My Praying Mantis Wild Familiars
The Beautiful Messages From Spirit Through Nature
Since arriving at Villa Westwyk, there’s been many messages from Spirit to let me know I’m in the right place and on the right path. We found this property, honestly, in the knick of time. We had looked at dozens and dozens of properties and this one just randomly popped up on my search parameters and wasn’t even on our realtor’s radar. The property had a pending offer and went off the market, but I found it just as it went back on because the buyer pulled out. It checked all our boxes and although there were compromises (there is in any living situation), the important stuff on our list was met.
Once here, the abundant wildlife was prevalent. So many song birds, but also bald and golden eagles, hawks, ducks, geese, and hummingbirds. The first weekend we spent here we saw fox, bobcat, and coyote. And the frogs. Oh my, the frogs are everywhere, telling me our property is pretty healthy despite the neglect from the former owners, whose lives took them away from the Villa to other paths. We have a resident raven, for which we’ve named SplitWing, because he has this seeming birth defect that has one wing kind of cattywampus and a deep split in it. You can pick him out of a crowd for sure. He tolerates the dogs chasing him a bit and visits each day to aerate the west lawn and get his fill of bugs and worms. When I put out seed for the birds, he’s always first to come along, but he shares with the others, to include a Pileated Woodpecker who’s call always makes me laugh.
Then there was the visit from my (deceased) Father — one of the strongest clairvoyant experiences this ol’ Hedge Crone has had in her life thus far. He told me to hang onto this property. To my family. To my friends. His spirit seems to hover here often. I’ll be working in the yard and I can smell the pipe tobacco he often smoked when I was younger. The fact that I’m writing this today, his birthday, seems very serendipitous. He would have been 75 years old today.
Then as summer moved closer to fall I was blessed with visits from many, many Praying Mantis. Every time I worked in the yard, I found them. One special time, a particularly beautiful one just landed on my hand as I held a shovel. The strange thing was that shortly before the first one descended onto our property (they fly rather spastically), The Viking (my spouse for those who are new here) had told me he hadn’t ever seen a Praying Mantis in person. Why we were even talking about such a thing, I don’t recall. Therein lies the magic of Divine Downloads.
That clearly was a sign from spirit. Therefore, the visits from the Praying Mantis got me thinking. What was Spirit trying to tell me? About the time of their visits I was feeling rather verklempt over losing our travel life (this time last year I was in the Mojave doing magic in the desert and looking forward to moving towards Alaska on our sailboat come summer). But Pops message kept repeating in my brain “Hold on to what you have, Betty (his nickname for me).” What I have is wonderful. I love Villa Westwyk, but the restlessness of staying in one place after being nomadic for almost two years was draining me. And then the Praying Mantis came and made their home my home. In many cultures, the Praying Mantis is considered good luck. From a permaculture standpoint, they are an indicator of a healthy land space (much like frogs are) and they reduce the population of harmful insects. If you check my instagram from last year and you’ll see one taking care of a wasp — although wasps are typically pollinators, we had an imbalance of them on our property when we first moved in. The Mantis took care of that imbalance.
Even now their presence is about — I’m finding egg sacs all over the property — even one in our cold frame, which means we’ll be blessed again this year with more. After sitting with the message and meditating and, of course, doing my dream work and divining runes, it all pointed to one thing: Sometimes we give things up, regardless of how that sacrifice came up (mine was prompted by the global pandemic), only to learn that we are stronger and more sure of the path we are now on. This is much like the Praying Mantis, where after breeding, the female often eats the male. Well-nourished females produce healthier eggs. The sacrifice of the mate is returned many-fold by the hundreds of nymphs that emerge from one egg sac.
The sacrifice(s) that have brought me to this point in my life have produced hundreds of blessings. These Wild Familiars, not just the Mantis, hold messages when we have questions about our way forward. For now, everything points to I am where I need to be and doing the work I should be doing. That knowledge was brought forward by these Wild Familiars. When you have questions and feel that restlessness about which path allows you to be your truest self and live your best life, take a breath and see the messages about you through Nature and her creatures.
What are your Wild Familiars? What messages have they brought you?