Painting by Ellie Paisley http://www.ElliePaisley.com
Nature is a school and the greatest teachers are the animals that live within it. Whether these creatures are seen as spiritual guides, totems, or archetypal symbols, there is no denying their teachings that can be passed on to those willing to learn. Once you start to pay attention to what nature is trying to say, the lessons are endless. A creature I have learned so much from is the butterfly.
Butterflies are beautiful and majestic creatures that symbolize the joy and movement from one phase of life to the next. It is the only living organism that can change its entire genetic structure and DNA by evolving from caterpillar to butterfly. The butterfly shows the beauty, color and wonder that comes with change. It has taught me that even though I cannot fly, I can choose not to be stuck in a place that is too comfortable or uncomfortable.
Metamorphosis is magical. The butterfly goes through 4 stages of transformation from egg to larvae, cocoon to butterfly. In order to grow, we must evolve and come into a new form that can only guide us to grow in a bright and colorful way. We can only flourish in our creativity when the time is right and when we are willing to break out of our shell. The butterfly is a symbol that change should be handled lightly and it should not being taken so seriously. The butterfly is attracted to the light naturally, which shows purity.
The myth and folklore associated with the butterfly is deeply rooted. In Mexican culture, butterflies are often associated with the Day of the Dead, which is a celebration of loved ones that have passed on. Butterflies symbolize the spirits of their loved ones returning.
The butterfly was very important to Ancient Mexican culture. They had an entire palace dedicated to these creatures called “The Palace of the Mariposa” at Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan is located just outside of Mexico City and it is considered to be the oldest metropolis in Mexican history.
In ancient Greek culture, Aristotle gave the name psyche for the butterfly meaning “soul”. The Greek God Eros’ human lover was named Psyche. She was seen as a personification of the human soul, much like the butterfly.
The Native American Cherokee tribe refers to it as “Butterfly Medicine”. The butterfly allows the opportunity to look beyond the physical world into the spiritual realm. The butterfly shows up to tell you that it is time to take the next step in your transformation for your greatest good. If the butterfly crosses your path, you are ready to change in a big way.
The butterfly is a beautiful symbol of change and light that will continue to teach us all. Change is beautiful, let’s celebrate it with joy and vivid color.