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The Water Witch (AKA Dragonfly)

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posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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The Water Witch or Dragonfly

A creature that predates the dinosaur ... it's been around for almost 300 million years. One of the first winged insects to evolve. In the times of the dinosaur, they are believed to have had a wingspan of over two foot (some archeological evidence to this?) but now, their wingspan is on average about two inches. Over 5000 different species and varieties of them in the world today...

They are agile in flight, another one of the creatures similar to the hummingbird with regards to movements and flying abilities. It's wings beat so fast they are a blur, and they have the same maneuverability of the hummingbird, able to hover, turn, reverse and move forward at will. But they are silent in their movements.

Lots of myth and lore about dragonflies to be found all over the world. I started reading about them when I went for a run the other day and well, there were about a dozen of them that seemed to be running with me. (I know, active imagination, but that's what it seemed like)

Called the Water Witch in Germany (At first I believed they had a huge fascination for dragonflies, as they have over 150 different names for this one insect, until I found out The United States has around 119) for reasons that I could find no real answer to. After looking a bit at other things called water witches, I am under the impression it is because of their rod or stick like shape and how they are born in water . One thing that stood out was that a person who believes they can find water anywhere with a divining rod is also called a water witch... so maybe that is why such a name has been given to them. Maybe those two things combined.

We call them dragonflies where I live. The Swedish name for them is trollslända, which means "hobgoblin fly" in English. A long time ago when people in Sweden believed in hobgoblins, elves, brownies and such, they also believed that dragonflies were the hobgoblins twisting tools. Another version is that trolls used dragonflies as spindles to sew their clothes and sent them to poke out the eyes of their enemies. They also believe dragonflies are used by the devil to weigh a man's soul..



Dragonflies symbolize:


“To the Japanese, the dragonfly symbolizes summer and autumn and is admired and respected all over, so much so, that the Samurai use it as a symbol of power, agility and best of all, victory. Japan's island Honshu was once called Akitsushmi, which means Dragonfly Island.

In China, people associate the dragonfly with prosperity, harmony and as a good luck charm.

Amongst Native Americans, it is a sign of happiness, speed and purity.
Purity because the dragonfly eats from the wind itself.”

The Dragonfly symbolizes good luck, strength, peace, harmony, light and transformation, the unconsciousness mind, defeat of self created illusions, opening one's eyes, and maturity.




Some Stories and legends :


The Zuni story:

A village came on hard times and its people were hungry, so they abandoned their home in search of a more prosperous land. Unbeknownst to them, they left behind a young boy and a young girl. The girl was very upset at having been left behind and was inconsolable. To please her, her brother made an insect doll from corn and other grasses and gave it to his sister. This corn-being soon came to life, a messenger from the gods sent to teach the children how to please the gods and gain their favor. more

Japan:

The Japanese ancestral hero known as Jimmu -Tenno was said to have given Honshu the name dragonfly island. According to legend the emperor saw the shape of his realm from the top of a mountain and was struck by its resemblance to a dragonfly. Folk belief holds that a dragonfly is the vehicle of departed ancestors returning to visit their families at the summer feast of the dead. Samurai warriors depicted them on swards and arrows quivers, as both weapons should fly straight and fast, like the dragonfly.

Germany:

In Germany they call the dragonfly Hatzpferd, which translate into hunting horse. There is a German folklore that tells about a young princess that lived a wild life with a fiery steed, not caring what she destroyed. One day she was riding through the dark forest and came across a little man who spoke to her in a polite voice. Not wanting to stop she spurred her horse, riding over him. The little man cursed the girl saying, “May you always be joined to your horse as one!” As soon as the little man said that, the princess and her horse were changed into a winged insect, which is called Hatzpferd (Mitchell and Lasswell, 2005).

In a Romanian folktale, St. George’ horse turned into a winged insect because it became possessed by the Devil is called calul dracului. That translates into devil’s horse. The word dragonfly is believed to come from the Romanian word drac, which means both “devil” and “dragon” (Mitchell and Lasswell, 2005).

Philippines:

In a Pilipino folklore, The Dragonflies and the Monkeys, it tells about how the dragonflies outwit the monkeys. This folklore begins with a dragonfly heading back home gets harassed by monkeys. The dragonfly goes home and tells the king dragonfly what had happened. The dragonflies go and try to talk to the monkeys. The monkeys do not listen to the dragonflies because they are smaller than they are therefore they are weaker. This causes a war to break out between the monkeys and dragonflies. To avoid the monkeys’ attacks, the dragonflies would land on their foreheads and the monkeys would strike their own heads knocking them out (Friedman and Johnson, 2014). more



Just found it amazing that such a little thing has so much history backing it. That it could be viewed in so many different ways by so many different people/cultures..yet it still remains just a dragonfly..wanting no more than to do/be what it is. I wonder if it knew how we viewed it, all those myths and stories, if it would change what it was to suit us..or if it would remain true to itself and it's nature...

Anyhow, just wanted to share with whoever was interested.. and save the links and facts for future reference..

Thanks,
blend57


dragonfly fairy lore
dragonfly and butterfly
Smithsonian
dragonfly
Yahoo
animal symbolism in world art
dragonflies..good or evil
The dragonfly, friend or foe
edit on 20-7-2016 by blend57 because: links..




posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 02:52 PM
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a reply to: blend57

I will read the rest of this in a moment, but I wanted to comment and say that you've done a wonderful job putting this thread together. I love the photos, the information, the lore, you did a fantastic job.

PS according to this the meganeura (ancient dragonfly) had a wingspan of over 75 centimeters.. wow!

www.prehistoric-wildlife.com...



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

Thank you.. there is a lot more out there.. I was hoping that I presented some of the more interesting stuff. Feel free to add anything more that you find... and thanks for the wing size info.. I read it in one of the links but wasn't sure if it was factual.

Thanks,
blend57
edit on 20-7-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: blend57

I find dragonflies fascinating creatures , one of natures true success story's.




posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:10 PM
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Great post, well worth the read!



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:13 PM
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a reply to: blend57

Blend this is well thought out! Your amazing!



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:16 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Yes.. they seem so varied in size and color..in habitat and life spans. So different, yet so similar... I believe you are right about them being one of natures success stories for sure..


Thanks,
blend57



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:24 PM
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Coincidence you posted this. I was on the lake in my boat and pulled a dragonfly out of the cobwebs that had gathered in the corner. I spent about a half an hour with a pine needle getting the cobwebs off. He was very patient with me and would use his tail in between his wings to get free. I got all visible web off and left him. Went back later and he was gone, hope he got it all off.

I always enjoy them where I live, beautiful critters. I had one hang onto the top of my truck antennae all the way to work at plus 60mph at times.



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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ugmold

Good thing you didn't find him dead..according to one legend that is bad luck..finding them alive or having one land on your hand is good fortune..I am unsure what the situation you told of would be.. maybe it owes you some good luck/fortune. That would be a good story to write out. I'm gonna do it if you don't mind...

A pic I forgot to use in my thread..is one of my favorites ...



Thanks, blend57



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: blend57
I like to sit on my dock in the evening and read (Henry Miller at the moment)and often they will land on my knee or something, the big ones like to follow along the boat when I'm moving along pretty fast (12 foot aluminum boat with a 1970 9.5hp Johnson).

An even better story I watched a small butterfly totally elude a blue jay (that was trying to make a quick meal of him) all the way across the lawn. I think Butterflies are the most adept flyers there are.



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 03:51 PM
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ugmold

Then maybe they have given you so much good fortune that today was an opportunity for you to return the favor


I would like to write the dragonfly story.. as I am in dragonfly mode and "feeling" it right now.. maybe next week it will be butterflies... who knows with me..lol

thanks,
blend57



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: blend57

I once sat on the shore of a small lake while a hatch was happening .Millions or maybe billions of them and all the same .It created a hum in the air and not a mosquito in sight .We were scared to death by them as kids because someone told us they would sow your mouth shut and you would starve to death LOL .. eta I just seen the pic you posted a few spots back and it was that type I seen the hatch of ...
edit on 20-7-2016 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2016 @ 08:32 PM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1

That was one of the myths that I read about..um.. possibly a European one? That would be a very scary thought for any child none the less.. I had never heard of that until I read it in one of the links. So varied are the tales behind them. Some so beautiful and others so scary...

Thanks for sharing your tale..

Thanks,
blend57
edit on 20-7-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2016 @ 07:24 AM
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Dragonflies are awesome. I see them all the time, and its weird as if they like to hang around you. One time I played "catch" with one. It had landed near me and I picked up a small stick and broke it up really small and threw the pieces by the dragonfly, and it'd fly up and try and grab it.

I assume it thought it was a bug, but quickly found out it wasn't. Their reaction times are amazing.



posted on Jul, 21 2016 @ 07:53 AM
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eXia7

They are very good hunters.. according to a few articles they catch 95% of their prey and fly up to speeds of 30 MPH...



This video shows dragonflies capturing their prey in slow motion within a lab setting. I searched for one in a natural environment but was unable to find it.

And as with the hummingbirds, the military is/was looking to model their drones after them.



In this last video at roughly the 2:20 mark you will hear them say that the research began with a million dollar grant from the United States Air Force. As this video is from 2012..I am sure it is much more advanced now.

Thanks for your interest and response,
blend57
edit on 21-7-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)



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