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 Cicala - Cicada

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Numero di messaggi : 1826
Data d'iscrizione : 22.03.10
Età : 39
Località : Prov. CN

MessaggioOggetto: Cicala - Cicada   Mar 6 Dic 2011 - 15:36

Famosa per la nota favola ( http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_cicala_e_la_formica ), in Giappone viene associata alla stagione estiva e alla reincarnazione...grazie ai seguenti documenti scopriremo che sono molti i miti e la simbologia della cicala.

Buona lettura!

FONTE: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicala_%28insetto%29

Cicadidae
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.


FONTE IMMAGINE: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tibicen_linnei.jpg

Le Cicadidi (Cicadidae Westwood, 1840) sono una Famiglia di insetti dell'ordine dei Rhynchota (sottordine Homoptera Auchenorrhyncha, Infraordine Cicadomorpha).

Appartengono a questa famiglia la maggior parte delle specie di insetti comunemente noti come cicale.

Descrizione

Sono di colore marrone scuro o verde e hanno una lunghezza variabile tra 2,3 e 5,6 cm.
I maschi portano sotto l'addome un organo stridulatore, mentre le femmine emettono un suono secco con le ali, simile allo schioccare delle dita (non facile da udire come nel maschio): esso permette al maschio di individuarle. "Frinire" è il verbo con cui si indica il suono caratteristico emesso dalle cicale.
L'apparato sonoro è costituito da lamine (timballi) tese da tendini che le collegano a muscoli, sui lati dell'addome; per produrre il suono l'insetto fa vibrare le lamine e camere d'aria provvedono alla risonanza. Non si tratta quindi di un suono prodotto da sfregamenti di parti del corpo. Questo canto ha funzione di richiamo sessuale per le femmine; quando queste raggiungono il maschio, ha luogo il corteggiamento e poi l'accoppiamento che dura diversi minuti, durante i quali i due animali rimangono attaccati. Dopo circa 24 ore la femmina depone le uova su ramoscelli o sterpi. Le larve, appena nate, danno inizio alla loro vita sotterranea o ipogea che può durare anche qualche anno (in una specie arriva a 17 anni). Giunti alla maturità, i giovani individui (già molto simili agli adulti, ma privi di ali, con due zampe anteriori adatte allo scavo del terreno) escono dal suolo e cercano un albero dove arrampicarsi ed effettuare la muta. Lasciano definitivamente l'involucro ninfale e, dopo qualche ora, sono pronte per il primo volo. Dapprima verde-azzurro, dopo qualche ora l'insetto assume la livrea marrone definitiva. La cicala si nutre della linfa degli alberi e a tal scopo possiede una proboscide; ha la testa tozza, con tre ocelli e due occhi composti, con vista eccellente. I predatori della cicala sono rappresentati da cavallette e uccelli; nella vita ipogea dalle talpe. Alcune teorie immaginano che i cicli vitali molto lunghi, fino ad un massimo di 17 anni, in cui la larva vive nel sottosuolo, servano per spiazzare i predatori. Non è chiaro però come dopo tanti anni riescano ad emergere tutte contemporaneamente, una teoria sostiene che abbiano un orologio naturale che permetta di contare gli anni.[senza fonte]


Caratteristiche del canto

Il periodo in cui risuona il canto delle cicale è l'estate. Alla cicala australiana spetta il titolo della più rumorosa, visto che riesce a emettere ben 100 decibel alla frequenza di 4,3 kHz[1]; dato che le femmine sono tutt'altro che sorde, e riescono a percepire suoni al di sopra dei 30 decibel, varie altre spiegazioni sono state addotte per giustificare questi suoni: è possibile che la femmina scelga il maschio in base anche alla intensità del suono, oppure che lo scopo sia quello di spaventare o stordire gli eventuali predatori, o invece che il territorio da coprire sia in effetti molto ampio. I due muscoli che con la loro contrazione iniziano la catena di eventi che produce l'impulso acustico, realizzano un suono avente una modulazione di 240 Hz.[1] L'energia elastica rilasciata durante questi movimenti genera uno schiocco acustico, ma data la rapidità dei movimenti, lo schiocco si accoda ad un trenino di vibrazioni caratterizzate da una frequenza di 4,3 kHz. Lo schiocco realizza pressioni notevolissime, sfiorando i 160 decibel. La regione addominale, abitualmente, contiene una sacca aerea, oltre ad una coppia di timpani che fungono da casse armoniche, che collegano la sacca con l'esterno e riescono ad amplificare il suono di circa 20 volte.[1] L'apparato addominale è abilitato a correggere il sistema acustico per ottimizzare la qualità del suono.


Distribuzione

Vivono in tutto il mondo, preferendo le regioni calde,in particolare le zone del Mediterraneo.Si adattano a qualunque tipo di albero ma preferiscono in particolare i Pini e gliUlivi

Cicale: miti e letteratura

Per gli antichi Greci, erano figlie della Terra o, secondo alcuni, di Titone e di Aurora.[2] Specialmente gli ateniesi le onoravano: Aristofane rammenta le cicale d'oro, ornamento per i capelli degli Ateniesi nobili all'epoca arcaica [3] e nella celebrazione dei Misteri eleusini in onore di Demetra, era uso portare nei capelli una fibula a forma di cicala, così come durante la celebrazione dei misteri di Era a Samos.[4] Per Platone le cicale sono gli antichi artisti, specie nel campo musicale e dell'eloquenza, che hanno smesso di mangiare e accoppiarsi per amore della propria disciplina.[5] Secondo Orapollo la cicala simboleggiava l'iniziazione ai misteri, poiché essa anziché cantare con la bocca, come tutti, emette suoni dalla coda.[6] La cicala era anche simbolo di purezza: seguendo un'errata credenza ripresa da Plinio il Vecchio [7] si riteneva che le cicale si nutrissero di sola rugiada e ciò faceva sì che il loro corpo non contenesse sangue e non dovessero espellere escrementi e di qui l'idea della purezza. Il fatto poi che la cicala viva una sola estate ma le sue larve rinascano in quella successiva direttamente dalla terra ne ha fatto l'emblema di una resurrezione a nuova vita dopo la morte persino presso i cinesi.[8] Tra i poeti contemporanei, Giosuè Carducci ha elogiato questi insetti ne "Le risorse di San Miniato" e scherzosamente rimprovera Virgilio e Ludovico Ariosto per averle definite querule e noiose.

Ma la cicala ha anche una fama negativa, quella di vivere alla giornata cantando senza preoccuparsi del domani, assurgendo così a simbolo dell'imprevidenza. Esopo, nella sua notissima favola La cicala e la formica, narra che la cicala si fosse dilettata tutta l'estate a cantare senza preoccuparsi di provvedere ad immagazzinare cibo per l'inverno. Giunta la cattiva stagione essa si rivolse alla previdente formica chiedendole aiuto e questa le chiese di rimando che cosa avesse fatto tutta l'estate non avendo provveduto al cibo, al che la cicala rispose di aver sempre cantato e la formica replicò: «Allora adesso balla!».

Note

^ a b c Henry C. Bennet-Clark, I meccanismi del canto delle cicale, da: "Le Scienze", num.359, luglio 1998, pag.94-96
^ Anonimo, Inni omerici: Ad Afrodite, V, 218, 38
^ Demos, il popolo, compare ne I Cavalieri con questi ornamenti
^ L. Charbonneau-Lassay, Il bestiario del Cristo, vol II, pag. 573
^ Platone, Fedro
^ Orapollo, I geroglifici, 62
^ Plinio il Vecchio, Naturalis Historia, XI, 93-94
^ Alfredo Cattabiani, Volario, pag. 76-77


Bibliografia

Louis Charbonneau-Lassay, Il bestiario del Cristo, vol II, Ed. Arkeios, Roma, 1995, ISBN 88-86495-02-1
Alfredo Cattabiani, Volario, Mondatori, Milano, 2000, ISBN 88-04-47991-4



FONTE IMMAGINE: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brood_XIX_Cicada.jpg


FONTE IMMAGINE: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:7Z1E9865.jpg


FONTE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada

Cicada
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cicada (play /sɪˈkeɪdə/ or /sɪˈkɑːdə/) is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha (which was formerly included in the now invalid order Homoptera), in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many of them remain unclassified. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are among the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts,[1] although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

Cicadas are benign to humans under normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may mistake a person's arm or other part of their body for a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed.[2] Cicadas have a long proboscis under their head which they insert into plant stems in order to feed on sap. It can be painful if they attempt to pierce a person's skin with it, but it is unlikely to cause other harm. It is unlikely to be a defensive reaction and is a rare occurrence. It usually only happens when they are allowed to rest on a person's body for an extended amount of time.

Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches.[3][4] Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas. They are known to have been eaten in Ancient Greece as well as China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo.[citation needed] Female cicadas are prized for being meatier.[citation needed] Shells of cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China.[5]


Name

The name is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada, meaning "tree cricket". There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect. In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas—both names being onomatopoeic.


Taxonomy

Cicadas are arranged into two families: Tettigarctidae (q.v.) and Cicadidae. There are two extant species of Tettigarctidae, one in southern Australia, and the other in Tasmania. The family Cicadidae is subdivided into the subfamilies Tettigadinae, Tibiceninae, Cicadinae, and Cicadettinae,[6] and they exist on all continents except Antarctica.


FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cicada_Chicago_USA.JPG

The largest cicadas are in the genera Pomponia and Tacua. There are some 200 species in 38 genera in Australia, about 450 in Africa, about 100 in the Palaearctic, and exactly one species in England, the New Forest cicada, Melampsalta montana, widely distributed throughout Europe. There are about 150 species in South Africa.

Most of the North American species are in the genus Tibicen: the annual "or jar fly" or dog-day cicadas (so named because they emerge in late July and August). [1] The best-known North American genus is Magicicada, however. These periodical cicadas have an extremely long life cycle of 13 to 17 years and emerge in large numbers.[1] Another American species is the Apache cicada, Diceroprocta apache.

Australian cicadas differ from many other types because of that continent's diversity of climate and terrain. In Australia, cicadas are found on tropical islands and cold coastal beaches around Tasmania; in tropical wetlands; high and low deserts; alpine areas of New South Wales and Victoria; large cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane; and Tasmanian highlands and snowfields.

Forty-two species from five genera populate New Zealand, and all are endemic to New Zealand and the surrounding islands (Norfolk Island, New Caledonia).[7] Many New Zealand cicada species differ from those of other countries by being found high up on mountain tops.


Description

The adult insect, known as an imago, is usually 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) long, although some tropical species can reach 15 cm (6 in), e.g. Pomponia imperatoria from Malaysia. Cicadas have prominent eyes set wide apart on the sides of the head, short antennae protruding between or in front of the eyes, and membranous front wings. Also, commonly overlooked, cicadas have three small eyes, or ocelli, located on the top of the head between the two large eyes that match the colour of the large eyes.

Desert cicadas are also among the few insects known to cool themselves by sweating,[8] while many other cicadas can voluntarily raise their body temperatures as much as 22 °C (72 °F) above ambient temperature.[9]


Cicada song

Male cicadas have loud noisemakers called "tymbals" on the sides of the abdominal base. Their "singing" is not the stridulation (where one structure is rubbed against another) of many other familiar sound-producing insects like crickets: the tymbals are regions of the exoskeleton that are modified to form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened "ribs". Contracting the internal tymbal muscles produces a clicking sound as the tymbals buckle inwards. As these muscles relax, the tymbals return to their original position producing another click. The interior of the male abdomen is substantially hollow to amplify the resonance of the sound. A cicada rapidly vibrates these membranes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make its body serve as a resonance
chamber, greatly amplifying the sound. The cicada modulates the sound by positioning its abdomen toward or away from the substrate. Additionally, each species has its own distinctive "song".[1]

Average temperature of the natural habitat for this species is approximately 29 °C (84 °F). During sound production, the temperature of the tymbal muscles was found to be slightly higher.[10] Cicadas like heat and do their most spirited singing during the hotter hours of a summer day, in a roughly 24 hour cycle.

Although only males produce the cicadas' distinctive sound, both sexes have tympana, which are membranous structures used to detect sounds and thus the cicadas' equivalent of ears. Males can disable their own tympana while calling.[11]

Some cicadas produce sounds up to 120 dB (SPL)[11] "at close range", among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds.[12] This is especially notable as their song is technically loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans, should the cicada sing just outside the listener's ear (unlikely). Conversely, some small species have songs so high in pitch that the noise is inaudible to humans.[13] Species have different mating songs to ensure they attract the appropriate mate. It can be difficult to determine from which direction(s) cicada song is coming, because the low pitch carries well and because it may, in fact, be coming from many directions at once, as cicadas in various trees all raise one another to make noise in unison. Although relatively loud, cicada song can be comforting and even hypnotic at times, as it is at its loudest during the hottest time of an already hot day.

In addition to the mating song, many species also have a distinct distress call, usually a somewhat broken and erratic sound emitted when an individual is seized. A number of species also have a courtship song, which is often a quieter call and is produced after a female has been drawn by the calling song.


Life cycle

After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, such as the North American genus, Magicicada, which has a number of distinct "broods" that go through either a 17-year or, in some parts of the world , a 13-year life cycle, both being prime numbers. These long life cycles perhaps developed as a response to predators, such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis.[14][15][16] A predator with a shorter life cycle of at least two years could not reliably prey upon the cicadas.[17]

Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, at depths ranging from about 30 cm (1 ft) down to 2.5 m (about 8.5 ft). The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.

In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned exoskeleton remains, still clinging to the bark of trees.

Diet

Cicada nymphs suck xylem from the roots of various species of tree, including oak, cypress, ash, and maple. While it is common folklore that adults do not eat, in reality they do have their own sucking mouthparts, and also drink plant sap.[18]


Predation

Cicadas are commonly eaten by birds, and sometimes by squirrels,[19] but Massospora cicadina (a fungal disease) is the biggest enemy of cicadas. Another known predator is the cicada killer wasp. In eastern Australia, the native freshwater fish Australian bass are keen predators of cicadas that crash-land on the surface of streams.

Some species of cicada also have an unusual defense mechanism to protect themselves from predation, known as predator satiation: by many emerging at once, whereas there are no cicadas around for much of the year, the number of cicadas in any given area exceeds the amount predators can eat; all available predators are thus satiated, and the remaining cicadas can breed in peace.[20]


Cicadas in Australia

Around 220 cicada species have been identified in Australia, many of which go by fanciful common names such as: cherry nose, brown baker, red eye (Psaltoda moerens), green grocer/green Monday, yellow Monday, whisky drinker, double drummer (Thopha saccata), and black prince. The Australian green grocer, Cyclochila australasiae, is among the loudest insects in the world.[21]

Being principally tropical insects, most Australian species are found in the northern states. However, cicadas occur in almost every part of Australia: the hot wet tropical north; Tasmanian snowfields; Victorian beaches and sand dunes such as Torquay and deserts. (Some species such as the Green Grocer are not restricted to coastal or desert zones in Victoria. Each year for a period of a few weeks, an astonishing number of newly mature Green Grocer Cicadas emerge from the ground. Their numbers, combined with the ear shattering noise produced by a single adult male, are sufficient to make their entrance throughout suburbia absolutely unmistakable and 'Cicada Season' as some Victorian residents know this time, is clearly noticeable even in CBD areas of major cities such as Bendigo and Melbourne where this species flourish). According to Max Moulds of the Australian Museum in Sydney: "the 'green grocer' is unusual in its ability to adapt perfectly to the urbanized environment."[22] Cicada sounds are a defining quality of Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra during late spring and the summer months.

Cicadas inhabit both native and exotic plants, including tall trees, coastal mangroves, suburban lawns, and desert shrubbery. The great variety of flora and climatic variation found in north-eastern Queensland results in its being the richest region for the spread of different species. The area of greatest species diversity is a 100 km (60 mi) wide region around Cairns. In some areas, they are preyed on by the cicada-hunter (Exeirus lateritius), which stings and stuns cicadas high in the trees, making them drop to the ground where the cicada-hunter mounts and carries them, pushing with its hind legs, sometimes over a distance of a hundred meters, till they can be shoved down into its burrow, where the numb cicada is placed onto one of many shelves in a 'catacomb', to form the food-stock for the wasp grub that grows out of the egg deposited there.[23]


Symbolism

In France, the cicada is used to represent the folklore of Provence and Mediterranean cities (although some species live in Alsace or the Paris Basin).[24]

In the Ancient Greek myth, Tithonus eventually turns into a cicada after being granted immortality, but not eternal youth, by Zeus.

The cicada has represented insouciance since classical antiquity. Jean de La Fontaine began his collection of fables Les fables de La Fontaine with the story La Cigale et la Fourmi (The Cicada and the Ant) based on one of Aesop's fables: in it the cicada spends the summer singing while the ant stores away food, and finds herself without food when the weather turns bitter.[25]

In Japan, the cicada is associated with the summer season. The songs of the cicada are often used in Japanese film and television to indicate the scene is taking place in the summer. The song of Meimuna opalifera, called "tsuku-tsuku boshi", is said to indicate the end of summer, and it is called so because of its particular call. During the summer, it is a pastime for children to collect both cicadas and the shells left behind when moulting.

Since the cicada emerges from the ground to sing every summer, in Japan it is seen as a symbol of reincarnation[citation needed]. Of special importance is the fact that the cicada moults, leaving behind an empty shell. But furthermore, since the cicada only lives for the short period of time long enough to attract a mate with its song and complete the process of fertilization, they are seen as a symbol of evanescence.

In the Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, the title character poetically likens one of his many love interests to a cicada for the way she delicately sheds her scarf the way a cicada sheds its shell when molting. A cicada shell also plays a role in the manga Winter Cicada. They are also a frequent subject of haiku, where, depending on type, they can indicate spring, summer, or fall.[26] Also, in the series Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, cicadas (or higurashi) are a major subject.

In China, the phrase 'to shed off the golden cicada skin'(金蝉脱壳, pinyin: Jīn Chán tuōké) is the poetic name of the tactic of using deception to escape danger, specifically of using decoys (leaving the old shell) to fool enemies. It became one of the 36 classic Chinese strategems. In the Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Diaochan also got her name from the sable (diāo) tails and jade decorations in the shape of cicadas (chán), which at the time adorned the hats of high-level officials. In the Chinese classic Journey to the West, the protagonist Priest of Tang was named the Golden Cicada; in this context the multiple shedding of shell of the cicada symbolizes the many stages of transformation required of a person before all illusions have been broken and one reaches enlightenment. This is also referred to in Japanese mythical ninja lore, as the technique of utsusemi (i.e., literally cicada), where ninjas would trick opponents into attacking a decoy.

In Mexico, the mariachi song "La Cigarra" (lit. "The Cicada") romanticises the insect as a creature that sings until it dies.

In Tuscany, the Italian word for the cicada (cicala) is the euphemism for "vagina" used by children (the usage is equivalent to "fanny" in British/Australian English).[27][unreliable source?]

In 2004, "cicada" ranked 6th in Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year.



FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kikihia_sp._cicada,_Rotorua_area.jpg
Tornare in alto Andare in basso
Tila
Iniziato Sciamano
Iniziato Sciamano


Femminile Serpente
Numero di messaggi : 1826
Data d'iscrizione : 22.03.10
Età : 39
Località : Prov. CN

MessaggioOggetto: Re: Cicala - Cicada   Mer 7 Dic 2011 - 8:22

Le famiglie benestanti dell'antica Cina usavano inserire una statuetta di giada a forma di cicala dentro la bocca dei loro cari defunti. Si credeva che avrebbe assicurato al defunto una vita felice dopo la morte.

FONTE: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/chinese-symbol-for-longevity.html

Cicada:In Ancient China, before burying their deceased loved ones, wealthy families would insert a jade carving of the cicada inside their mouth. It was believed this would assure the deceased would have a joyful life after death, and would immortalize them after their passing. The cicada is also revered by the living and signifies eternal youth and happiness. As the cicada is one of the longest living insect, it's no wonder this is a long-standing Chinese symbol for longevity.



FONTE: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/symbolic-cicada-meaning.html

Symbolism and Cicada Meaning

May I share a fond memory with you? I remember, years ago, finishing a long day of back-breaking work in my friend, Carolinda's garden in Texas. It was mid-July, and Carolinda and I were mending fences, moving stones, pulling weeds. Our toiling in the Texas heat was accompanied by the music of cicadas the entire time - a soft droning - a supernatural humming, that waxed and waned throughout the afternoon. Their song served as a backbeat to our work - a driving reverberation through the landscape that seemed to sustain our energy and buoy our endurance.

At dusk, our garden chores complete, Carolinda and I settled our bones in her wicker chairs, surveying the results of our hard work. As we sat drinking rose hip iced tea, we also settled into the music of the cicada. That's when Carolinda shared some interesting insights about the cicada with me. This page on symbolic cicada meaning is a result of Carolinda's observations with a few of my own tossed in the mix.

------

"How can they keep humming like that? I mean, don't they run out of breath?" I asked Carolinda, after savoring a long sip of tea, and sinking deeper into the wicker chair from exhaustion.

"Silly VeeVee." Carolinda replied (she called me VeeVee, I'm not sure why). "Cicadas don't sing like we do, they produce sound in their abdomen's with their tymbals - it's like they make a drum roll in their bellies. They purr in large groups, as a whole. Cicada's are very big into teamwork, and they sing in unison for the benefit of the group rather than exultation of the individual. That's a lesson...one we learned today. By working together in the garden we got twice as much accomplished. Teamwork reaps higher rewards."

I thought about this for awhile in silence. Then, "What's the cicada's reward for singing as they do?" I asked.

"Love." Carolinda said matter-of-factly.

"Huh?" I inquired, hoping for more detail.

"We're hearing male cicada's crooning to woo their females! It's better than Frank Sinatra! Ooooh Fraaaaankieeeee!" As she said this, Carolina made swooning motions as if gone limp from Sinatra's honey-dripped vocals.

Sometimes it takes a village to encourage love to come our way. I'm reminded of close-knit families in which matchmakers and kitchen-table meetings among matriarch's of the family gather together for long conversations about what young man would best pair with their lovely daughters. Indeed, the cicada is a symbol of love, matchmaking, and calling out to our proper mate. Moreover, cicada's remind us to seek advice from trusted allies (friends, family) when it comes to matters of love. In short, when our awareness is drawn to the sound of cicada's it's a good time to tune into our love-lives, and perhaps get some trusted advice from an outside resource about love and relationships.

"VeeVee, did you know cicada's can lay dormant for over a decade?" Carolinda asked, rustling me out of my reverie about love-bug-song.

"No, why is that?" I asked.

"They chose their own time to be born. That's powerful, don't you think?" She lifted her eyebrow at me as she said this, then tipped her rose tea to her lips for a sip.

Cicada's nestle themselves in the cool earth, almost as if in hibernation, feeding on the roots of trees until their internal body-clocks sound an alarm, resurrecting them from the earth. The symbolic implications of this were staggering to me. It spoke to me about things like: Timing, Inner Knowing, Patience, Resurrection, and also a symbiotic partnership with the Mother [Earth] as well as a special union with trees (an aspect that's always intriguing, as trees are phenomenal wisdom-keepers).

They choose their own time to be born. What a cool concept. Years later I did research into why cicada's lay dormant, sometimes only a year, other times up to 17 years. It has to do with predators. Although still a mystery to biologists, the cicada has a keen ability to sense the right time to emerge from their earthy cocoons in order to produce the most off-spring. They do this during a time in which their predators are low in numbers - insuring the chance of their brood's survival (reducing the likelihood of predators gobbling up their babies for lunch).

This phenomenon is symbolic of timing in my mind. To this day, when I hear cicada's in the summer, they make me contemplate my own timing, as well as the timing of the Universe. It also makes me pay attention to my internal body clock, and the rhythms of the Mother [Nature]. In respect to timing and the cicada, we can ask ourselves questions like: "Is this a good time to start? Or, perhaps I should wait to protect my assets from becoming devoured by poor conditions/circumstances? (just as the cicada does to protect their offspring from predators)."

Some keywords to consider in conjunction with symbolic cicada meaning:

Change
Metamorphosis
Renewal
Rebirth
Past to Present
Reincarnation
Illumination
Longevity
Surprise
Sensuality
Libido
Love
Partnership
Teamwork
Self-Expression
Patience
Timing

Some other symbolic corollaries with cicada meaning...

Cicadas and Numerology:
Recently a Facebook pal (thanks Richard) asked me about the significance of the "7 Year Cicada" - it's a reference to the timing of a cicada's emergence from the earth mentioned earlier in this article. Cicada's pick and choose their own time to creep from the soil based on environmental conditions. We can take a look at their annual brood cycles for more symbolic meaning. For example, if a clan of cicada's have been dormant for two years, their arrival after that time of incubation could signify: New partnerships, a time of making a choice between two opportunities, a time to become more balanced (justifying polarities and balancing duality). This comes from the energetic meaning of the number two. We can look at the number of years for insight. In the case of the 7 Year Cicada, we could attribute the symbolism of the number seven to this: The number seven is a representative of scholarly activities, mystery, and the focused search for esoteric meanings. Seven deals with the activation of imagination and manifesting results in our lives through the use of conscious thought and awareness. This combined with the symbolic cicada meaning (see keyword list above) can offer profound insight. (See more on symbolic meaning of numbers here.)

Cicadas and Themes of Resurrection:
Can you imagine being entombed in silent stasis for up to 17 years? That's what some North American cicada's do. Kept alive by the nutrients of the soil, fed by the root-sap of trees, the cicada sleeps underground, waiting for the right time to break the earth and burst forth in a bustle of activity. Asian symbolism took note of this as a theme of resurrection. So much so, ancient Asian burial ceremonies include the making of intricate jade figures of cicadas; these were placed in the mouths of deceased ancestors. This allowed ancestors a pleasant, tranquil after-life sleep, and gave them the ability to re-emerge in spirit to help families or accomplish goals when the timing called for their aid. A burrowed cicada could also be interpreted as a sign of the past, and it's emergence is a sign of the present. Therefore, when cicada's choose to come out from Mother [Nature's] womb, it may be time to look into our past and see what, if anything, might need to be resurrected and re-examined. (See more on Chinese symbol meanings here.)

Cicadas and Solar Connections:
No doubt about it, cicadas are heat-lovers. Some years it seems the hotter it gets, the louder cicada humming fills the air. This is a solar connection worthy of our attention. The sun is symbolic of: Outward expression, illumination, radiating light/joy, exposing shadow, and also nourishment (as few things can grow without light). When cicada's come into your awareness, it's time to contemplate your own sun-features. Meaning, how are you expressing yourself to others? Are you singing in harmony with your community, as the cicada does? Cicada song is an outward expression - our words are too. Cicada's and their solar-affinity also remind us to contemplate the things that warm our hearts - what kindles our passion? What gets us all fired up, and motivates our energy?
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