Versatile, adaptive, and hardy animals, beetles have manifested different meanings throughout centuries and across cultures in various religious, spiritual, and socio-political spaces. What then is the spiritual meaning of a beetle?
While symbolizing various things across cultures, beetles typically symbolize rebirth, renewal, longevity, and fertility due to ancient Egypt’s belief in beetles and their cross-pollination into cultures globally. However, this circular logic also feeds into depictions of death and decay.
A result of the various meanings attributed to buffalos from Western, Middle Eastern, Eastern, and indigenous communities across socio-political, spiritual, and religious spaces will be discussed in detail to decipher holistic meanings.
What Does A Beetle Symbolize?
As highlighted above, beetles symbolize various things across different cultures throughout the centuries; these will be individually explored to illustrate the cross-pollination of meaning attributed to beetles.
Native American Beetle Symbolism
Although Native American tribes often had an incredible ability to decipher the positives from the animals around them, which fed into communal understandings of harmonious and symbiotic relationships, beetles remain an exception.
Generally speaking, many Native American tribes viewed beetles as a bad omen, bringer of diseases, and insanity. Consequently, traditional healers would sometimes blow tobacco smoke into the ears of patients to drive out spiritual beetles that may be causing harm to one’s psyche.
However, not all beetles were considered bad omens. Depending on the setting and type of beetle, this would sometimes be seen as a sign of fertility, harvest, or love.
Regardless of whether they were perceived negatively or positively, beetles did hold spiritual reverence among many Native American tribes, meaning that beetle colonies were never harmed deliberately.
African Beetle Symbolism
While different beetles represent different meanings across communities in Africa (both positive and negative), by far the community best associated with beetles and deciphering their meaning stems from Egyptian mythology.
Scarab beetles are a type of dung beetle that formed the basis of ancient Egyptian creation myths and played a pivotal role in understanding society, Egyptian philosophy, and depictions of the afterlife.
Consequently, given the importance placed on rituals after death, the construction of the pyramids, and the lasting effect Egyptian mythology has had on cultures and religion globally, it is no exaggeration to say that scarab beetles had an immense impact on human civilization and development!
To the ancient Egyptians, scarab beetles were all male, meaning that their method of reproduction as creatures hatching from dung was seen as a method of self-replication; consequently, it formed part of the creation myth.
The creation myth centered around the sun god Khepri, who was said to have come into being from nothing and from which all life was created. The image of a scarab beetle rolling a dung ball also mirrored the sun’s movement and fuelled its association with a celestial god.
As a result of this process of rebirth and cycles of the sun and moon, ancient Egyptians developed philosophical, religious, and societal practices on these beliefs of renewal, regeneration, patterns, and closed circuits.
Celtic Beetle Symbolism
Due to the low biodiversity and variety of beetles found in Celtic areas, most beetles are viewed negatively, not least of all because of their association with cultures, beliefs, and areas foreign to Celtic society.
However, with its cross-pollination with Christian mythology, Irish folklore has given particular significance to a rove beetle known as the Devil’s coach-horse.
As the name suggests, this beetle is viewed negatively given its harrowing appearance and aggressive nature; however, it is also respected for its consumption of wireworms that harm crops.
Eastern Beetle Symbolism
The abundance of beetle varieties across Asia means that different communities have different associations surrounding the meanings and significance of beetle encounters.
Generally speaking, many communities associate beetles and invertebrates such as cicadas as symbols of prosperity, luck, harvest, fertility, and resurrection.
A notable example of the connection between love and beetles would be the folklore surrounding ladybugs. Some communities say that if one captures a ladybug, they should whisper a wish for it to carry once freed.
Ladybugs are then said to go to one’s true love and tell them your name, whereby the number of spots on the ladybug will indicate how many months it will be before you meet your true love.
What Does A Beetle’s Animal Symbolism Mean?
Over and above third-party observations and interpretations of beetles lie their inherent animalistic symbolism in the form of spirit, power, and totem animals.
Beetle Spirit Animal Meaning
The beetle spirit must be seen as a tutor to allow a person to harness their creativity, resilience, and ability to effect change in themselves and others. Those with beetles as spirit animals typically do so while remaining calm, loyal and steady.
Generally speaking, you can be self-made and don’t require the assistance of others to achieve your personal goals, whereby your self-motivation drives you toward quick and successful decision-making.
It is also likely that you may have a special relationship with the sun or early mornings, whereby capitalizing on this symbiotic relationship with nature could be in your best interests.
Beetle Totem Animal Meaning
Those who encounter a beetle totem are often made aware that, like beetles themselves, you recognize the need to collaborate with like-minded individuals and avoid those that look to halt your personal growth and progress.
Caution should be taken to understand this encounter as one of being socially aware and security conscious, but not allowing these emotions to mutate into mistrust or paranoia.
Beetle Power Animal Meaning
As a shamanistic power animal that anyone can utilize, the beetle should be invoked when somebody is unsure of themselves and open to their desires, goals, and motivations.
In doing so, the user can look to emulate the best traits of beetles, being their resilience, a hardworking attitude, and confidence in themselves while not doing so at the expense of others or their environment.
While it is difficult to paint a holistic picture of a beetle’s spiritual meanings, looking at a cross-section of cultures and experiences suggests an entity that symbolizes decay, disease, rebirth, love, and fertility.