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  • Mantis Lore. Praying mantis in cultural history

    In some cultures, a praying mantis can be a sign of good luck or fortune.

    Native Americans believe the insect came before the creation of man and Earth. Paintings, inscriptions, revered symbols and carvings have the insect depicted as a symbol. The bugs represent wealth, success, large families and the cycle of life.

    The stealth movements of the praying mantis have made it a symbol of meditation and contemplation. In China, the insect has long been honored for its mindful movements. It never makes a move unless it is certain that is the right thing to do.

    In Japan, a praying mantis is a sign of autumn. The bug is often portrayed with the typical gourds and mums that are popular in the season.

    Additionally, the fragile looking insect is an emblem of military strength and courage in both China and Japan because it always moves forward to advance and never retreats.

    The praying mantis, with its “hands clasped in prayer,” lends itself to having spiritual meaning. For some, the spiritual significance of a praying mantis is one of reflection and thoughtfulness, and a reminder to always keep their focus on God. The praying mantis is even thought to have the ability to deliver messages from higher beings. These insects have also been called “praying nuns,” because some look like they are wearing nun habits on their heads.

    Early Christian religious symbolism adopted belief in the praying mantis’s power of divination.

    Praying mantis meaning is varied in Celtic symbolism and mythology. The insect can represent courage and persistence, as well as and prayer and religious beliefs.

    The people of Ancient Greece and Egypt saw the praying mantis as a guide for those who needed direction, either in life or death.

    In Buddhism, the praying mantis represents patience and perseverance. The insect’s predatory habits serve as a model for calm behavior and focus.

    Shaolin monks developed a system of defense which was created as a form of protection. Their hand-to-hand combat movements are similar to the actions of the praying mantis.