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March 2, 2016

What do cicadas symbolize?

Filed under: FAQs — Dan @ 4:34 am

You might ask, what do cicadas symbolize? What are cicadas a metaphor for?

2005-dantibicen-7

Cicadas, for many, represent personal change, renewal, rebirth, and transformation.

Unlike a butterfly, moth, or other insects that undergo complete metamorphosis, cicadas have no pupal state. They transform from one fully-functioning state (instar) to another — one viable form, in a small amount of time, changing to another. The cicada’s transformation is similar to that of human beings. If a person wants or needs to make a change in their life, they don’t enclose themselves in a pod and emerge the next spring (I suppose some might) — more likely they remain in their human form as they change.

A lot of people use cicadas to symbolize their own personal transformation, in art, song, poetry, or even a tattoo. The cicada inherently symbolizes what they were — earth-bound, nymphs –and all the glory of what they have become — adults with wings & a song.

Cicadas can also be a symbol for a musician or singer since they sing.

Since cicadas sing mostly during the summer months, they are a symbol of summer and a precursor to the harvest.


Watch some cicada transformations:

An aside:

Although cicadas are bugs that are around in June, actual “June Bugs” are not cicadas. They are leaf-eating beetles belonging to the genus Phyllophaga.

June Bug

29 Comments »

  1. Nicco says:

    Mesmerizing… I saw so many of the grass in the back yard in May

  2. Karon Scott says:

    I am totally enamored with the sweet cicadas. I love their colorful bodies, the males’ sweet music. I will be sad when they die! I am totally enjoying everything about them! God does not create junk! I thank Him for these little creatures!

  3. Anonymous says:

    June bugs & Cicada’s are two different bugs. We have both in Ontario Canada. You have google, use it. lol

  4. Lynne V Kinnucan says:

    my first cicada experience came when i worked in downtown d.c. and went out of the building to go to lunch. As we stepped out onto the sidewalk, I saw that there were a dozen or so just hanging out, waiting to get stepped on. I leaned down and put one on each of my fingers and took them over to a big potted tree and placed them. They don’t hurt or bite. They are just very gentle and very stupid.

    My friend said wow, you must have been a buddha in a former life.

    I thought: Or a bug.

    1. Josephine Whale says:

      First of all Jehovah made all living creatures and we’re not other things we are created as humans and they are created as bugs so they are also reminders of things that are going to be happening in these end times of signs f the end time harvest that is coming for people to repent and turn back to God

  5. Jdawg is full of bulls&$t they are june bugs so before you go correcting people make sure you know what the hell youre talking about here in phx we call them june bugs moron .

    1. Davidson Hazel says:

      No, not June bugs where I live (PA). We used to call the locusts. June bugs come out every summer. They’re smaller and have a hard brown shell.

    2. Ron Gilliam says:

      Cicadas are what are forecasted to hatch and appear soon. June bugs appear usually in May and June. But these cicadas are much different in appearance.

  6. Cindy says:

    Even though we used to go to Loisiana every August as a child I dont recall ever actually seeing a cicada. I live in southern California and strangely we saw a cicada on our sliding glass door and it was November 12. Very wierd! Any thoughts on why now and why here? It was my late fathers birthday that day and we were gathering for an early Thankgiving dinner…

  7. Brandon says:

    I’ve always heard them but only saw the shells they would leave on trees. Until this year, I’ve never actually seen one. A couple of years ago, I saw a show and one of the characters had one in her house. I searched the show and found out it was a Cicada. Now, I’ve seen 2 so far this year. My kitties were trying to play with the last one, so I quickly moved myself to protect it and allowed it to climb onto my finger. It stayed with me for a few moments and then when I lifted my hand into the sky, it flew towards the woods next door. They are so sweet! I save everything, and I can say this little one was so much nicer and appreciative than the crawfish I ushered out of the road. All animals matter! It’s important we share as much love and light to them as possible!

  8. Michele Smith says:

    I live in Gilbert Arizona, a little south east of Phoenix, here they call Cicadas “June Bugs” because they come out in June but they don’t start singing until July. Then by about mid August they’re all gone! Kind of sad, I get used to hearing them and when they’re gone it’s an almost eerie silence!

    1. Jdawg says:

      No they don’t. I live here too and they are Cicadas. June bugs are something different.

      1. Raymond McDowell says:

        In TEXAS JUNE BUGS ARE
        MORE SQUARED WITH HARD SHELL.VARIOUS SHADES OF BROWN.

  9. Pam says:

    Cicada’s in Michigan! Buzzing everywhere, all around my head! Don’t remember WHEN I may have ever heard them so loud!

  10. BaBeQ says:

    I have never lived in an area where Cicadas exist. I recently moved to the east coast and I have been trying to figure out what the heck that sound was. My husband can’t hear it as he’s losing his hearing and it’s at a frequency he can’t pick up. I am so glad to finally have an answer for “what the heck is that noise?!” ????

  11. K. Austin says:

    I’ve just been to Cambodia and the noise of the cicadas increased towards the end of March. A local told me that this is a ‘happy sound’ because it happens just prior to Songkran. He said the cicadas were a sign of ‘happy new year’ 🙂

    1. Dan says:

      Thank you for leaving this comment. Looks like “Songkran is Thailand’s most famous festival. An important event on the Buddhist calendar, this water festival marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. The name Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘passing’ or ‘approaching’.” Source.

  12. Valli Ramasundram says:

    I just heard a loud sound coming from a above a tree, l thought someone’s car engine problem when l went there my bro told me it is cicadas that are making the sound. I live the sound so nice. They stop suddenly then after awhile start again, so cute.

  13. Henry (Cicada) Hernandez says:

    I don’t think anyone understands how much I LOVE cicadas. I believe that I am a cicada reincarnated as a human because I am so close to them. I would literally cut my legs off for cicadas. I love cicadas

    1. Joy says:

      Yes! I love the sound of cicadas. It is the sound of my childhood, at dusk. I find their sound peaceful, not irritating at all. 2 nights ago, i heard them at the back of my house, wow! I hope they stay for good.

  14. Bridget Chamberlain says:

    I was rescuing cicadas floundering in the water today. While my husband fished the net was mine for rescues!!
    The last one chose not to fly away but stay on my hand then the crook of my arm. My friend stayed with me on the boat for 2 hrs never once trying to fly away! Then my new friend started to vibrate lightly and move
    Thinking he was getting ready to go, I watched intently
    My friend chose instead to pass with me

    1. Katherine Harwood says:

      Awe… You feel things deeply like I do. What you said was precious and I felt you and that little cicada. Blessings.

  15. Patsy Ruth Rankins says:

    I saw a cicada emerge from its shell — the shell brown and old, the new cicada a beautiful bright green, much like the weeping willow in a new spring. Then a scene showed me gathering hundreds, maybe thousands of old cicada shells. I was using them to decorate flower beds, much as one would use peddles as a decoration.

  16. NIMH says:

    I’m Nimh…^-^…nice to meet you.
    All primes are sacred, art is creation. All life is sacred. Well here we go pilgrim. See you space cowboy.

    1. Close to Luke says:

      Hey Nihm :3 been a while since I believed in you, I’m close to Luke. I’ve been on the search for the square root of creation, answer seems to be Love, whatever that is! I’m sure I’ll know eventually though. Catch you later princess!

  17. Diane Nahallage says:

    The trees are buzzing and humming in Cincinnati! Enjoy this amusing song I wrote, entitled “Five Million Cicadas.” You can hear the cicadas in the background. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKsS42EGWM4

    1. Polly says:

      Your song made me smile, thanks for sharing! I saved a couple earlier this spring from the pool down here in Texas. Yesterday I passed one laying on it’s back trying so hard to flip over. I picked it up and noticed it didn’t have wings. I put it on a tree branch and googled their lifecycle. When I went to check on the lil feller, he had started molting! I got to watch and photographed the whole process. It’s little wings were new and crumpled up. He fell so I picked him up and put him on my ???? Hibiscus even though he didn’t want to leave my finger. As I periodically checked on him, his wings swelled and straightened and it was the coolest feeling that I helped him on to his next path. The legs creep me out but they are so chill I’m kinda missing the lil guy! I do believe the Cicada is my spirit bug!

    2. COWGIRL DIVA says:

      WONDERFUL SONG….CATCHY AND FUN….!!! THANK YOU..!!! ;D

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