Flying Fox - Community
Fruit and flower magic. Nutrition. Diet. Health and fitness. Creating nature. Wind and air magic. Celebrating the night. Community. Socialising. Social structure. Know your community role. Fitting in. Belonging. Finding your place.
The flying fox is a frugivorous flying mammal, similar in appearance to the smaller, insectivorous bat, and subsisting almost entirely on fruit and nectar. There are several species in Australia, some are small enough to fit in the hand, and others have a wing-span of a metre long. They are nocturnal, gregarious and have excellent night vision. Flying foxes live in communal groups of up to one million. They are very noisy, particularly when feeding.
The flying fox is considered a pest in urban areas in the Eastern states, where their nocturnal screeches and noises, as well as fecal matter, disrupts human habitation. They can also cause large scale damage to fruit orchards. Flying foxes assist in the seed disposal of some 25 forest plants and are crucial in maintaining the health of the forests.
Lessons and Challenges:
Flying fox teaches about the values of community. Not only the larger community that we live in, but also the smaller micro-communities that make up our family and extended family, our different groups of friends (and how to negotiate all of them if they don't all get along!), and any other community groups that revolve around volunteer work, career, spiritual groups etc.
When flying fox energy is in your life, all aspects of community come into sharp focus. Flying fox challenges you to fix or work on expanding your inter-relationships with others, and demands increased socialising so that you may nourish yourself by surrounding yourself with many different energies.
Social structure, and knowing your community role is important and flying fox can help one to recognise exactly what their community functions are. Some people are mediators, others are pioneers or natural leaders, yet others make hard-workers who are happy to take direction and form the foundation of any community. There are many different roles and chances are you have several different community roles which each mean something to you and others. What are your community roles, where is your place in the social structure?
It is through identifying your place in a community, that it becomes easier to access a better idea of where you fit in. In turn, a healthy sense of belonging or groundedness within a community, or communities can emerge.
When you actively think about finding your place in society, you empower yourself with the tools to also find out where you belong. Many people focus on how they don't fit in, flying fox asks you to find out where you do.
Flying fox draws your attention to all facets of personal health. It is time to look at your every day diet and look at ways of changing it to make it better nourish your body and spirit. It may involve purchasing more organic foods, it may involve eating less unhealthy fats, growing your own vegetables, or even booking in to see a nutritionist. If you put unhealthy foods into your body, you get unhealthy results. Flying fox asks you to nourish yourself physically in a way that is healthy and rewarding.
All aspects of health and fitness are the domain of flying fox, and its presence in your life can indicate that it is time to also exercise more often, or to change the way you're exercising so that it's still healthy, but also not so hard on the body that you're hurting yourself. Consider gentle forms of exercise like walking, swimming, tai chi or pilates.
The flying fox is, like the bat, one of the few unlikely mammals that is capable of true flight (unlike the gliding of sugar glider for example). As such, it has learned to master the winds in a way that many mammals have not. Flying fox teaches wind and air magic, and emphasises its value in our life. Take the time to be grateful for technologies that allow us to exploit the wind to help nourish our spirits; consider the wind turbines that give us an alternative source of electricity, or hang-gliders which literally allow us to soar on the winds.
Also consider what wind and air represent symbolically. In Wicca, the wind often symbolises quick thought and the ability to embrace change. Your intellect is a valuable resource at this time, and may help you to logically embrace changes that you have not been able to make until now.
The flying fox comes alive at night-time, it is its primary time of feeding and flying, interacting and socialising. The flying fox asks us to celebrate the night. Ask your friends out for coffee, or dinner. Alternatively, go on a nocturnal bush-walk with a guide that can show you how a great deal of wildlife celebrates the night. Consider walking through areas that you feel are safe, or spend some time simply looking up at the stars.
Look into the healing aspects of fruit and flower magic. In alternative therapies, the healing power of flowers is featured not only in herbalism, but also in flower essence therapy. Likewise fruit can be used to introduce healthy vitamins and minerals in your life. In traditional Chinese medicine, both fruits and flowers are incorporated into their rich cornucopia of healing remedies. The Indigenous Australians also incorporated fruits and flowers into their healings, and research will indicate other cultures that have also seen great value in the magic and healing ability of both fruit and flowers.
The flying fox, like the cassowary, is integral to the maintenance of the ecosystems it is native to. It assists in seed dispersal and germination, through the act of eating the fruits of certain trees and shrubs. The flying fox literally possesses the wisdom of how to create nature through its actions. When we go through our lives, are we a mostly destructive force, or creative one? What have we created in our lives that we can leave behind?
The Shadow Aspects:
At this time in your life, you might be excessively preoccupied with your diet, nutrition and your health. You might not necessarily be a diet or fitness freak, but it might be something that you can't stop thinking about. Flying fox challenges you to take a step back so that you still have time to enjoy your other thoughts and life in general. Stop going to the gym, or stop thinking about it. Stop monitoring every piece of food you consume, and stop feeling guilty about occasionally enjoying excesses.
Flying fox challenges those who are antisocial because of insecurity. It is time to stop seeing friends, family and strangers because you fear rejection or ostracism. Only by socialising can you hope to be accepted by a community and others. At this time in your life, you will benefit from challenging any withdrawn mannerisms you have. You have something to bring to a community, and flying fox reminds you of your obligation to do so.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Flying fox has a friendly spirit and a gregarious personality, but for some reason it still seems to be quite an inaccessible energy. I'd like to say that it's 'just me,' but even Indigenous mythologies tend to indicate that despite the social nature of this creature, it does not extend itself as willingly into an open cultural mythos as animals like the kangaroo and the bandicoot; instead remaining in the darker domains of secrets and initiations. It seems that like it's cousin, the bat, flying fox is a custodian of mysteries, and may only become a long-term guide to those who are a part of mystery traditions.
Flying fox may respond to offerings of fruit and flowers, but unless you have signs that flying fox is reaching out to you (such as dreaming about it, or seeing it in unusual places, or acting in unusual ways), I would recommend leaving this wise spirit alone. It is still possible to learn from flying fox without actively seeking it in visualisation. Simply observing it in nature demonstrates many of its most accessible lessons.