Carnivorous Plant Symbolic Meaning

Tags: Nature | Flowers | Insects | Dreams

Carnivorous Plants and Devouring our Dreams
Carnivorous Plants Symbolic Meaning

The longer I walk the symbolic path, the more it becomes evident that everything is up for interpretive grabs, including, of all things, carnivorous plants.

When I’m impressed with something consistently, more than once, I know there’s prized meaning in my midst.

These special carnivores came thrice, each appearance serving as a new layer of awareness.

First in dreams (prime awareness), next in meditation (observing awareness), and lastly, I saw a pitcher plant in an ancillary exhibit whilst visiting the museum last week (physical awareness).  See the gradual surfacing of presence in multi-layers of consciousness?  Cool, yes?

 So where does the symbolism come in?

At first, I reasoned I was the fly because I’d been entertaining some really base thoughts lately (small, pesky, primitive, consumptive). 

The first of the year had me “all a-buzz” over some grandiose propositions.  Since then, my mind was as askew as the flight pattern of the fly,  zipping in and out of possibilities (often leading to a complete lack of focus).

It turns out, those propositions were all smoke & mirrors. All illusion.  All hype. 

So, symbolically I had succumbed to the sticky sweet siren call of the carnivorous pheromones. I got lured in by an illusion. Lulled into the bowels of the digestive juices of the pitcher plant.

I got consumed by the bile of a dream that was not what it seemed.

Pretty depressing.

However, the concepts of “dreams” and “illusions” kept knocking on my psyche’s door.  Closer inspection revealed there were never any flies or insects in my dream, meditation or physical experience.  Why should I add insect symbolism to the symbolic message if they had not even been presented?

So, I dove back in. Into the intoxicating wiles of the carnivorous plant realm for more meaning.

Epiphany: The plant is the dream.

Consider.  Carnivorous (as all) plants are closely aligned with water; the element  of dreams, imagination and emotion.   Carnivorous plants are masters of wild, dreamy presentation. Their entire design is built on exotic foundation.  Otherworldly.  Extraterrestrial, almost.

Fodder for the dreaming mind.

These plants typically catch their snacks (insects, primarily) by emitting wooing scents, shimmery bling, and psychedelic charm. They are irresistible.

The call of our dreams is irresistible too.  You know what I mean.  We all have a dream.  It beguiles us. Calls to us. Charms us.  The call of our dreams is as irresistible as the narcotic-like trappings of the carnivorous plants.

But, like these plants, our dreams can be wicked in their demands.  It’s not enough to be lured in by the dream.  The dream needs to be fed

And our dreams will not tolerate fluff for consumption.  No way.  Like the pitcher plant, our dreams need meaty sustenance.  Real food.  Protein.  The stuff that builds hearty growth and strudy foundations. 

If not fed properly, our dreams can consume us.  Indeed, some carnivorous plants ingest themselves. Self-cannibalization. Tasty. 

I find it curious I keep honing in on a specific carnivorous plant, the pitcher plant – who is also known as the “pitfall plant.”

And that leads me to some parting symbolic impressions about carnivorous plants:

  • Avoid “pitfalls” by identifying the dream,
  • nurture it,
  • feed your dream REAL food,
  • and let the dream charm your socks off
  • (just don’t be cannibalized by it).

Wikipedia has a nice article on carnivorous plants (here) if you’re interested.

Photo by Blmurch on Flickr, viewable here.

Some other pages that might capture your imagination:

Insect Totemism

Nature Symbolism

Flower Symbolism

Dream Symbolism

Post script: For you vegans & vegetarians, I’m not implying meat is “real food” – it’s just an expression for creative purpose. :-)

6 thoughts on “Carnivorous Plant Symbolic Meaning”

  1. Super post, Avia. I think my favorite lines are “First in dreams (prime awareness), next in meditation (observing awareness), and lastly, I saw a pitcher plant in an ancillary exhibit whilst visiting the museum last week (physical awareness). See the gradual surfacing of presence in multi-layers of consciousness? Cool, yes?” Yes, very cool. The progress of awareness has always been somehwat of a blur to me, and now with this definition, I feel more apt to track it with precision.

    And oh yes, dreams need to be fed. I understand that.



  2. Nice, Avia…I like your thought process here.

    I wonder, too, if the consuming plants could be equated with the receptive qualities of the yoni and/or feminine essence, and if that could be playing a part in your personal journey? I know the consistent and sometimes surprising presence of the feminine in my life lately has been a jaw dropper.

  3. Hi Licia!
    I like this angle very much, and see a lot of validity to your perspective. I’m going to digest this perspective more fully. Thanks very much for sharing it…very welcome & appreciated! Very kind too.

  4. Hi Avia!
    You have been so kind to me when I have asked for your interpretation…I’m grateful to have offered something of service to you!
    My birthday is tomorrow…it feels quite big, the energy I mean. I will be 44. I have been looking for what it may mean to be 44 in the year 2009, but cannot find it in my research. Can you point me somewhere that is grounded and balanced like you?
    Blessings and thanks,

  5. I recently had a dream with a lot of Venus fly traps. Curious if you could give me your thoughts. It’s long so bear with.

    It was evening, time for bed. A woman who i know in waking life, a spiritual healer, came to help me with something. Not sure what but i was tired and fell asleep. I awoke the next day (still dreaming) and she was still there dancing in the room. I was surprised to see her. I said, “you are still here”? She smiled and said, “yeah, I didn’t have anything better to do…so I stayed”. Then she crawled in bed next to me and put her arm around me. She said, “you’ve been spending time with the two others. I just thought I could spend a little time here with you.” I was surprised by her affection. Then I told her I need to get up and ready. I grabbed a towel off the bed and some clothes from a back pack. She followed me into the bathroom. She noticed a mirror with blue designs sketched in. She commented how pretty it was. I was groggy and asked, “why are you acting so strange? I really need to shower.” I turned on the shower and she left the room.

    There was a window in the shower. I should note that this dream took place at my old home, where I grew up. The window was bigger than real life, clear, and without a screen. I glanced out the window and saw the garden in the front yard (we always had one). Then out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw movement. So I began to take in the garden and realized that the plants were all Venus Fly Traps. Some were very large, as tall as corn stalks. Some were half that size and finally there were “baby” ones about half the medium sized ones. These were regular fly traps they looked like the ones out of the movie Little Shop of Horrors. Ugly, scary, and they moved their stems freely almost like serpents. I watched a little one moving around and opening it’s mouth. Then I saw a full grown “adult” next to it look down. I watched it devour the little one. In horror I noticed the others devouring the smaller.

    That’s about all I can remember. So I think i woke up after that in real life. This dream is really bugging me. Any insight or interpretations are appreciated.

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