Late last night as I sat at my computer, I heard my cats jumping about at the end of the room, as though trying to catch something. I had only the light from the computer screen available, so I reached for my flashlight that I keep near me at all times. As I turned it on and cast the beam of light toward my cats, something flew past my head.
I ducked and shuddered upon seeing the furry underbelly of large bat with a wingspan of at least seven inches. It silently glided from one end of the room to the other, which is only twenty-four feet. I was intimidated, and staying in a hunkered-down position, made my way to the top of the stairs. The bat was moving, back and forth. It was difficult to keep it in the beam of light I kept aiming about toward the ceiling. I had caught a bat down in my living room a few months ago, so I made my way downstairs to find the black-handled sieve and a sturdy piece of junk mail I used previously.
When I came back upstairs, the cats had quieted down and the bat had disappeared. I searched the entire upstairs area, trying to see if the bat had landed somewhere I might be able to reach, thus enabling me to catch it and take it outside. It was a mystery how it had been there one moment and then, seemingly, vanished. It was very late, and I knew I should get to bed, but I could not let go the fact that a bat was possibly still in my bedroom.
It was then I remembered a book I have that accompanies the Medicine Cards, written and produced by Jamie Sams and David Carson. Coherent descriptions of animal symbolism are found in this book. The information is based on teachings handed down to Sams and Carson from “many elders in the Choctaw, Lakota, Seneca, Aztec, Yaqui, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Iroquois, and Mayan traditions.”1 Under the chapter “Animal Medicine,” they write:
“”When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature’s essence. Gaining understanding from these brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom is a healing process, and must be approached with humility and intuitiveness. Certain aspects of the lessons given by these brothers and sisters have been chosen to reflect the lessons each spirit needs to learn on the Good Red Road. These are the lessons of being human, being vulnerable, and seeking wholeness with all that is. They are a part of the pathway to power. The power lies in the wisdom and understanding of one’s role in the Great Mystery, and in honoring every living thing as a teacher. The lessons taught are eternal and they are forever forthcoming. If the learning is over, so is the magic and the life.”"2
Given the way the bat just appeared and then vanished, I thought perhaps I was being given a clue regarding my spiritual journey. I found the pages describing the symbolism of this creature. These are the first words I read:
“”Sacred Bat…flew to me,
From the darkness of the cave,
Answers it gave.
Birth, death, rebirth,
Cycles of the whole…
The journey of the soul. 3
I read further. The bat symbolizes rebirth, “…it symbolizes the need for a ritualistic death of some way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern. This can mean a time of letting go of old habits, and of assuming the position in life that prepares you for rebirth, or in some cases initiation. In every case, Bat signals rebirth of some part of yourself or the death of old patterns. If you resist your destiny, it can be a long, drawn out, or painful death. The universe is always asking you to grow and become your future. To do so you must die the shaman’s death.”” 4
I closed the book with huge relief, understanding that I was, once again, given a nudge, a reminder that I am truly on my chosen path. No longer worried about a bat possibly still being present in my bedroom, the message received, I felt free to go to sleep and dream.
And dream I did. But I cannot write of the dreams. All I remember from this morning was seeing a beautiful, in-full-bloom pink rose, taking up the entire frame of my third eye. I woke with the dawn, refreshed spiritually. Still physically tired, and with no obligations to meet this new day, I went back to sleep.
Today feels much like a dream world. It rained all night and has continued raining, ever so gently, all day long. I notice the forest is enveloped in a mist, and all is perfectly still. An inner peace is within me. The day has passed with only one interruption from outside, and it was not really that.
The call from my friend affirmed that I am very much connected to all that is, including the people in my life. We shared a long conversation, and when we said good-bye, it was with mutual love and appreciation. She needed to sort out some things; I listened and offered my perspective. Love and support is a universal dynamic within true friendships. It manifests in an easy flow of messages, much like the mysterious message that comes in the dark of night in the form of a bat, then fades back into the unseen. It is a deep message of truth, and when embraced, transforms.
1 Carson, David. Sams, Jamie. Medicine Cards . Revised, Expanded Ed. New York; St, Martin’s Press, 1998, 1999. P.11.
2 Carson, David. Sams, Jamie. Medicine Cards . Revised, Expanded Ed. New York; St, Martin’s Press, 1998, 1999. P.13-14.
3 Carson, David. Sams, Jamie. Medicine Cards . Revised, Expanded Ed. New York; St, Martin’s Press, 1998, 1999. P.204.
4 Carson, David. Sams, Jamie. Medicine Cards . Revised, Expanded Ed. New York; St, Martin’s Press, 1998, 1999. P.206.