Lasavia Essences are the gift of vitality of plants, minerals and insects delivered to you with the utmost care. The resolve of Lasavia is to deliver to you Elemental Healing through the introduction of an Essence into your being. We suggest you put a few drops in water, drink and take a moment to be inspired by the qualities of the Essence that you have chosen.
Praying Mantis, Miomantis Caffra
This remedy was made after spending time observing a pregnant female praying mantis. Mesmerised by her swaying focus, movement and stillness perfectly at play. She seemed to be un-disturbed by my present and time felt adrift. I was coming into her presence rather than her into mine. I had the uncanny experience of feeling myself observed by her. For a moment I wanted to go away, the ‘I am so busy’ mantra started playing in my head. There is something about being caught by the gaze of the praying mantis that is disarming and it was this that made me sit deeply in her presence and then ask permission that I may make her medicine from the energy she was emitting.
Laurens van der Post was born in the heart of the bushman’s land and went back to live with them and record their stories. The praying mantis is the Spirit of creation and a manifestation of their God come to earth. It could represent the creative pattern inherent in life and blends the full range of human and divine characteristics.
“Mantis is a creator come to Earth to experience all that he can.” (1)
To sever persistent thought processes that take you back to pain. The ability to understand a situation or experience through observation, therefore spiritual movement into resolution.
The praying Mantis encompasses the divine and the essence of the creator. In taking this remedy we are invited to open ourselves to the state of being with the unconditional energy of the universe. Being present in our physical surrounds and being present in the connective fabric of the universe. The persistent thoughts that take us away from being quiet or observing are observed. Just like the stillness of the preying mantis as it watches its prey this remedy helps us to do that with our thought patterns.
This remedy is about action. When we play a game of chess in the mind about when we should do things, when frequently we don’t do these things. The should lacks power, it lacks commitment and ultimately it lacks action. The energy of the mantis is fierce and in deepening our response and connection to our spirituality we need this fierceness. It also embodies courage.
Physical Attributes and Interesting Facts
Life Cycle: incomplete metamorphosis. Egg, Nymph, Adult praying mantis.
There are two species of praying mantis found in New Zealand. The native praying mantis has a blue patch on the inside of its front legs, the African Praying Mantis from South Africa in 1978. The New Zealand praying mantis adults don’t survive the winter whereas the African one does which gives it an advantage over the New Zealand variety.
The following observations and life history of the praying mantis I draw from Richard Sharell’s book ‘ New Zealand Insects and their story’ published by Collins Bros and Co in 1971. Richard Sharell admits that the mantids are his favourite insect. The mantis is unusual in the insect world because it can turn its head in all directions, examining and inspecting. The large prominent eyes on the top of its head fix on their prey, suddenly two folded fore-legs shoot our holding the prey in a vice whilst it begins to eat. The eyes contain thousands of tiny eyes each complete with lens and the light sensitive layer, the retina. There is also on the vertex of the head three simple eyes, ocelli, forming a small triangle. Sharell describes the fore-legs as ‘not only efficient tools, manifesting what I like to call the wisdom of the body; they are also beautiful. The inner surface of the thigh has a peacock-colour spot and the spikes and spines are burnished palisades of green and brown.’
It is well known that in the courtship of the mantis the female devours the male. The Book of Insects by Fabre retold by Mrs Rodolph Stawell published by Thomas Nelson & Son, deliberately leaves out the grisley details, but Fabre calls Mantis the ogress. “The mantis is fierce as a tigress, cruel as an ogress. She feeds only on living creatures”. Which attitude to the mantis is now quite common and uneasy jokes about feminine power can still prevail when people talk about the mantis. According to Sharell the New Zealand mantis seems generally not to devour the male in courtship.
During the late summer, the abdomen of the female swells, filled with ripening eggs. In creating its egg case the mantis sits perfectly still, and almost imperceptivity lifts the tip of the abdomen and exudes a whitish- brown foamy substance. The egg case is brown at the sides; the egg chambers are arranged two abreast and are covered with a whitish lid. The female takes one and a haft to two hours long to create the egg case. About twenty to twenty five eggs are sealed in the chambers. Then in the late autumn the female dies. In the spring the larvae hatch, minute images of the adults lacking only the wings.
In Fabre’s insect book he tells a story of an English physician who lived in the sixteenth century that in those days if a child lost his way in the country, he would ask mantis to put him on the road.
The Mantis will stretch out one of her feet and shew him the right way and seldome or never misse.