First encounter with a centipede was on a farm in Kilauea, Kauai, where I had been hired to be a nanny for three children while their mother went away for a month.
This was an organic farm with papayas and other wonderful nature’s food with the father being very passionate about his farm.
Their daughter Marcy was about 9 years old, and a good help to me as I also did all the cooking, cleaning and assorted mom duties around the house. She guided me in the way their family did things and where to find things.
The other two children were boys; one boy, Ted, was six years old and the other, Sam, was two.
On school days there was just me and Sam. As we walked outside, I saw a centipede in the pathway where we walked.
Sam said “centipede” and pointed to it. He had learned well what to avoid through his parents.
My first instinct was the squish it, kill it. But I could not. It is against my nature. Pausing, I said a prayer for/to it. In honoring his life, I asked that he/his group soul never bother or bite me or this family, for we now live in peace.
Knowing he might be around, creeped me out at times, especially when going to sleep in the loft with the children. The roof was uncomfortably close, an A frame slanted roof, and my imagination had him walking on it towards me or slipping of the slant right on me. It never happened.
Long time passed after my frist encounter with a centipede, and by this time I had a son of my own. One day as I was getting ready to make my own young son breakfast, I saw a centipede laying on the floor by our stove.
She was curled a bit and was not moving. I scooped it up and put it in to a gallon jar and put on a lid.
I was not sure what to do and wanted to see if it was alive or maybe dying. It was also for my son to look at. Science in a jar.
Two days passed.
Early one morning coming out of a sleep, I could feel something crawling on my arm, and about the time I had enough consciousness, it bit me by the elbow!
Reactions I flicked it off, and jumped out of bed! The bite hurt like hell fire!
But in that moment it was very necessary to find it before it bites me or my son. I looked around for it, wishing it dead, and could not find it. No sight of it on the floor or under the dresser.
I checked the bed sheets pulling each layer off carefully, nothing. I checked the pillows, bingo, he was in one.
Just the feel of his wiggling pointy legs set off chills and fear in me as I ran my hand over the end of the pillowcase. I ran with the pillow in to the bathroom and shook him out in the bath tub.
There he was long, reddish, and moving fast, slipping on the sides of the tub. The way their legs moves like waves was interesting to watch.
Something in me was telling me I could not kill him.
The slippery sides of the white bath tub prevented his escape, so I sat on the toilet lid and just looked at him. My son came in to look with wide eyes at this thing in his bath tub. He said nothing, just watched.
I calmed myself and asked within, why did he bite me?
The answer was not what I expected. I expected that perhaps insects just bite, or he wanted to taste me, or that I moved and he reacted. But no, none of those.
He bit me because I had his wife in a jar in my kitchen. Oh my.
I scooped him in to a jar and took him far away from the house and dumped him outside. Then I went inside the kitchen and got his wife who was still in a jar and dumped her in the same place. She was curled up ready to give birth! I had no idea.
Centipedes are very protective of each other when they are a couple.
The mother is very protective of her offspring.
This photo is of a mother holding her eggs, as she will until they are ready to run off on their own.
I had asked the Centipede group consciousness not to be harmed a long while back when I was a nanny, and yet, unconsciously I had been harming a centipede by holding her in a jar. So this broke our agreement.
As I released the two in to the woods, I prayed and asked to renew our agreement of peaceful coexistence, and thus far never have had one bother me again.
The bite was the most pain I have ever felt of any insect bite. My elbow and forearm was swollen up for over two months and the pain just throbbed. The bite hole was red and oozing for a month. Seemed like it took forever to heal.
Many more months passed, and it was when I went on an airplane that my arm swoll up and pain came back from the bite spot. It was nearly unbearable.
Now when I see a centipede, I freak out immediately. The poison he put in to my body created some type of defensive response that was wildly frantic! Something I had never felt before!
This reminds me a story with Mike, back when I was about 9 months pregnant with my son. I was laying on a futon mat on the floor for I needed to stretch out my huge belly more. Mike sitting next to me as we watched TV.
I saw movement out of the corner of my eye towards our front door; turning I saw a centipede come in under the crack and was running directly towards where we sat on the mat.
As I started my slow push with my arms to get my big body up, I said to Mike “Centipede!”.
He wildly leapt up off the mat while pushing me back down with frantic arm movements. He was in the kitchen before I could get up again, had the head cut off the centipede and applied a few more frantic cuts, before I was fully standing up. I started to laugh at being pushed to my doom. Mike had saved the day with his mighty kitchen knife.
Mike had been bitten a few times creating his hysterical reaction.
As he stood trying to calm down, I made a crack about his pushing me to the floor so I could be eaten by a centipede. He nearly turned white. He was not conscious of his immediate response and pushing me down.
These are the precious memories that you can taunt your mate many times with! Something we can laugh about.
Mike was so crazed about centipedes that he had put duct tape, sticky side out on all the legs of his bed, so any bug would stick and climb no further.
When working at Mu’olaulani spa, one of my main jobs was to start the wood fires for our steamers in the morning.
We had a large pile of coconut husks to start the fires with as they burned fast and hot. And on the island, we had as many husks as we needed!
So one morning as I was grabbing some husks, I saw a big centipede in the pile.
I bent over to look at him, he was eating a whole gecko like we eat ice cream cones. He held the body with front arms as he was finishing off the neck of this gecko. I left him alone. Yet the sight of that headless lizard gave me haunts me still.
As my son got older, I bought him some Rhode Island Red chicks so he could raise them to make money off of their eggs. We had six lovely Reds and they got to be so much fun.
We kept them in a fence during the times we were away, but when we were around we let them run around the yard with us. As I would trim the trees and rake the yard, these ladies would also claw the ground and eat up all the bugs.
I day dreamed about a unique kind of yard business called “Carolyn & her chicks”. I would rake, trim and clean while they would take care of any bug problem; would be a nice business! A show! Never got off the ground. Not like I wanted to rack all day.
As I raked under some plants, I would pause, calling them, ‘chick-Kens!’, and watch them waddle over to compete for the critters.
One day I uncovered a big centipede. All the chickens dashed for the big bug.
Our alpha hen, Queeny came and grabbed him up, and soon all the hens were running after her like some unruly football game!
She held that centipede in her beak on the middle of his body so that as she ran the centipede head or tail became sport for the other hens to grab at. Queeny was good at this and would change directions should another chicken come too close to her prize. I laughed so hard and wondered who was going to win.
When they surrounded her, each tried to peck at the centipede and get a part or all of it. When they had her surrounded so tightly, she tossed it in the air enough and then swallowed it whole, alive. Whole & alive!
That centipede was longer than her throat was long. She looked a bit twisted in the neck for a day or two. My imagination did not want to think about a live centipede on her throat. She did not die, so I guess it was fine.
I thought, next time I need to chop it in to parts to share, although, I have this agreement with them, hum; so I could not.(?)
Yet I also called the chickens to come and eat it, so, confusing it is. I was hoping that chickens had their own agreements with them, as food.
Centipedes, as in all species animals, birds and some insects, belong to a “group consciousness”. Humans do as well, yet most are not aware of it.
Artwork by Alex Grey
Animals, birds and some insects have one for their species. Like centipedes would be one centipede mind, one group consciousness. As a group, they are all gaining awareness of the experiences of any of their kind. So as in shamanic work, one addresses the whole group consciousness.
Humans may have more than one group consciousness that they are linked in to, part of. As we evolve, we become aware of our personal Higher Selves that are connected to all Higher Selves; plus we come from many groups and even more confusing is our innate Oneness with All.
It appears we are in many different groups depending upon interests and missions. Yet we are One with All That Is.
To tap into any group consciousness, just takes a focus to that fine point and then we are in. There we have the group library; there we can know many things about that flavor of life. It takes practice to be able to land our conscious stream in the right point.
Centipedes have a pair of antennae which reflect increasing psychic sensitivities and perceptions. Because they are also nocturnal, it will be important to pay attention to dreams when the centipede appears as a messenger.
Dreams become increasingly prophetic and clairvoyant, providing great insight and inspiration.
Centipede symbology includes psychic movement, connecting with spirit, and psychic protection with the connection to the spirit world, and underworlds.
When male centipedes find a female, they touch antennae, and the male then follows the female.
For those to whom the centipede appears, relationships are often based upon strong initial psychic connections not easily explained in other ways.
In the ancient stories, the centipede was seen as a ladder to the underworld. Its bite was so poisonous that it induces a kind of ‘fear’ of them, perhaps to protect the group. The underworld is our deep, often hidden fears, anxieties and other emotions and thoughts that are stored in our body below our belly button. A bite was your initiation in to their group consciousness.
Dream symbology suggests that its many legs can mean fast movement, and its bite a sense of power such as in chiefs/leaders.
Our interconnecting, dynamic universe is more than what we see with our eyes. Discover the many layers, messages and meanings to life little experiences and you find that this life we have is dauntingly awesome!
~ Carolyn Thompson
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