CURRENT TOTEMS ARTICLE
Totems: House & Other Flies, Part 1 of 3
You detest me because of the exigencies of my biology, but as with all beings on this planet, I have my rightful place in the scheme of things. I am Musca domestica – the housefly. I am a necessary part of life on this planet. Waging chemical warfare on me and my kind to try to get rid of us will never work; we evolve resistant strains. Besides, you harm many insects that you didn’t intend to. Wiping out various species that you deem to be pests, only creates imbalance with disastrous results. Through cooperation and collaboration, communication and understanding between species can take place, so you and I will learn how to co-exist. It is through working in harmony and alignment with Mother Earth and all Her creatures, that life on this planet will remain viable. It’s time to implement the premise that all children of the Earth are expressions of the Divine, and we are all relatives. Accepting this, you will be guided as to how to work with us for the betterment of all.
Housefly is a creation that at first glance may make your skin crawl at the very thought of it. But read on, dear ones, and you may find yourself intrigued by at least one of the 120,000 species of flies: Musca domestica – the housefly.
I didn’t have much of an opinion about flies, one way or the other, except that they were a nuisance which I wanted to keep off my food and my skin; that is, until I came to the last chapters of a book by one of my favorite “spiritually attuned to animals” authors, J. Allen Boone. In an amazing account about his experiences with animal communication called Kinship With All Life, Boone challenges us to look at “the least among us” with new eyes. As a pioneer in animal communication in the 1950’s, he established a relationship with a housefly he called Freddie the Fly, documenting their fascinating interactions, all while communicating with Freddie as a fellow being in the Totality that is always expressing Itself through every living creation, to see how far they could go in understanding and appreciating one another. Now, know that Boone understood full well that most humans would want only to kill the nasty pest that is called “fly,” and that this experiment was well outside any semblance of human approval.
In a nutshell, what Boone discovered was the Law of Attraction, even though no one called it that back then. In the words of Job, Chapter 22: Verse 28. “Things shall be as we so decree.” We expect flies to annoy us, and they do. We expect them to bite us; therefore, they do. When Boone changed his thinking and what he decreed related to flies, his experience changed. Later, even when visiting fly-infested jungles, he was not bothered by flies in any way. This same type of thing happened to me with mosquitos, which had always plagued me as a child since spending summers at the Jersey shore and upstate NY. As an adult, after an animal communication workshop, I had an experience with a mosquito that led me to change my thoughts and feelings about them. Interestingly, mosquito, from Spanish, meaning, “little fly” is also a member of the order Diptera, which includes all flies. Right after the workshop, being in something of a state of grace, I decided to see if, without harming her, I could get the female mosquito to not inject her saliva laced with anti-coagulant into my blood. You see, females suck blood to provide nutrients for their eggs. In turn, our bodies produce histamines which send itch signals to the nerves around the bite. This mosquito and I managed to work out an arrangement by which I let her have my blood, but she did not inject me with her saliva! Can’t tell you how, but I never felt a bit of itching. And thereafter, even if others were, I was not bothered by them – not even on a Vision Quest on a dry river bed.
J. Allen Boone was not the first to go beyond fly’s bad rep. Meister Eckhart, (c.1260 – c.1328), a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, expressed a similar thought: “When I preached in Paris, I said then – and I regard it well said – that not a man in Paris can conceive with all his learning that God is in the very meanest creatures – even in a fly.” Boone said that if one is ready and wants to have an enlightened relationship with all creatures, it will be necessary to wipe the slate clean, especially regarding creatures with whom you have had a negative relationship. This includes everything you have ever heard, read, or thought about flies (in this case); everything that was restricting or unkind. Current experience without bias must be the only teacher.
As soon as I began writing this article, flies began coming around so I had the chance to try out this way of being. One fine summer’s day a fly landed outside on my deck on the table. Since I was reading and typing on my computer, I stayed where I was and we observed each other for some time. Eventually, I spoke from my heart, and hopefully reassuringly to this fly. Before I got up to get a morsel of icing from a cupcake for my fly friend, I went over to where he/she was and placed my index finger near the spot on the table where the fly sat, in case the fly wanted to hop up on it. I kept sending pictures of reassurance and fellowship as I got closer and closer. The fly did not seem at all troubled by my movement, and did not fly away until I went into the house for the treat I intended to give to him/her. When I came back out the fly was gone. Guess my friend, the fly, had already had dessert!
True flies have four developmental stages: egg, larva (a.k.a. fly spikes or maggots), pupa, and adult. Most of the eating gets done by larvae. Adults emerge from the pupa by cutting a circular seam. Pomace flies are often used in genetic studies because they pass through the four stages so rapidly. When flies appear, this connotes a time of impermanence and shifting form. As the fate of the fly goes, so goes the rest of the food chain, because flies are at the base of the chain. Think about that, the next time you want to get rid of all flies. The next time a fly starts buzzing around you, pay attention to what’s happening in your life. Weed out your own negative stuff, and be alert to anyone else’s negative stuff affecting you. I will focus mainly on houseflies for this article, with probably more than a few forays into the most interesting behaviors of some of their relatives, although I know I cannot do justice to the thousands of fly species that have been catalogued.
J. Allen Boone also pointed out that flies can do things that we cannot – like flying for instance. Flies have only one set of wings for flying, but at 170 beats per second, this makes them strong and fast fly-ers (I couldn’t resist the pun), maneuvering impressively in the air with great agility. In fact, flies are the aviation superstars of the insect world. If you are working with fly totem, you are in a period of rapid change. They can zoom through the air at 5 m.p.h. Their hindwings have been modified into small, club-like balancing organs called halteres, whose purpose is to regulate a fly’s balance while it is in the air by oscillating rapidly during flight. Houseflies can flip themselves over in midair, to land upside down on the ceiling or glass, as easily as they walk right side up. A hover fly can hover in the same spot, change direction suddenly, or even fly backwards. Many of them, looking more like wasps or bees than flies hover endlessly over a bloom before entering it to feed on the pollen and nectar. In the Bible, Samson is said to have found a swarm of bees and honey in the body of a lion, but more likely, the so-called bees were likely drone flies, a type of hover fly which mimics honeybees. Unlike bees, these flies do breed in rotting carcasses.
So, why is flying so important? Well, flying is the key to an insect’s incredible survival rate (250 million years and counting) and diversity. Fly’s 100,000 neurons brains control complex flight patterns and reactions at high speeds. With this ability, they can escape danger, find new habitat, find mates and establish new colonies. Most importantly, they can reach and exploit a wide variety of food sources. If fly is your totem or you are in a period of its influence, you are able to negotiate something in your life with a considerable degree of agility and finesse. You will almost certainly call more abundance into your life through being able to see all your options and choosing wisely.
Cie Simurro ~ Thunderbird Starwoman has been a healer and writer for 45 years. Her work is to bring forward and disseminate the healing arts and ancient universal wisdom through writing, teaching, and healing, facilitating the mystical reunion of humans with Source and Nature, in all directions, allied with the Elements, acknowledging the divine within all. For 19 years, she has been a contributing writer for Wisdom Magazine.
For healing for you or your animal, spiritual training, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org