This mysterious creature came to visit me the eve before Thanksgiving. Isn’t it amazing? As I snapped this close-up, she actually turned her head inquisitively, as if sizing me up. It’s large eyes and triangular shaped head then shifted and looked at me from the other direction. I stood motionless for a moment. What an intelligent, thoughtful, surprise visitor! I was baking a pie, the night before Thanksgiving, and she walked, easy as you please, right past my strawberry-apple pie. She seemed to know where she was going. Very determined to say the least.
By the time she reached my fork, I took the close-up picture and then found a helper to put the insect in the back yard—where she’d be less likely to get stepped on or eaten by a playful pet.
After this surprise visit, I started thinking about the significance of seeing a praying mantis in your home, or so close in range. I had had a disturbing dream the night before seeing this creature and felt like both were trying to send me a message. I began googling for information and found more than I needed. The most impressive came from fellow wordpress blogger Claude S. of Anything Box, who provided an amazing description of the praying mantis:
“Excellent hunters with an efficient attack strategy the praying mantis always knows the right moment for attack and for retreat. Time in the linear sense is irrelevant to the mantis. They move according to their inner instincts and remind us to do the same. Moving effortlessly between worlds the mantis is associated with time travel. They help us break out of linear time and move according to our personal bio rhythms.
The praying mantis can remain motionless for an indefinite period. This ability helps them blend with their environment becoming invisible to predators. They hold the secrets of materialization and de-materialization and awaken this ability in people who hold this medicine. Perception through stillness is part of its teaching.”
If the mantis can remain motionless for long periods of time, in order to blend into its environment, what possessed this mantis to walk right past me as I’m putting together a pie and step up onto my fork like that? Well, apparently, legend has it that if a praying mantis comes to you in your house, it is a good sign of things to come. But others say it could be an omen or the visit is trying to force you to re-evaluate issues in your life.
Claude S. interpreted his mantis visit as a wake-up call:
“Patient, perceptive and focused this little totem holds a powerful message. When it appears in your life it is asking you to direct your energy, your thoughts or your actions in a different way. Asking the following questions can give you the insight necessary to motivate appropriate changes. Have I lost patience with a particular situation? Have I been too patient, and if so, has this had a detrimental affect on me? Is my perception correct regarding a situation? Have I become narrow minded? Am I focused on my objective?”
Very intriguing and appropriate questions for me at this point in my life. Perhaps in yours, too?
Apparently, many think the praying mantis symbolizes magical qualities. One google search showed me this list (which I believe originated from In Signs, Symbols & Omens: An Illustrated Guide to Magical & Spiritual Symbolism, written by Raymond Buckland (2003: 231))
Mantis’s Wisdom Includes:
* Ability to manipulate time
* Power to move between moments
* Understanding of the circular nature of time
* Power of stillness
* Female warrior energy
* Attack strategy
I’d like to think that seeing this praying mantis so close-up was a good sign of things to come. Perhaps it was a wake-up call—or a call to look more closely at situations or issues in my life. I don’t know about its particular message, but I like the qualities that a mantis represents: the power of stillness and female warrior energy, especially.
I could use a little female warrior energy! Sometimes it’s still hard for me to ask for what I need, or to quickly recognize when a situation isn’t healthy. I’m growing and learning each day to shed my co-dependent ways. This holiday season I’m striving to find more peace and stillness and less stressful situations for my boys. Incorporating some praying mantis tactics such as staying still, observing situations calmly and listening to my inner instincts, can only be good additions to my life. How about yours?