Beetle symbolism holds special meaning for Egyptians. Scarab symbolism is especially popular and even holds a special religious meaning to the Egyptians. Beetle meaning is typically related to the Sun God for most Egyptians. If you wish to know what do beetles mean – then read on; this guide is for you!
Table of contents
- Beetle Symbolism and meaning
- Beetle Native American Symbolism
- Beetle Eastern Symbolism
- Beetle Christianity Symbolism
- Beetle Celtic Symbolism
- Beetle African Symbolism
- Beetle in Dreams
- Beetle Encounters and Omens
- Beetle’ Mythology and Folklore
- Beetle Spirit Animal
- Beetle Totem Animal
- Beetle Power Animal
- Beetle Tattoo Meaning
Beetle Symbolism and Meaning
In Egyptian cosmology, the beetle represents the concept of nonexistence coming into existence. Even the briefest perusal of the beetle’s appearance in diverse cultures reveals that the insect has different meanings to many people.
The earliest meaning of the beetle was largely symbolic and based on mythology. Mayate bug, scarab, and June bugs all have spiritual meanings like all insects. Insects have always been rather magical to humans because of the part they have played in the origin of life.
They have always been rather mysterious to humans. Up until the late 17th Century, Europeans believed beetles and other bugs to spontaneously generate from dead and decaying matter.
For this reason, the black beetle in house meaning was believed to be death or even spirits in the house. Scarab beetle meaning and meaning of black beetles from ancient Egypt to Congo was creation, renewal, and rebirth.
Experts even say that the scarab beetle symbol delivers a profound cultural message through its life stages. They are also linked to the human soul.
While all insect meaning and symbolism are sacred and magical, the beetle symbolism is the earliest. This is proved by the fact that the oldest known insect sculpture is that of the burying beetles. (1)
Beetle Native American Symbolism
Native Americans were scared of woodland insects, beetles, and other bugs as they caused diseases.
In some healing practices, the Native healers would blow tobacco smoke in the ears to drive out beetles and woodland insects as they supposedly ‘dried’ out the brain and led to insanity.
Like all animals and insects, beetles were also sacred to Native tribes. They never disturbed the anthills or killed or harmed beetles and bees knowingly. After all, killing beetles was considered an ill omen. Bugs were messengers about sex and also about the harvest each year.
If a bug like beetle was seen in the home, it was considered a sign of fertility. Bees, June bugs, and beetles were viewed as symbols of protection, Love, and fertility.
Some insects like hornets and wasps were seen as omens of evil and meant that challenges were up ahead. If a hornet or Yellow Jacket flew into the house, it was seen as an omen of someone coming to the house who didn’t like the inhabitant/s of the house.
Similarly, cockroach and beetles symbolized sickness, un-cleanliness, lack of hygiene, etc. A beetle in the house was a sign that illness might strike or someone unwelcome would come home. (2)
Beetle Eastern Symbolism
In Japan, beetles are kept as pets. Prehistoric man of 10,000 to 20,000 years ago had beetle-shaped pendants. The Chinese believe that insects like beetles are excited and impregnated by the wind.
Hence the written form for wind (J) contains the character ch ‘ ung (!), insect. A slang term for the dragonfly is “Old Glassy” ( W ), from the vitreous appearance of its eyes. Also, in ancient China, the cicada (Cicada atrata) was a symbol of renewed life and immortality.
Beetle or Scarabæus is also a Chinese symbol of creation, resurrection, or new life. The Scarab beetle symbol has been looked upon as a symbol of Egyptian origin.
In Ancient Egypt, the scarab beetle was seen as a potent solar symbol and as such an attractor of good fortune.
Egyptian belief in the scarab as a symbol of life beyond the grave appears to have arisen from observations of beetles emerging from the ball of dung in which beetles lay their eggs.
China, unsurprisingly, has an abundance of beetles’ especially colorful long-horned beetles.
The Chinese relationship with these invertebrates is complicated. Some are considered pests; others are considered to be religious and sacred symbols, while still others are viewed as food.
Beetle Christianity symbolism
The number of scarab beetle symbols found in Egypt – in the form of seals and amulets – is enormous. The preference for scarabs was taken over by gnostics in later Egypt.
The Scarabæus even entered into the symbolism of neo-platonism. It even grew important in the symbolism of the early fathers of the Church. So much so that the beetle was even likened to Christ since it turned ‘vulgar’ into purity.
As a result, scarab beetles started being used in medicine. You could find prescriptions like: take a beetle, cut off its head, put it into the fat of snakes, cook the head and wings, and boil everything and give the drink to the sick.
Beetles are not considered the same as insects like locusts, grasshoppers, and bald locusts, which are mentioned in the Great Plagues of Egypt. In the King James Bible, there is a translation error about the Beetle.
In Leviticus 11:20-22, the Beetle is mentioned with the grasshopper and the bald locusts (All Beetles after Their Kind). But experts now say that this entry is erroneous. Click beetles do not have the same type of jumping energy.
The New King James Bible overcame these mistakes and properly corrected them to crickets to describe the leaping insects of Leviticus 11:20-22. (3)
Beetle Celtic Symbolism
Beetles are a picture of holy benevolence and grace in some Celtic legends. In others, however, beetles are viewed as quite the opposite.
A European rove beetle is commonly known as the Devil’s coach-horse. It is a long black beetle that is beneficial to farmers as it consumes the wireworms that harm crops.
The name comes due to the stance that it takes when confronted or threatened: it raises its tail in a manner similar to a scorpions’ stance when it wants to attack. In Irish folk tales, there is a story about this beetle where it is described as the Devil incarnate.
The Irish folktale also mentions that there is only one way to kill this beetle (which is called ‘Daol’ the Irish word for Devil)- and that is using fire.
For any object used to crush this Daol – thumb, stone, or boot, will lead to mortal injury to the one attempting to kill the Daol. In various European countries, until the time of the ancient Greeks, common dor beetles and dung beetles came to be associated with the Devil.
In Celtic witchcraft and rituals, the scarab beetle spiritual meaning is very deep because it miraculously hatches itself out of dung-creating life out of nothing.
Beetle African Symbolism
It is said that some West African women still raise beetles, feed them on datura, and then mix the beetle feces within the food to eliminate unnecessary husbands or unfaithful lovers.
Then there is the Scarab beetle symbol, which has a very deeply spiritual and symbolic meaning in Africa, especially Egypt.
The Egyptians worship the Scarab. It is said that there was a vast meadow over which a huge beetle was carved, pushing the disc of the sun ahead of him.
This beetle was the Sky God and the disc held its eggs. Therefore, Egyptians believed that the sun was the offspring of the Scarab beetle.
Another line of belief was that the disc was not the sun but dung, which held the beetle’s eggs. In any case, Africans believe that the Scarab beetle spiritual symbol is the emissary of the sun.
It symbolizes truth, regeneration, and light. During the ancient ritual of mummification to preserve the bodies, scarab beetles and stone beetles were placed in the heart cavity of the dead while the removed heart was embalmed separately.
Like all insects, the beetles were also considered as omens. African tribes believed that insects played a huge role in human affairs. For example, the Death Watch Beetle was said to be a warning of impending death. (4)
Beetle in Dreams
Like all insects, a beetle in dreams could represent a nagging or irritating aspect of your waking life, which you may be putting off. Egyptians believe that dreaming of scarab beetles means truth, light, or birth.
A dung beetle is supposedly created out of nothing but bodily waste and manure; therefore, dreaming of one might mean that you need to trust your creativity and inner wisdom and power.
In Kafka’s book Metamorphosis, the terrified protagonist wakes up to discover being transformed into a cockroach. It is said that Kafka wrote the novel because he worked all his life in an office job, which he hated.
Thus, dreaming of beetles or bugs can mean that you believe you are drowning in ‘manure’ or filth. You might also be a fastidious person who is obsessed with cleanliness.
Perhaps you have unresolved trauma or anger. Since scarab beetles are symbols of the human soul, dreaming of a scarab beetle can also mean that a passed loved one is communicating with you.
In some fairy tales, insects and bugs are called for help. In one story, bugs help the princess to separate grains from gold particles. The beetle in dreams may represent meticulous thinking and precision. (5)
Beetle Encounters and Omens
From symbols of death to creation, to the human soul; the beetle encounters meaning varies from culture to culture. A beetle flying in through the window is a good omen.
In Maryland, a black beetle, meaning if it flies into your room, is impending sickness, even death. In England, it is considered unlucky to kill a beetle.
Egyptians worship the Scarab beetle as the symbol of sun, light, and regeneration.
Christians believe that beetles are Christ Himself owing to their ability to turn impure into pure. If you accidentally kill a beetle, it is sure to rain. It is very unlucky to trample a beetle.
Japanese believe that certain species of beetles like to gouge out human eyes. In Ireland, there is a beetle called the coffin cutter, which is symbolic of the grave, death, and purgatory.
Old German belief is that stag-beetles are diabolic. In Ireland, almost all species of beetles have considered the Devil reincarnate. Seeing a beetle can bring a rainstorm the next day. In Gloucestershire, England, the rain beetle’s death is symbolic of a rainstorm.
The ticking of clock beetles is a terrible omen of death. In the olden days, beetles were crushed to make medicines for treating diseases of the throat and ear. (6)
Beetle Mythology and Folklore
Myths and folklore about beetles also are found worldwide. Beetles are found in all continents except Antarctica and the different types have different myths attached to them.
According to Cochiti (South-Western American) tribes, the beetles were in charge of placing stars in the sky.
However, they didn’t do a good job, as a result of which stars feels down to form the Milky Way. So embarrassed were the beetles that they still hide their faces in the dirt in shame.
In Egypt, the Scarab beetle was the sun’s symbol. Kephri or Kephara, the God of Rising Sun, was represented by the body of a man and head of a Scarab beetle. He was the God of Transformation and constant renewal of life.
The habit of dung beetles carrying dung balls was represented by Egyptians as ‘carrying the sun or solar balls.’ The beautiful beetle species called Buprestid Beetle has beautiful jewel colors like blue, green, etc. on its body.
The Egyptians considered this the jewel beetle and called it the Symbol of their chief God Osiris. In one tale about Bark Beetles, the beetle became envious of the well-fed mosquito and asked him the source of blood.
The mosquito told the beetle to seek blood in the bark of trees. Hence the bark beetle is seen eating bark.
In Greek mythology, Cerambus was a musician who angered the Gods and was turned into a stag beetle. In many cultures, the Deathwatch Beetle’s ticking sound is a symbol/warning of the end of life. (7)
Beetle Spirit Animal
If a beetle shows up as your spirit animal, know that you have the creativity and power to make the ‘best from waste.’ You are a self-respecting individual, very calm, loyal, steady, and still.
You have the ability to act fast and jump up to new opportunities and chances – exactly like the beetles do when they see dung.
You also share a special relationship with the sun, just like the scarab and dung beetles are closely linked to the sun, light, and renewal. So go ahead: spend time in the early morning sun and soak it up.
Because the beetle seems to create itself from invisible eggs in the dirt, it is an image in Egyptian mythology for self – creation. You are a self-made person and will go far in life without having to depend on anyone.
A beetle spirit animal may also show up when some aspect of your life is nagging or holding you back. Use the beetle’s medicine to rise up from the situation. The scarab beetle is also the symbol of the soul.
Therefore, beetle spiritual meaning may be a soul trying to connect with you. In any case, know that the spirit guides are watching over you and that you are being taken care of.
Beetle Totem Animal
No animal is left out of consideration for a sacred duty; in addition to the lizards, chameleons, spiders, snakes, and even hornets and wasps, a person can have a special and specific relationship with a particular animal or insect – and this includes the beetle.
This relationship is expressed in the form of an animal totem. The Beetle totem animal symbolizes light, renewals, self-preservation, and resurrection.
The Arunta tribes in Central Australia have six groups associated with insect totems: beetles, cicadas, honey ants, caterpillars, grup, and acacia. The clans are prohibited from eating their totem insect. The totem insect is deeply revered.
The dung beetle lays its eggs in the dung during the rains. Once the floods settle, new dung-beetles emerge from the manure. Flood and dung are two of the ‘less than ideal settings’ and yet life begins.
Thus, the beetle medicine is to not take life so seriously- it still goes on, no matter what. In the meantime, stay in the moment, and seize the opportunity when it strikes. The scarab beetle creates perfect spheres of balls like our planet.
It reminds men and women to adhere to the Natural Laws of Nature as it works diligently to maintain order. Many cultures also relate the beetle with the Sun God. So spread the light just as your beetle totem does!
Beetle Power Animal
Beetle power animal appears to someone who wears his/her armor proudly. However, you need not do that all the time. The beetle is asking you to shed your armor, embrace your sensitivity, face your fears, and to open your heart.
Beetle power animal brings you awareness, realization, and understanding. Your spirit guide has given you the armor as a shield to tough out all that comes your way.
If you observe beetle traits and characteristics, you will see that this is a hardworking insect. It is always busy gathering food or eating bark or laying eggs or searching for manure.
It ends up in unusual surroundings and environments and yet, it accepts these changes bravely and makes the best out of it. Thus, if you keep seeing a beetle, it is a sign that you must quit worrying.
Your guides and angels are there to protect you. You will get all the power you need to deal with changes and challenges.
Worrying, says the beetle, will only attract negative things. Instead, start to change your thoughts and make them more positive so that you can attract more of the good stuff.
Shine on like the jewel beetle with your beautiful colors and the world will love you for who you are! (8)
Beetle Tattoo Meaning
The Scarab beetle symbol became a popular tattoo in the East and also in Egypt, where the beetle is worshiped as the symbol of the sun.
In Russian jails, however, inmates are tattooed with different animals and insects to depict their crimes. In this context, a Scarab beetle tattoo means that the person is a thief. (9) Thus, body art should be chosen carefully and one must research the meaning prior to getting inked.
In different cultures, beetle tattoos have different connotations. In most places, beetles symbolize regeneration, renewal, and the symbol of the sun.
In Europe, though, the beetle may be viewed as the symbol of death, bad luck, or, in general, a negative omen. In Ireland, the beetle is a sign of the devil. On the other hand, a devout Christian sees this insect as the symbol of Christ Himself.
Ask yourself why you are keen on getting a beetle tattoo. Perhaps the beetle has a deep significance in your life. Beetles are industrious, creative, and also symbolize rebirth from waste.
Dung beetles can regenerate and continue their species by laying eggs in manure. Perhaps you want the tattoo to remind you of hope and renewal. In any case, discuss your vision with your tattoo artist and decide on it.
As can be seen, beetle symbolism takes on different meanings. It can symbolize rebirth, renewal, the sun, and life but can also take on negative meanings like the devil’s symbol, death, and other ill-omens. If a beetle has been showing up in your life or in dreams or you wish to get a beetle tattoo, we hope the above guide helps you decipher your own beetle symbolic meaning.