Sunday, September 10, 2006

Praying Mantis

This week-end, at a renaissance faire (pictures from that will come another day) I was sitting on a dusty slope covered with dry bunch grass to wait for the jousting to begin. Someone said-- a praying mantis is on your back. I have to admit, I was pleased. Really? It chose me? Wow. Let it stay there because with all these people around, it might be stepped on if it is brushed off. I handed over my camera and asked for a photo. It was in no hurry to leave.

Then they said-- it's crawling up your back and going to get in your hair. At that point I became concerned as if it got tangled in my hair, that could have caused it to lose a feeler or leg getting it out; so I asked the man to my right if he could safely remove it and put it on a small tree almost in front of us. He did so; and as it climbed up the tree, I took another picture, then lost track of it.

I believe the events in our life are like our dreams. We can dismiss them, see them as insignificant, or when something a bit unusual happens, become interested in learning more about the potential symbol.

Biologically, I knew they are a gardener's friend. Although they are named praying mantis for their front leg position, it is actually a deadly weapon. Their benefit to the gardener is their hunting ability. Aphids beware.

I had no idea they can also kill hummingbirds. When I did some research on them, I saw a photograph online, for which I am sure anyone interested can find, that showed a praying mantis with a hummingbird it had killed, and then devoured. It was a small hummingbird, but still who would have guessed that more than small insects should be wary around them.

Generally they are green when I have seen them, but they take on the color of their background which is why on this dusty slope, this one (not sure how you tell male from female but guessing it might be female) was the color in these photos. They live about a year. I did know that the female will sometimes kill the male after mating by knocking his head off before she devours him. Not always. Sometimes he's quick enough to get out of her way.

Researching the spiritual symbols, I learned in ancient Egypt it would have been greatly honored. The Greeks attributed to it supernatural powers. To some it has been seen as the guide into the underworld. It had been inspirational in creating some of the Eastern exercises to increase chi (energy). In Africa, a praying mantis is thought to bring good luck to whomever it lands on and even restore life to the dead. The Bushmen of Africa believe the praying mantis is a divine messenger and whenever one is seen, diviners try to determine the current message.

What message did I take for myself from its choosing my back over all the others around? I felt pleased that maybe it knew I would protect it-- which I did as best I could. If it had a spiritual message for me, I will be looking.

Fascinating insects. Also if anyone knows if they will eat lady bugs, who are also garden predators, please comment with the answer.

50 comments:

Ingineer66 said...

Maybe it was looking for aphids on your back. Sorry I couldnt resist. It probably knew that you were its best chance for survival. I used to be non-chalant about having a praying mantis crawl on me until one bit me on the soft underside of my arm. It hurt really bad. Now I calmly try to put them somewhere that they can eat bad bugs instead of me.

Rain said...

hmmmm do you suppose that doubles your luck if one bites you? *s* I have thought the one on my back might've been looking for a place to lay her eggs... glad it wasn't my hair...

Dick said...

I didn't know any of that about them. Do they co-exist okay with lady bugs? Lady bugs are a popular aphid eating natural garden aide sold many places up here.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Sometimes a praying mantis is just a praying mantis, but then sometimes these kinds of "things" can portent the future. The only thing I knew was that they often do kill their partner after sex--which is the ultimate blow for a horny male anything. You gave me lots of information I didn't know--and I wish I had been at the Renaissance Fair, too. Haven't been to one in years!

Winston said...

Most I have seen were bright green, to match the grass or foliage around them. Occasionally a darker brown one, but never a straw colored one.

Hmmm... another species in which the female uses the male for her purposes and then kills him. And devours him... At least we have laws against cannibalism...

Alan G said...

One of my favorite insects. I once had a rather hilarious experience with the critter when I was a young boy....

One fall I found a Praying Mantis "egg case" in my mom's flower bed attached to the twig of a plant. I broke off the twig with the attached egg case and took it in and put it in my nightstand drawer. Of course I forgot about it and then one afternoon the following Spring when I returned from school when I walked into my room and sat down on my bed I noticed gazillions of little tiny Praying Mantis' all over the place.

Sometimes the trials a young boy has to endure. :)

Sandy said...

A topic that I had no clue about what so ever! I would have been slightly worried about it biting as Ingineer mentioned happening to him, otherwise would have thought it very cool to have one on me although wouldn't want it on me for long.

robin andrea said...

I love the photo of the mantis on the tree with the faire unimportantly in the background. It's got a praying mantis view of the world. Great story and info.

Parapluie said...

Ten years ago I invited a gordian artist to our art group for the purpose of demonstrating the essence of her craft - carving and imbellishing gords. Before the demo during her short tour of our garden a praying mantis did her the favor of landing on her hand. We carefully drove to the meeting with mantis and all. In addition to her demo I was going to demonstrate that the tool of airbrush was very out of sink with nature - creating unhealthy fumes and tense vibes. The whole duration of our demonstrations my calm soothing friend worked her gord into an object of beauty while a happy praying mantis moved about her from her short hair to her shoulders back and forth. The three of us really got the point across in a most entertaining way.

Joy Des Jardins said...

You are very cool Rain. I think I might have freaked-out...maybe. Glad she was easily removed from your back. I had the same scary vision of having her get all tangled up in your long hair...YIKES.

Mary Lou said...

THey are very rare up here, at least in my 1/8 of an acre piece of the world. I think they are really cool! and I would have let it stay on my back too, but youre right, not in my hair.

goldenlucyd said...

Loved Alan's story about the PM invasion in his bedroom. Something very surreal about the thought... I hope it brought him lots of good luck!

I intend the same for you too, Rain. Your karma must be wonderful!

nili said...

thank you for the incite on this interesting bug! I loved your story and I have one of my own to share with you. I have been followed around by numerous prying mantises for weeks now and today I saw two in my yard and even watched one devour a small grass hopper. I just had to look them up online and find out more about them. I was just about to stop when I came across your blog. I believe I have come in contact with aprox. 7-10 in the past month. It all started about three weeks ago; I was riding in a car and when I happened to look down I realized there was a small praying mantis on my knee looking up at me in it's famous prying position. I had no idea how long it had been there, but when I tried to move it off, it wouldn't go and it kept climbing back on me. I am not a religious person, but I am spiritual in nature and I feel as though the world is trying to tell me something.
I wonder what it all means,I hope all these citing will lead to great Karma or luck!

Jonathan said...

this is random haha... i just looked up the symbolism myself because I have had to good fortune of being followed almost daily by mantis' living around my home, sometimes sneaking in and crawling on me as i read or relax. I had to plop onto my windshield on my way to work this morning, and this has been going on for a couple months. No one else living in my home has had any glimpse of them unless I am around. Amazing buggers...

Melissa said...

Hi thanks for sharing this! Today I saw a praying mantis for the second time in one week. I decided to look into the symbolism of it and I found some fun stuff. Along with what you wrote the mantis is a symbol of inner quiet. It's a symbol of meditation and contemplation. An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent.

nicole said...

I know I am almost 3 years late to this conversation but I still wanted to add my own comments as I found it to be pretty interesting. Well this afternoon I was sitting outside on the back porch reading a book when I felt something crawling on my arm. I realize it is a baby praying mantis. So cute! So I let it walk on me a little while longer and then let it crawl on the chair next to me. I go back inside the house and come out later looking for the praying mantis. I actually found two of them! I don't know why I kept looking but eventually I counted a total of 21 baby praying mantis on the porch! I believe everything happens for a reason so I had to go look up the symbolism of these creatures. It speaks of patience, meditation etc. I definitely got that message!

Rain said...

What a wonderful experience, Nicole. It's never too late to add to this conversation about the praying mantis that are such neat beings with so much to teach us

Anonymous said...

as of this morning .. i am infrOnt of the mirror having some retachment in ma face and then i was shocked when there's an insect land in my belly without knowing that its a praying mantis cuz i thought it was a cockcroach so what i did i throw it away and i was blessed that insect didn't devoured me .. why? or hOw can praying mantis gOt himseLf here inside my bedroom .. i was just thinking if these insect will symbolize a gOod Luck charm . i hOpe so !

Anonymous said...

as of this morning .. i am infrOnt of the mirror having some retachment in ma face and then i was shocked when there's an insect land in my belly without knowing that its a praying mantis cuz i thought it was a cockcroach so what i did i throw it away and i was blessed that insect didn't devoured me .. why? or hOw can praying mantis gOt himseLf here inside my bedroom .. i was just thinking if these insect will symbolize a gOod Luck charm . i hOpe so !

Anonymous said...

I found a praying mantis hanging out on my window. It was actually the first thing I noticed when I got up, and instantly made me wonder about the symbolism, as I've always been a spiritual person. I've been going through alot of inner turmoil, and reading about the symbolism of this beautiful creature made me stop and think...And smile.

Anonymous said...

same exact thing happened to me last week and i was thinking the symbolism because someone had mentioned something about it from china. Sure enough this was the second link on the search. haha
thanks
_eduardo

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I saw it while I was meditating in the morning and was wondering what it was until I saw it in the afternoon in my backyard. A lovely bright green Mantis. The message was pretty obvious. It's all about perception of course:) Thank you for the information about this interesting creature. Alyssa

Anonymous said...

I've had in the past the praying mantis visit me too. I had the same color as you had today in my hair after tending to my geranium -- I suppose it jumped onto me. I said what's this tossed it off, and then looked and saw it was a praying mantis. I saw it wasn't hurt, lured it onto a tray and got it out into my backyard away from my cats who would have liked to hurt it. I've visited it quite a few times today while it's on my petunias in a planter container. I thought it so cool. They are sometimes raised as pets. -- Debbie

Anonymous said...

I just had my own encounter with one...it flew around in my backyard, landing nearby every so often and each time it was looking right at me. I watched it for a bit, and it seemed completely unafraid. Eventually it flew towards me and landed on my neck, and being of a peaceful mind I let it stay there. It crawled up my face and rested there for a moment, then flew away.

By the way, ladybugs are colored brightly to warn off predators. They taste horrible, and secrete a noxious substance from glands at the base of their legs. I highly doubt a praying mantis would eat one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Ophee said...

My totem (animal) is owl and that came up a few years ago.. but all things in nature have signs/lessons for us. I stumbled on this googling mantis symbolism when we had one hang out with us for 3 days now (he crawls to a spot to 'sleep' and then returns!) I truly believe when we become open to the possibility of the vast world around us to give us guidance and or reinforcement we are on the right path things show up soon after. Our daughter was in the hospital and we were waiting for test results and I was really drained emotionally and physically. I asked my guides to give me an sign she'd be ok. I noticed a dragonfly sitting on our car attenae (sic?) for what seemed like a long time at a red light. It stuck with us (as I excitedly drove slowly and probably pissing off the other cars, ha!) for a bit then flew away. Later researched it and it is a sign of strength,etc.. BUT. What is paramount here is how do you feel when you see these 'signs' or messengers in nature? That tells you so much. I felt instantly at ease and did not worry as much until we got positive feedback from the doctors two days later. I just knew it was going to be ok. Living aware and open to these things, with an appreciation of the mystical and not rationalizing things as merely mundane is such a rewarding world view, isn't it?
Fabulous blog and post.. glad I stumbled on here. You seem like a good soul.

Anonymous said...

Cool site, I had not noticed rainydaythought.blogspot.com earlier during my searches!
Continue the excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at rainydaythought.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
James

Rain said...

Yes, I checked and that link was to another blog which has since stopped existence. I do know the person who had the blog and might be able to ask them if they have that information elsewhere. If they do, I will post a link to it and it's how you will know. I am afraid though that like so much in the cyber world that it may have just gone into the ether.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at rainydaythought.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
Oliver

Rain said...

Yes, Oliver. The link no longer works unfortunately and no way to fix it as it wasn't mine.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at rainydaythought.blogspot.com.

Can I use part of the information from this post right above if I provide a backlink back to this website?

Thanks,
William

Rain said...

Anything in this blog is fine to use the words with a backlink and photos with permission which in this case, I grant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rain
The Mantis is much more than you could ever imagine. It is mankinds spirit ancestor.It is likely the intelligence from Sirius the dog star, or the colour yellow. It came to earth in a pod, arc, or bee, and landed on its sister the blue crane. It married the echidna to the green arc in the rainbow who then bore the children cyan (flesh and blood mankind) as well as the Mongoose. Both children eventuall slay the snake or dragon to release the Mantis from its belly (after the Echidna had returned with fire or the All Devourer who ate the Mantis as Father). The Mantis as son is renewed by its journey to hell and back. These are the combined legends of the Aboriginals and Busmen. The Mantis is resurected man. And wanted to sever your head as the Goddess Kali wants to do to all mankind... to release their spirits trapped in their heads.

Kahlede

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi. This is really strange. About a month ago I was and am still at a time when I need to be mindful and know inner peace and wisdom. I am looking for a deep meaning to things that are happening in my own life. One afternoon, in the light of the setting sun, I saw a brownish twig on the carpet of my lounge. I bent to pick it up. It was a praying Mantis. Surprised, I quickly put it out of the nearby window into my garden. Two days later there was another, virtually in the same spot but it was smaller and light green. I also put this out of the window carefully. I then saw what I thought at first to be a leaf. On examination, it is the outer skin of a small Praying Mantis, perfect.......4 long legs, 2 front legs, head and body, beautiful, fragile and amazing. I kept this carefully in a safe place but feel somehow that this means something particularly, so have decided to share this with you. I found these comments helpful.

gms100 said...

I was on a pilgrimage with my family to the town of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzogovania, where the Virgin Mary is said to appear. We climbed to the top of the holy mountain there where Mary is said to appear. When we arrived at the top, my two children immediately ran to a spot, the highest point of the mountain, where a praying mantis was sitting.

It's quite because no one has ever reported on the net, seeing a praying mantis up there.

The town has drawn millions of visitors over the years so I found it quite special. I took a picture of my kids holding it and made it our Christmas card for that year.

Rosanne Melnick said...

A few years ago my grandson and I were at SAMS STORE 4 miles away. I was in the very back of the store, and a Praying Mantis jumped into my cart then on to my arm. I guided it back to the packages on the shelf. I then got out of the area. It frightened me at first. It was huge, not one of the small ones I have seen. Then when I got home to my condo, which is upstairs, we looked up, and a huge Preying Mantis was sitting in the middle of my front door. We were shocked. I have often wondered what all this meant? There were 10 Condos for it to be on but it was on my door.

Hanneshair said...

I just was fortunate enough to see 8 to 10 little praying mantis's just walking over a shelf that I fixed hear in south Africa we see a lot of them clearly or I do have 4videos of the little buggies love h

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the outstanding posts

Alanna said...

Your post really grabbed my attention and I felt at peace while reading it. I recently took up meditation but daily life has cut into the amount of time I could devote to practicing. This evening I was lounging on my bed watching a movie and out of nowhere I felt something bounce off my head. I freaked out and jumped up. Lo and behold there was a bright green praying mantis just chilling on the edge of my laptop. My mom had come down to investigate the noise and she handed me a sieve and a piece of cardboard, which I used to cart the little bugger outside. I tried to shake him off into a tree but I think he fell into the grass (I hope he's ok!) But looking at all of the comments and information about praying mantis symbolism, I believe that the flying attack is nature's way of telling me to get the eff back to practicing meditation. :)

Giggles said...

I just say a praying mantis on my balcony ,my cat was very excited to have it,but he couldnt reach it,..I made sure that the mantis stayed up high so "joey" my cat didnt eat him.When I see one ,an its about 1/2 times every year,I always look at them,an let them know im protecting them,And to RUN, I will talk to it,an motion my hand for it to move along,It just looks & listens,an looks down at my cat an then me,its so sweet he understood me,because he moved on slowly.but stayed high.I went back out side to make sure it was ok,an he had disapeared.my cat was still looking for it,I believe it was meant for me to see it,I always feel like they read my thoughts& feel my soul,i enjoy their presence...I sure believe they want to bring you joy,luck,or just a warm felt smile,....TONIGHT I HOPE ITS LUCK.IVE GOT A 50 million dollar winning tickett......lol.thnk you mr& mantis...plse to all respect all creatures,they need us,But we need them more,....thnk you mrs giggles&joey

Anonymous said...

I was at work and a coworker found a mantis in our cooler. They were gonna kill her, but it's illegal to do so in my state so I scooped her up and took her home with me. She was beautiful I was happy to share her with my visually impaired fiancé he was able to see her up close. After admiring her we took her to a tree in our back yard where she took her time leaving us and after 1 more photo op she climed into the leaves. Later that day I got a call back from a job, a call from another company to set up an interview and this is kind of personal, but I have to share my fiancé and I want a baby, but I have not had a period in over a year and today I started to spot so hopefully we will be able to conceive. I truley believe she has brought us some luck and I will never forget that amazing praying mantis that came into my work place.

Anonymous said...

A very large praying mantis landed on my moms car as i was walking my dogs tonight. My border collie is very protective of me and knows my fear of insects and spiders- especially since were staying with my family in the country temporarily and there are tons of bugs. She kills any insect or spider that comes near me. Well she decided she wanted to try to "protect" me from this one too, and i got a good look at it before she scared it off. I always liked praying mantises. Theyre really beautiful. Im afraid of them touching me, but theyre fascinating to look at. Since this insect kills all the other insects, i am plenty happy to have it here! Luckily it didnt fly too far off.

Anonymous said...

Hi I was driving today and a praying mantis landed on my windshield. I was t sure what it was so I googled it just now. It scared me at first. Then I thought , yesterday I asked for a sign that my dad who died several years ago was ok and with me. Do u think this could be a sign

Rain Trueax said...

Given all the people who have written about the praying mantis and the things they've said, I don't know but maybe. It's an encouraging thought to us all, isn't it

Tony said...

I believe it has a meaning too. One came to me the other day. They say Praying Mantis are mesangers of God

JamilB.20 said...

Today Aug 23 I was at the drive thru at McDonald's, as soon as I finished ordering from the intercom one flew in and landed on my neck then feel into the pocket on my door. I thought it was a moth because it happened so fast. I had to drive with the door open to the window to pay. I say it crawling out of the pocket and for some reason I had a paper plate handy and flicked it out of my truck. I haven't seen one this year until today. I can use the luck from a "prophet "

Matt McGee said...

I was woken up today, at exactly Mid Day, by a Green Praying Mantis, on my head, in my closed bedroom, on a rainy day. I let him outside. Trippy