Ah, the bat, the only flying mammal and the only mammal in this suit.
Bats are a feared creature, misguidedly associated with death and Dracula. Only vampire bats suck blood and they seem to prefer the blood of cows. Whilst we’re dispelling myths, most bats do not have rabies and they won’t get tangled in your hair. They use echolocation and sight to figure out the world around them and there really is nothing of interest in your hair.
Yes, that means the old saying as blind as a bat is a falsehood. Most bats use echolocation to find their way in the dark but as I said, some species rely more on their sight. This ability to see in the night skies means the bat is often a symbol of intuition, clairvoyance and psychic ability. Trust your senses to guide you.
These masters of the night generally live in colonies and have been known to feed sick and elderly bats, some species even adopt orphaned bats. The species has a wide diet ranging from insects and fruit to fish, frogs and more. Their role as a pollinator and in spreading seeds make the bat a keystone species and links them with fertility and sexuality.
Their night time life ties them to the moon and as we’ve seen with the moth, this associates them with the realm of the unconscious, our fears, our emotions and mystery.
The bat cave is a sanctuary for this creature, a place of safety. But for us, going into the darkness is associated with fear, entering the unconscious, the darker unknown part of ourselves. Our fears can act as protectors, for example a fear of sharks means you probably won’t go swimming with them and thus won’t get eaten by one, they stop us looking at painful parts of our lives. But fears can also be irrational and they hinder us rather than keep us safe. Entering the cave can help us understand our fears and our unconscious mind.
Wild Unknown Tarot
The Hanged Man card is very strongly linked with the symbolism of the bat card. Hanging upside down is used in shamanic initiations and rituals as a way of retrieving enlightenment.
This card is about changing your perspective, literally looking at things upside down like the bat.