On the evening of Tuesday, June 4th, a swarm of Ladybugs flew offer Southern California. That, in and of itself, is nothing noteworthy, but the swarm was so large that it registered on the National Weather Service’s weather radar. This is how I learned that a grouping of Ladybugs is actually called a “bloom,” by the way.
A bloom of ladybugs 80 miles square is certainly noteworthy. Any time a critter calls itself to my attention, my Shaman hat goes on and I start pondering its significance.
Questions to ask:
- In what direction is it (are they) traveling?
- How many are there?
- What specifically caught my attention?
- What is it (are they) doing?
- What do I know about this critter, from a biological and behavioral standpoint?
- What do I associate with this critter?
Once I’ve asked those questions, I might go look up what various authors and bloggers have written about this critter as an ally.
Direction/position: The bloom seems to have been traveling due south at a high altitude. Cardinal directions mean different things to different cultures, and even to different individuals. To me, for example, South is the kiln that strengthens the container to become unbreakable; that is to say, it is the place of learning, experience, and meeting challenges head-on. Now, these aren’t my ladybugs, per se, but they are likely to have a different message for each person who contemplates them. Since it was a regional event, we can also consider the fact the South, to a lot of the local indigenous peoples, was heat/desert/conservation.
How many were there? A lot. 80 square miles of them. Numerologically, the number is significant, because it represents expansion and infinite possibilities. If you read my prediction for this month, you might remember that this month is an 8. And just like that, we have a pattern, and any Shaman is (hopefully) going to tell you to pay attention to patterns.
What caught my attention? There were a lot of them, and they took on the appearance of a weather pattern. Specifically, the pattern of the Santa Ana winds. Those winds, for those of you who don’t live here, are hot and strong and dry, and they are unsettling. They often bring fire, and they generally make people jumpy.
What are they doing? Flying, together as a unit, high above the landscape. This might indicate a shift in perspective, as a population, is needed. Take the long view.
3D info about the critter: They eat aphids, which are garden pests. That’s mostly what I know about them. Some cursory research adds that they are a beetle, they have a protective exoskeleton (a part of their wings, which is pretty cool), are found I most climates, they feel vibrations through their legs, and their life cycle is about 4 weeks.
Associations: Beyond the gardening, I know that Ladybugs are thought to be good luck, people make wishes on them, and they were dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages.
My take on this fantastic event, beyond the fact that it reinforces how awesome our superbloom (hey, check out the verbiage!) was this year, is that we may be getting more sensitive around here, which can make us jumpy, but shifting our perspective may help. More specifically, what can Southern California do to mitigate the issues that are over taking the country and the world? As one third of the 5th largest economy on the planet, we really do have the ability to make a difference. We have historically been a leader in awareness, ecology, and human rights; let’s push harder. Change could start to become evident in short order.