Bogong Moth – Nourishment
Nourishment. Nourishing others. Storing, finding and giving energy. Feasts and celebrations. Food cures. Night-journeying. Transformation. Nutrition. Giving yourself away. Masculinity.
The bogong moth is a dark brown moth of Eastern Australia, known for its long migrations and as a food source among many Indigenous Aboriginal peoples of southeastern Australia due to it being high in fat. Plague numbers can occasionally occur, as the female can lay up to 2000 eggs which have a good chance of survival if they’re near a sustainable food source.
In Spring, thousands of bogong moths migrate South where they live in caves, in Autumn they fly back to Canberra. Often they get distracted by bright city lights, and thousands can sometimes be seen carpeting the side of a building. Bogong moths can invade floodlit buildings to such a degree that alarms can be set off, lifts fail from bogong saturation and air conditioning can become blocked. Caterpillars of the bogong moth (called cutworms) are robustly built and considered a pest to crops. Bogong moths are eaten by birds, bats, foxes, rats and some possums.
Lessons and Challenges:
Bogong moth brings all forms of nourishment into the light. Nourishment at its simplest is making sure that you have a balanced diet that helps your body to thrive, without providing correct nutrition to your cells, your body is unable to thrive and illness can develop. Nourishment on a spiritual level involves making sure that you have a balanced approach to your lifestyle, and finding out what sorts of spiritual ‘nutrition’ you need (like meditation, ritual, exercise, play, creativity, interaction etc.) and making sure that you provide that for yourself so that you are best able to grow and thrive. The presence of bogong moth tells you to scrutinise how you nourish yourself on all levels. What is your diet like? How is your lifestyle?
There is a specific emphasis on nutrition with the presence of bogong moth. Do you eat a balanced diet, complete with fat, carbohydrates and healthy sugars? Bogong moth reminds us that a 0% fat index is not – in its opinion – healthy. Some fats are good for you, same with sugars and carbs, and as long as you exercise and eat a good amount of vegetables and fruits, it’s not necessary to avoid carbohydrates or fats. Bogong moth lets us know that nutrition isn’t about crash dieting or fad dieting, but about changing and adapting our lifestyle in a way that will provide for us physically and emotionally for the rest of our lives without harming us.
It is time to also look at how we nourish others. Do we have healthy and balanced relationships with the land around us, our friends, family and lovers? Do you drain more than you give back to nature? Or alternatively, do you give too much and forget to provide for yourself? Bogong moth suggests gently that something may be out of balance, and provides the wisdom to help you to bring balance, stability and spiritual ‘nutrition’ back into your life once more.
Bogong moth helps us to find energy and store it. When we are able to store enough energy, we are then better able to give that energy away to others in a way that does not deplete us to the point of harm. Exercise methods like tai-chi help to find and store energy within the body, and also to release unwanted energy and energy blockages. However, even just thinking about drawing energy into the body can help increase how much energy you have at your disposal. Common anchor points or storage points in the body for energy include the gut or root, sacral and solar plexus chakras, as well as the hands.
Finding energy sources can involve pulling energy from weather phenomenon that contain a lot of energy (like thunderstorms), or going to natural and sacred places and respectfully pulling from energy there. Remember to always give back in some way, whether this involves sending energy back later, donating or giving offerings to preserve the land, or making sure that you do not forget what you have taken and use such energy meaningfully.
There is an indication of ‘giving yourself away’ at this time. One of the reasons it’s important to make sure we are at our best, is so that in times of crisis and emergency we are able to provide for others less fortunate than ourselves. Bogong moth may be asking you to give away your time, energy and resources to others who are less fortunate than you, including friends that are going through a tough time, or even strangers who you feel you could help somehow.
In Indigenous Australian wisdom and teachings, bogong moth has special wisdoms and lessons to teach to men, and champions many different definitions and expressions of masculinity. If you identify as male and bogong moth has flown into your life, this may be an initiatory time for you, or a time of profound change.
Feasts and celebrations are indicated with the presence of bogong moth. Celebrate your life through food; consider making a dinner for loved ones, or indulging a sweet tooth with a close friend or family member. Alternatively, consider making your own meal times a celebration of your ongoing health and nutrition. Value everything that you eat, savour each bite, and consciously think about how what you eat will help your body to maintain its energy.
Food cures are also suggested by bogong moth. Many of us rely on medications to help with our health problems, but it has been well known in many healing modalities (especially Traditional Chinese Medicine) that introducing (and removing) certain foods into our diet can aid metabolic problems, mood disorders and many other health problems. Investigate food cures at this time, or look into seeing an alternative health professional with groundings in herbalism and nutrition.
The bogong moth migrates at night, and suggests that we consider night-journeying. Night-journeying can involve using practical animism journeying techniques under the cover of night, but it also includes performing meditation and visualisation at night-time. It may even be assisted by doing this outside, under an actual night-sky instead of a ceiling (make sure you’re rugged up!) Freeing your mind to journey during the night can reveal different lessons and wisdoms than the day, and also provides a sense of privacy; and even a sense of safety for those who do not fear the dark.
All moths, like butterflies, teach transformation. It is time to empower yourself and transform, particularly in areas of nutrition and self-nourishment. Bogong moth asks you to wake up and look at how you’re treating yourself. If you put yourself down, or put your body down, you also put yourself in a position to never be able to assist or aid others, or nature in a way that both enriches yourself and others. The ability to transform is with you, but no one can give you the impetus to transform but yourself.
The Shadow Aspects:
The shadow aspect of bogong moth suggests that we travel more often. We might be resisting travel because we resist change, but it’s important at this stage in your life that you get away from the places you consider your ‘home’ and venture outwards. Only through taking the risk of travel will you discover new homes and new sources of nourishment.
Bogong moth also reminds us of the healing power of food. As a shadow energy, bogong moth challenges us to question whether we have a negative or unhealthy relationship with food. We might have an eating disorder, we may binge, purge or starve ourselves. We may have feelings of guilt connected to everything we eat, or we may simply hate food itself. Bogong moth tells us that this unhelpful and dares you to create a more joyful relationship with food. Bogong moth also reminds us that fats are healthy and necessary parts of our lives, and despite the ‘diet culture’ of western society, it is important to make sure that fat is included in your diet.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Bogong moth is a cryptic teacher, and more accessible to men or those who identify as male, than women. That said, bogong moth has valuable lessons to teach everyone, and can fly into your life, literally or metaphorically, to help draw attention to these.
Bogong moth is not – in my personal experience – a highly communicative teacher, and tends to appear at night-time. Its personality I feel is quiet somber and serious, but not without love and appreciation for all that is around it. This quiet teacher has wise lessons to impart. Offerings of healthy foods, moth sculptures and drawings and crop foods / grains / flowers etc. are particularly useful. Bogong moth responds best to approaches made at night-time.