praying mantis

A walk in my favorite place in New Haven, Edgerton Park, always brings messages from the more subtle worlds, answers to pressing questions, and a peacefulness as still as its mirror fountain. Last week there I met a small brown praying mantis. Maybe only the third I've ever run into in my life. I filmed him (or her) with my iPhone (below). The quick turn of its head when I get too close cracks me up.

Some animal encounters feel more meaningful then others. When they do, I try to figure out their qualities that I might benefit from by developing in myself by reading scientific entries as well as spiritual ones. I found this on a shaman practitioner's site: "
I considered the attributes of the Praying Mantis – devotion, stillness, patience and Divine Timing. A Mantis waits motionless for its prey to draw near and then strikes with impeccable speed and accuracy. Mantis knows what Mantis wants and is willing to wait for just the right time before making a move."
She has a lot more to say about praying mantises, but this part was most relevant to the reason I was at the park that day. The mystical marriage is an alchemical reference:

Another expression of the Mystical Marriage is the integration of the spiritual and mundane life or the inner and outer worlds. We all have busy schedules and for many spiritual goals and ideals are put right at the bottom of the to-do list. When things get busy it is easy to skip our yoga or meditation class and forget that we promised ourselves to give up smoking, forgive the ex or find a job that really utilizes our talents. When our daily life reflects our spiritual values, when we act and speak from our inner truth and our habits and behaviour reflect this, then we have really integrated our spiritual and mundane worlds. Some sensitive souls find the mundane world extremely difficult to live in and tend to retreat into their own private world of dreams, thoughts and visions. Whilst this can develop a deep and rich inner life, there comes a time when that richness must find an outer expression, must be allowed to bloom and add colour to one’s daily living or it will create only fantasy. The ability to realize your dreams, that is to turn them into something real, workable or solid is a good indication that your inner and outer worlds are in balance. Finding your true calling in life, where your daily work uses your talents and abilities to the fullest and where your personal beliefs, ideals and values are put into practice and reflected in those around you, shows that your spirtual and mundane lives have become one.

Thanks, little mantis, and Misha Hoo. I'll take your advice. Starting right here.