The fact about the Praying Mantis that is most commonly known is that the female may devour the male after mating. This of course tends to overshadow its other meanings.
This spirit animal once entered my space very forcefully by landing on my face. The story itself is not important, but the outcome of that encounter made it one of the most significant moments in my journey to date.
An encounter with the Praying Mantis tends to signify both danger and an opening for liberation.
In fact, the danger is part of the edifice created by a person's pain-body (refer to 'Pain-Body Building'). The Praying Mantis may come at a time in which this edifice is becoming solid and particularly harmful. It can be likened to a kind of alarm clock screaming -
“Wake Up, it's time to move!!”
The pain-body receives its power from the fact that it is allowed to act in darkness. It is an accumulation of pain dished out to us by our conditioning. It thrives on unconsciousness, creating more of itself, using us, dominating us, feeding on our energy; much like a virus.
An encounter with the Praying Mantis signifies an invitation to see. Your life is burdened with too much stress and agitation, and you need to retreat, slow down, and above all reconnect with the barely audible, still voice of the Inner Guide. An encounter with the Praying Mantis is one of the ways we may be invited to Remember Our Selves.
Finding the space in one's busy life to switch off – or at least reduce – the Internal Dialogue, that constant, compulsive mind-chatter that parades as who we are, is now essential. Disregarding an encounter with the Praying Mantis is not a good idea.
It is time for an Inward Turn, time to invite a state of no mind in one's life. In practice this state can only arise out of action. Thinking about it won't make it happen; in fact it will only add to the
The practice of not-doing as found in the teachings of Castaneda involves acting for acting's sake, therefore bypassing the egoic mind's obsession with results. The mind is then deprived of a rich source for the material it needs to create noise.
Other ways that promote the state of no-mind are meditation, sports, creativity, inhabiting the body fully, conscious breathing, involving oneself in challenging or uncomfortable situations, playing with children in a mood of self-abandonment. Finding and creating one's own ways is part of the challenge.
With practice the arising of the state of no mind becomes increasingly smoother and more permanent. It might be said to “accumulate”, until enough energy is saved for the Assemblage Point to be dislodged from its customary fixedness.
(refer to 'the Assemblage Point').
This means that one will begin to perceive and experience a new world, a new life, a departure, a rebirth. A life with less agitation and chaos, more in harmony with the Earth, will therefore begin to manifest outwardly as well.
Under the guidance of the Praying Mantis, one rides the Present Moment on a long road of careful choices, effective action, and acceptance of change.