“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.”
- Also called: Ladybirds, Ladycrows, Goldie Bird
- Symbolism: A ladybug is believed to be an embodiment of Lady Luck, bringing good fortune and prosperity along with it. As the insect leads a vibrant and colorful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest.
- Associations: Abundance, Astral Projection, Balance, Color, Enlightenment, Faith, Forgiving, Joy, Knowledge, Luck, Passive Aggression, Past Lives, Play, Protection, Rebirth, Trust, Wishes Fulfilled
The bright scarlet ladybug is generally thought to be a luck-bringer, probably because it is traditionally associated by its color with fire. It is a sign of good fortune if one lights on a person’s hand or clothing. It must, however, be allowed to fly away of its own accord, and must not be brushed off.
They hold a great deal of folklore and are considered to be good luck in nearly every, if not all, places. Holding this little beetle in the palm of your hand and letting it rest is considered a great kindness. In exchange the Ladybug will grant you a wish. When the beetle flies off , the wish is released to be fulfilled by the blessings of Mother Nature.
Don’t push too hard! Your wish will be fulfilled if you allow it to come to you.
Female Ladybugs typically have 7 spots on their back. Where the number of spots on males can vary. It’s important to count the number of spots as this is the number of gifts or wishes that can come your way from the Ladybug’s energy.
When Ladybugs are present they indicate that a time of luck is at hand. If you have been preparing for a dream come true, you will be able to seize the moment and bring good luck to your path. If you have been ignoring your inner voice and not preparing to bring your dreams to fruition, then you will the lucky opportunities when they arise. Because of this, Ladybugs remind us to ready ourselves and work toward our dreams as if they have already presented themselves.
Of course, killing a Ladybug brings about extreme bad luck. So be cautious when these little helpers are around. If you find one and don’t have time to wait for it to fly off, help it out by placing it in a shrubbery of flowers. Roses are often the best places to find Ladybugs as they eat the aphids that can kill plants and crops. A single Ladybug can eat 50 to 100 aphids in a single day. Because of the control the population of what we would call the bad insects, they remind us to be helpful in our own communities. Helping where we’re needed, even if it’s just in your own backyard with family and friends. Listen, show compassion and kindness and you’ll help express Ladybug energy in your little universe as well.
It is exceedingly unlucky to kill a ladybug. In East Anglia, if one is accidentally killed, it is carefully buried, and the grave is stamped on three times, while the usual “house on fire” rhyme is recited.
What are ladybugs?
The Ladybird is known as Coccinella magnifica. The Coccinellidae are a family of small beetles, ranging from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.0315 to 0.708 inches). They are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, heads and antennae. Such color patterns vary greatly, however; for example, a minority of species, such as Vibidia duodecimguttata, a twelve-spotted species, have whitish spots on a brown background. Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone.
A nice little infographic detailing the various colors and types of ladybugs can be found here: Know Your Ladybirds
Ladybugs are typically born in the spring and live from 9 to 18th months. They congregate when the cooler temperatures come about for hibernation. When females lay their eggs in spring, they can drop up to 800 and of those only about 50% will survive to hatching. Primarily because their eggs are an important food source for other insects.
If a ladybug has flown into your life:
When the Ladybug arrives in your life, they can signal a period of happiness is present. Some lore suggests the time period spans a number of days indicated by the number of spots on the visiting beetle. Other stories suggestion the time period equals the number of months that particular beetle has left in its cycle of life. Of course that’s hard to nail down if you’re to let the beetle fly away with your wishes.
This insect also cautions not to try to hard or go to fast to fulfill our dreams. Let things flow at their natural pace. In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true. Alternatively she could be signalling that you can leave your worries behind and that new happiness is on its way.
The appearance of the Ladybug signals new happiness, often with material gains. A renewed sense of well-being occurs, and higher goals and new heights can be more easily attained over the following months. Worries will begin to dissipate as well.
If it alights on you, make a wish and your wish will be granted. Structure a time each day where you can pray or meditate in silence and solitude. Something you thought was lost will be making its way back into your life. Mother Mary is with you to guide you and console you, no matter what your religious or spiritual orientation. You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others.
The appearance of a Ladybug heralds a time of luck especially if it alights on you. Make a wish and your wish will be granted. Higher goals and new heights are now possible. Structure time in the day for meditation, silence or solitude. You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others.
They can also signify caution is warranted too. Ladybugs secrete a poison from their knees when predators try to eat them. The foul tastes encourages the predator to spit out the ladybug which quickly flies away to safety. If your encounter deals with this type of situation, the Ladybug could be trying to tell you that someone or something is preventing your wish from manifesting. You may need to take a look around you and find out who’s trying undermine your efforts and give out your own strong clear warning for them to back off and stop it.
There is one breed of Ladybug that flaps it’s wings faster than a hummingbird. This beetle reminds us not to push too hard and allow the energy of magick to manifest in its right time and place. Allow your dreams to be fulfilled when you’re for them to come, and not before when you may not be ready for the opportunities.
This species of beetle signals you to to not be scared to live your own truth. Protect your truth and know that it is yours to honor.
Ladybug omens and signs:
- Their spots are generally believed to stand for human prosperity, where darker the color of the spots, the greater is one’s fortune.
- In Sussex, it is said that the person on whom the insect alights will have as many happy months as there are spots.
- For newly-weds, the spots refer to the number of children you are going to have. This also explains its Italian name “commaruccia,” meaning “little midwives” in English, as they bless you with children.
- In Dorset, the same spots fortold the price of wheat, each one representing a shilling on the bushel.
- A ladybug without spots does not signify anything out of the way. The same goes for the different colors of orange, yellow, and pink the insect is found in.
- Seeing a Ladybug in your house signifies the boon of good luck that you will be showered with.
- If a Ladybug lands on you it essentially brings good luck.
- If you make a wish the moment a ladybug sits on your hand, your wish will come true, but you would have to wait the same number of months or years as the number of its spots.
- If a ladybug flies away immediately after sitting on your hand, the following Sunday is going to be sunny and cheerful.
- If it lands on your clothes, you will get new clothes soon.
- When a person kills a ladybug, he will face death the very next day.
- Seeing a dead ladybug, however, does not symbolize anything.
When you see Ladybugs in the fall, it’s a reminder to get ready for Winter. Depending on your region you may find Ladybugs coming into your home to find a nice warm place to hibernate during the cold months. Invite them in and allow them to stay, they’ll bring luck to your home through the season.
In the spring they bring hopes of love and energy of partnerships and unions. They can signal a good time to start a new project or union with your true love. They can even signal that your true love is near and you should be ready for their arrival. Pay a little more attention to how you present yourself and be at your best behavior.When ever or where ever you find a Ladybug in your life, welcome the luck and be watchful for opportunities to arise.
Ladybugs and their colors:
Ladybugs come in a variety of colors which can also provide an insight to the energy they bring. From a Ladybug perspective:
- Red is often a color of passion and often associated with life or matters of the heart.
- Yellow is associated with success and creative inspiration. They bring wisdom and knowledge.
- Orange can be a combination of these two main colors and indicates ambition, pride and self-sufficiency.
- Brown ladybugs can indicate confusion or discouragement. They remind us to always hold hope within ourselves and ground our actions in physical activities.
The deeper the ladybug’s color, the better luck it brings.
Call on the ladybug when:
- You’re being called upon to increase your spiritual or devotional practices.
- You want to release your fears and anxieties and return to feeling trusting and happy.
- You’ve felt disillusioned, and you want to find your faith and joy again.
- You’ve planted your garden and want to keep pests to a minimum or eliminate them altogether.
- You feel the need to live and appreciate the present.
- You want more joy in your life and want to foster a greater sense of family unity.
Many believe when newborn babies possess something related to ladybugs, like a ladybug-printed toy or clothes, it ensures their safe-keeping while auspiciously blessing them.
The ladybug is considered a good luck charm all around the world. Ladybug charms are worn to attract wealth and success and are also sometimes used as a fertility amulet.
If the ladybug is your power animal:
You’re family oriented and traditional in values and morals. You have a very delicate, loving, and inoffensive quality to your being. You have a natural flow of abundance and never worry about where the next meal is coming from—or anything else for that matter. You approach the world with innocence and guilelessness, as you have a variety of ways to protect yourself both physically and spiritually. You delve into mysteries of the universe, inquisitive about nature, and are highly spiritual. You are also open minded, trusting, happy, and bring joy to those around you.
When Ladybug is your personal animal totem you are most likely a very lively and interesting companion. You are constantly delving into the mysteries of the Universe and the unknown. You are also naturally highly spiritual and inquisitive by nature, and certainly not satisfied with mundane explanations or boring companions. For the most part you are open minded and enjoy having your consciousness expanded.
Having a ladybug as your totem animal means you see the world with child-like wonder, and believe in magic, even if just a little. Like the colorful insect, you have high spirits, bringing everything around you to life with your presence. Having an inquisitive nature, you are never satisfied with the mundaneness of daily life and are always in search of something extraordinary, even in the most ordinary things.
Trusting, open-minded, and easy-going, you are generally liked by those around you, children and grown-ups alike. You know that the secret to a happy life is finding joy in all the small things, and learning to be happy with yourself, regardless of your surroundings. You are naturally self-content, and your words can work like magic on people around you when they are worried or scared.
If a ladybug comes into your Dreams;
To dream of a ladybug is a sign that you are likely to experience a run of good luck in the near future. To dream of many ladybugs can point to feeling as though things are somewhat out of control, as though a lot of small things are going wrong. Consider ways in which you can take one step at a time to feel more in control of your life and your work. To see a ladybug in your dream can also symbolizes beauty.
Seeing a ladybug in your dream suggests you are to receive good news from someone you least expect. Generally, it means something bright and auspicious, with specific dreams often being associated with specific meanings:
- A flying ladybug refers to prosperity in both work and love.
- A ladybug falling on the ground means your current projects may be delayed.
- A ladybug slowly crawling on your head may indicate a financial crisis.
- A ladybug in your garden imbibes a moral lesson – the need to express your true emotions in life.
- A giant ladybug may indicate plenty of options for you in your ongoing project.
The dream may also be a metaphor for a lady who is bugging you in your waking life. Perhaps there is an issue that you need to address with this lady. If this insect is unusually big, then it is analogous to the magnitude of the problem. The dream may also be a metaphor for a lady who is bugging you in your waking life. Perhaps there is an issue that you need to address with this lady.
The Religious Significance:
In pre-Christian times, a ladybug symbolized a number of divinities that were slowly assimilated and given new content by Christian faith. One such is the story of two farmers in the Middle Ages. Being distressed over the widespread destruction of their crops by aphids, when they prayed to Virgin Mary to provide them relief, she responded by sending thousands of ladybugs to kill the aphids, thereby saving their crop. Since then the name “ladybug”, referring to “beetle of our lady”, has come into being.
The ladybug is considered the bringer of gifts, bringing oil to Jesus, wine to Mary, and bread to God, the Father. It also brings life and positivity to humans, thus earning it the name ‘golden bird’ or ‘goldie bird’ in some parts of England.
Since it symbolizes the human soul, and lives under the protection of Virgin Mary (‘anima della Madona’ or soul of Our Lady), killing a ladybug is believed to put one in her bad book for nine days.
The Ladybird Rhyme:
While it is considered to be very bad luck to brush a ladybug off, it is permissible to speed it onwards by a gentle puff, and the recitation of the rhyme which runs:
Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone.
A variant of this couplet substitutes “your true love” for the children, and this may perhaps be the older version. The house on fire has puzzled researchers, as people said this to witches when attempting to get rid of them. In Germany it is thought the song was originally a charm to help the sun pass through the dangers on sunset, and that the house on fire symbolized the red evening sky.
It is possibly connected with a story that after prayers for help Our Lady brought Ladybird beetle to destroy a plague of plant-destroying pests. According to other lore, farmers recite the rhyme to save the insects who do them this service before setting fire to stubble fields.
My favorite variation is this one, written early in the 19th century:
Lady-bird, Lady-bird, fly away home,
The field mouse is gone to her nest,
The daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes
And the birds and the bees are at rest
Other rhymes are sometimes recited. One in Northumberland seems to connect the insect with the weather. Children in that country pick it up as soon as they see it and throw it high in the air, saying:
Reed, reed rodger, fly away,
And make the morn a sunny day.
Young girls anxious to know where a future lover dwells, or if they will be married soon, gently blow the ladybug off the hand, or toss it into the air, with the words:
Fly away east, fly away west,
Show me where lives the one I love best.
Bishop, Bishop Barnabee,
Tell me when my wedding be;
If it be tomorrow day,
Take your wings and fly away.
- Origin: Teutonic
- Emblem: Mushrooms, especially fly agaric or fly amanita
- Plant: The presence of galbanum (freula galbaniflua) allegedly invites the protection of gnomes.
- Iconography: The standard garden gnome depicts an older male with a long beard and peaked red hat. He wears a big belt over leggings, a blue tunic, and boots. Sometimes they wear gardeners’ aprons.
The name “gnome” stems from the Greek word “genomos” which means “earth dweller”. They are said to be one of the elemental spirits defined by Paracelsus, as representative of the Earth Element.
Gnomes are subterranean spirits now most associated with garden statuary. They resemble tiny people. Paracelsus described gnomes as two spans high. (A span is the width of an outstretched human hand,) Unlike dwarves or kobolds, gnomes are not mine or cave spirits but tend to live beneath human gardens. They have a reputation for emerging at night to do a little helpful garden work. Garden gnomes allegedly bring luck.
Gnomes tend to be quiet, private, taciturn spirits, but they respond well to gifts and offerings. They can be persuaded to become loyal allies, guardians, and helpers. Female gnomes may be especially taciturn; they are rarely depicted. However folklore indicates that their are entire gnome communities with male and female gnomes of all ages. Gnomes maintain good relationships with birds, rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, and squirrels.
Originally, gnomes were thought to provide protection, especially of buried treasure and minerals in the ground. Gnomes were regarded as good luck charms by our ancestors and would often be found living in the rafters of barns where they would help watch over livestock. They are still used today.
Garden Gnomes vs “Actual” Gnomes
Modern garden gnomes are based on the legendary “Gnomes” of myth, mysticism, and fairy tales. Gnomes have historically been described as small (from a few inches to a foot or two in height) stout beings who live in Nature – usually underground. European magicians and other mystics considered gnomes the most common and important elemental spirits of the ‘Earth’ element (the other three classical elements being: ‘Water,’ ‘Fire,’ and ‘Air’).
Gnomes were said to wear conical hats and to be able to move through the earth itself as easily as we humans walk upon it, yet if any of these underground dwellers were caught out in the daylight it was said that the rays of the Sun turned them into stone.
Sometimes gnomes were said to have magical powers to protect or punish people – or to reward them with happiness. Gnomes are also said to be guardians of secret underground treasures – especially gold! Even in modern times gnomes are said by some –such as the highly influential mystic Rudolph Steiner – to be involved in the hidden processes of plant life. In fact many farms, including prize-winning wineries, follow principles based on these beliefs.
Garden Gnomes Today
More modern descriptions of gnomes usually emphasize their bright red pointed hats, solid colored clothes, and the long white beard of the typical male. Though sightings of female gnomes are rarely reported, gnome women are generally thought to be beard-free.
The name ‘gnome’ is said to come from the Latin word ‘gnomus’ which is thought to possibly come from the Greek word ‘gnosis’ meaning “knowledge” (i.e. of hidden treasure), but is more likely rooted in the word ‘genomos’ meaning “earth dweller”
A garden gnome adds a bit of whimsy and a connection to the old world, where farmers believed the good luck charm could help their fields yield more produce and protect them from thieves, pests and other problems. They were also thought to help gardeners in the night, which we all could use!
The earliest gnome statuary was produced in Thuringia, Germany, in the early nineteenth century and was based on German folklore. Gnome statues potentially welcome and attract real gnomes, as well as Flower Fairies or other benevolent spirits. The earliest statues were carefully wrought, hand-painted terra-cotta and were exceptionally popular.
By the 1960’s, cheaper plastic and resin versions were mass-produced. The old terra-cotta ones are now extremely valuable and are family heirlooms. Garden gnome statues tend to evoke very visceral responses. Some people adore and collect them. Others loathe them so much that they feel justified destroying or removing other people’s property.
Gnomes are the subject of modern entertainment as well as old folktales. The animated children’s television show The World of David the Gnome was highly unusual in that it depicted both male and female gnomes. The gnomes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series are garden pests, not helpers.
Some Handy Garden Gnome Trivia:
- Gnomes are banned from the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. We think that’s a crying shame, personally.
- There are three categories of mass-produced gnomes: Worker gnomes, who always carry tools like fishing rods, shovels, or hammers; at-ease gnomes who typically carry a pipe and cultural gnomes who have a musical instrument in hand. Rock stars.
- Gnomes have a life expectancy of 400 years.
- Their main enemies? Mean humans who destroy the environment and trolls – obviously.
- Male gnomes always wear red caps.
- The world’s oldest garden gnome, called Lampy, has been living at Lamport Hall in the UK for 125 years and is worth a cool £2 million, or €2.4m!
- In the 1980s, the Gnome Liberation Front stole gnomes and sent the owners photos of them from landmarks around the globe.
- Gnomes are generally vegetarian and eat foods like nuts, mushrooms, peas, beans, potatoes, applesauce, fruit, berries, tubers, spices, vegetables, and preserves for dessert.
- They like to drink mead dew made from fermented honey, fermented raspberries, and spiced gin as a nightcap.
- Gnomes kiss by rubbing noses. They also use nose rubbing as a greeting equivalent to human handshaking.
There are gnomes that live in the forest in the Philippines. You can tell where they live if there’s a hill of dirt that’s a bit higher than everything else. And when you go by them, you’re supposed to be really, really respectful and say:
“Excuse me. I’m just walking by. I don’t mean any harm.”
Even if you’re not doing anything, or no one said anything, or you’re not sure. You’re just supposed to do it. If you don’t, there could be blow back as per the following:
“There was a story on the Philippines news channel, about a kid who had huge swollen lips. You could hardly see his eyes. He was speaking to reporters and he said that he was walking by the hills and his friend told him that you’re supposed to say sorry and he said, “No, I’m not. I don’t care. I don’t believe in that stuff.”
Then the next day he woke up with a tumor on his face. Not so much as a tumor, but as his lips were super swollen. It looked like someone blasted air into his lips. Like super Botox.”
The following story is very interesting in the fact that this is one of the few stories from Mexico where inanimate objects, that are not haunted, come to life. The Mexican culture does not traditionally include creatures such as gnomes but instead, it consist of larger creatures and ghosts. This is because the country did not originally have gnomes until places, such as the United States introduced them to there.
“In Mexico they believe that garden gnomes come alive at night. The proof they have of it is that my grandma used to own gnomes and her neighbors used to own gnomes in Mexico. And the garden gnomes the next day would be found in different places and a lot of stuff was broken and sometimes my mom and her sister would wake up at night, and they would hear things, but when they looked outside, they would never see the gnomes there. So there’s that story that they become alive at night in Mexico.”
“Recently I was talking to one of my cousins who told that story to some friends whose parents were also from Mexico. And this friend told my cousin that he actually believes that story, because one night the garden gnomes were not where they had placed them. They found them inside the house one night in the house and they were rolling in the hallway. Since then, they got rid of the gnomes, or at least they tried to. They threw them away but the next day they were in the same place they had put them before.”
The Secret Lives of Garden Gnomes
From Neopets.com, here’s a story about what Gnomes do at night. I’m pretty sure this is a made up story, but I thought it was fun, and who knows? Maybe it isn’t altogether fictional. You be the judge:
The reason Garden Gnomes come alive at night is because they don’t want anyone to see them moving around. This is pretty practical, considering the fact that if any regular person saw them talking and moving, they’d want to put them in some sort of abnormality museum!
But what do garden gnomes do at night? Well, I was watching out my window at the gnomes in my garden one night, and I saw one, a Bruce gnome, have them all line up in a row as he paced back and forth in front of them, a small twig in his hand like he was the instructor of a military camp.
He was telling each gnome which direction to go in order to pick up free food. You see, garden gnomes thrive like ants. They all go off to find food that people may have dropped accidentally or on purpose, and sometimes they even venture into houses and borrow food with no intention of returning (also known as stealing, but they take such small portions most people never even notice).
After retrieving food they rush back to their home center (which is usually a tunnel in the ground leading into a large, dug out room, since gnomes are not claustrophobic) and report to the leader, in this case the Bruce gnome. He then tallies their lot and tosses the foot morsel into another room in their tunnel, where they store their food. They act sort of like chipmunks, storing food and hunting for it, of course, gnomes are not carnivores though.
And, to their enormous pleasure, when they have collected a lot of food, they sit down at have a feast! Yes, a feast! It’s a feast of little sweets, candy peas, popcorn pieces, and sometimes even whole flower cakes (although they take more than one gnome to carry). But besides eating, what else do gnomes do? Well, I’m glad you asked.
You wouldn’t suspect this, but when they have leisure time, gnomes enjoy swimming. They are very pleased to find a Neogarden where someone owns a pond. They jump right in, clothes and all, and swim and dive around in the cool water for hours at a time. And when they want to dry off, they take a large leaf and wrap themselves up in it, drying off quickly.
Aside from swimming, gnomes also enjoy crafts. They may take green blades of grass and weave adorable little baskets or even blankets. They can also take pieces of bark off of trees and sticks and carve them with sharp stones into little sculptures. Gnomes are very talented in the artistic field, and if you see a stick carved into a Meepit, you know who did it.
Aside from swimming and crafts, another thing gnomes enjoy is sports. They might play their own version of soccer by kicking around a rounded stone, or even play basketball by throwing a rock into a hole. This not only provides exercise, but gives them lots of time together to just have fun.
But when they aren’t playing and having fun, what do they do? Throughout the whole day, they sleep, and at night they either have fun or look for food, so there’s only a little bit of time left for something else-note-taking! This is sort of like their education, which is actually an education of…what else? Neopets!
Note-taking is when gnomes grab their oversized pencils and paper, which they “borrow” from Neopets, then marching through the sleeping pet’s house and going to their bedroom, where they climb up on the bed and observe the neopet’s sleeping habits. They are trying to find out where Neopets came from. Maybe all Neopets evolved from Myncis! 😛
Another sort of educational activity that gnomes practice is counting. It isn’t counting like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, though, no, no no! It’s counting in a different way. The gnomes version of counting may be why your plushies eye was missing when you woke up.
Gnomes will trample in when you are catching some Z’s (it seems all of their educational activities are while Neopets are slumbering) and then they will be assigned a number (by there leader, the Bruce gnome) and then they shall go “counting” which, in other words, is another type of stealing. They have to pick up ten, for example (or however many their number is) trinkets, like plushie eyes, toothpicks, or buttons, and bring them back to their tunnel, storing them in a safe place. What they do with them I do not know, but I suspect they might make furniture or something of the sort using what they found.
One last thing I found out is that gnomes are a fan of bright colors and patterns. In the early morning, I saw them getting ready for bed and they were wearing long pants and long sleeved shirt PJ’s of hot pink, bright purple, lime green, and sunny yellow color. Some had stripes, some had polka dots, and some even had swirlies! Gnomes are very interesting, no?
Now you know what gnomes do when you aren’t looking, what their secret life is all about. If you look out your window at night, you might be able to see them moving and hear them talking in their high pitched voices. But be warned-if they see you watching them, well, I won’t go there…
- Title: The Good Spirit
- Other Names: Agathodemon, Agatho Daimon
- Origin: Egypt
- Preferred offering: Wine
- Manifestations: Consistently serpentine, he may appear as an ordinary snake or a hovering winged serpent.
Agathodaemon is a benevolent spirit of healing, protection, luck, and good fortune who manifests as a snake. Veneration of Agathodaemon traveled from Egypt to Greece and Italy. He is a consistently benevolent spirit. In Egypt, he evolved into a Gnostic guardian angel.
Agathodaemon is a companionable spirit. Among the deities with whom he happily shares altar space are Serapis, Tyche, and Hermes. He may be fond of Sicily’s Saint Agatha who may or may not be an ancient serpent-goddess in disguise.
Agathodaemon survives in modern Egypt, too, albeit undercover. Each of Cairo’s four quarters allegedly possesses its own snake-shaped guardian spirit, its own Agathodaemon.
The Greek version of this deity, is known by Agathos, or Agatho Daemon. Information on this version of the Serpent Spirit can be found here: Agathos.
Source: Encyclopedia of Spirits