Good Luck Bugs – Finding Fortune in the Fields
I realize bugs aren’t everybody’s best friend. That’s okay. You don’t have to get all cuddly-wuddly with bugs to gain good luck from them.
A lot of symbolic meaning of good luck bugs comes from cultural perception. For example, the spider might not seem a likely candidate for luck. In fact, they are villainized in some cultures. But spider’s were high-fortune bearers in Greco-Roman, Native American, African and other cultures.
Even if we leave cultural opinion out of the lucky mix, most bugs provide good luck simply by existing. Bugs like butterflies and bees pollinate thousands of flowers. Dung beetles help cattle by removing feces, making things more hygienic. Earthworms aerate the soil, making it more viable for good things to grow.
You get my drift. Whether good luck bugs get their rap by nature, superstition or culture – they are indeed capable of being very lucky for humans. The following are six examples of good luck bugs…
These babies are so pretty, you can feel lucky just seeing one! As a matter of fact, in Christian lore, the butterfly is considered a blessing because it represents freedom of the flesh and opening to the spirit. This is symbolically demonstrated by the butterfly emerging from its cocoon.
In Japanese culture, the butterfly is considered lucky in love. Butterflies are embroidered on matrimonial garments as a benediction for a long and happy marriage.
The Native American Hopi considered the butterfly to be one of the beings who created the world. I suppose this is very lucky, because without a world, none of us would be here!
The Maori of New Zealand believe the butterfly is good luck for a healthy, long life…even immortality. It was also considered a symbol of freedom and lucky for advancing ourselves into better places in life.
You wouldn’t think this little guy would be among the good luck bugs, but you might be surprised. Case in point, both Chinese and Mediterranean cultures believed the cricket to be extremely lucky. It was thought their chirping was a song of blessing upon good crops, and protection of the home.
In early Europe, crickets were considered good omens, and protectors or hearth and home. It was considered bad luck to kill one when found in the home or garden. In England there is a belief that crickets are a kind of guardian and watched over the family within the home, protecting them from evil spirits.
Some Native American legends honor the cricket because they are mostly nocturnal. As such, their chirping is a loving song that protects the people of the tribe against bad dreams.
By far, the ladybug is the luckiest in the garden. Not only do they pollinate, they also gobble up 100’s of aphids a day and those suckers can be disastrous to plants and crops.
In America, the common cultural consensus about the ladybug is lucky. If one lands on you, it’s considered very fortuitous, and killing one is considered bad luck. Making a wish on a ladybug in your hand will come true when the ladybug flies away. According to lucky superstition, counting the spots on a ladybug indicates your lucky month. For example, if ladybug has four spots, in four months, expect a windfall of good luck (according to superstition that is).
There is an ancient Chinese legend that links the ladybug with luck in love. The story goes that when a ladybug comes to call, it is a sign that true love will also pay us a visit. Further renditions of the legend state the number of spots on the ladybug indicate the amount of months that will pass until we are united with our true love.
These guys can win any bug-eating competition hands-down. That makes them very good luck bugs in the garden.
Shaolin monks in Asia closely observed the mantis, and revered it for its elegant movements. From this intense observation, the monks created a meditative form of martial arts similar to Tai Chi. This makes the mantis lucky in balancing peace with defense. Kung Fu is also based on the mantis movements. The Chinese believed the mantis was lucky in achieving peace and resolving problems without violence, which is ironic, for sure. But these fighting styles were created more for reverence and inner development than defense.
In Africa the mantis is lucky in dreams. When we dream of a mantis, it is almost always followed with a solution to a problem we are struggling with. It is believed the praying mantis whispers an answer to a conflict while we sleep. Upon waking up we must remember the message and that will help us through our troubles.
The caterpillar is good luck in old England if one pitter patters across your garden. In this case, it’s tradition to gently take the caterpillar and toss it over your shoulder to solidify that good luck. I’m not sure how lucky it is for the caterpillar to be flung about, but there you go. Another English tradition is to take a caterpillar, put it in a bag, and if worn around the neck it can prevent respiratory ailments like whooping cough. Again, maybe not so lucky for the caterpillar. Oh, and consult your physician before tying caterpillars around your neck.
The Indian Upanishads indicate the caterpillar among good luck bugs because of the way they progress through life. There is philosophical appreciation for the way the caterpillar gracefully moves from leaf to leaf – this is considered lucky in travel and moving forward in life. Then, due to it’s transition from larva, chrysalis to butterfly it is thought to be lucky in transitions. Whether changing jobs or moving into a new home, the caterpillar is believed to be an omen for luck in any change in life.
In Native American tradition, the caterpillar is believed to be lucky in love. This is especially true with sex. Yep, you read that right. The caterpillar is considered a lucky charm for good sex and also successful conception of a child.
In nature, bees are obviously top on the good luck bugs list. They pollinate at mind-blowing rates. They insure the continuation of countless plants and flowers. Then there is their byproduct – honey. If you ask me and Pooh bear, we’re lucky just to have a pot of honey!
In ancient Egypt, the bee was a lucky emblem because it was believed to be the giver of life. It represented life, birth, death and resurrection. It was also a lucky symbol of strength and power. Apparently the Egyptians associated the bee with lightning and the sun. Bees were said to be born from the tears of the sun god Ra. This made encounters with bees a lucky sign of gaining strength and winning battles.
In Greek and Roman myth the bee is lucky in business. You’ve heard the term ‘busy as a bee.’ Well, the Greco-Roman’s observed their industriousness and considered the bee as a symbol of success when hard work is applied to any endeavor.
I hope you enjoyed this article on good luck bugs. I further hope these insights might help bring about more acceptance of bugs for those of you who might be creeped out by them.
These are certainly not all the good luck bugs in the world. There are tons of bugs, so there are tons of them that are considered highly fortuitous. I’d encourage you to do further research on this topic, and embrace the lucky potential of the insect world. Get buggy!
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