The bat isn’t the most popular of animals. In fact, it’s largely misunderstood and so therefore many of its symbolic meanings are inappropriately fear-based.
The savvy Native Americans approached the realm of animals from a position of honor - knowing that all things are connected. They understood that seeing the bat with fear in the heart would be the same as being terrified of their own children. Ridiculous.
The Native American animal symbolism of the bat comes from a keen observation of this magnificent animal. These people recognized that the bat was highly sensitive to their surroundings and so therefore was considered a symbol of intuition, dreaming and vision. This made the bat a powerful symbol for Native American shamans and medicine people. Often the spirit of the bat would be invoked when special energy was needed, like “night-sight” which is the ability to see through illusion or ambiguity and dive straight to the truth of matters.
It is a symbol of communication because the Native Americans observed the bat to be a highly social creature. Indeed, the bat has strong family ties. They are very nurturing, exhibiting verbal communication, touching, and sensitivity to members of their group.
- Inner Depth
If Bat is your Animal Guide:
- You thrive on being in the company of others and prefer groups of people to being alone
- You’re able to see in others what they keep hidden, and hear what they don’t say
- You’ve earned your gifts as a visionary and shaman through a series of difficult initiations that have been a significant part of your soul’s path
- You’re able to look beyond immediate circumstances and perceived limitations to see the bigger picture, as well as possibilities that overlook
- You are extremely aware of your surroundings
- You are quite perceptive on a psychic level, and are prone to have prophetic dreams
If you work with the bat as your totem, you will be put to the test, because it is demands only 100% commitment to spiritual growth. The bat will never accept half-hearted or lukewarm attempts at self-improvement. Indeed, if the bat senses that you are slacking in your psychic/spiritual training it will likely move on to someone else who is more willing to learn the lessons the bat has to offer.
As with most of our hardest challenges, working with the demanding bat will reap some of the most profound rewards you could ever dream of. But be warned, the bat asks a lot of us, like:
- Dying to our ego
- Loving our enemies as ourselves
- Going within to touch our inner demons
- Exploring the underworlds of reality (which can be scary)
- Renewing our thoughts and beliefs on a moment-to-moment basis
All of these tasks can be harrowing experiences. This is why the Native American symbolism of the bat deals with initiation; because this creature takes us to outlandish extremes. But rest assured, the bat is never leaves our side while we are journeying.
Furthermore, once we are tested to satisfaction, the devotion of the bat will never fade. It will eternally support us on our spiritual path - ever faithful and forever loving us on our journey to maintain our highest potential.
If Bat shows up:
- Let go of those habits and attachments that no longer serve you
- Welcome changes that are long overdue
- An ordeal you’re facing is a necessary part of your transformation and an initiation into a much more spiritually directed life
- It’s time to confront and conquer your fears, trusting that doing so will bring about dramatic and beneficial changes
- Mingle and socialize more with others, perhaps by joining ongoing classes or group activities that you think you’d enjoy
Call on Bat when:
- You’re in transition, where a life that you once lived is dying and a new cycle is emerging
- You’ve been isolating yourself far too long and need to make contact with others
- You’re feeling anxious and fearful without knowing why or what you’re afraid of
- You find yourself having powerful dreams and visions but don’t understand their meaning
- You’re being drawn to explore your shamanic practices
There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about the appropriate term to be used when an animal comes into your life to give you a message, be it for your life to a day. Totem/Spirit Animal is used for a group/clan of people, i.e. Native Americans. I have also been told about the terms Animal Guide and Spirit Familiar. The book that I use is titled “Spirit Animal” but mainly uses “Power Guide”. Due to all the terms, I choose to use Animal Guide while recognizing that there are other terms used - as can be noted in my tags. None of these terms are meant to offend or disrespect.
[Source 1. Source 2; Animal Spirit Guides by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D.]
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Can we talk about how adorable Flying Fox Bats are? Because I can’t even handle it.