Dragonflies seem stranger than i can imagine.

Reading page 132, of ‘stranger than we can imagine’ by John Higgs, posted to me by Bogus Magus (Toby Philpott), only 10 minutes ago, i had a visitation experience. Probably the closest i have come yet. Let me try to explain.

Page 132, begins with‘…was more than just a story of nuts-and-bolts physical space travel. As the slogan of the 1990s television series ‘The X-Files’ put it, ‘i want to believe. Jung was not interested in the question of whether UFOs were ‘real’ or not. He wanted to know what their sudden appearance said about the late twentieth century…’ and he goes on ‘Whether a witness reported meeting fairies, angels, demons or gods depended on which of those labels their culture found most plausible.’—John Higgs, Pg. 132. Chapter 7: Science Fiction. Stranger Than We Can Imagine. 2015. 

While i sit reading these words above, a dragonfly buzzes up real close to my head, darts around my back. Stops, hovers, then lands on me right near the top of my arm. I glance down and to my right, and stare into the incredible, green and cream eyes of this mini-miracle of nature. I begin to feel slightly awkward by the unblinking gaze, i notice tiny muscles in its face, and again the eyes looking, seemingly at my facial features. The dragonfly sits for maybe 90 seconds, as i sneak-a-peek back to the text, and again back at the flying insect.
Perfectly still, all four wings begin shooting a assortment of coloured photons into my head. Sapphire and emerald jewels, there at the lower limits of my visual perception, and like indras-net, each jewel hangs from a beautiful webbed lattice of wing-tensigrity, pretty much beyond all meaningful description.
And when i went back to pick up the text again, after it finally launched itself and spiralled off over the hedge, i thought to myself; umm, perhaps this could be a real visitation experience from a UFO, at least i feel it certainly visited me, and i’ve little knowledge about Dragonflies, and how to distinguish them from say, a horsefly, or maybe it was another species of flying insect?
And so i went on to think that maybe this dragonfly here acts like the perfect symbol for a modern day angel, god, demon, fairy, UFO? in fact, to be honest, to my own mind, it would be all of these things and more due to the context of the book i was reading, coincidently at that very moment.
Now what might have been a not so meaningful first encounter with a dragonfly, up that close, becomes a jump of point, an intersection point where synchronicity, and the real time waking processing of this reader, sitting in a garden near Bristol, England, intertwine, bootstrap and go all…epiphany on me…illuminated detail, pish: just like that. Now, what does the dragonfly symbolise to me, and to culture at large, maybe i should look to Jung first. Makes sense to me.
So…i researched some interesting dragonfly data, and compiled some short quotes that were meaningful to me (below) Two facts jumped out at me, first i used the word ‘darting’, and ‘sapphire’ to describe the dragonfly, above, and it turns out Japanese poet Basho, and English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, also used those words to describe a dragonfly.
The scientific details about the reproduction, visual cortex, feeding habits and speciation of dragonflies boggles the mind, they do indeed seem very alien and ancient when compared with us, the domesticated primates. Most of this information is rather occult, i know of only one person who studies dragonflies, in the context of photography, and doubt that most of these details concerning my sudden interest in them today, would interest him much.
Yet, on further meditation i recalled my other previous encounters with dragonflies, but not as right up close as todays visit. In Flevo’ park, Amsterdam, i saw some dragonflies mating on a fallen tree, from the recent storm there, and managed to take some pictures. About 30 minutes afterwards, beside the Flevo lake, i managed to capture video and pictures of a dragonfly, buzzing us and seemingly patrolling the lakeside. (see media section below)
On another occasion, while swimming in the Flevo lake itself, i got pretty close up with a dragonfly, which, was captured on film too. So coming to think about it, i re-suppose that i have a few documented encounters of the dragonfly kind. But what does this tell us about our culture today? maybe its something to do with the dragonfly having a symbolic link to water, or skimming over it, and that the Native American Hopi Indians perform a Dragonfly song to warn men of danger, which features their word for water: tsee, tsee, tsee? According to information displayed at the website: www.scalar.usc.edu
I found the details of Dragonfly flight, together with the various categories and descriptions fascinating, and probably have a direct bearing on proposed advanced UFO technology, if agility, vision and camouflage are important. So study the dragonfly, the four types of flight, the physical and mathematical forces, counter-forces etc. All humankind might benefit from this, and yet, this miniature miracle could also be used for bad. Misused by defence aerospace companies, drone and missile businesses and more, to deliver death and destruction, or simply just watch and observe the prey, sending all images back to skynet.
Furthermore, i was talking to a friend in the garden about the producer ‘Youth’ 3 mins before the dragonfly landed on me. This has some relation to our story here, as John Higgs, the author of the text that triggered this blog, also wrote and brilliant piece about ‘Youth’, the guy who founded Dragonfly records. Youth also played on, and produced Beatnik Youth, an album together with my bandmate John Sinclair (this author plays drums on three cuts from the album)
In conclusion, or something resembling an answer to my initial question, how would a dragonfly help us make sense of the world today, what can it teach us? well, here goes:
Cherish your waters. Skim across the surface of id, and dive deep down into the larvae of the unconscious. Develop alternative flight paths, of speech, look through the illusion, live life to the fullest. Help save our wetlands. End the use of chemical fertiliser and stop the pollution of natural lakes, marshes, rivers, waterfalls and woodlands. Embrace transformation. Fly.
Check out the new book by John Higgs, and see what kind of visitations you have. let me know if anything comes up. Cheers.
—Steve Fly
Bristol. UK

Quotes from wikipedia:


  • They are symbols of courage, strength and happiness in Japan, but seen as sinister in European folklore.
  • About 3012 species of dragonfly were known in 2010; these are classified into 348 genera in 11 families.
  • An adult dragonfly eye has nearly 24,000 ommatidia.
  • Defending a breeding territory is fairly common among male dragonflies, especially among species that congregate around ponds in large numbers.
  • Most of a dragonfly’s life is spent as a nymph, beneath the water’s surface. The nymph extends its labium (a toothed mouthpart) to catch animals such as mosquito larvae, tadpoles and small fish.[39] They breathe through gills in their rectum, and can rapidly propel themselves by suddenly expelling water through the anus.
  • They have four different styles of flight:[46] A number of flying modes are used that include counter-stroking, with forewings beating 180 degrees out of phase with the hindwings, is used for hovering and slow flight.
  • In high-speed territorial battles between male Australian emperors Hemianax papuensis, the fighting dragonflies adjust their flight paths to appear stationary to their rivals, minimizing the chance of being detected as they approach.
  • Dragonflies can fly at 100 body-lengths per second, and 3 lengths per second backwards
  • With the destruction of rainforest habitats, many of these species are in danger of becoming extinct before they have even been named.
  • For some Native American tribes, dragonflies represent swiftness and activity; for the Navajo they symbolize pure water. They are a common motif in Zuni pottery; stylized as a double-barred cross, they appear in Hopi rock art and on Pueblonecklaces.
  • Douglas, a British motorcycle manufacturer based in Bristol, named its innovatively designed postwar 350cc flat twin model the Dragonfly.
  • As a seasonal symbol in Japan, the dragonfly is associated with autumn.[79] More generally, dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and they often appear in art and literature, especially haiku. Japanese children catch large dragonflies as a game, using a hair with a small pebble tied to each end, which they throw into the air.
  • The poet Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694) wrote haiku such as “Crimson pepper pod / add two pairs of wings, and look / darting dragonfly”, relating the autumn season to the dragonfly.[88] Hori Bakusui (1718-1783) similarly wrote “Dyed he is with the / Colour of autumnal days, / O red dragonfly.
  • The poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson described a dragonfly splitting its old skin and emerging shining metallic blue like “sapphire mail” in his 1842 poem “The Two Voices”, with the lines “An inner impulse rent the veil / Of his old husk: from head to tail / Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.”
  • ‘Dragonflies, or damselflies, were connected to Freya the Norse goddess of love, fertility and warfare. Freya was famous for her beauty and her knowledge as a magician. It was she who taught Odin the shamanic practices known as seidr which were still practiced during Christian times. The paired bodies of mating dragonflies form the shape of a heart, perhaps being the source for that modern symbol of love. In ancient lore, the dragonfly represents transformation, adaptation and insight.’–http://www.crystalinks.com/dragonfly.html


2 thoughts on “Dragonflies seem stranger than i can imagine.

  1. Here's a couple of Japanese Haiku for ya Steve ( written by REAL Japanese, not me)

    Crimson pepper pod
    add two pairs of wings, and look
    darting dragonfly.
    (by Basho)

    The dragonfly!
    Distant mountains reflected
    in his eyes.
    (by Issa)

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