Anyone know what a lady bug on a figure of the Celtic "Greenman" is supposed to symbolize?

Someone asked me about this figure of the Greenman and why this paticuler one has a lady bug on the bottom right hand side of the face. So I've been trying to find the answer myself, with next to nothing of an idea. Anyone else know?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    My grandmother told me that Ladybugs are the pets of fairies and such. To communicate with them all you need to do is tell a ladybug and she will take the message to them. Perhaps the one on the face of the Greenman symbolizes communication between the natural man and fairy folk. It's just a thought.

  • 1 decade ago

    Folklorist Charles Kightly (Perpetual Almanack of Folklore, Thames and Hudson, 1987) says that Lammas is a time at which spirits walk abroad, and hence a good time to divine the future.

    He says that to learn the whereabouts of your lover’s home, take a ladybird and address her thus before releasing her:

    Lady, Lady, Lanners

    Tak your cloak about your heid

    And fly away to Flanders

    Fly ower moor and fly ower mead

    Fly ower living, fly ower dead

    Fly ye east or fly ye west

    Fly to her that loves me best.

    It could be something to do with that?

    Alternatively in some Slavic cultures ladybirds, bees and silkworms are thought to have a divine nature. I found this in Wiki, which seems to bear out the idea that the ladybird is associated with the divine, and also fertility:

    The name which the insect bears in the various languages of Europe is clearly mythic. In this, as in other cases, the Virgin Mary has supplanted Freyja, the fertility goddess of Norse mythology; so that Freyjuhaena and Frouehenge have been changed into Marienvoglein, which corresponds with Our Lady's Bird. There can, therefore, be little doubt that the esteem with which the lady-bird, or Our Lady's cow, is still regarded and is a relic of ancient beliefs. In parts of Northern Europe, tradition says you get a wish granted if a ladybird lands on you. In Italy, it is said by some that if a Ladybird flies into your bedroom, it is considered good luck. In central Europe, a ladybird crawling across a girl's hand is thought to mean she will get married within the year. In Russia a ladybird is called Божья-Коровка (God's cow) and a popular children's rhyme exists with a call to fly to the sky and bring back bread. Similarly, in Denmark a ladybird, called a mariehøne (Mary's hen), is asked by children to fly to 'our lord in heaven and ask for fairer weather in the morning'.

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