The milkweed bug will definitely catch your attention. Its bright orange coloration contrasting on a solid dark, almost black, base is hard to miss. And once this fascinating little big has caught your eye, if you’re spiritually inclined, you might begin to wonder if there’s a message there to be taken. Well, you’ll be happy to learn that milkweed bugs are rich in symbolism.
Milkweed Bugs – Black and Orange
Let’s start by looking at the milkweed bug’s color and what it means. Firstly, let’s look at the colors in isolation—first black, then orange.
When thinking about black it’s easy to focus on the negatives—i.e. its association with evil and fear. However, black has some contrasting positive meanings that can also be taken into account. For example, black is a powerful and authoritative color. Also, consider yin and yang. Light and dark are not inherently good or bad, but rather neutral states that oppose each other at the same time as benefiting each other. In fact, yin creates yang, and vice versa.
But remember, the milkweed bug isn’t just black. It’s most eye-catching feature is its bright orange color. Of course, orange is a deeply meaningful color, too. In the West we think of warmth, joy, and the long, comforting, satisfying days of summer. Additionally, think of the sacral chakra which is represented by the color orange. The sacral chakra is above your pubic bone but below your naval. The sacral chakra is linked to creativity, emotions, and, of course, sexuality.
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Milkweed Bugs Symbolize Transformation
Like most insects, the milkweed bug goes through a dramatic metamorphosis. Therefore, we can take that as a symbol of purposeful transformation. You might find that the way you were in the past suited your situation at that time. But, as time goes by, your old skills, beliefs, and habits might become less and less useful to you. As such, you should embrace change—it is not an act of betrayal or weakness to abandon a past version of yourself to become something new. Don’t be afraid of adapting, you can do it.
Food From Poison
Milkweed bugs are special little critters when it comes to their diet. This is because milkweed is quite poisonous. But, the milkweed bug has adapted to not only be able to eat the milkweed plant, it has thrived and become abundant doing so.
Therefore, it is a profound symbol of determination, ingenuity, adaptation, and individuality. However, more than all of those things, the milkweed bug stands for taking something that is meant to poison you and turning it to your advantage. This can be a great spiritual message to take on board attacks against you, especially toxic behavior, and absorb it, turning it to your advantage.
Abundance vs Balance
Abundance is a message we all want to see in the world around us. This is because, sadly, lots of people suffer from a profound sense of lack. Therefore, we crave and chase abundance. Yin creates yang.
However, the milkweed bug is not a strong omen of incoming abundance. Even though it breeds in great numbers and can become numerous, it still depends on balance. If it becomes too numerous then the milkweed plant on which it is breeding could die. Therefore, balance is required.
What can we take from this? Well, think of excess. Is it good for you? Usually not. So, remember to partake of all things in moderation.
Dependence – Victims and Assassins
Furthermore, the balance in which the milkweed bug exists goes beyond simply itself and its host. The milkweed bug also depends on existing in balance with its enemy—the milkweed assassin! That’s right, the milkweed plant has a bug that specializes in eating it—the milkweed bug. So, you might be tickled to learn, the milkweed bug has a predator named after it—the milkweed assassin.
It’s telling that these three organisms—plant, herbivore, and carnivore all share the name “milkweed”. They are intrinsically linked. The message should be clear—exist in balance with your perceived enemies.