Bats are symbols of rebirth
- the facing of fears and being reborn. Through this we learn to release fear
and anything which does not fit with our new growth. Bats have unfortunately
developed a lot of negative symbolism.
The Chinese were one of
the few exceptions, because to them, the bat symbolized good fortune and great
happiness. They also maintained that the bat flies head downwards because of
the weight of its brains. In Babylonia, bats were symbols of the dead. Mayans
saw them as symbols of initiation and rebirth. The have also been viewed as
Because it was magically
powerful itself, the bat often served as a protective charm or amulet against
the powers of evil, and as a luck-bringer. Among the Hessians in Germany it
was an accepted belief that the heart of a bat attached to a gambler's arm by
a red thread guaranteed him success at cards - a belief common also on the southern
United States. In the Austrian Tyrol the possessor of a bat's eye could become
The bat became not only
the totem animal of the men of an aboriginal tribe in New South Wales but also
their sex symbol. A similar association of ideas led amorous Central European
girls to entice their reluctant lovers into their arms by the discreet addition
of a few drops of bats' blood to the loved one's beer.
Bats have occasionally been
honored with the status of gods, the supreme deity of some of the Indians of
the American Pacific coast being Chamalkan the bat. The mighty bat gods of Samoa
invariably took the lead whenever the tribes marched off to war. In the legends
of a number of North American Indian tribes the bat is given the unexpected
role of hero and chivalrous champion of mankind in distress.
called Popol Vuh was discovered in the 17th century. In
is is a tale of two brothers who were being tested. One
test took them to a labyrinth of huge bats overseen by Camazotz,
the god of the bats. He had the body of a human, the head
and wings of a bat, and carried a great sword by which he
would decapitate unwary wanderers. It is a symbolic story,
with imagery that reflects transition. It implies a loss
of faculties if someone is unwary of the changes of transition.
It also holds the promise of rebirth and coming out of darkness.
bat is a symbol of the challenge to let go of the old and
create the new - death and rebirth. To many this is distressing,
thus so much negativity around it. They symbolize the facing
of fears - entering the dark on the way to the light.
European belief was that human souls take the form of a
bat when they leave the body during sleep. This led to the
belief that pagan dead might become bats, searching for
the means of rebirth or the blood of life (of course, being
a link to vampire imagery). European Christian artwork gave
demons bat wings, an echo of earlier imagery. A 1350 fresco
in Campo Santo in Pisa showed the Death Goddess as a long-haired
woman with a scythe flying over the world on bat wings.
The description of her was "Old shadow of earth, ancient
shade of hell".
as totems represent an ability to discern the hidden messages
and implications of other people's words. Listen 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.