There are over 1,240 species of bats. They are divided into two categories: Macro and Micro. One can imagine the Macro are large and Micro which are smaller. Straight forward I would say! Our Ancestors encountered these fabulous little mammals living in and around them. As a result, they have made their appearance in many myths and stories from all over the world. Gifted with flight, some teeth and squeaks his combination made them special and formidable game players in many folk tales where the agile bat won the day. My encounters with bats in shamanic journeys has led me to consider them a “liminal” being; they do not fit into the normal order of things and are somehow apart or in-between, almost an ambiguous species.
I remember learning about echolocation when I first started researching Bats. Scientists suggest more than half of the bat species have the ability to use sonar. Bats process the information received through this technique unconsciously, the same way we process the visual and aural information we gather with our eyes and ears. A bat forms an echolocation image in its head that is something like the image you form in your head based on visual information. Bats also process visual information — contrary to popular belief, most bats have acute vision. They use echolocation in conjunction with vision, not instead of it.
Bats navigate the darkest places. The Dark –one of the hiding places of our deep mysteries. Bat wisdom includes shamanic death and rebirth, initiation, viewing past lives, pollination of new ideas, transition, understanding grief, the use of vibrational sound, camouflage, invisibility, ability to observe unseen and secrets, and are well regarded in the Lower World.
One of the shamanic initiations I did was a Death Ritual. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life. It changed me, and I am still changed. During the weeks that followed, I encountered bats in my dreams, journeys and real life. The bat helped me to release my hidden fears and patterns because I was finally able to recognize and release them to the Universe.
Bat flying into your life may signify a transformation of the ego self is about to occur. It may indicate you are entering into a new way of life. This transition can be very frightening, even just to think about. However, in my experience one will not grow spiritually until old parts are acknowledged and released. Facing the darkness before you, will help you find the light in rebirth. Bat gives you the wisdom required to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity.
Bats have needle like teeth and very sharp claws, which may carry rabies, an infectious disease of the blood. It can cause a person to go mad, and if not treated quickly is fatal. Fears given permission to spread unchecked can saturate our system and create a kind of madness within our lives. Bats reflect the need to face up to our fears.
Echolocation is a process of emitting sounds and listening for the echoes reflected from surfaces, even prey in the environment. With their amazing sonar capabilities, bats are able to navigate the dark with great ease. Can you imagine having the ability to know what lies just beyond your senses? Generally, those with this power animal have uncanny abilities to discern hidden messages both from people and the environment. When one has mastered this medicine, intuitive and clairaudient abilities are accurate.
Bats are truly magnificent creatures. They are responsible for pollinating certain plants, for insect control and for seed dispensing. If Bat has appeared in your spiritual world, perhaps you are being asked to pollinate your area with shamanic ideas and teachings. Perhaps you are being asked to be watchful for pesky insects who would like to interrupt your journey and happiness.
2:20 Video from National Geographic on Flying Foxes, the world’s largest bat!
Other resources you may enjoy:
- For more on the Medicine Wheel.
- Free shamanic music and drumming.
- Or if you’re new to journey work and wish to develop your own relationship with spirit, get started with journey work here.
- Our Meditations home page.
More resources on healing:
- Book review of the Book of Shamanic Healing.
- This writeup on Shamanic Healing here on Shaman’s Way.
- An article on Reiki Shamanism.
- Some podcasts on healing:
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