There is an old Irish saying (several, in fact) that suggest butterflies are not mere insects.
But you probably already knew that.
Because if you’ve ever watched a Monarch, a Swallowtail, a Buckeye, a Mourning Cloak, or a Great Southern White float by, then it’s easy to see that there is more to these delicate creatures than what meets the eye.
To some, they are the souls of the dead, savoring their last moments in this world before reaching the threshold that will send them on their next adventure.
They represent a journey that all souls will embark on when the sky calls them home—some sooner than others.
With their tiny bodies and oversized wings that resemble stained glass, butterflies are curious and charming. But they are also awkward. They follow uncertain flight patterns and roam the flower beds like a fawn that has yet to find its footing.
This makes sense when we consider that the butterfly’s lifespan is roughly one week.
Yes. Just seven days.
A week is a blink of an eye in human years. It’s hardly enough time to learn the mechanics of a new body while simultaneously submitting to the external and internal transformations taking place.
But if the butterfly is overwhelmed, she doesn’t show it. Keep in mind—this isn’t her first metamorphosis.
The Butterfly’s Journey
Like the soul, the butterfly begins as an egg. An idea. A small seed, defenseless but full of potential.
Then the egg hatches, and out comes the caterpillar. Blessed with the gift of movement, the caterpillar learns to navigate the world through its physical senses. It eats, it wanders, and is quick to learn that its destiny is dependent upon survival.
At this point, like the soul, the caterpillar has yet to discover what lies at the root of this desire.
However, when the creature no longer finds joy through the physical senses alone, it turns inward, forming a cocoon. There, wrapped in layer upon layer of silence and stillness, the caterpillar is free to ponder life’s big questions.
By the time the soul reaches this point in evolution, the physical body is weathered, but the mind is just waking up.
Did we mention that divine timing is one of the butterfly’s many gifts?
As the caterpillar burrows deeper and deeper into its cocoon, it begins to forget about its previous life. Now, completely shielded from the outside world, the caterpillar naively announces that it’s seen all that life has to offer. Once again, ready to start anew, the creature sloughs off its protective shell and emerges from hibernation.
Welcome in, the butterfly.
When we contemplate the butterfly’s evolution from helpless larva to winged goddess, we see that in many ways, it mirrors the soul’s journey. To experience the spiritual evolution that we crave so deeply, like the butterfly, the soul must undergo periods of hibernation, transformation, and detachment.
This is where true freedom awaits. This is the message of the butterfly.
Questions from the Butterfly:
- What is your relationship to stillness? Do you practice some form of ‘hibernation’ or quiet time for reflection, rest, and play?
- When was the last time you checked in with your goals and desires related to abundance? The butterfly suggests that good fortune is on the horizon, typically in the form of favorable weather or the reshaping of personal paradigms.
- How do your feelings about spiritual evolution influence your lifestyle?
- Have you been searching for a doorway to help you better communicate with the spirit world? Legend says that if you follow a butterfly, they can lead you to one such threshold.
- Do you feel called to strengthen your bond with the butterfly? Try taking regular breaks outside every couple of hours to disrupt your routine and reconnect with the natural world. You can also petition faeries or the Greek Goddess Psyche to deliver messages on your behalf,
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