Bat Medicine has been "pestering" me for about a month now until my procrastination on addressing it ended when it appeared to e in a vivid dream 2 nights ago. I sent yesterday compiling information which I will be sharing brief snipits of in other Discussions as it alies, for further consideration on those topics.
From Medicine Cards
by Jamie Sams and David Carson:
Sacred Bat . . . flew to me,
From the darkness of the cave.
Answers it gave.
Birth, death, rebirth,
Cycles of the whole . . .
The Journey of the soul.
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 mouth 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.
From The Language of Dreams
by Patricia Telesco:
An ability to traverse "darkness" of a figurative 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.
From Animal Speak
by Ted Andrews:
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. It is 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 metaphysically 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 changes.
From the lovely Sayahda (www.sayahda.com
There are different species of bats, which have widely divergent characteristics. Some are small and others are large. With one or two exceptions, the large bats live on fruits and find their way visually. The small bats feed mostly on insects, catching them on the wing by a process known as echolocation in which an animal produces sounds and listens for the echoes reflected from surfaces and objects in the environment. When this medicine is fully developed in man intuitive and clairaudient abilities are accurate. When underdeveloped psychic perception becomes clouded by imaginings of the mind.
Studies on bats found that when they are placed in a refrigerator, they will go into an instant state of hibernation and come out unharmed when they are warmed, which is unique for a warm blooded mammal. This indicates that the life force of the bat is strong and is able to regenerate and replenish it when needed. Those with this medicine also have this ability and would benefit from all types of yogic practices especially those related to awakening the kundalini.
Bat holds the power of adaptability. Everything about them, senses, feeding, flight, mating and size is suited to their particular environment. 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.
An out of balance bat will get scrambled and confused and will fly into things. Are you crashing into barriers as you try to get what you need and want in life? If so, bat may be trying to tell you to take a moment to get your bearings and determine the relative importance of what you are seeking.
When bat flies into your life transformation of the ego self is about to occur. The old familiar patterns and ideas that have been your truth are about to change. That which once worked for you may no longer. The process of transformation represents a death and a rebirth. Bat offers you the wisdom necessary to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity.
Author Ted Andrews writes that bats have needle like teeth and can sometimes carry rabies. Rabies is an infectious disease of the blood and can cause a person to go mad. Fears that are allowed to spread, uninhibited will eventually permeate our system and can create a kind of madness within our lives. Bats reflect a need to face our fears.
Because the bat is a sociable animal it can indicate a need for more sociability or increased opportunity with greater numbers of people. It has great auditory perception and can navigate through the dark easily. Their built in sonar enables them to know what lies beneath the surface. Those with this medicine have uncanny abilities to discern hidden messages both from people and the environment.
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 ever ready to guide you safely through the darkness of confusion and to lift you to higher realms of consciousness. Its 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 the Great Mystery.