I love folktales, fairytales, comparative religion, comparative literature– just about anything heavily laden with symbols and deeper meanings. I first got into it when I realized that stories from different parts of the world were using the same symbols. How can that be? It must be coming from the same place, I decided.
Jung’s theory of the collective consciousness touches on it, but still… it doesn’t fully answer for me where it comes from– how have these symbols gotten their meaning? How did they come to hold that meaning in the collective consciousness in the first place?
Some animals make sense- their physical presence explains their meaning. The lion is very majestic and strong, so its symbol as king is easy to come by.
A cricket as being the voice of the conscience in the West or a symbol of luck in the East is a little less obvious. Myths place crickets to symbolize communication and heightened intuition. They call us to find our way through the dark via sound. This got cast as Jiminy Cricket in the West and “personified” as the voice of the conscience. Like that still small voice in the dark forest of our subconscious, the cricketsong calls us to slow down and listen. To take the time needed to nurture our relationship with the Divine within.
If you follow your conscience and deepen your connection to your intuition, you’ll have good luck and prosperity, I’d reasoned, always looking for a way to connect the two interpretations.
In China, the emergence of the cricket signaled time to plant the crops, and their leaving meant it was time for harvest. The Chinese deeply revere the cricket, and they were traditionally kept in little cages so that people could take them home and listen to them sing. They didn’t hear annoying chirps, but beautiful music.
Today, I heard this recording of cricketsong.
Go ahead a listen for a couple of seconds. I’ll wait.
Amazing, right? Talk about a literal example of how much beauty and solace is to be found if we just slow down and listen. It sounds like a heavenly chorus of angels. Beautifully soothing and inspiring. Turns out the Chinese are really on to something!
And now its got me thinking about the practice here in Arizona of exterminating crickets if someone has a scorpion problem… where do we eliminate love and light in our lives because we’re afraid of and emotional sting or the chaos of passion?