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Friday, January 10, 2014

Listen to the Animals: Praying Mantis

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For Listen to the Animals, I pull one card each week from a different animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

Today I am using Tarot of the Animal Lords by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo). My card is the Queen of Swords, portrayed in this deck by a PRAYING MANTIS.

Tarot of the Animal Lords (Lo Scarabeo)

Mantis is from the Greek word mantis, meaning "prophet, seer." It’s not difficult to see how the “praying” portion of praying mantis came about. Its prominent front legs are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. It would be equally appropriate to call it the “preying” mantis, as it is a formidable predator. The praying mantis eats not only moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects, but others of its own kind.

Occasionally, the adult female eats her mate just after—or even during—mating, but this seems to occur most commonly when the insects are being observed under laboratory conditions of bright lights and confinement. It seems ironic that this deck associates the praying mantis with the Queen of Swords, a card that is often thought to represent a widow. In the instruction booklet for Tarot of the Animal Lords, Bepi Vigna assigns to this card the keywords “widow, courage, melancholy, malice, desire for revenge.”

The praying mantis appears in the mythology of many cultures and is often credited with magical powers. In the oldest surviving Chinese dictionary (Erya), the mantis represents courage and fearlessness. The Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert of southwest Africa believe the praying mantis is a divine messenger and when one is seen, diviners try to determine the current message.

As with all of the Animal Lords cards, the depiction of the praying mantis is quirky and fanciful. A real one looks more like this:



3 comments:

  1. I almost feel sorry for the Queen of swords to be portrayed like this :D

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    Replies
    1. I know, Ellen... She looks like a monster from a very bad movie, or like something out of a nightmare you might have after drinking too much liquor. But still, I find this deck quite fascinating!

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  2. A mantis lays an awesome number of eggs, and they are secured with a dark colored, frothy packaging. This packaging shields its eggs from different creatures, and additionally from rain and wind. https://www.homyden.com/lawn-maintenance-best-weed-eater-in-depth-reviews/

    ReplyDelete

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