What Does a Grasshopper Symbolize Spiritually?

There are many symbols representing the spirit of a grasshopper. A simple grasshopper is an illustration of being young and carefree with its innocence and half closed eyes. It wants to make sure that its presence is known, but never makes a scene to bring attention to itself.

What does a grasshopper symbolize? In the animal kingdom, a grasshopper is a hopping insect that has long antennae and powerful hind legs. While grasshoppers have many interesting characteristics, you may be wondering about the spiritual symbolism of different grasshoppers.

Spiritual Meaning of Grasshoppers in Christianity and the Bible

The Bible uses the word “grasshopper” to symbolize death and destruction on numerous occasions.

The Bible reads in Judges 6:5, “For they came up with their animals and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.”

“If there is hunger in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,” 1 Kings 8:37 reads.

Both texts allude to a fear of something more powerful than oneself, and grasshoppers are a universal symbol for this feeling. As a metaphor for humanity, grasshoppers illustrate how tiny we are in the eyes of God, even when we multiply to enormous proportions.

Grasshopper Symbolism in Mythology and Folklore

Native American Grasshopper Symbolism

Some Native American groups viewed grasshoppers negatively because of the damage they inflicted on crops. At the same time, hunter-gatherer communities didn’t have the same prejudices because grasshoppers had no bearing on their way of life.

Grasshoppers were considered a delicacy by some indigenous communities in Mexico, while others believed that they could foretell the weather and alter rainfall patterns.

Any Hopi child who disobeys their elders or engages in forbidden behavior is said to have their nose eaten off by grasshoppers.

Gluskabe is a legendary figure in Wabanaki folklore who is said to have stolen tobacco from a grasshopper. The story goes that Gluskabe searches for smoking on an island where the magician Grasshopper lives.

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Without the magician to be found, Gluskabe lights up his pipe and inhales deeply, calling for the spirits of those who have died trying to steal the tobacco from Grasshopper.

Through his yelling, the bones of the dead spring to life, and Gluskabe gives them tobacco, instructing them to do the same for others. Although he shrinks and stuffs tobacco into his mouth, Grasshopper still pursues Gluskabe.

European Grasshopper Symbolism

There is a narrative in Scottish folklore about a home ghost named Maggy Moulach who is said to do housework in the dead of night. According to urban legend, she would transform into a grasshopper and sneak inside homes through chimneys to kidnap children.

The Royal Exchange, which Sir Thomas Gresham started in the 1500s, had a grasshopper weathervane made of gold. Roger de Gresham, the head of the family, was found abandoned as an infant in the 13th century by a woman who had been led there by a grasshopper.

Symbols of the African Grasshopper

Africans have a folktale called “The Grasshopper and the Toad” about the relationship between the two animals. Despite their close friendship, they never shared a meal.

Before dinner, the Grasshopper visited the toad’s home to wash his legs, but the commotion he produced disturbed the toad’s quiet evening. The toad was annoyed by the noise, and the Grasshopper couldn’t eat without constantly rubbing his legs together.

The following day, the Grasshopper invited the toad to visit him at his home. Both the Grasshopper and the toad washed their front legs, but the Grasshopper’s subsequent hop to the table rendered the toad’s clean legs dirty once more. This time the Grasshopper was not happy, and the toad had to hop around before he could eat.

The toad and Grasshopper had grown bitter after their meals and no longer spoke to one another. This folktale teaches that good friends can look past one another’s imperfections and remain close.

The symbolism of the Grasshopper in East Asia

The Japanese usually associate grasshoppers with prosperity because they create music that is said to be influenced by the moon. Grasshoppers, thought to bring prosperity and entertainment to the home, are often kept as pets.

Grasshoppers are reincarnations of departed loved ones and are associated with bringing good fortune, fertility, health, and happiness in Chinese culture. As the story goes, harvest time was near when grasshoppers showed up in China.

Grasshoppers are a staple food at a traditional Korean celebrations. The celebration honors those who persevered during trying circumstances.

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Grasshopper Symbolism in Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks believed that wearing a covering of golden grasshoppers would bring them good fortune and highlight their noble status.

Tithonus, a human, had an emotional connection to the goddess Eos. Eos beseeched Zeus to grant immortality to Tithonus. Zeus was jealous, but he granted Eos’s wish, although Eos failed to ask that Tithonus be given eternal youth. After Tithonus’s old age rendered him physically and mentally useless, Eos transformed him into a grasshopper.

Aesop’s fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper” is another example. The Grasshopper in question, according to the legend, spent the entire summer doing nothing but sleeping, eating, and singing while the ant went about its business of gathering food. Once upon a time, a grasshopper came to an ant and begged for sustenance in the dead of winter, but the ant instead encouraged the Grasshopper to dance the cold season away. To succeed in life, you need to put in the time and effort now and plan for the future, as this fable’s moral demonstrates.

Ancient Egypt Grasshopper Symbolism

Although grasshoppers and locusts look and behave differently, Moses included locusts as one of the ten plagues he brought upon Ancient Egypt to get the Pharaoh to rescue the Israelites.

Locusts ravaged Egypt’s fields on the eighth day of the plagues, contaminating the water supply and spoiling the crops.

Why do Egyptians attach such significance to grasshoppers? Locusts have a less than favorable connotation because of their association with Moses and the ten plagues, the point of which was to demonstrate that there is only one genuine God.

The Egyptians ascribed a deity to each of the ten plagues. The eighth plague, in which locusts were released to ravage the fields, is associated with Seth, the God of Storms and Disasters.

The Pharaoh had long before refused to abandon his religious beliefs. The Pharaoh would be forced to acknowledge God’s authority and pass this knowledge on to his children and grandchildren, as foretold in the prophecy.

Moses again requested that Pharaoh liberate the Israelites, but he was denied. As a result, the locusts were released onto the Egyptian farmlands, bringing them devastation and hunger.

There is an African folktale about a toad and a grasshopper who become fast friends. The Grasshopper and the toad realized that despite their friendship, they had never shared a meal at each other’s homes.

When the Grasshopper arrived at the toad’s house, the toad politely asked him to wash his legs and be quiet while he ate.

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The toad expected too much of his friend, but when the roles were reversed, he was just as unable to keep his legs clean. When the locust and the toad had a falling out, they became symbols of fairness and self-acceptance.

Grasshopper Tattoo Meaning

Given the Grasshopper’s associations with prosperity, insight, and good fortune, it stands to reason that someone actively seeking all of these things would choose to immortalize them on their body in the form of a grasshopper tattoo.

A grasshopper tattoo can also serve as a reminder to be bold, creative, and risk-taking whenever an opportunity arises, as well as a constant reminder, to trust one’s gut.

Despite its reputation for sweetness, the locals were scared of the giants who lived there since they knew they were no match for their size.

The Israelites had forgotten the Grasshopper’s incredible leaps into the air and its collective destructive power.

In the Bible, the Grasshopper is one of the twelve plagues that befall Egypt. After eight previous plagues failed to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery, locusts were unleashed onto the country. 

Celtic symbolism of the Grasshopper

A giant golden grasshopper decorates the Royal Exchange in London. However, in the world of finance, what exactly do grasshoppers represent? A grasshopper represents Sir Thomas, the Royal Exchange’s namesake.

The ancestor of Thomas was found by a woman who had been attracted to him by the sound of a grasshopper when he was a baby and had been left alone in the fields. And so, the widespread use of the Grasshopper as a symbol of the Royal Exchange may be traced back to an old family tale.

In heraldry, the grasshopper sign denotes sagacity and noble character. Hence it appears on the arms of some noble families.

According to Scottish legend, Maggy Moulach is a brownie who helps out around the house after dark. Legend says she would sneak into homes via chimneys, abduct children, and then transform into a grasshopper to escape justice.

William Blake also uses the Grasshopper in his writings. Blake immortalized the Grasshopper in his writing and even imagined a burial for the insect community in his garden. The grasshoppers are faeries in William Blake’s imagination.

Locusts sang at Blake’s grasshopper burial as they carried the body on a rose leaf. There is a widespread belief that this portends the person’s imminent demise.

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