all right, so i'm just wondering what exactly is bat magic. I had a bat come visit me last night (a real one, i wasn't on a vision quest) and it came at such a time i know it was the universe kinda slapping me in the face ya know? Any facts or comments or intuitions would be greatly appreciated.
Sat, September 9, 2006 - 4:31 PMHope this helps!
Bat - Bat sleeps during the day and hunts for food at night. Unstead of seeing whit her eyes, Bat "hears" her way around by sonar echolocation. Invoke Bat's medicine powers to be able to hear messages from dark recesses of the psychic realm and to develop occult abilities, psychic powers and positive magic. Tribal peoples also invoke Bat medicine powers for rebirth and initiation.
Bat - Rebirth. Shaman initiates undergo a ritual death in which they face their fears and are reborn without their old identities. Bat medicine teaches us to release fear and any pattern which no longer fits in with our pattern of growth.
KEYWORDS: Bat holds the power of adaptability. When bat appears in your life its message may be to examine your surroundings to discern what bounty is being offered to you, and then alter your patterns so you can receive it... bat totem animal guide totem animal powers of totems bat medicine
A Bat totem appearing in your life
is a call for the end of a way of life
and the beginning of another.
You must face your greatest fears
and get rid of the part of your life that no longer is needed.
This transition is very frightening for many,
but you will not grow spiritually until the old parts are gone.
Face the darkness before you and
you will find the light in rebirth.
# Bat Medicine *Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
The augury is dependent on how you reacted to the bat. If you were frightened by it, you should avoid indiscreet discussion of your affairs; but if you were not afraid of it, you will be offered a new proposition which will be profitable.
*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Overtly sexual, worrier, self-determined
Magical Influences: Clairaudience, psychic sensitivity, sex; creates lust in the hearts of others.
Personality: Bats are highly sexual in their personal dealings. Conversation can be laced with ribaldry. They are natural business persons. Since one of their governing heavenly bodies is the Moon, they have drastic mood swings in their everyday life--one minute happy-go-lucky, the next irratable.
*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
Bats are creatures of the night and sometimes reside in dark caves. They can represent fear of the unknown, yet they also know how to navigate in darkness. If you are in a time of uncertainty in your life and the bat appears as a sign, remember that you can steer your way through uncertainty and not knowing. Trust your intuition. You do know what to do. Look deep inside yourself for the answer.
A bat can signify an old scolding woman. Are you acting like an old bat? Alternatively, someone who is batty is a little crazy or unconventional. Batting around an idea can mean that you are considering several alternatives. Sometimes this is the best way to come to a feeling of certainty.
To the Chinese, the bat is symbolic of long life and happiness. to the tribal peoples of the Americas, the bat is emblematic of shamanistic initiation and rebirth. The bat goes into the womblike darkness of the cave only to emerge again. This sign can appear when you are about to enter into the deep unknown and hidden fears that dwell inside you. After symbolic death, you will experience rebirth and renewal.
*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Rebirth. Steeped in the mystery of Meso-American tribal ritual is the legend of Bat. Akin to the ancient Buddhist belief in reincarnation, in Central America, Bat is the symbol of rebirth. The Bat has for centuries been a treasured medicine of the Aztec, Toltec, Tolucan, and Mayan peoples.
Bat embraces the idea of shamanistic death. The ritual death of the healer is steeped in secrets and highly involved initiation rites. Shaman death is the symbolic death of the initiate to the old ways of life and personal identity. The initiation that brings the right to heal and to be called shaman is necessarily preceeded by ritual death. Most of these rituals are brutally hard on the body, mind, and spirit. In light of today's standards, it can be very difficult to find a person who can take the abuse and come through it with their balance intact.
The basic idea of ancient initiations was to break down all the former notions of "self" that were held by the shaman-to-be. This could entail brutal tests of physical strenght and psychic ability, and having every emotional "button" pushed hard. Taunting and spitting on the initiate was common, and taught him or her to endure the duress with humility and fortitude. The final initiation step was to be buried in the earth for one day and to be reborn without former ego in the morning.
This ritual is very similar to the night of fear practiced by natives of Turtle Island. In this ritual, the shaman-to-be is sent to a certain location to dig his or her grave and spend the night in the womb of Mother Earth totally alone, with the outh of the grave covered by a blanket. Darkness, and the sounds of animals prowling, quickly confront the initiate with his or her fears.
As the darkness of the grave has its place in this ritual, so does the cave of Bat. Hanging upside-down is a symbol for learning to transpose your former self into a newborn being. This is also the position that babies assume when they enter the world through the womb of woman.
If Bat has appeared in your cards today, it symbolizes the need for a ritualistic death of some way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern. This can mean a time of letting go of old habits, and of assuming the position in life that prepares you for rebirth, or in some cases intitiation. In every case, Bat signals rebirth of some part of yourself or the death of old patterns. If you resist your destiny, it can be a long, drawn out, or painful death. The universe is always asking you to grow and become your future. To do so you must die the shaman's death.
Contrary: If Bat is still hanging upside-down in the cavve and immersed in darkness, you have met its contrary medicine. This position leads to stagnation of the spirit and a refusal to acknowledge your true destiny--which is always to use the talents you have to the fullest. Is there some area of your life that has damned up and therefore stopped your desire to create? If so, look at surrendering to the death of that stagnation.
Bat can also imply that in the reversal of your natural cycle of rebirth you are trying to go at life in a backwards mode. This is a breech birth, in a sense. This type of occluded understanding of how to go about freeing yourself can lead to a stillbirth if you struggle too long in the birth canal. The final outcome can be death of the body. Some people think themselves into a corner with obstacles that are illusionary. By the time they decide what to do, the opportunities are gone and old age is upon them. All of their dreams have passed them by. Reversed Bat says to use your mind, courage, and strength to insure an easy labor and quick delivery into your new state of understanding and growth. Surrender to the new life you have created from thought and desire, and bravely greet that dawn.
If you are concerned with today and tomorrow but not much further, you may forget to see further down the road. Tribal teachings say that you are responsible for future generations because you are the ancestors of the future. Whatever you do today will affect the next 7 generations. Every decision, every thought, is to create a state of stagnation or rebirth for those that follow you on the Good Red Road. If you are blocking yourself, you may be blocking the generations to come.
Bat flies at night, and in the night are born your dreams. These are the dreams that build future civilizations, so nourish them well.
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
The use of spiritual intuition in all aspects of life.
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
There are 8 families of bats peculiar to the Old World, 6 to the New World, and 3 in common to both. The most common bat in North America is the little brown bat or mouse-eared bat. It lives as far south as Mexico and as far north as trees grow. It is quite comon around human habitations.
The bat is the only mammal with the power of true flight. Although they are found worldwide, bats are most abundant in the semi-tropical and tropical climates. Some bats hibernate during the winter months, while others migrate to a warmer climate. They feed during dark hours, usually spending the daytime hours in caves, hollow trees, or old buildings. Bats roost by hanging upside down, gripping a perch with their clawed feet. There are approximately 2,000 different kinds of bats. The majority of bats are harmless and beneficial as they eat large amounts of insects. Only the vampire bat feeds on blood, human or animal.
Some ancient cultures believed that bats were once a kind of bird that was changed into part human-looking in answer to their prayers. Finnish people believed that during sleep the soul often took the form of a bat, and that violent death turned the soul into a bat condemned to remain on Earth.
Contrary to superstition, bats do not become tangled in women's hair. Nor will they stay in the hair until it thunders. This idea is probably a collective unconsious memory of the connection between bats and the Great Mother Goddess. Their high-pitched squeeks nable them to avoid the tiniest strand of wire, even in total darkness.
Bats were considered to be unlucky and unclean in some cultures, fortunate and edible in others. Because they are creatures of the night and dark place, bats are often symbolic of desolation and the Underworld.
In China, the name for bat is fu, which means happiness; the Chinese believe that the bat brings happiness and good luck. A drawing of two bats represents Shou-Hsing, god of long life; this symbolizes good wishes. A drawing of 5 bats signifies the 5 blessings of health, wealth, long life, happiness, and peace.
In Japan, however, the bat symbolizes unhappiness, unrest, and chaos. To the Guddhists, it means incomplete and dark understanding.
The ancient Mayans worshiped a bat god whom they considered a very powerful deity. In Mexico, there was a city named Tzinacent Lan ("Bat City"). The bat was treasured medicine power to the Aztec, Toltec, Tolucan, and Mayan people.
In medieval alchemy, the meaning of the bat was similar to that of the dragon and the hermaphrodite.
Bats are fascinating creatures. It isn't, however, a good idea to allow them to roost in your house as their droppings can cause certain illnesses, but having bats nearby is a blessing if you are plauged by mosquitoes.
Superstitions: Early Christians believed that when the devil was idle, he turned into a bat to harass people. The bat was also considered to be a familiar that lent its shape to witches. Some people believe that ghosts can take the form of bats; therefore, a house with bats is haunted. Bats will deliberately tangle themselves in your hair and not let go until it thunders. There is also a superstition that if you carry the dried heart of a bat in your pocket it will turn a bullet or stop you from bleeding to death. Another belief is that if you wash your face in bat's blood you can see in the dark.
In Scotland, it is said that a flying bat, rising and then descending, does so near a witche's house. A certain tribe of southeastern Australia believe that to kill a bat shortens a man's life.One flying near you is a sign that someone is trying to bewitch or betray you. A bat hitting a building is a sure sign of rain. Carrying a bat bone will insure constant good luck. Carrying the right eye will make you invisible.
Magickal Attributes: The knowledge to avoid obstacles, barriers, and troublesome people. Undergoing a shamanistic death, which is leading to transform the old self into a new being. Releasing habits and personality patterns that keep you from progressing. Veiwing past lives in order to learn how death occurred each time; using this knowledge to make you more comfortable with the life and death cycle of all life. Especially helpful when facing the death of a loved one or close friend.
*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
An ability to traverse "darkness" of a gigurative nature, but one that may not be recognized. Native Americans believe these creatures are guides because of their uncanny navigation abilities. See where the bat is taking you, and watch closely the path by which you go. If the bat is you, or you have bat wings, it's likely a type of flying dream. In Babylonia and South Africa, bats are thought to carry souls. So, this might be an Out-of-Body Experience, or a message from a departed person. In China, an emblem of good luck and happiness.
Most tribal shamans regard the bat as an evil omen. Perhaps the creature's very appearance suggests a kind of moral ambivalence, for it is difficult to ascertain if the swiftly flying, nocturnal beastie is a bird with a rodent's snout and teeth or a rat with a bird's wings.
A number of the plain's tribes have a tale in which the handsome and mysterious bat successfully woos his wives by night--only to have them run away in the light when they see how ugly he is.
"If you have dreamt of a bat," a Medicine practitioner once told me, "you must be prepared for bad quarrels and much unpleasantness to come at you right around the next corner."
However, I have heard other Native Americans place a positive connotation on the bat, for they regard him as a rainmaker who drives away drought. And there are African tribes that esteem the bat as a sign of wisdom, for behold how unerringly it can maneuver through the darkness.
In Christian folklore, perhaps especially in Central Europe, the bat is considered the bird of Satan, a night-flying, blood-sucking entity that can actually become a vehicle for the Master of Hell. Such beliefs stay with us, firmly anchored in the popular firght night figure of Count Dracula spreading his dark cape to transform himself into a bat.
Batman, another pop culture figure, also embodies the mysterious ambiguity of his namesake. A flawed hero, with a great many deep-seated psychic scars, the face of the rich and handsome Bruce Wayne is covered in a frightening mask when he becomes the dark knight of vengeance.
To the Chinese, the bat represents happiness and longevity. If 5 bats should visit one's home, one has been blessed with the 5 blessings of health, wealth, long life, peace, and happiness. On the other hand, the Japanese seem to perceive in the bat's ambiguous nature a symbol of chaos and unhappy confusion.
Among certain Australian Aborigines and other Pacific peoples, the bat is synonymous with the human soul; and to find a dead bat is to be made aware that someone has made his transition to the other world.
If the bat appeals to you as a totem guardian, you may very well be a very adaptable person who has little fear of the Dark Side. You have probably been blessed with a keen sense of wonder and the willingness to explore with zeal topics which others may consider "forbidden" or "too far-out."
As a totem animal, the bat will be every ready to guide you safely through the darkness of confusion and to lift you to higher realms of consciousness. It's built-in "radar" makes this totem guardian a skillful pilot through the darkest trials of the spirit. And it will always be a sure navigator as you enter the Silence and receive inspiration from Great Mystery.
*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
Should bats emerge from their holes directly after sunset, it is an omen that there will be fair and calm weather. To the Chinese and the Polish bats in general are good omens. In Ireland, however, the bat is a symbol of death.
Other bat superstitions include these: should bats move into a house, the occupants will shortly leave. Should the heart of a bat be dried, powdered, and carried in someone's front pocket, it will deflect a bullet or stop him from bleeding to death. Should one wash his face in the blood of a bat, he will be able to see in the dark.
A Scottish superstition holds that, when a bat is observed rising and descending earthwards, such signifies the "hour of the witches."
Along the Gold Coast, the natives of Tendo maintain that flocks of bats, leaving the island and heading for the river, are the souls of the dead, who must present themeslves each evening to Tano, the ruler of the river of that name.
In Australia, certain tribes believe that the life of a bat corresponds to that of a man. Hence, if a bat was killed, the life of a man would also be shortened.
Should a bat fly into a house, especially a room occupied by its owner, it is an indication of death or bad luck to come. Bats hitting a building signify rain. Carrying a bat's bones on one's person is said to be the luckiest of talismans around; carrying the right eye of a bat in the waistcoat pocket is said to make a man invisible.
A common country belief is that a bat flying into a woman's hair will become so entangled, that it can only be released by cutting her hair. Still another superstition holds that if a bat lands on your head, it will not leave until an approaching rainstorm or the sound of thunder is heard.
An Orthodox Jewish superstition says that a bat killed with a gold coin will bring good luck.
Should a bat fly close by, it is a warning that someone is trying to betray or bewitch you. Should a bat hit the windowpane of an ill person's room, it was believed the person would die. To keep witches away, one was instructed to nail a bat to the barn or shed door.
Aesop said that the nocturnal habits of bats were simply an attempt to evade creditors. (Scientific studies of bats have shown that their ability to fly in complete darkness is due to a supersonic detection device similar to modern radar.)
Sicilian peasants believed that the Devil can assume the shape of a bat. Bat's blood was believed to be an ingredient in the witches' "flying ointment"; supposedly it would give them the ability to fly at night.
The Hessians believed that the heart of a bat could be attached to a gambler's arm by a red thread to make him successful at cards.
In Central Europe it is said that girls enticed their reticent lovers by adding a few drops of bat's blood into their lover's beer.
The supreme deity of some American Pacific Coast Indians was Chamalkan, the bat.
According to an old European legend, a bat decided to join the war between animals and birds. Uncertain as to which group to join, he fought on both sides.
Bats were also believed responsible for stealing bacon from farmhouse chimneys. A rhyme still heard among English country folk is the following: "Bat, bat, get under my hat and I'll give you a slice of bacon."
As recently as 1962, an edict passed by the New York City Council prohibited the sale of voodoo drugs: bat's blood was included on the list.
Keynote: Transition and Initiation
Cycle of Power: Nighttime
The bat is one of the most misunderstood mammals. Modern depictions in movies and teleision have given it a sinister reputation, but it plays an important role in Nature and as a symbol in totem traditions. Although more modern lore places the bat in cohorts with the devil, with its dragon-like wings, in more ancient times it was a powerful symbol.
In Babylonia bats represented the souls of the dead. In China they were symbols for happiness and long life.To the ancient Mayans, they are symbols of initiation and rebirth. To the medieval peoples, they were minature dragons.
From the early Meso-American traditions came a sacred book of the initiatory process in which bats hold a significant role. This book was called the Popol Vuh. It was discovered by Father Ximinez in the 17th century. The second book of the Popol vuh describes the seven tests that two brothers must undergo. The seventh test took them into the house of bats. Huge bats flew through the labyrinth and it was overseen by Camazotz, the god of bats. This being had the body of a human, the head and wings of a bat and carried a great sword by which he would decapitate unwary wandereres.
This powerfully symbolic story and imagery reflects the process of transition--part human and part bat (animal). It implies a loss of one's faculties if unwary about the changes. It also holds the promise of rebirth and coming out of the darkness.
The authors, Jamie Sams and David Carson, refer to the bat as reflecting the traditional shaman's death--the breaking down of the former self through intense tests. It is a facing of your greatest fears--that it is time to die to some aspect of your life that is no longer suitable for you.
Most people fear transitions, holding onto a "better the devil you know than the one you don't" kind of attitude. If a bat has flown into your life, then it is time to face your fears and prepare for change. You are being challenged to let go of the old and create the new.
For many, change is always distressing. When the bat comes into your life, you may see some part of your life begin to go from bad to worse. That which worked before may no longer. This is not negative though! And it will only be upsetting to the degree we focus on the past rather than the infinite possiblities of the future.
Changes and transformations are blessings. They are not triggered from without but from within; and the world is our mirror. As we change, even within our consciousness, everything reflected within the world also begins to change. To understand and enjoy the blessing of change, begin by taking or renewing responsiblity for your life. This means opening to the power within which will override all fears.
Look beyond the immediat and limited circumstances. There can be no death without there also being rebirth. Everthing reflects the divine. Remember that fear and death is a choosing to block or go against the Divine energies that are yours by right of inheritance. Rebirth and life are found by choosing to follow the flow within. The choice is always ours. Remember that each time you trust your own inner promptings, you chase the fears within the dark corners of your mind away. What you choose to do today will have repercussions for years down the road. do you want those repercussions to be positive or negative?
Though small in stature, the bat is a powerful symbol. Its medicine is strong and can even be traumatic. I tis a nocturnal animal, and the night was often considered the home of fears. Home fires and lights are often used to chase back the night and the fears rather than facing them and transmuting them. Are you avoiding facing something that is inevitable?
Sometimes bats are a symbol of facing our fears. They have very sharp, needle-like teeth. They can also be carriers of rabies. Rabies is an infectious disease of the blood, created by a virus. It was often associated with madness. Fears that are allowed to spread, uninhibited, will eventually permeate our system and can create a kind of madness within our lives. Bats can reflect a need to face our fears. The imaginings that result from fears that are incubating are often much worse than the actual facing of the fears, themselves. What are you most fearing right now?
From a naturalistic view, bats are not sinister. They play a very valuable role in nature. They feed on insects and are essential to the pollination of many plants. their waste product, guano, is also used as a valuable fertilizer. This hints that every aspect of facing our fears will have value to us, no matter how messy it may seem to be. It holds the promise of empowerment.
The bat is also the only flying mamal. Its tremendously elongated finger bones support the wings which are made of a tough leathery skin. Its flight seems fluttery and jerky, but it is flight nonetheless. All flight implies a rising above. You may wish to study general symbolism of flight as described in part tow of this book.
Because humans are mammals as well, the bat is an even more important symbol for us. It becomes a symbol of promise amidst the sometimes chaotic energies of change. It reflects the ability to move to new heights with the transitions. Yes, our own flights may seem fluttery and jerky, but we will be able to fly.
We will not only be able to fly as a result of the changes, but we will be able to see the world from an entirely new perspective. Bats sleep with their heads down. This posture has always reminded me of the Hanged Man card in the tarot deck. This card reflects the piercing of new barriers and the opening to higher wisdom. It symbolizes a new truth being awakened. It also implies great strength and stamina to handle the ordeals that may beset you as you open to new consciousness. Its message contains the promise of new horizons and unexpected views about to manifest. Meditation upon this card would be most beneficial for those with a bat as a totem.
The bat is actually a social animal. It lives in flocks, and thus its appearance usually reflects either a need for more sociability or increased opportunity with greater numbers of people.
The bat has a medicine which awakens great auditory preception. The idea of "blind as a bat" is wrong. Bats are not blind, and their eyes are large and developed. They can easily navigat by sight in lighted situations.
On the other hand, they are expert at maneuvering through the dark. They have a form of sonar in their nose that gives them perfect navigation. Their ability at echo-location enables them to perform amazing flying feats even within the flock. They rarely, if ever, collide. This sonar and echo-location can be linked mataphysically to the gift of clairaudience or clear-hearing. It awakens the ability to hear spirit.
Those with bat as a totem will also find that they have an increasing ability to discern the hidden messages and implications of other people's words. Listn as much to what is not being said. Trust your instincts. The nose is the organ of discrimination, and with its sonar located in its nose, the bat reflects the ability to discriminate and discern the truth in other people's words.
The bat is powerful medicine. It can be trying, but it always indicates initiation--A new beginning that brings promise and power after the change.