Creature Teacher Feature: Cricket

 

Over the last few years, I have had more close and memorable encounters with Cricket than, probably, with any other insect. The tiny teacher always pops up into my life unexpectedly, making its presence known in whimsical and curious ways.

Most recently, for example, I was awakened from a catnap (outside) by the bite of what research tells me was probably a freshly molted cricket. The little bugger got me on the meaty area between my thumb and index finger, on the back of my left hand. As many run-ins as I have had with Cricket, I was still very surprised to find out that they do, in fact, bite.

A little over a year ago, I came out to my car one morning and found a hefty green cricket perched atop my car. I got into the car and drove myself to work, nearly 50 minutes away from my home. To my great surprise, Cricket was still there, on top of my car. That particular cricket actually hung around for a few days. It later showed up inside the car, either on or around my rearview mirror.

Yet even another time, a green and yellow cricket showed up in my bedroom. I discovered it sitting on the back of a wooden chair. What’s funny about this meeting is that it took me a few hours to even notice that Cricket was there. It sat so still and blended into the background so well that I didn’t even consciously register its presence. Then, what’s more is that Cricket did not seem to be even the least bit bothered by the continuous activity happening in my room. If I remember correctly, the cricket stuck around for most of that afternoon and evening, disappearing sometime well into the night. It was there so long that sometimes, when I thought I couldn’t see it anymore, I would panic slightly and begin to search for it, only to feel relief once I realized it was still positioned on top of the chair.

Scientific Info

Crickets are of the order Orthoptera, family Grillidae. There are over 900 known species, and they are most often confused with grasshoppers and katydids. The difference between crickets and these other insects is that crickets tend to have much longer, thread-like antennae and much longer hindlegs.

A cricket’s body has three main areas: head, thorax, and abdomen. All crickets have wings (either one or two pair), though none of them are particularly great fliers. Instead, they rely upon a combination of jumps and short flights to propel them to their destinations.

Depending on the species, crickets are active during the day or night time. Many crickets opt to call the open grasslands or woodlands home, while there are some who prefer to live underground.

Crickets tend to be largely vegetarian, though there are some crickets that do feed on other insects. Their mouths are built especially for biting and chewing, so they can feed on a wide variety of things, from leaves, shoots, and stems to other dead or decaying matter, even household garbage.

Crickets have specialized hearing organs, called tympanum, on their front legs, which allow them to detect vibration. Only the male crickets sing, by a process called stridulation, which involves the coordinated rubbing together of one or both pairs of his wings. Male crickets sing in order to attract female crickets or court a chosen female cricket.

The lifespan of a cricket depends on several factors, namely the species and living environment (in consideration of predators, food supply, and other concerns). House crickets and field crickets, both common in North America, typically live no longer than 90 days.

Metaphysical Background

More than likely, you already know how highly prized these little creatures are in China, a belief that goes back thousands of years. Crickets, in China, are believed to be harbingers of good luck and prosperity, which is why you will often find them on display or for sale in tiny bamboo cages in marketplaces in cities like Beijing. The Asian cultures values the cricket for its seemingly divine singing ability, the fact that it lays hundreds of eggs, and its ability to get into some of the most tightly guarded, heavily kept places.

In certain parts of Brazil, crickets of various colors have different meanings: black – illness; gray – money; green – hope. In other parts of Brazil, the chirp of a cricket portends death (regardless of color), and it is killed as soon as it can be located. And in yet another part of Brazil, a chirping cricket foretells of either pregnancy or money, depending on the cadence of the chirp.

In Zambia, crickets are considered to bring good luck to anyone who encounters it, no matter the color or chirp-rhythm.

Personal Meaning

With so many potential meanings, it can be hard to determine which one is applicable. In my personal experience, I simply try to let the encounter be what it is, and not force it to fit into any particular mode of being. I think about the circumstances under which I encountered the animal or insect (cricket, in these cases), what I was doing before and after, how I felt (surprised, happy, angry, afraid), and, ultimately, what vibration I received from the entire incident.

Personally, Cricket has always been a surprising and enlightening encounter, something that usually happens while I’m on my busy business, too hurried and rushed. Then Cricket shows up, just when I need a break, or need to pay attention to something else that I’ve been neglecting.

Cricket tells me about jumping into life, armed fully with the knowledge that I will be okay no matter where I land. Cricket reminds me to stay positive, that I should purposely choose to dwell on what I desire, instead of focusing/worrying about what I do not (desire, that is). Cricket also brings me messages of vibration, specifically of raising my vibrations so that my true desires, dreams, and hopes have a chance to manifest within my life in this material plane. The vibrations spoken of by Cricket not only affect me, but those I interact with. Cricket says that I can use my vibrations to positively affect the world around me, thus working towards the evolution and enlightenment of all.

With the number and type of encounters I’ve had, I am definitely of the mind that Cricket is a Power Animal/Spirit Animal or some form of a Spirit Guide for me. Each time I have met Cricket, there has been some sort of change occurring in my life; change that leaves me pondering how to proceed and possibly doubting my ability to do so successfully. In retrospect, the Cricket has always come to reassure me that I’ll land on my feet, with proper preparation, guidance, and wisdom.

Additional Resources

Two websites I frequent when searching for the symbolic meanings of insects and animals have a wealth of information to offer on the subject matter of Cricket:

Universe of Symbolism

Spirit Animals

 

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