When we talk about transformation, the image that comes to mind for most of us is the butterfly. A beautiful, filmy creature that glides about the sky, bringing joy to our hearts. But we tend to forget what the butterfly has gone through, how it has struggled to reach its place on the breeze.
Our path of transformation can be likened to that of the butterfly”s. Generally, when we embrace transformation, we only want to think of the end result. We don”t want to think about the work that goes into it, or the sacrifices we”ll have to make to be able to soar. I know that when I went through a transformation some years ago, I thought “Wonderful. Things will be better.” They were, but in the process there were attitudes and behaviors I had to surrender that were central to my life.
Transformation begins with the Universe pressing us forward into desiring something better for ourselves. We may not know what it is that we want, just that we have this impulsion for something more. Originally, the butterfly was once a caterpillar, inching across the grass to climb up the marigold to reach its daily meal. Its main drive was to eat, to fill its stomach.
The same could be said of us. Before we begin to transform, we have a compulsion to meander around; reading books, listening to tapes, attending lectures, digesting information. We”re still in the old form, fattening our minds up to get ready to build a cocoon, where we”ll use all that we”ve digested to transform our lives into a greater reflection of the Universal good.
Once our appetite has been appeased, we”ll feel compelled to allow what we”ve learned to gestate. Letting it process is like the caterpillar inside its cocoon. This is the time to incubate. It may last for a few days or a few months. While it is happening, we”re changing. We may not see the change, but there are parts of us that are being released, transformed and altered. At this point, our lives will sometimes become very uncomfortable for us. During my transformation, I had an intimate relationship that got progressively difficult.
When its transformation is complete, the butterfly begins its emergence from its cocoon. It must fight its way out of the old form, through the silky shell it created, letting it go, into a new world. Just as we must struggle to move through our barriers and outmoded attitudes. Behaviors that served us when we were caterpillars are no longer helpful. We can”t live the way we used to. We”re transcending the old patterns. But since they were familiar, and successful in our old form, we resist discarding them.
I eventually had to release beliefs that were no longer in my best interest. No longer could I play a role that I had outgrown. The relationship came to an end. It was very painful to let go, and very scary to change the role. My whole life had changed.
As we emerge from our cocoon, we take time to adjust to our new circumstances. Things are different, and we have to learn how to handle our new selves. We act in new ways. The things we say are surprising to others, because it”s not what they”re familiar with. People respond to us in a manner in which we”re not used to. Because of my new attitudes, I lost some friends who couldn”t adjust to the shift. And I made new friends who were walking the same path I was.
Eventually, the butterfly climbs free and rests, spreading its wings. For the first time, energy flows through them and they expand, finally ready to carry the butterfly on the breeze. Just as we soon feel confident with our new self, and we fly free, a beautiful butterfly gracefully fluttering from flower to flower. A living jewel fluttering about in the sky.
There is a theory that states… If you step on a butterfly in this timeline, you alter all potential future timelines. In the 21st Century human consciousness is experiencing a metamorphosis of the slow moving caterpillar into the butterfly.
The butterfly flies free in the mandala (wheel) of time.
The Butterfly Effects signals the emergence of consciousness in the alchemy of time.
The following is from Animal Symbolism, Totems and Dream Analysis from A to Z
The butterfly is great admired among American Indians and is a bringer of joy and peace. Cultures all over earth revere its delicate and colorful beauty. Most butterflies live very short lives, only a week or two, except for the Angle Wing and Monarch live about six months. They experience stages of development from egg in the cocoon to caterpillar to adult butterfly.
The short life span and beauty of the butterfly is symbolic of early spiritual growth. Lessons of life will be shown during sometimes difficult formative years and come to light as the butterfly spirit begins to fly. They hold the gift of transformation and soul evolution.
The butterfly is reminiscent of freedom and creativity.
Butterflies have a pair of large compound oval eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses. They can see a single image clearly and are able to perceive ultraviolet wavelengths of light. This suggests clairvoyant abilities for those that hold this totem.
The antennae of the butterfly have small knobs on each end which is said to play a role in orientation. When one antenna is missing the butterfly will fly in circles unable to find its way. Those with this medicine need to stay consciously connected to spirit at all times in order to arrive at their desired destination.
Butterflies are not very organized, often return to the same flower many times before they realize it, and cannot remember relatives. This trait shows us to be better prepared for life’s challenges and relationships.
The butterfly represents the process of transformation and shape shifting. When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. What state of change are you at in regard to them?
Butterflies remind us not to take life so seriously. They feed on flowers that they help pollinate, thereby further spreading beauty. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and ever moving, so gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment. They come in a variety of colors. To understand the message that the butterfly holds for you a study of its colors can be helpful.
Whenever an eco-system is damaged, butterfly is usually the first to leave. They are especially sensitive to the harmony of earth. If butterfly comes to you in a hurt, trapped or ill way, you are being asked to stop disturbing the natural design of life and to flow with events in a more gentle, natural way.