A praying mantis is considered a particularly lucky sign in most cultures. Never disturb one, or your good fortune will become sour. Traditionally, most insects, including mantises, are signals of good omens. Say a prayer and be grateful for the abundance around you if you see a praying mantis outside your window.
In China, where it is believed that spirits walk among us, every time someone sees a praying mantis they think of good luck coming their way. It's said that seeing one of these creatures is like opening a lottery ticket: whatever number you get will be your destiny number for the day. If you get two or more mantis sightings in a week, then there is probably going to be bad news on the horizon.
In Africa, people believe that if you see a praying mantis it means that you will prosper in business. They say that if you see three or more mantis you should be afraid because this means that several other people also see them and your misfortune is about to begin.
In Japan, people think that if you see a praying mantis it means that you will meet your true love. They say that if you see one moth or insect of any kind, wait until it flies away before you go after another one because this means that your first love was the last one too.
Depending on your culture, seeing a praying mantis might be considered either good or bad luck. Because of the "prayer" hands, some Christians believe that the praying mantis denotes spiritualism or devotion, and that seeing one in your home indicates that angels are looking over you. Others view them as evil creatures who bring misfortune to those who see them.
In Asian cultures, seeing a praying mantis is believed to be an omen of marriage happiness or failure. It is said that if the sighting is of a male mantis, then the marriage will not work out; if it is of a female mantis, then the marriage will be happy.
In Africa, people believe that if you see a praying mantis, it means that someone close to you is going to die within the next year. No one knows why this creature is associated with death, but scientists think that maybe watching one strike its prey can be disturbing.
In America, people consider the praying mantis to be good luck. If you find one, you should keep it as a pet. They are insect animals and should be kept in a natural habitat such as a garden or park. Do not feed them because they eat insects which help control pests of other plants and animals.
They have very powerful jaws and strong legs used for catching their prey.
The praying mantis is a symbol of good fortune. When it falls on you, expect to encounter both huge and tiny amounts of luck. It represents the earth and its hues, as well as mixing with them to attain peace and harmony. The symbolism of the praying mantis also encompasses peace, stillness, attention, and concentration. When you meet with this creature, keep in mind that fortune loves to play tricks on us. It may seem like bad luck, but later you will realize that it was actually an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
In Asian culture, when a woman receives gifts such as jewelry or money, it is believed that she will be lucky in love. Scientists have proven that women do, in fact, get a rush of dopamine when given gifts. This is why shopping for others and giving gifts can be so satisfying - you are helping to release these chemicals in their brains!
In the western world, the bug is used instead. When thrown at someone, it means that they will experience good luck in matters relating to love and money. As with the praying mantis, there is some scientific evidence to support this idea. Dopamine is again involved here - studies have shown that throwing money at people causes them to feel generous towards others. This is why fundraising events are so successful! They give you the chance to help others while releasing lots of happy hormones.
Finally, there is one last use for the praying mantis.
I recall hearing as a youngster that staring at a praying mantis may cause you to go blind. Praying mantises, on the other hand, are mostly innocuous, though they can sting if you tamper with them. Mantises are an insect order (Mantodea) with about 2,400 species. They are found on all continents except Antarctica, and many live in temperate regions of both hemispheres. Of the about 280 species found in North America, only one-third are praying mantids.
The myth probably started with the observation that when threatened, some praying mantids open their wings and raise them above their head, much like a priest during a prayer. This behavior is called gesticulation and it is used to intimidate predators. Praying mantises cannot make sounds with their legs or their wings, so they use their antennae to communicate. If they are scared, they will raise their arms over their head to show they are not a threat.
Praying mantises are known to be poisonous if ingested, but only if you eat them while they are alive. There is no evidence to suggest that looking at them would harm you.