Mid July, my husband came home after an nature walk organized in our neighbourhood, with a small box containing 3 Monarch caterpillars. We were both intrigued and maybe a bit excited about witnessing their journey into becoming beautiful butterflies.
The caterpillars were tiny (about 5 mm long) and required more and more food as they were growing. Fortunately, we have a butterfly garden and have ample supply of milkweed, a plant Monarch caterpillars feed on exclusively. Little did we know that by bringing them food, we were also bringing microscopic Monarch eggs into the containers we set up for each caterpillar. It took us a few days to understand why our caterpillars were multiplying!
Very quickly, we ended with close to 10 caterpillars in our house! We made sure to clean the leaves we used to feed them to avoid increasing the number we were already caring for.
It was fascinating to watch them grow (and they grow fast!) and then turn into a pupa (chrysalis). When they reached roughly 5 cm long, they slowly moved to the top of their container, searching for a good spot to transform into a chrysalis. Then, within a few hours, they turned green and started their pupa stage. This stage lasts for 8 to 15 days until the butterfly comes out . At the time I'm writing this blog, we have 3 pupas and 1 caterpillar left (it should turn into a pupa any day now).
As I've been watching those little creatures become magnificent butterflies, I started to realize many things about my own healing journey. And then it hit me: I was receiving Butterfly Medicine. Looking back, butterflies started to show up during my trip to Poland, about a month prior to the caterpillars "invaded" our home.
Downtown Krakow, where my sister and I were staying, amber jewelry shops are at every corner because Poland and the Baltic countries are known for their amber production. We were going in and out of those cute amber shops, without knowing exactly what we were looking for until we found THE shop. I stumbled upon small amber butterfly earrings that were so cute that I had to buy them. There are different colours of amber that range from a pale yellow, to yellow, orange, brown and even green and blue. The butterfly earrings I bought were in the orange, which is the shade of amber I prefer (I have a ring with an amber stone that matches the earrings perfectly).
As an aside, amber is a stone that I particularly enjoy. It is not a crystal nor a mineral, but a protective resin that oozed from living trees in dense, prehistoric forests and fossilized over millions of years. It is an ancient protector and aligns the aura with the physical body, mind and spirit. It is known for drawing off negative energy, cleansing the aura and activating the sacral chakra and solar plexus.
When working with butterfly medicine, the colour of the butterfly is important. Orange is a colour that relates to intuition, "going with the flow". This was definitely the case during my trip! We experienced amazing synchronicities with the number 8 and magic (see my IG posts from June 2019). Orange is also incredibly uplifting and optimistic and can offer emotional support in difficult times. It also helps liberating one self from limiting beliefs and sparks creativity. I felt definitely aligned with my purpose the weeks before and after my trip to Poland.
Overall, this year has been very transformational for me. There's not much to notice on the outside however my inner world has profoundly changed when it comes to self power (see blog on Black Panther Spirit) [disponible en français aussi], limiting beliefs and lately, especially since my trip to Poland, I've experienced a deep sense of letting go regarding certain aspects of my life that have been particularly stressful over the past 6 months and that I was resisting to. This feeling is incredibly freeing.
When Monarch butterfly invited itself into our home, it reminded me not to take things too seriously and to drop resistance regarding the transformational process itself. A caterpillar never resists the chrysalis stage. Everything is on standby on the outside however the internal changes are phenomenal, yet invisible to the eye.
I learned to accept how uncomfortable those changes can be at times and how vulnerable I've been feeling.
I learned that it is part of the process when everything seems to be at a standstill.
I learned to stop judging some aspects of my transformation. Labeling what we go through is a mental process to try to explain, rationalize what we experience. Being organically present to the process as opposed to attempting to make sense of it is very liberating and brings lightness to it.
Butterfly Medicine is also a sign to bring movement into one's life and this is definitely resonating with me. Over the past few months, I've been showing symptoms of Qi stagnation and blood stasis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. My body is giving me a clear message that it needs movement! Also, I've been feeling drown to travel a lot more lately and I'm even considering moving back to Europe. I've received many signs confirming movement is important for my well being at this time.
There has been a lot of apprehension about the internal changes I've going through and Butterfly Medicine has been a beautiful reminder to lighten up and bring more joy into my life. Butterfly Medicine is all about patience, joy, and inevitable transformation. It has helped me understand that changes don't have to be traumatic and on the contrary, can be gentle if I stop resisting and judging.
When I released each of the butterflies that came out of their chrysalis, I can't explain the profound gratitude I felt. The deep transformation they went through was so worth it! They also acquired a new ability (the capacity to fly!) which shows me that whenever we experience important internal changes, we always gain new personal skills, even though we may not realize it immediately.
"When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues confronting you at the moment. This is probably why butterfly has shown up. What stage of change are you at in regard to them?" - Ted Andrews Animal Speak