- Keynote: Industriousness, Order and Discipline
- Symbolism: Patience, Stamina, Planning, Energy, Communal Living, Storing for the Future, Group Minded, Perseverance, Step by Step, Teamwork, Industrial Creativity, Dynamism.
- Number: 12
The tiny ant is an example of determination and hard work. Despite its size, the ant is a constant reminder that nothing comes easy in life without diligence and willpower.
The skill and undaunted efforts of the ant community reflect much about what this totem can awaken. The ant is the teacher of how to build, how to become the architect of your own life. It can show you how to construct your dreams into a reality. It will show you that the greatest success occurs with persistence.
Because the ant queen normally lives for twelve years, those with ant totems may find that the cycle of industriousness and building of goals may increase over a period of twelve years. The cycle of twelve – days, months, years, will be of significance. For those who are into numerology this would be a beneficial number to study if the ant is your totem.
If the ant has shown up in your life, examine your own industriousness. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you disciplining yourself enough to accomplish the tasks at hand?
- Are you or those around you looking for the quick and easy way?
- Are you neglecting important activities?
- Are you laying a good foundation?
- Are you adding new structures (education, hobbies, jobs, etc.) to your life with each passing year?
- Are you being patient with your efforts?
- Are you being patient with yourself? With others?
- Are you making things treater and more difficult than they need to be?
The ant can teach you how to harness your own power to design and recreate your life and its circumstances from the ground up. Ant can show you how to best work with others for the good of everyone. Ant teaches us that regardless of circumstances, if the effort is true, the rewards will follow ~ in the most beneficial time and manner. Ant is the promise of success through effort.
Summon the ant power animal whenever you feel you are following the wrong path in your career. It will help you understand that you must work diligently and collaborate with your coworkers.
Ant medicine will help you overcome the challenges with patience and courage. Organization and discipline are also required to conquer the obstacles laid on your path. Ant medicine will help you focus on your tasks and understand what matters. Teamwork and unity are also important lessons taught by the ant power animal.
Finding black ants in the kitchen or seeing ants in the house should not worry you. It is a sign that your power animal answered your invocations.
The meaning of ants as power animals is linked to the idea of community and unity. The Ant power animal urges you to keep and consolidate the relationship with your loved ones.
Ant People are learning to trust Natural Law and that reward is just over the horizon. It’s similar to “can’t hurry Love” or “haste makes waste.” Patience is of the utmost importance right now so that you have more time and noticed opportunity to prepare for your ultimate success. Ant People are drawn to completing projects that benefit the community as a whole and they work in complete cooperation with those around them. Ant People typically have a lot of weight riding on their back.
When Ant Medicine grabs your attention it is asking you to cooperate with your tribe (co-workers, family, projects, etc.,) in unity and patience. Ants are resolute and unwearied little creatures. Although they are tiny, they are indeed mighty. They have a strong skeleton on the “outside” of their body (exoskeleton) with specialized muscles that give them their strength. Ants can carry 30 times their weight, which would be equal to a 150 lb. person carrying a bulldozer on their back at 19,500 lbs.
The typical way to stop ant medicine is to literally stomp on it or fumigate it. If an ant is stomped on, it will emit pheromones that will draw more ants to the area. In short, ant medicine is unstoppable, tireless, patient and unified.
Ant’s message is about working non-stop toward your goals and forging ahead for the Good of the whole. Are you working on a project that benefits a larger audience? Have you been ignoring your tribe? Ant medicine cooperates with the tribe in harmony and wisdom toward a common goal, knowing that patience will be rewarded. Have you been cooperating with yourself on your own personal projects?
Ant Myths and Lore
Despite its apparent insignificance, the ant was one of the teachers of the wisest of kings, Solomon, and is a sacred creature in Islam.
Given the habits of the ant, it is no surprise that this tiny creature is primarily a symbol of industry. Because it often carries seeds and grains, in Ancient Greece the ant was sacred to the Goddess of the Harvest, Demeter. However, the industry of the ant seems to be concerned with one thing, the storage of material goods. Therefore, despite all its hard work, the ant is a symbol of materialism to Buddhists.
The teamwork of ants is notorious and many tiny ants together can shift loads far heavier than they are. The ant is a good example of the “sum of the parts being greater than the whole,” and for Hindus this represents the idea of the Godhead.
In Cornwall, England, locally known as Meryons or Muryans, were once thought to be fairies in the last stages of their earthly existence. Legend said that these elfin creatures went through many gradual transformations, always becoming smaller and smaller, until finally, after living for some time as Meryons, they disappeared altogether from this world.
According to one tradition, the Cornish fairies were once Druids who refused to accept Christianity and so were condemned to lose their human status. Another tale says unbaptized children took this form after their death, being safe from Hell because of their innocence, but unable to enter Heaven because they were not christened. In both versions of the legend, they eventually became Muryans, and hence it was considered very unlucky to destroy an ants’ nest.
Old English folks associated the ants with the Underworld and death. Since the ants build complicated structures under the Earth’s surface, it is expected for their spiritual meaning to be linked to death.
Ant was also part of Greek mythology. The Greek word for ant is myrmekes, and it was believed that people Thessaly were descendants of ants. Another Greek myth speaks of Myrmex, an attic girl who was very dear to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. When the goddess invented the plough, Myrmex claimed she made the discovery. For this audacity, the goddess transformed the girl into an ant.
Because ants appear to be highly industrious and motivated, they have long been a symbol of work and industry. Partly this is due to the Greek tales of the ant, such as is found in Aesop’s Fables. Their wisdom and intellect in their endeavors is often acclaimed.
This diligent insect is an essential figure in Native American folklore and mythology. The Hopi people believe that the first world ended in fire. During this calamity, the Ant People saved the Hopi by taking them to underground caves.
People from northern California believed that ants could predict earthquakes, and it was forbidden to disturb their anthills. The Cherokee had an Ant Dance among their tribal traditions. According to a Salish legend, the Ant woman won the daytime from the Creator after defeating the Bear in a dance contest.
In South America these insects were often depicted as warriors due to the South American fire ants’ painful sting. Some of the initiation rituals included young people exposing themselves to ant bites.
Kuba people from Central Africa have a beautiful legend about the creation of the world and the white ants’ appearance. It is believed that Nyonye Ngana, son of the creator god Mbombo, created the white ants but died shortly after. The ants dug after black soil to bury him and thus transformed the Earth’s surface.
The Kabyl and Berber tribes from North Africa tell a story about the ant who taught the first humans how to use grains and plants. The first man and woman lived underground, and the ant showed them how to grow wheat and make bread.
The Maasai people appreciate ants due to their courage and healing powers. The powerful jaws of the driver ants are being used as stitches by the Maasai moran warriors.
According to many psychologists, dreaming of ants is related to the work ethic. Because ants are so industrious, it is considered bad luck to dream of them. This is a sign that you are overly concerned with prosperity and material possessions.
If you dream of ants on your clothing, or coming into your home, you will have petty annoyances. To watch ants is to indulge in activity; usually a lot of small jobs. An anthill in a dream is a sign of avoidance of work. Dreaming about ants crawling all over your body means that somebody is annoying you.
Dreams about ants flying, or an ant bite represent your need to free yourself from the daily routine. A dream about fire ants means that you have some regrets related to past actions or experiences.
When speaking of the dream interpretation, ants’ color is also an essential factor to take into consideration:
- Dreaming of red ants means that you might experience some difficulties or anger in your work relationships.
- The red ant dream meaning reflects some minor insecurities that make you feel uncomfortable.
- White ants in dreams symbolize hidden issues are happening right under your nose.
- Black ant’s dream meaning is related to minor displeasures that you deny or ignore.
Leaving aside the different interpretations, dreams about ants might be a sign that your spirit animal responded to your call. Perhaps you feel unimportant and neglected; therefore, the ant power animal comes to guide you through the obstacles.
It was said at one time that if a piece of tin was put into an ant nest when the moon was new, it would turn into silver, provided that it was inserted at a certain fortunate moment which varied in different parts of the country.
- It is an indication of prosperity if ants build a nest close to your front door.
- It is considered a sign of bad weather when ants are noticeably busier than usual.
- An ant bite represents arguments and quarrels.
Black ants are considered quite auspicious. So if you see black ants roaming around your house then it means that soon there will be a sharp rise in your wealth. One the other hand, red ants are considered to bring bad luck. Red ants in the house means loss of wealth.
Although black ants are considered auspicious and indicate happiness, peace, prosperity, they should not be present in a huge numbers. If they are breeding in your house then take appropriate steps to show them the way out.
- Black ants coming out from a rice box means you will soon get money from somewhere.
- If ants are found in places where you store your gold jewelry, it indicates that you will get gold items.
Red ants are associated with the devil and believed to bring bad omen so if you see them in your house, so immediately remove them. However, if red ants exit from your house with their eggs in their mouth then it is a good sign.
If one found the red ant on their path then crossed or even jumped over them then that was a sign of bad luck and possible danger that day.
If ants are coming from the North direction then it indicates happiness and if they are coming from South then it indicates profits. Ants marching from East means you might hear some negative news and if they are present in the West direction then there are high chances that soon you will go abroad.
In most traditional African traditions, there were many beliefs that were linked to the ant. This was in relation to sowing and harvesting. It was thought that the ant can help predict good and bad weather, this was associated with direction in which the ants were moving. For example, if ants moved from east to west in a group then in was an indication that the harvest was near. On the other hand if they moved from west to east then in was an indication that the rains were approaching and thus people were supposed to prepare their fields for sowing.
- To see an ant cross ones path is generally a positive omen.
- To see ants running away from you denotes that someone will be speaking about you to others.
- If an ant fights with another then this suggests that an enemy will be near you within the next week.
- To see a number of ants in a row on the floor (a trail of ants) and this trail goes under a door or chair, this is a sign that you have not told the truth to someone during a conversation.
- If the ant has been stepped on, it is a sign that one will die within a year.
Some Interesting Ant Facts
There are many types of ants, some of which are solitary, but most of which are part of a larger community. Though drudgery is often associated with them, this is far from true. When by themselves, they display simple and uncomplicated behavior patterns. Within the community, there is a repertory of activities and behaviors.
Ants live everywhere on Earth and thrive in most ecosystems. Their ability to modify habitats, exploit resources, and defend themselves made them successful in different environments.
Fire ants specialize in exploiting disturbed habitat, and they’ve thrived in part because humans have done a lot of disturbing. People tend to hate and fear them but this seems a little unfair, since opportunistic fire ants will devour termites, ticks, weevils, mosquitoes and other major threats plants, property and people.
Ant colonies, known as anthills, are some of the most impressive structures found in nature and are good examples of structured organizations. The worker ants are skilled architects. They build complex homes, galleries, and even vaulted ceilings.
The familiar dirt mound around which smart humans cut a wide swath is actually a solarium that collects heat to warm its residents. The tunnels below it hold anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred thousand of the highly territorial critters. A mature colony can encompass approximately 300 feet of underground foraging tunnels – about 20,000 ant body-lengths. On a human scale, that’s the staggering equivalent of 20 miles or more.
Ants are social. Much of their work centers on community activity. The primary activities are gathering, hunting and growing. Yes, some ants do farm, growing a kind of fungus. Ants also participate in food exchanges within the community, and they will often make slaves of other ants to perform labors.
The queen ant has wings and the ability of flight until fertilized. Once she is fertilized, she pulls off her own wings, sacrificing her own flight for the birth of newborns. The queen usually dies after twelve years.
Odds and Ends
While living in Cornwall, I was told you could eliminate ants from your home by talking to them and asking them to leave. More than twenty years later I remembered this when we moved to a new home and found it infested with ants. I told the ants I didn’t want to poison them, but would have to if they didn’t leave. To my family’s astonishment, the ants left within twenty-four hours.
The common saying, “having ants in ones pants.” This term has been used to describe being impatient or a worrying person. It was an ancient term that was used to describe someone who was jumpy and ready to go.
Brazil has its fair share of urban legends, some of them terrifying. Take the legend of the Loira do Banheiro (the bathroom blonde), for instance. This legend tells the tale of an amazingly beautiful girl with long blonde hair who killed herself (or was killed) in a bathroom.
In some stories, she is a bride ghost who lives inside the last stall of every public bathroom. Her soul is trapped there, and she must spend the rest of eternity scaring the crap out of people who show up to do their business.
There are other blonde woman legends as well, including one that involves a blonde on the street who tricks men into giving her a lift, then tries to murder them.
Popular Versions of the Loira do Banheiro Story:
They say she is the ghost of a dead girl with long blond hair. Her nose and mouth are stuffed with bloody cotton, blood streams from her empty eye sockets and her skin is covered in small cuts. Some say she appears in the mirror and stares at you and others say she asks you to take the cotton out of her nose.
To make her appear, you must go to the last stall in the bathroom and kick the door 3 times, flush the toilet 3 times, turn a tap on and off 3 times and say a curse word out loud 3 times.
According to this legend, she was once a beautiful blonde girl who always skipped classes and hung out in the school bathroom, smoking, drinking alcohol and generally getting up to no good. Then one day, during these escapades, she slipped on the wet bathroom floor and hit her head on a toilet and bled to death.
Not satisfied with her premature and tragic end, her soul would not rest in peace, and since that day, the toilets of schools are haunted by the spirit of the dead blonde.
In another legend, her name was Maria Augusta and she was the daughter of a Brazilian viscount. At the tender age of 14, her parents forced her to marry a man she didn’t love. He was also much older than her and she was very unhappy in the marriage.
She ended up having an affair with another man and she ran away to Europe with her lover. Unfortunately she died of pneumonia and her remains were shipped back to her parents. They say that at the exact moment of her death, a mirror in her parents house shattered. Her parents put her body on display in a glass case and refused to bury her.
There is yet another legend that claims the blonde in the bathroom was once a teacher who fell in love with one of her students. When her husband found out, he flew into a jealous rage and murdered her.
First he stabbed her and sliced her face to ribbons, then he stuffed her head down one of the school toilets until she drowned.
An Eyewitness Account:
It all started when this girl in my class started reading about urban legends on the internet and found the famous legend of the blonde in the bathroom. She told all of us that she was going to do the ritual. She did everything right and she was alone in the bathroom with the door locked. I don’t know what happened while she was alone in there, but when she came out she acted like nothing had happened.
When we asked her if the ritual worked, she was like, “What are you talking about?” She couldn’t remember anything about it. When one of my friends mentioned something about the blonde in the bathroom, the girl suddenly began to bang her head on the table, her eyes turned back in her head and she gave a horrible screech. Her parents had to come and take her home. When she came back to school a few days later, she said, “I don’t know, I do not remember anything!”
Another Eyewitness Account:
When I was little I was always fascinated by the supernatural. One day my friend and I were in school when we heard someone screaming from the second floor. We ran up there and what we saw was incredible.
We saw many people gathered around the door of the bathroom and just as we were going to see what was going on, we saw a student running scared and crying. There was a woman following her with a bloody nose, bloody face, and her skin was all torn and bleeding. Most importantly, she was blonde.
After a while, we saw two nuns coming and the blonde ran into the bathroom. When the nuns opened the door, the bathroom was empty. She disappeared. To this day, I can still remember that face.
The Headless Mule or Mula-Sem-Cabeça, is a mythical character in Brazilian folklore. The Mule’s appearance varies greatly from region to region. Its color is most commonly given as brown, sometimes as black. It has silver (or iron) horseshoes that produce a hideous trotting sound, louder than any horse is capable of producing.
The legend of the mula tells of a girl or woman who was cursed for having relations with a priest. As punishment for her part in a man of God’s sin, she is condemned to transform into a wild mule with fire in place of a head, shooting flames from its nonexistent nostrils and stampeding through villages at night. In the morning, she reverts to her human form, waking up naked and unable to remember a thing.
Transformation usually occurs at a crossroads. Depending on the source the headless mule may have a placeholder head and mane, made of the fire it spews, to which a red-hot iron bridle is tied.
Despite being headless, the Mule still neighs (usually very loud), and sometimes it moans like a crying woman. Is said to produce a piercing, terrifying noise during its rampage, and the clattering of its gold or silver shoes strikes fear into all who hear it. If you get too close, it might kick you into the afterlife.
To successfully hide from the mula, you must ensure specific body parts are concealed from its sight, as it seems to enjoy eating eyes, thumbs, teeth, etc., depending on which version of the legend you recall while in the process of dying of fright.
The transformation can be reversed temporarily by spilling the mule’s blood with the prick of a needle or by tying her to a cross. In the first case, transformation will be prevented while the benefactor is alive and lives in the same parish in which his feat was accomplished. In the second case the woman will remain in human form until the sun dawns, but will transform again the next time.
A more stable removal of the curse can be achieved by removing the bridle, in which case the woman will not shape shift again while the benefactor is alive. Tying the bridle back to the woman’s mouth will return the curse.
Removal of the curse is a great relief for the woman because the curse includes many trials, so the grateful woman will usually repent her sins and marry the benefactor. In any case, when the mule changes back to human form the accursed woman will be completely naked, sweated, and smelling of sulfur.
A person who encounters the mule should not cross its path, or the mule will follow the offender and trample him down. Instead, one should either be brave enough to remove the bridle or spill its blood, or else just lay face down on the ground, covering teeth and nails (as well as anything that shines) and the mule will hopefully fail to notice the stranger’s presence and trot away (because it has poor vision).
Some versions of the legend curse the priest instead of the woman, usually following a twist where the aforementioned relations are violently one-sided in the priest’s favor. Some also say the mula is a girl who lost her virginity outside of marriage. A third, more fantastic version involves a queen who had a bad habit of digging up kids’ graves and eating the corpses… until the king caught her in the act, whereupon she transformed into the mula and charged headlong into the night.
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.