2013 Sunflower Series – 07

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution.” – Kahlil Gibran

Strength and Resolution

Strength and Resolution

The Praying Mantis

I’ve been away from the world of blogging for a few days due to the chaos I call life in a family of five.  Knowing how busy life was going to be during the last couple of weeks of summer, I recently  made a list of the images I wanted to post, and the order in which to post them.  Despite this effort, I did not achieve a blog post the past two days.  Then today, as I was walking by my Dahlias I noticed the difference in each bloom and figured I had to grab my camera.  I photographed the large, beautiful flowers for a bit and then, out of the blue appeared a Praying Mantis on one of the large, fully open flowers. Once again my list of blog topics is pushed back, but I’m hoping no one minds.

After photographing the Praying Mantis, and taking a few more shots of the Dahlias, I had to confirm my thoughts that the Praying Mantis had symbolism of peace associated with it.  Sure enough, I found a plethora of information on this unique looking insect.  One website was especially interesting.  This website is Souled Out.org (http://www.souledout.org/earthday/mantis/pm.html). The information reported on Souled Out.org is below.

The praying mantis is the oldest symbol of God: the African Bushman’s manifestation of God come to Earth, “the voice of the infinite in the small,”* a divine messenger. When one is seen, diviners try to determine the current message. In this culture they are also associated with restoring life into the dead. “Mantis” is the Greek word for “prophet” or “seer,” a being with spiritual or mystical powers.

Meet the eye of a mantis and feel the presence of God. Interspecies communicator Sharon Callahan says, “the I of me, and the I of the creature became one and we rested on the breath of God.” She notes that a praying mantis appears sometimes in person, other times in a dream or even in an object of art, but always with the “shiny conscious eye ~ God looking at me through the eye of the Mantis.”

The praying mantis shows the way. In the Arabic and Turkish cultures a mantis points pilgrims to Mecca, the holiest site in the Islamic world. In Africa it helps find lost sheep and goats. In France, it’s believed that if you are lost the mantis points the way home.   

“Follow Mantis” means putting that core aspect of yourself, your foundation of Spirit, at the helm and let it direct your intellect and ultimately your life.

On other websites I found the following meanings:

  • Symbol of the eye of God.
  • She represents strength, adaptability, and ease of communication.
  • The Praying Mantis will make an appearance when we need peace, quiet, and calm in our lives.  She visits to tell us that we need to be more like her and take our time and live at our own silent pace.

As I was reading all of the summaries of symbolism for the Praying Mantis I thought about how well each one of them could represent the reason she appeared on my Dahlias today.  First and foremost, I believe in the power of prayer and experienced it first hand a couple of times this week.  Secondly, I have had a lot of chaos and emotional unease looming the past few weeks.  I’m not sure if this is because my oldest child will be starting a new chapter in his life and moving onto middle school while at the same time entering the teenage years, or if it is simply the business and sadness that accompanies the end of summer.    I would like to think that this beautiful insect happened to arrive on my Dahlia at the same time I was photographing as a reminder to keep life in perspective, to realize how blessed I am, to slow down and take deep calming breaths, and simply love and cherish those around me.  A little message from God to keep myself in check.

The Oldest Symbol of God? A Reminder to Pray?

Peace, Quiet, and Calm?

Strength, adaptability, and Ease of Communication?

She really is magnificent.  Nature is so incredible.  She blends right in with her environment.  At first look I was disappointed that the Dahlia was not perfect, but had brown blemishes.  Then it it occurred to me that this was the natural process and she was using it to her benefit.  I wonder how long she stayed camouflaged watching me photograph.  The thought of it makes me smile.