Updated: Jan 4
Ladybugs are very special creatures who, like Butterflies, transform from larvae to beautiful, colorful, inspiring and well-loved members of the natural world. They bring joy to children and seem to lift the spirits of anyone in their presence.
Ladybugs as spirit animals have healing properties and often arrive exactly when and where they are needed. Farmers laud their ability to rid plants of destructive aphids, (both in the ladybugs’ larvae and fully developed stages), like they did during the plague in Europe during the middle ages. When the plague was destroying their crops, legend has it that farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. In response, ladybugs arrived and proceeded to rid the plants of the aphids that were causing the destruction.
After saving their crops farmers started referring to these helpful creatures first as “Our Lady’s Birds” or “Lady Beetles” as they believed they were sent by the Virgin Mary, also referred to as the “Blessed Lady”. They soon became known simply as “Ladybugs”, however in Germany they are referred to as “Mary Beetles”, connecting their history to their current name in a more direct way.
Spiritually, Ladybugs can be powerful allies for healing, change and transformation and can help us see the miraculous and the Divine in everyday life. They symbolize good fortune and are said to bestow blessings on all who encounter them. They brighten our day and help remind us of our own childlike innocence and joy, and help to lighten up any situation. Their ability to fly between ‘earth and heaven’ reminds and inspires us to elevate our own path to spirituality.
While ladybugs’ transformation is similar to butterflies, there are several important differences. During their larvae stage ladybugs are fully exposed to the world, transforming out in the open on a leaf, rather than in a cocoon. To me this symbolizes their vulnerability, a necessary ingredient for anyone seeking lasting change and who want to live a more authentic life. The length of time it takes to fully transform is also longer than a butterfly, lasting for up to 15 days. This is also a testament to how important it is to take one’s time and be patient, a lesson most of us could certainly use including me.
My own experience with ladybugs is a testament to their gifts as healers and helpers. While recovering from cancer surgery in 2017, the ladybugs who, year after year, would congregate on the bedroom ceiling started to make their way down to my nightstand. Each day up to eight ladybugs would find a comfortable spot there, on the lamp, the TV remote, my books, and would stay there while I slowly recovered. I had temporarily strayed from my own path as a healer for several years prior to my cancer diagnosis, and I truly believed the ladybugs were here to help me heal and find my way back to my true calling as a healer and a helper – just like them!
I soaked up their sweet energy as they taught me patience during the cancer recovery time, and for the road ahead as I planned my new practice. There was also the issue of my having had to give up my former massage therapy practice several years earlier due to a debilitating back injury, something I was still struggling with and continuing to grieve as I began the difficult process of letting go of who I once was in order to fully embrace who I was becoming. The ladybugs reminded me to lighten up and take a break, they helped me to finally accept and make peace with my loss as I let go of the past, and amplified my connection to the Divine. I began to see them as my personal Angels and messengers, here to help me heal and get back on track.
Now, their message and blessings help to shape the work I offer as a Spiritual & Intuitive Counselor as they continue to guide me to help others the way they helped me. My greatest joy is having the opportunity to share this powerful ladybug medicine with my clients particularly during these trying times as many of us search for ways to connect with our true selves and find happiness and peace despite the many challenges we are facing.