-- i was reading the matrifocus ezine and came across your article
on bats [The
Bats are Coming! The Bats are Coming!]...which
i LOVE! i've always known bats were our friends and not blood
suckin fiends from hel! talk about needing a new PR rep!
i am a student of shamanism as well as being on a druidic path....during
a coupla my hearth's meditations as well as during my solitary
meditations i sometimes get images of bats. i've also seen bats
during our rituals, usually flying around our cauldron or around
our circle (funnily enuff i am the ONLY one to have seen them...not
surprised are you???) soooo what i'm asking is.....do you know
of any mythos from any pantheon or geographical area that features
the BAT? are there any gods or goddesses that are associated
with our dear friend the bat?
you for ANY assistance -- ebby
Ebby -- Glad to hear from you. The first thing I think of when
looking for animal/deity associations is the "Deities and
Their Familiars" appendix in D.J. Conway's book, Animal
Magick: The Art of Recognizing and Working with Familiars.
appendix, we find Greek Persephone (goddess) and Chinese Shou-Hsing
(god) associated with bats, and in the "bat" entry
In her book, we learn that bats are considered to be lucky and
beneficent in some cultures, unlucky and harmful in others.
For example, the Chinese name for bat means happiness, and a
drawing of five bats "...signifies the five blessings of
health, wealth, long life, happiness, and peace." In Japan,
however, the bat symbolizes unhappiness, unrest and chaos.
and pantheons, Conway points to Central and South America: "The
bat was treasured medicine power to the Aztec, Toltec, Tolucan,
and Mayan people." Ted Andrews' Animal Speak, The Spiritual
& Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, refers
to Meso-American culture and talks about the initiation rituals
involving bats in a labyrinth overseen by Camazotz, the god
of bats. Andrews also says that bats represented the souls of
the dead in Babylonia
that bats are about transition and initiation. Jamie Sams and
David Carson (Medicine Cards) tell us that the bat is
"steeped in the mystery of meso-American tribal ritual"
and symbolizes rebirth and the "shamanic death" of
those initiating into the mysteries of the old ways.
When I think
bats, deities and pantheons, I think of Persephone. Just as
bats fly daily to and from their cave-homes, so does Persephone
make the annual journey from her underworld cave to the fertile
fields of earth. For the ancient Greeks, bats were the sacred
animal of Persephone and her symbol, along with the poppy, pomegranate
and daffodil. The association of Persephone and caves is so
strong in western culture that many cave-dwelling creatures
are named for her, like the endangered Tooth Cave ground beetle,