The bat, with its aspect of a tiny wandering devil, is always a bit the elusive representation of fear.
His figure as a flying machine from the Renaissance, his black and imprecise color, his penetrating and sour screeching and even his strange way of sleeping, are enough elements for the fable of dread and the contraption of horror to rise up in his environment.
Seeing Bat in House – Meaning
For most people these animals evoke stories of haunted houses, graveyards and bloodthirsty vampires.
But the truth of these stories are as fascinating as the myths with which they are surrounded. Bats, far from being the monsters of popular legends, are truly of paramount importance to the life of our planet.
The general aversion that accompanies these animals is to be attributed to their nocturnal habits, their resemblance to mice, their frightening facial structure, the strange conformation of their limbs, or the sinister environment of their shelters.
Their extravagant appearance has made the popular imagination turn them into ominous animals, inseparable companions of witches and goblins.
The bat, because of its mammalian and flying condition, served Peter to recreate the fable in which the birds were at war with the quadrupeds, with the moralizing explanation that anyone who wishes to ingratiate themselves with two opposing sides will end up being ungrateful to both of them.
Allusive to its mammalian character, it is the riddle that says: “Student who studies philosophy, what is the mammal that flies and breeds?”
This mammal, due to its similarity to the mouse, has been called a flying mouse.
On this characteristic Aesop bases the fable The Bat and the Weasels, in which he instructs on the need to adapt to circumstances and who’s moral has a political nuance.
San Isadora says that it is an animal similar to the mouse, it emits screeches and due to its external appearance it is a bird and a quadruped at the same time.
In ancient times the bat was a symbol of vigilance or alertness and it was said that its eye protected against drowsiness.
In this sense, Alciato himself compares the bat with a disciple of Socrates who, due to studying and staying up late for his studies, lost his color and became haggard and yellow.
The lesson to be learned is that tasks cannot be accomplished without dedicated and consistent work.
According to the Book of Animal Utilities, when the head of this animal is placed on a pillow under a man’s head, he no longer sleeps.
Aeliano gathers the belief that a simple touch of the bats makes the eggs of the storks hollow and infertile and to avoid it they take banana leaves to the nests; thus, when they approach them they are paralyzed and unable to do any harm.
For the Greeks the bat was a hybrid animal, with a sinister and ghostly aspect. It was considered a symbol of intelligence probably because of its ability to fly at night without tripping over obstacles.
Due to its hybrid condition, described in the Natural History books, it has been attributed the symbolism of hypocrisy.
Also contributing to this meaning was Aesop’s etiological fable entitled “The Bat, the Bush, and the Seagull.”
Together with the nocturnal birds of prey they have been baptized as the lords of darkness. In one of his fables Aesop comments that, like the owl and other nocturnal birds, he flees from daylight because he committed a crime and wishes to hide; in this case it symbolizes those who hide from creditors.
Alciato, in his LXII emblem, dedicated to the bat, which appears at sunset, serves to designate men of ill repute, who do not go out of the house or into public places for fear of justice, the philosophers who are confused and only see falsehoods and the cunning ones who do obscure maneuvers and have no credit anywhere.
According to Marino Ferro, in some works of Germanic inspiration it is an attribute of envy, since just as the bat does not fly except at nightfall, the envious work in the shade and do not show themselves in full light. Piero Valero associates light with wisdom, while the darkness in which the bat carries out its activity represent ignorance.
In many medieval bestiaries it is stated that where bats decide to stay for a long time, they cling to each other and form large clusters, a kind of reciprocal loving service such as can only rarely be found in humans. This praiseworthy attitude failed to prevail in popular belief.
An ancient superstition was ingrained in some rural areas where there was a custom of nailing bats to doors for protection against nightly and malevolent demons. Drops of bat blood under a woman’s pillow assured her the blessing of having children.
Seeing Bat in House – Symbolism
In the West it is considered a sinister creature that allegedly entangles itself in the hair of human beings. In Soria, when a bat enters a house, they believe that one of the family is going to die; if it lands on a relative, he will be the dead person.
In Cantabria it was said that they were seven-month-old creatures of devils who waited for the witches at twilight to accompany them to Cernégula (Burgos) when they were hanging from a beam.
The hatred of the common people for these animals is explained because they supposed it a form of transmutation of the witches and they knew about the use that was made of them.
Note that in the same region, of this noctivaga creature, the curious riddle that indicates the position adopted under the shelter of some eaves is collected.
Amades mentions the belief that when bats fly away from populated areas, it is a sign of good weather, since, when the temperature is low, they never move away from population centers.
It is also believed that when they fly in abundance and at night they announce good weather.
In many Spanish towns, especially Castilian, they have the superstitious custom of nailing a bat that has entered the house behind the door, because it is considered a good luck charm.
In fauna, there are animals for which there is an objective name, but to which real or imaginary characteristics are attributed, often inherited from superstitions and atavistic fears, which reveal beliefs in the names they receive.
The maleficent expressiveness of the bat is manifested in the tradition of some parts of the Cadiz geography with names such as the devil and the devil’s bird. However, in popular folklore the name of bat is a humorous name for night owls.
Celestial phenomena and constellations occupy a select place in the etiological myths of South America. Thus, among the Bakairi it is widely believed that eclipses are caused by huge bats that hide the sky with their wings.
For the Zuni Indians, bats are heralds of rain. In a myth of the Chami Indians, the mythical hero Aribada kills the Inka bat, to seize its power to put its victims to sleep.
It is treated with care, for fear that he is nothing more than an atua (spirit) disguised as an animal, because he will not forgive him for treating him brutally and he will take revenge by continually stealing his fruit.
In Africa, according to a Peul initiatory tradition, the bat has a double meaning. On the one hand it is the image of insight as it sees even in the dark when the whole world is submerged in the night.
On the other, he is the figure of the enemy of light, the extravagant one who does everything against the grain and who sees everything upside down like a man suspended by his feet.
Frazer says that in some tribes of Victoria (Australia) the bat belongs to the men, who protect it from all harm, even if they have to kill half the women for their safety.
Jealous protection is based on the fact that man believes that his own life, that of his father, brothers, children and other relatives, is linked to that of particular bats and that, by protecting the life of this animal, he protects that of all his male relatives as well as her own.
The bat is the only mammal that flies. Half mouse half bird is a strange, nocturnal animal, capable of being guided by sounds. Among the Mayas the bat was considered a deity. Pictograms of this deity have been found for more than 2000 years.
The native Indians of North America of the bat since ancient times already saw in the bat a being very sensitive to its environment and therefore, it was considered a symbol of intuition, dreams and vision. This made the bat a powerful symbol of Native Americans and medicine shamans.
Often times, the spirit of bats is invoked when a special energy called “night vision” is needed, which is the ability to see through illusion or ambiguity in order to directly access the truth of things.
The bat is a symbol of communication, because the Native Americans observed that the bat is a highly social creature. In fact, the bat has strong family ties. They are very careful about exhibiting verbal communication, touch, and sensitivity to members of their group.
However, it is a totem that only tests at the beginning, when it appears for the first time in someone’s life, once certain basic tests of spiritual learning have been passed, the bat is faithful for life, however, the principles with the bat totem they are very important, because that is where he decides if he will be faithful for life or not. Whether you are worthy of his teachings or not.
We find in the bat a demanding totem, but also capable of providing a lot of help, it is a totem capable of making us much better, of perfecting us, of making us have love for others.
The bat is capable of making us see our inner demons, but it is also capable of helping us defeat them. It is a renewal totem, and a strong totem, only suitable for people prepared for it.
Well, not everyone is prepared for the great spiritual challenges that the totem bat gives.
This is the reason why the indigenous shamans use the bat in their shamanic rituals as an initiation animal, because this creature takes us to extravagant extremes, but the bat always assures that it is by our side while we are on the way.