The Journey Continues – Butterflies Are Free

I have a friend who seeks out milkweed plants each year in search of Monarch butterfly eggs.  She takes them home and cares for them as they hatch, become caterpillars, chrysalis, and then butterflies.  She tags then and sets them free in hopes of increasing the population that has now diminished to about 1/10 of what it used to be.  I applaud her for doing it.  I think it’s wonderful that she, and others like her, care enough to help save these beautiful creatures.

It got me thinking about butterflies and what they symbolize.  According to a book and card set entitled, Medicine Cards by Jamie Samms and David Carson, butterflies to many Native Americans mean transformation.  They represent the energy of air and the ability to know the mind or to change it (transformation).
Stages of transforamtionI found it interesting that they mention that, like the butterfly, we humans go through the four stages of personal or self-transformation in our life activities.  To know where you are in any cycle of self-transformation, they suggest you ask yourself these questions:

“1) Is this the egg stage: Is it just a thought or idea?
 2) Is this the larva stage: Do I need to make a decision?
 3) Is this the cocoon stage: Am I developing and doing something to make
     my idea a reality?
 4) Is this the birth stage: Am I sharing my completed idea?”

The contention is that by asking yourself these questions you can discern what stage you’re in and then learn/know what to do next to move forward in that cycle of transformation using the mental powers of air energy.

Since these cards can also be read reversed, they address that meaning as well.  Even if you never find or use the cards, the meaning is significant: “There is a need for change in your life that you are not recognizing.  This could be a possible need for freedom, for a vacation, or for a new job.  You may believe that change is too difficult, and you may rule it out to preserve the comfort of old habits.  But in ruling out any possibility of change, you are saying that the courage of Butterfly has been lost.  Why does Butterfly represent courage: Because there is a totally different world outside of the cocoon, where the known realities of the chrysalis are no longer applicable.  This new world demands that you use your new found wings – and fly!”

And how many of us, for whatever reason, deny ourselves that opportunity for change, for freedom?  The Universe as told us, in Its own way, that the only thing constant is change.  Without change there is only stagnation…and boredom.  We have so much we can learn from the beautiful butterflies.
Butterfly MaidenOne last thing I would like to mention is a Hopi Goddess I was introduced to thanks to the Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.  Butterfly Maiden is the kachina or nature spirit of transformation.  According to the cards, “She’s a springtime goddess who helps us escape from any cocoon situation that’s trapping us or impeding our growth or joy.  If you’re feeling stuck, she’s a wonderful goddess to call upon during the emerging process.  She’ll also guide you through life transitions and help you spread your wings!”

In Hopi mythology, in the Spring she dances from one flower to another pollinating them and the fields while also bringing life-giving rain to the deserts of Arizona.
Butterfly Maiden 3The card in this deck (shown above) has a very meaningful message, “As you go through this period of change, it’s natural for you to wonder if your future is safe.  I’m here to assure that you’re part of nature’s cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.  To bring in your desired newness, you must first allow old parts of your life to fall away.  These changes are to be celebrated, not feared.  Give thanks for this shedding of the old!  Embrace all of the lessons it brought, and then let it go!  Be giddy with excitement at the newness of the gifts that are now being bestowed upon you, and let their magic surprise and delight you.”  Isn’t that great?

The question remains, how many of us have the courage of the butterfly to embrace the changes in our lives and follow them through each stage until that beautiful butterfly of transformation, that is us, emerges to take flight?  We humans seem to either get very stuck in one stage or another and just feel like there is nowhere to go or nothing to be done.  Either that or our response is to run from everything and everyone, back to what’s old and know, even if it’s something that makes us miserable.  We often fail to realize that what we think we’re running from is inside us.  Since we can’t run away from ourselves, those uncomfortable vibrations of transformation and change go with us only to eventually be reenacted with a different cast of characters.  Without doing the work that change and transformation requires of us, we are still not free.  What we are is chained to the old ways we have done things that now no longer work and keep us weighted down, feeling lost and sometimes without hope.

Change is almost never easy, but it does offer the opportunity for freedom, independence, hope, and many blessings.  The choice is always ours whether to change or remain the same.  That’s called free will.  Since we came here to spiritually evolve, transformation is kind of a no-brainer to me.  Still, there remains the fear of the unknown for many of us.  Me included.  I guess we need to find the courage of butterfly within ourselves so that we, too, may learn how to fly and live a beautiful life!
Change 7                                      Love and Blessed Be