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Totems: Cricket, Part 1

by Cie Simurro, a.k.a. Thunderbird Starwoman

All that you have been working toward for a very long time can now come to fruition. Take a breath and accept your good fortune. Your planet is making a leap forward through receiving an extraordinary amount of energy at this time and making possible what was previously only a wispy dream fragment. I AM CRICKET, facilitating your progress, as your unused strands of DNA reconnect; as your dense body sickened by the illness of ego separation becomes the 5th dimensional crystalline body; as you and Mother Earth fulfill your true destiny – what you were truly meant to be and experience.  

Imagine a tiny little cricket being insistent. As it came time for me to begin my next totem article, I was wondering who would come forth with its Medicine for me to explore and relate to you, and the times in which we live. One of the best, most soothing sounds outside my bedroom window this summer has been the chirping of crickets. All night long, like background singers at a concert, this lullaby has provided a stream of insect music to state that all is well; the world still turns and life goes on. And yet, as I began my research, I thought, There isn’t enough natural history on crickets to make it interesting for my readers. I’ll have to find another totem to write about. Yet, there was cricket hopping across my path on a hot road in the middle of the day, which is really surprising because crickets are mainly nocturnal; most unlikely, right? Then I realized that I was hearing them all day too. The clincher was finding a field cricket in my house while writing this article. It took its rightful place on my altar. Okay little ones, I acceded. I’ll look into your Medicine more fully, I promise. Soon, I was wondering whether two articles were enough to hold everything cricket had to say.

Sure enough, late summer and early fall is their mating season. If cricket is your totem, your most influential time of year corresponds to their mating season. That is when you will feel the most life force running through your body, and when others will be most receptive to your proposals and desires. The males of most cricket species chirp to attract females, though a few species are mute. They make sound through stridulation, which is a process where they rub together their leathery forewings. Sometimes referred to as tooth and comb, a scraper on the upper surface of the lower wing is rubbed against a row of bumps known as the “file” on the underside of the upper wing. This sets the wings in motion, producing the trills and chirps you are used to hearing on late summer nights. During the time that cricket is around, a situation or person that irritates you may be in your life, like an itch you can’t seem to scratch. This may be coming up so that you find a new way of resolving the conflict, for these are times to tie up any loose karmic ends, and resolve old patterns that no longer serve you.

Are you looking for a mate? Does your soul cry out for someone other than your Maker who will love you enough to want you to be all you can be; with whom you can be in blissful partnership? Cricket can usher in the arrival of a happy relationship. To prepare for this, become the kind of lover you want to attract. Sound is a quintessential part of cricket medicine. Crickets have at least 4 different types of songs: the Calling Song attracts the female, repels other males and is rather loud. When the female is close enough to mate, the male initiates the softer, quieter Courting Song. Oh, and that courting song is accompanied by a courtship dance too. After mating, he briefly lets forth his Triumphal Song, which may also encourage the female to lay her eggs. And finally, he sings his Aggressive Song if his sensitive antennae detect any other males. Sound volume can increase by the presence of air-filled cavities of varying sizes, especially in the abdomen and also in the thorax, having the resonant effect of a sound box. In addition to having a variety of songs, some crickets like the male mole cricket sing from behind the entrance to their burrows, which are shaped like a double megaphone. This so intensifies his song that if you were standing 2,000 feet away, you could hear him. Some have reported hearing his song a mile away. Like a battle between opera singers, males competing for a territory or a female try to out-sing each other vocally. If that doesn’t work, out come the whips (antennae). Strong jaws will tear at each other’s appendages; forelegs spar like boxers.

The female cricket absorbs the male’s spermatophore (sperm packet) during copulation. The protein molecules in the packet are incorporated in the female’s eggs within 72 hours. This time period is significant. When a person makes a leap in ability, new neuronal pathways in the brain are created. A great surge of sodium and potassium takes place. The back-surge of those chemicals creates a phenomenon called recoil. It means something good has happened, but usually feels bad. (Remember those tantrums as a kid?) You may feel like all your old tapes are coming up, or that your head is full of static. Pay no attention to the “man or woman behind the curtin” (Wizard of Oz reference), and don’t do anything crazy. Recoil always means that a leap has taken place, but is not available for 72 hours or 3 days: not today, not tomorrow, but the next day, when new use of ability becomes evident and available for use. It’s best to be really tender with yourself during those 3 days, sleep a lot, or watch old movies.

Shortly after copulation the male tree cricket secretes a fluid from the metanotal gland located between its wings. This fluid provides the female with nutrients that help to increase the chances of her eggs being healthy. Speaking of recoil craziness, female tree crickets have even been known to steal this fluid from a mating pair during their copulation, or else finish consuming the fluid if the first female dismounts and leaves. Eggs are laid in the fall, in a series of small holes drilled into bark. The North American cave cricket no longer needs fertilization to reproduce, which makes the males redundant. For females that do mate, the ovipositor (egg laying appendage) of the female is shaped like a sword or needle depending on the site preference. Females with long and thin ovipositors usually choose to lay their eggs in the soil; those with scimitar-shapes may have serrated tips. After an initial entry hole is made, the tip of the ovipositor saws into plant tissue. Depending on the species, a female cricket may lay from 50 to 200 eggs at a time. If cricket has jumped into your life, this egg-laying ability signifies a time of creativity and productivity. Cricket brings a time of success beyond what you were hoping for or expecting.

So here’s something truly fascinating about crickets: you can tell the air temperature by the rate at which they chirp. True! Because they are cold-blooded, the higher the temperature, the faster they chirp. In some crickets, like the snowy tree cricket (a.k.a. the thermometer cricket), you can tell the approximate Fahrenheit air temperature by how many times in 13 seconds they chirp, plus 40.

Both males and females are equipped with highly sophisticated hearing organs. Crickets’ ears are thin tympanic membranes on their front legs, so they may better hear the courting male’s sound. The membrane is attached to special receptors, which vibrate when stimulated by sound. Sensory cells transmit the signal along acoustic nerves to the central nervous system. So, once the female “hears” the male’s sound, how does she find him? She scans the surroundings by swinging her legs as she walks, “listening” with one leg at a time. This supplies her with adequate information as to his whereabouts. As your power animal, cricket bestows upon you a unique ability to “hear” both what is being said, and also what is not being said. If you are having health issues, try some form of sound healing, which can include chanting, toning, shamanic drumming, or music set to certain frequencies. Music creates a resonance within you. Do you love to sing? Folks with this totem usually have well-modulated voices, and are able to sing in more than one octave. Perhaps your vocation in life is to heal others through the power of sound.

Watch for Part II of CRICKET in the next issue of Wisdom Magazine

For over 40 years, Cie Simurro ~ Thunderbird Starwoman has been bringing forward the healing arts and ancient universal wisdom through her writing, healing work, and teaching. She has been a Healer, Writer, Minister, Advocate and Steward for the natural world for over 40 years. For 15 years, she has been a contributing writer to Wisdom Magazine. For healing for you or your animal, spiritual training, to invite Cie to give her presentation: "Our Partnership With Nature" in your area, or to purchase her book, Totems for Stewards of the Earth ($22 to PO 295, Shelburne Falls MA 01370), call 413 625-0385 or email: cie@ciesimurro.com. Email for information on the monthly Full Moon Empowerment Circle.

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