual who has entered into a mutually beneficial relationship (partnership) with you, and therefore should be afforded the respect and consideration due a partner.
The Coyote is one of the sacred animals that can open the door to the other world and it acts as a messenger between this world and the next.
- Keynote: Wisdom and Folly
- Cycle of Power: Year-round
The coyote spirit animal makes its presence known when you feel like you have lost your way.
The Coyote shares many of the characteristics of the Fox. It is the trickster God, the miracle-worker, the shape-shifter, and as such plays an important part in Native American belief. Because Coyotes can be heard howling at night they are often associated with the Moon.
The Coyote is an amazingly adaptive animal, and the Native American lore about this animal is rich and plentiful. It is the creator and the jokester. Much magick has been associated with the Coyote, but the magick does not always work. Even in its not working, it serves a purpose. There is always hidden wisdom where the Coyote is concerned.
In many ways the Coyote is to the plains Indians what the raven is to the people of the Northwest ~ creator, teacher, and keeper of magick. Both are playful and love to have fun. Both are skillful, but often look for ways to do things that will not involve the use of their own skill. They often look for short cuts. Both remind us not to become too serious, and both remind us that anything is possible.
Oftentimes in many of the tales, the Coyote makes things more complicated than they need to be. If Coyote has shown up as a totem, you may wish to ask yourself some questions:
- Are you and those around you being too serious?
- Have you forgotten that play time is essential to health?
- Are you complicating what is really simple in some are of your life?
- Is someone playing tricks on you?
The Coyote teaches the balance of wisdom and folly and how they both go hand in hand. The image of the wise fool has been used in the lore of many societies. This is the individual who seems to be a simpleton and yet the words and actions have a much greater wisdom than is initially recognized. Are you not seeing the wisdom of your life and its events? The Coyote will help you.
If Coyote has appeared for you, it’s time to find the humor and laughter in the lessons of life so that you will continue to appreciate it for the exciting and unpredictable adventure that it is! When you learn to laugh at your mistakes and disappointments, there are only life lessons and experiences, and a whole lot of possibilities.
Call on your Coyote Spirit Animal when:
- You need to inject more humor into your life.
Life doesn’t have to be so serious and somber all the time. Laugh at yourself, and don’t let life get you down!
- You want to gain more wisdom and understanding of how the world works.
Life is a big puzzle which you will eventually understand the more that you experience it. Do not be afraid of change because this will give you meaningful lessons.
- You want to fully experience life!
Sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind and live each day as it comes. Be present in the moment because life is too short.
In the tarot deck is The Fool card. This card is good for anyone with a Coyote totem to meditate upon. Its energies are tied to simplicity and trust. It is the card for developing poise in the chaos of life. It stimulates and renews innocence, and it reawakens a childlike wisdom in response to the world. It is the card that reminds us that true teachers of wisdom have a wonderful sense of humor. Through the Coyote, we learn to become again as little children with a reawakening of the intellect, creativity, the artistic mind, and all of the intuitive faculties.
The Spirit Keeper of the South is represented by the Coyote, that wild and wily teacher of the animal kingdom. There is a whole body of Native mythology dealing with the Coyote, the old trickster who is sometimes Creator and sometimes sacred clown. The Coyote is the most sacred and most profane of animals. Like loon and frog, he is a powerful singer whose song can move humans to freedom or to fear. Coyote brings growth to everyone, but to those who love life he gives the gift of trust. It is trust in life that teaches true survival and real endurance.
When he serves as Shawnodese, The Spirit Keeper of the South, the Coyote’s coat is the mottled color of the sun at midday shining on the earth. Sometimes when serving with Shawnodese the Coyote’s coat is so mottled he seems to disappear. It is then he does his most powerful work.
Coyote can be found in many rural settings in North America. Smaller than a wolf, the Coyote has proven adaptable to the onslaught of civilization. Coyote’s most distinguishing attributes are his swiftness, sharp senses, doglike features, and song. On many evenings in the country, the yipping and howling of Coyote pierces the quiet night, reminding all the two-leggeds who can hear that although they now predominate on earth, they are not the only species in existence.
Of all the figures in Navajo life and mythology, Coyote (Maii’) is the most contradictory and delightful animal. Coyote is considered a god, a trickster, and an evil spirit. He cannot be killed because he is powerful and contradictory.The Coyote is important in traditional Navajo life. Coyote always seems to be hiding or lurking just out of view. He is a shadowy figure that can be funny or fearsome.
Although often seen as a pest to be eliminated by many groups, it has managed to extend its range. It is found in every part of the country. It has been able to do so because it has used its keen intelligence and adaptive ability. The Coyote used to be most active hunting at dawn and dusk. Today it is most active at night. This is done to avoid other hunters.
The Coyote will often use cooperative hunting techniques. They have a well organized system of running down smaller prey. The chase occurs in relays. While one Coyote rests, another gives chase. This kind of cooperation hints at the energies that Coyote can bring to your life ~ an ability to stimulate cooperation to accomplish important tasks in the most efficient manner. Sometimes the Coyote has even teamed up with badgers and they have hunted together, reflecting the Coyote’s ability to adapt to the situation.
The howl is one of the Coyote’s most significant qualities. It is generally accepted to be primarily a social gesture. It can express loneliness, warn of danger, or call for assistance. It touches the soul of whoever hears, reminding us of our primal connections.
A Coyote’s den can be located anywhere. They usually prefer the side of a hill near a water source. The Coyote will often return to the same den for each litter, but they rarely use the den year-round. It is a place they work out of. This same kind of pattern is common among those who have a Coyote as a totem. They are most effective when they work from a place, but do not limit themselves strictly to it. It hints of the need for mental stimulation, and those with this totem require a lot of it.
Coyote’s have a very close-knit family unit. They will sometimes mate for life. The father is very conscientious and participates in the care and raising of the young. Both parents train the young in hunting techniques. The male cares for the mate, while she is pregnant, helping to protect and feed her. If something does happen to the mother, then the male takes over the care of the young.
The Coyote is one of the most fascinating animals, and it is not easily locked into any particular category. It is filled with paradox, but at the heart of its energy is the balance of wisdom and folly that makes for a fulfilling life.
Coyote Superstition and Taboos
The Coyote is sometimes held responsible for all the evils of the world, and in the countries where it makes its home it is generally a symbol of bad luck.
How people react to Coyote teaches a lot about them. Those who love life and the earth are inspired by Coyote’s song and his ability to outsmart the civilization that has tried to destroy him. Those who fear all that is natural also fear Coyote and try to destroy him by shooting, poison, or traps. Fearful ones depict Coyote as a thief, one who eats domestic livestock, like chickens. Coyote prefers to eat natural, free-roaming animals like mice or rabbits but he will lunch on an occasional chicken or small domestic animal in areas where civilization has killed all of his natural prey.
Navajos have an omen that can also be considered as a taboo. They say that if Coyote crosses your path, turn back and do not continue your journey. If you keep traveling, something terrible will happen to you. You will be in an accident, hurt, or killed.
Coyote symbolism has a tendency to be rather powerful in what it is trying to tell you, and if the spirit animal does appear to you in your life, then it will often signify a number of rather important changes or differences that are going to occur.
However, there are a number of clear facts surrounding this particular spirit animal that you may like to be aware of just in case it does end up appearing in your life.
- It appears when you feel you have become lost.
There is nothing more disheartening for an individual than believing that they have become lost with the path that they are following in life.
If that sounds like you, then this may be the time where the coyote spirit animal will appear.
It offers you strength and knowledge that you will get through this period and find your direction once again as you have the ability in your own self to be able to achieve this.
- It is intended to inspire some change in you.
The meaning of the coyote inspires change. If you do the same things over and over, you will pretty much get the same results, and that’s truly no way to live your life!
There has to be a time where you realize that doing the same actions will always lead to the exact same outcome, so the coyote spirit animal is reminding you that this does not always have to be the case.
Instead, you can do something different and see the outcome and whether or not you prefer it to be this way.
The challenge for you by your coyote totem is to do things using new methods, options, and solutions. Out with the old, and in with the new!
Trying new things will help you learn new tricks to succeed in life and win at relationships. A whole world of choices and opportunities will open for you if you start letting go of your old fears and insecurities.
- Let go of sentimental things to get freedom.
When the coyote totem appears to you, it urges you to let go of sentimental attachments and focus on what you are going to do with what you have in the present. What it is trying to do here is to get you to focus on the present and what you have surrounding you right now as that is the most important thing of all.
The coyote meaning reminds you that life is always changing, and nothing ever stays the same. Even if you fight change with all that you have, you should learn to let go of the mental anguish and find a way to laugh it off and make it work.
This rather important idea is that the coyote spirit animal is encouraging you to release yourself from the bind of those items that are not allowing you to then grow as an individual.
- It pushes that there are hidden roads that you do not know of.
The coyote symbolism ushers in a time to find hidden paths that will lead you to where you should be. It’s time to reveal the truths behind the masks, and it’s time to see beyond the illusions.
The coyote is able to wander all over the place, and it finds new roads to travel down, so that is one message that is loud and clear with the coyote spirit animal.
However, it also teaches you that there is no need to be afraid to go down that hidden road even though you may not know what is at the other side as you have the ability to deal with whatever is placed in front of you.
- You may be slightly reckless.
Coyote symbolism is also tied into the idea of you being reckless at times simply because you see some kind of opportunity and you then look at going for it.
This will work in your favor at times, but then it can also work against you as well, so you need to try to weigh up your options as much as possible.
It’s time to do things that bring you joy, contentment, and happiness.
There is no doubt that the coyote spirit animal is a bit more of a free spirit than people are perhaps aware of, but it will also show you to focus on the present rather than being stuck in the past or wondering what the future will be like.
Dreaming About Coyote
The coyote is a complex dream symbol. On one hand, the coyote represents wisdom and being aware of the balance of Nature. It means surviving in all circumstances and maintaining a sense of humor. On the other hand, the coyote is a symbol of weakness, deception, hypocrisy, and meddling in things that aren’t your business.
If your dream includes being attacked by a pack of coyotes, or if several coyotes are threatening you, this is a warning that you need to be very careful and watchful in the near future. If you see a friendly coyote in the dream, it indicates that you are or will be deceived by someone close to you. Alternatively, the friendly coyote suggests that you will be able to get past any troubles that are keeping you from evolving psychologically.
The appearance of a coyote in a dream may symbolize a lack of ambition or a weakness of some kind. It may also indicate that you are attacking those around you who are weaker and can’t defend themselves as well.
Coyotes represent “tricky” and unexpected elements in life. For Native Americans, the coyote is a creator, teacher, and a keeper of magic. The coyote is the Trickster God who appears as the Creator in many creation myths. The coyote is considered to be a messenger who has the ability to change his appearance. The coyote generally represents a sacred power.
If you see a coyote in your dream, it is a reminder to keep your sense of humor and not become overly serious in life. The coyote suggest that you need to learn how to balance wisdom with folly, as represented in some cultures by the figure of the “wise fool.” Coyotes in nature are very cooperative with one another, so the dream coyote may be telling you to be more cooperative with others and that you can accomplish great things through cooperation.
Creativity. Nurturing. Productivity. Intimacy. Sheltering.
She is the Bright Mother of us all and knows that life – all life – is a miracle. The Bright Mother is constantly amazed at its perfection-in-imperfection. She rejoices in its being, sorrows for its growing pains, and exults in its successes. This great lady is both Earth Mother and the full, bright Moon, pregnant with the future of all growing things. She feeds us and provides us with air, water, and shelter in an amazing, complex world. She sees to it that we are challenged enough to grow but not so much as to be overwhelmed. If we want more challenges than she provides, we have to give them to ourselves.
The Bright Mother is the guardian of family life, and she creates and holds a nurturing environment for us all She is the garden where vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow. Thus, she sees and holds the mysteries in ordinary processes of daily life – the bees making honey, the cream turning to butter, the birth of the baby and its growth, the blossom turning to fruit, and the wheat ripening. This lady has loving patience for natural processes, however slow.
Her commitment to us is for life – her eternal life, not our ephemeral in-the-flesh lives. She is present in all of our deep and committed relationships, facilitating nurturing, loving, creativity, and giving. She fosters within us the kind of security that gives us the inner stability we need to explore and adventure out in the world and within our own psyches. She reminds us that there are times when we must put others first because their need is so great, but that in doing so, we must not lose sight of our own needs and nurturing.
One on-line group member sees her keeping an eye on things, making sure that we all do what we need to do. To another she says, “You know me by the joy in your heart and the help in your head. You can have it all – all you have to do is ask.” For a third the key word about her is “able – able to carry, care, nurture, and enjoy.”
One last thing. People tend to project their own experiences with mother and mothering on her. Sometimes this helps us to see her with more clarity, but often it creates muddle. Not all mothers are good and wise. The Bright Mother is.
Each time we perform a compassionate act of nurturing, we become more like the Bright Mother, learning unconditional giving.
This is from Brian Froud’s Faery Card Oracle, so technically not a Goddess or actual Faery Spirit. However, the Gods and the Spirit realm speak to us with many different voices, and come to us in many different forms.
When the Bright Mother is present in a reading, she speaks of a time of fertility, creativity, and nurturing of ourselves or of others. She might indicate marriage or the birth of a child or a deepening of any kind of a relationship. She also speaks of giving one’s all to life, not holding back. She is like a cornucopia, pouring forth abundance. This may be a time to put the needs of others first, taking care of yourself later. Patience may be needed for the process being discussed.
Consider what you have. Acknowledge the people and things in your life – good, bad, and indifferent. This consideration is not to judge, approve, or reject, but merely to recognize what is present in your life. These are your present fulfillments, the things you have created for yourself, drawing upon the power of Unity and the Singers (or not, as the case may be). Once you have looked clearly at what is present in your life, you may want to ask yourself what you want to change.
- Also called: Ladybirds, Ladycrows, Goldie Bird
- Symbolism: A ladybug is believed to be an embodiment of Lady Luck, bringing good fortune and prosperity along with it. As the insect leads a vibrant and colorful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest.
- Associations: Abundance, Astral Projection, Balance, Color, Enlightenment, Faith, Forgiving, Joy, Knowledge, Luck, Passive Aggression, Past Lives, Play, Protection, Rebirth, Trust, Wishes Fulfilled
The bright scarlet ladybug is generally thought to be a luck-bringer, probably because it is traditionally associated by its color with fire. It is a sign of good fortune if one lights on a person’s hand or clothing. It must, however, be allowed to fly away of its own accord, and must not be brushed off.
They hold a great deal of folklore and are considered to be good luck in nearly every, if not all, places. Holding this little beetle in the palm of your hand and letting it rest is considered a great kindness. In exchange the Ladybug will grant you a wish. When the beetle flies off , the wish is released to be fulfilled by the blessings of Mother Nature.
Don’t push too hard! Your wish will be fulfilled if you allow it to come to you.
Female Ladybugs typically have 7 spots on their back. Where the number of spots on males can vary. It’s important to count the number of spots as this is the number of gifts or wishes that can come your way from the Ladybug’s energy.
When Ladybugs are present they indicate that a time of luck is at hand. If you have been preparing for a dream come true, you will be able to seize the moment and bring good luck to your path. If you have been ignoring your inner voice and not preparing to bring your dreams to fruition, then you will the lucky opportunities when they arise. Because of this, Ladybugs remind us to ready ourselves and work toward our dreams as if they have already presented themselves.
Of course, killing a Ladybug brings about extreme bad luck. So be cautious when these little helpers are around. If you find one and don’t have time to wait for it to fly off, help it out by placing it in a shrubbery of flowers. Roses are often the best places to find Ladybugs as they eat the aphids that can kill plants and crops. A single Ladybug can eat 50 to 100 aphids in a single day. Because of the control the population of what we would call the bad insects, they remind us to be helpful in our own communities. Helping where we’re needed, even if it’s just in your own backyard with family and friends. Listen, show compassion and kindness and you’ll help express Ladybug energy in your little universe as well.
It is exceedingly unlucky to kill a ladybug. In East Anglia, if one is accidentally killed, it is carefully buried, and the grave is stamped on three times, while the usual “house on fire” rhyme is recited.
What are ladybugs?
The Ladybird is known as Coccinella magnifica. The Coccinellidae are a family of small beetles, ranging from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.0315 to 0.708 inches). They are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, heads and antennae. Such color patterns vary greatly, however; for example, a minority of species, such as Vibidia duodecimguttata, a twelve-spotted species, have whitish spots on a brown background. Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone.
A nice little infographic detailing the various colors and types of ladybugs can be found here: Know Your Ladybirds
Ladybugs are typically born in the spring and live from 9 to 18th months. They congregate when the cooler temperatures come about for hibernation. When females lay their eggs in spring, they can drop up to 800 and of those only about 50% will survive to hatching. Primarily because their eggs are an important food source for other insects.
If a ladybug has flown into your life:
When the Ladybug arrives in your life, they can signal a period of happiness is present. Some lore suggests the time period spans a number of days indicated by the number of spots on the visiting beetle. Other stories suggestion the time period equals the number of months that particular beetle has left in its cycle of life. Of course that’s hard to nail down if you’re to let the beetle fly away with your wishes.
This insect also cautions not to try to hard or go to fast to fulfill our dreams. Let things flow at their natural pace. In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true. Alternatively she could be signalling that you can leave your worries behind and that new happiness is on its way.
The appearance of the Ladybug signals new happiness, often with material gains. A renewed sense of well-being occurs, and higher goals and new heights can be more easily attained over the following months. Worries will begin to dissipate as well.
If it alights on you, make a wish and your wish will be granted. Structure a time each day where you can pray or meditate in silence and solitude. Something you thought was lost will be making its way back into your life. Mother Mary is with you to guide you and console you, no matter what your religious or spiritual orientation. You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others.
The appearance of a Ladybug heralds a time of luck especially if it alights on you. Make a wish and your wish will be granted. Higher goals and new heights are now possible. Structure time in the day for meditation, silence or solitude. You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others.
They can also signify caution is warranted too. Ladybugs secrete a poison from their knees when predators try to eat them. The foul tastes encourages the predator to spit out the ladybug which quickly flies away to safety. If your encounter deals with this type of situation, the Ladybug could be trying to tell you that someone or something is preventing your wish from manifesting. You may need to take a look around you and find out who’s trying undermine your efforts and give out your own strong clear warning for them to back off and stop it.
There is one breed of Ladybug that flaps it’s wings faster than a hummingbird. This beetle reminds us not to push too hard and allow the energy of magick to manifest in its right time and place. Allow your dreams to be fulfilled when you’re for them to come, and not before when you may not be ready for the opportunities.
This species of beetle signals you to to not be scared to live your own truth. Protect your truth and know that it is yours to honor.
Ladybug omens and signs:
- Their spots are generally believed to stand for human prosperity, where darker the color of the spots, the greater is one’s fortune.
- In Sussex, it is said that the person on whom the insect alights will have as many happy months as there are spots.
- For newly-weds, the spots refer to the number of children you are going to have. This also explains its Italian name “commaruccia,” meaning “little midwives” in English, as they bless you with children.
- In Dorset, the same spots fortold the price of wheat, each one representing a shilling on the bushel.
- A ladybug without spots does not signify anything out of the way. The same goes for the different colors of orange, yellow, and pink the insect is found in.
- Seeing a Ladybug in your house signifies the boon of good luck that you will be showered with.
- If a Ladybug lands on you it essentially brings good luck.
- If you make a wish the moment a ladybug sits on your hand, your wish will come true, but you would have to wait the same number of months or years as the number of its spots.
- If a ladybug flies away immediately after sitting on your hand, the following Sunday is going to be sunny and cheerful.
- If it lands on your clothes, you will get new clothes soon.
- When a person kills a ladybug, he will face death the very next day.
- Seeing a dead ladybug, however, does not symbolize anything.
When you see Ladybugs in the fall, it’s a reminder to get ready for Winter. Depending on your region you may find Ladybugs coming into your home to find a nice warm place to hibernate during the cold months. Invite them in and allow them to stay, they’ll bring luck to your home through the season.
In the spring they bring hopes of love and energy of partnerships and unions. They can signal a good time to start a new project or union with your true love. They can even signal that your true love is near and you should be ready for their arrival. Pay a little more attention to how you present yourself and be at your best behavior.When ever or where ever you find a Ladybug in your life, welcome the luck and be watchful for opportunities to arise.
Ladybugs and their colors:
Ladybugs come in a variety of colors which can also provide an insight to the energy they bring. From a Ladybug perspective:
- Red is often a color of passion and often associated with life or matters of the heart.
- Yellow is associated with success and creative inspiration. They bring wisdom and knowledge.
- Orange can be a combination of these two main colors and indicates ambition, pride and self-sufficiency.
- Brown ladybugs can indicate confusion or discouragement. They remind us to always hold hope within ourselves and ground our actions in physical activities.
The deeper the ladybug’s color, the better luck it brings.
Call on the ladybug when:
- You’re being called upon to increase your spiritual or devotional practices.
- You want to release your fears and anxieties and return to feeling trusting and happy.
- You’ve felt disillusioned, and you want to find your faith and joy again.
- You’ve planted your garden and want to keep pests to a minimum or eliminate them altogether.
- You feel the need to live and appreciate the present.
- You want more joy in your life and want to foster a greater sense of family unity.
Many believe when newborn babies possess something related to ladybugs, like a ladybug-printed toy or clothes, it ensures their safe-keeping while auspiciously blessing them.
The ladybug is considered a good luck charm all around the world. Ladybug charms are worn to attract wealth and success and are also sometimes used as a fertility amulet.
If the ladybug is your power animal:
You’re family oriented and traditional in values and morals. You have a very delicate, loving, and inoffensive quality to your being. You have a natural flow of abundance and never worry about where the next meal is coming from—or anything else for that matter. You approach the world with innocence and guilelessness, as you have a variety of ways to protect yourself both physically and spiritually. You delve into mysteries of the universe, inquisitive about nature, and are highly spiritual. You are also open minded, trusting, happy, and bring joy to those around you.
When Ladybug is your personal animal totem you are most likely a very lively and interesting companion. You are constantly delving into the mysteries of the Universe and the unknown. You are also naturally highly spiritual and inquisitive by nature, and certainly not satisfied with mundane explanations or boring companions. For the most part you are open minded and enjoy having your consciousness expanded.
Having a ladybug as your totem animal means you see the world with child-like wonder, and believe in magic, even if just a little. Like the colorful insect, you have high spirits, bringing everything around you to life with your presence. Having an inquisitive nature, you are never satisfied with the mundaneness of daily life and are always in search of something extraordinary, even in the most ordinary things.
Trusting, open-minded, and easy-going, you are generally liked by those around you, children and grown-ups alike. You know that the secret to a happy life is finding joy in all the small things, and learning to be happy with yourself, regardless of your surroundings. You are naturally self-content, and your words can work like magic on people around you when they are worried or scared.
If a ladybug comes into your Dreams;
To dream of a ladybug is a sign that you are likely to experience a run of good luck in the near future. To dream of many ladybugs can point to feeling as though things are somewhat out of control, as though a lot of small things are going wrong. Consider ways in which you can take one step at a time to feel more in control of your life and your work. To see a ladybug in your dream can also symbolizes beauty.
Seeing a ladybug in your dream suggests you are to receive good news from someone you least expect. Generally, it means something bright and auspicious, with specific dreams often being associated with specific meanings:
- A flying ladybug refers to prosperity in both work and love.
- A ladybug falling on the ground means your current projects may be delayed.
- A ladybug slowly crawling on your head may indicate a financial crisis.
- A ladybug in your garden imbibes a moral lesson – the need to express your true emotions in life.
- A giant ladybug may indicate plenty of options for you in your ongoing project.
The dream may also be a metaphor for a lady who is bugging you in your waking life. Perhaps there is an issue that you need to address with this lady. If this insect is unusually big, then it is analogous to the magnitude of the problem. The dream may also be a metaphor for a lady who is bugging you in your waking life. Perhaps there is an issue that you need to address with this lady.
The Religious Significance:
In pre-Christian times, a ladybug symbolized a number of divinities that were slowly assimilated and given new content by Christian faith. One such is the story of two farmers in the Middle Ages. Being distressed over the widespread destruction of their crops by aphids, when they prayed to Virgin Mary to provide them relief, she responded by sending thousands of ladybugs to kill the aphids, thereby saving their crop. Since then the name “ladybug”, referring to “beetle of our lady”, has come into being.
The ladybug is considered the bringer of gifts, bringing oil to Jesus, wine to Mary, and bread to God, the Father. It also brings life and positivity to humans, thus earning it the name ‘golden bird’ or ‘goldie bird’ in some parts of England.
Since it symbolizes the human soul, and lives under the protection of Virgin Mary (‘anima della Madona’ or soul of Our Lady), killing a ladybug is believed to put one in her bad book for nine days.
The Ladybird Rhyme:
While it is considered to be very bad luck to brush a ladybug off, it is permissible to speed it onwards by a gentle puff, and the recitation of the rhyme which runs:
Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone.
A variant of this couplet substitutes “your true love” for the children, and this may perhaps be the older version. The house on fire has puzzled researchers, as people said this to witches when attempting to get rid of them. In Germany it is thought the song was originally a charm to help the sun pass through the dangers on sunset, and that the house on fire symbolized the red evening sky.
It is possibly connected with a story that after prayers for help Our Lady brought Ladybird beetle to destroy a plague of plant-destroying pests. According to other lore, farmers recite the rhyme to save the insects who do them this service before setting fire to stubble fields.
My favorite variation is this one, written early in the 19th century:
Lady-bird, Lady-bird, fly away home,
The field mouse is gone to her nest,
The daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes
And the birds and the bees are at rest
Other rhymes are sometimes recited. One in Northumberland seems to connect the insect with the weather. Children in that country pick it up as soon as they see it and throw it high in the air, saying:
Reed, reed rodger, fly away,
And make the morn a sunny day.
Young girls anxious to know where a future lover dwells, or if they will be married soon, gently blow the ladybug off the hand, or toss it into the air, with the words:
Fly away east, fly away west,
Show me where lives the one I love best.
Bishop, Bishop Barnabee,
Tell me when my wedding be;
If it be tomorrow day,
Take your wings and fly away.
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