The Spiritual Symbolism of Bugs
That time of year is upon us again, the time when bugs and creepy crawlies of all sorts come out to play. For many, this is a terrible time. Ants and roaches invade our homes. Mosquitos conquer our flesh. The heat and the rain bring out pests of all sorts, and they can be fiercely irritating. But there are other bugs, harmless, beautiful bugs, that we should welcome for the spiritual guidance they bring.
People have used animal totems for centuries whenever they are in need of strength. They turn to the wolf for loyalty, to the bear for bravery, to the buffalo for strength. They channel the fox for cunning and the lion for power. They draw wisdom from the owl and patience from the turtle. Unlikely as it may seem, people look to bugs, too.
Insects are tenacious, able to withstand natural disaster, hordes of prey, and the swatting hands of humans. They teach us patience and balance, helping us to adapt to whatever life throws at us. Spiders are resourceful and creative, and crickets are joyful and expressive. Dragonflies symbolize harmony and peace, similar to the calm and balance the preying mantis brings. Don't even get me started on bees. So many people run from them when they should be running to them. Bees are wise, nurturing and organized. Their sense of community is incredible, and they communicate on levels we don't fully understand. They are powerful and loving and beautiful. (Can you tell I like bees?)
I wasn't always such a fan of insects, but the more I learned to understand them, the more I craved their attention. Recently, that attention has come in the form of moths.
The moth in the photo above is one of dozens that I've found flitting around my bathroom in the past couple months. Practically every time I go in there I see another moth. I cup them gently in my hands and return to the outside, but they keep finding their way back in. Moths are a great example of the balance that insects symbolize. They are vulnerable yet determined, alluring but adept at concealment. As nocturnal animals, they are symbols of intuition psychic awareness, carrying the secret knowledge of their mother the Moon. I've found my bathroom moths incredibly comforting and encouraging as I continue my journey to deepen my own spirituality and to share that knowledge with you all.
My moth friends aren't the only ones finding their way into my home either. They other night I noticed a cicada sitting on my dad's shoulder after we had come in from the porch. My dad freaked out and whipped his shirt off over his head so fast his glasses clattered to the floor, but before that happened I got a chance to gaze at the cicada and connect with its beautiful message. Cicadas choose when to be born. Even scientists don't know the exact timing of a cicada's lifecycle.
I, too, am choosing to be reborn, in a sense. I'm on a path I never saw for myself, and yet now that I'm walking that path it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Cicadas represent timing as well, and I believe the time is finally right for me to do the work that took me a little while to embrace.
I hope you all can find a new appreciation for bugs and their beauty. They have so much to teach us, and they can comfort us as well if we learn to stop running from them. I probably won't be embracing roaches any time soon, but I welcome the moths who are, for whatever reason, highly attracted to my bathroom. I invite you to do the same.