Animal allies, Beauty, Community

Butterfly Medicine: beauty and endurance

A macro view of a butterfly wing

I used to think of animal scales as a form of protection and camouflage (as well as for heat control), and for many they are. But they can also be a thing of beauty, with their intricate and colourful patterns.

I am mesmerized by the beauty of a butterfly’s wing… minute colourful scales shimmering in the light. Lepidoptera — the scientific name of the order for the butterflies and moths — comes from the Greek words meaning “scale” and “wing”.

Butterfly medicine is varied depending on your culture and beliefs. For some, Butterfly represents transformation and the cycles of life, joy and lightness of being. For others, Butterfly represents the spirit(s) of those who have passed… transitioned to the next world.

When I think of Butterfly, I think of strength and endurance and how several generations work together to complete something important for the whole “tribe”. Monarch Butterflies migrate south each year, millions leaving their summer habitats in Canada and the US, flying en masse to central Mexico for the winter. And yet, not a single butterfly completes the entire trip. Per Wikipedia: “female monarchs lay eggs for the next generation during the northward migration and at least five generations are involved in the annual cycle.” WOW!

For me, sitting with Butterfly is always a moment of peace and the appreciation of beauty… and respect.


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