Butterfly As Spiritual Metaphor

Spiritography Day 9: Imaging the Sacred in Everyday Life

For the past three days, butterflies have been making their presence known wherever I go. It’s like they’re following me. One was even daring enough to make full contact with me when it landed on my arm during a contemplative moment. So I gave it the attention it deserved.

It appeared so ethereal and fragile as its proboscis probed and tickled my skin. Its wings opened and closed in intervals, appearing paper thin one moment, and then on full display the next. I marveled at the life cycle of this little shape-shifter — from a crawling, leaf-eating caterpillar to a fluttering, nectar-drinking butterfly.

Its metamorphosis represents our own spiritual transformation.

Like caterpillars, we crawl our way through life, doing our day-to-day activities. As we begin our inner journey, we enter into a chrysalis state, insulating ourselves in a dark inner sanctum where the environment is ripe for conversion. We pray. We meditate. We study spiritual truths. When we are ready to emerge, we break free from our confines, spread our wings, and fly as our true selves. We are renewed and reborn.

“Butterfly on Steel Cable” by Penny McDaniel

When my little winged friend finished, it lighted off of my arm almost as quickly as it had landed. It fulfilled its butterfly purpose, pollinating me with the presence of spirit. Though the butterfly lives only one to two weeks, it serves as a reminder to enjoy the present moment and to make the most of our lives before time runs out.

“Iron Butterfly” by Penny McDaniel

10 thoughts on “Butterfly As Spiritual Metaphor

  1. Gena Livings

    Dear Penny,
    I love butterflies!!
    I love all the different colors of butterflies!!
    I love how butterflies float through the air!
    One of my favorite quotes by Richard Bach is “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” 🙂
    I love your photo and your fabulous iron work! Very COOL!

    Healthy Blessings my friend,
    Gena Livings
    Gena Livings recently posted…Establishing Clear And Healthy BoundariesMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Gena!

      How can anyone not love a butterfly? They are whimsical and fun to watch as they flutter about. I like to call them “flutterflies” because of the way they flit around. Ha Ha.
      Blessings.
      Penny

      Reply
    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      They are Spirit’s little messengers. I don’t know what kind of butterfly that is either, but I liked how it perched itself on the steel cable. There’s been a yellow one around the past three or four days, which I have never seen before. I just enjoy its presence.

      Blessings.
      Penny

      Reply
  2. Judy - Pedagogical Artist

    Beautiful and gentle, dear Penny. There is so much to learn from the butterflies cycle of life. My favorite is the story about the young boy, who wanted to help the butterfly break out of its cocoon and by cutting it open robbed the butterfly of the struggle essential to strengthening its wings allowing it to fly high.
    Lucky you that you can sit so quietly to make a butterfly feel safe enough to join you. I get so fidgety I would probably scare it away! HUGS <3

    Reply
    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Judy,

      As tempting as it is to help a butterfly emerge, we must resist. As you stated, it needs to develop its strength before it goes out into the world. If we rob it of that struggle to strengthen, we rob it of its essence. There’s a lesson in that, too! Whenever we watch our loved ones struggle, we must allow them the room for growth, too.

      I had to resist the urge to laugh and move because of it tickling my skin. It was a unique experience.
      Thanks for dropping in and sharing.
      Blessings.
      Penny

      Reply
  3. anonymous

    Dear friend
    What a great blog!!! Butterflies are so beautiful. ..I had a great coworker friend that passed away at the end of last school year….I parked next to her…i would see her smiling face in the facility room…than it the beginning of each morning we would wait for our students to come off the bus…I so missed her…but the beginning of this year I walked to the spot where we would stand waiting for the students….but she wasn’t their….I got a lump in my throat n said a lil prayer for her….I saw the other aides waiting…one they were gone I was alone I saw this white moth flying around me….it landed on the wall than landed on me…..I said hello dear friend…n it waited until my student got of the bus….as fast as it flew in it flew down the hall hovering over the students….was very sweet n I felt my friends spirit with at that moment…..n I haven’t seen the white beautiful moth since…..

    Reply
    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Wow, what an amazing story! Your friend was definitely with you in that moment and you were able to connect with her in a special way. That was her way of letting you know that she’s not gone. Her energy is still here…she’s just in a different form since her transition. She’s keeping an eye on you!
      Blessings, my friend…
      Penny

      Reply
  4. Love Happy Notes - Daily Fun and Inspiration

    Thank you for your beautiful words and analogy. I have been blessed at times to have a butterfly accompany me while on walks, or come and sit on my arm or head. I feel so honoured when that happens, those few moments they spend with me would be weeks or months to them. They are magnificent, beyond beautiful and remind us of the many important things you mentioned. I’m so glad you are flying as your true self. 🙂
    Love Happy Notes – Daily Fun and Inspiration recently posted…Another point of viewMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Dear “lovehappynotes” —

      You are quite welcome! I’m so glad this resonated with you. Butterflies seem to be in abundance as of late, so I’m paying attention to them. While their lifespan is short (one to two weeks only), they really teach us to embrace life wholly and fully.

      Blessings.
      Penny

      Reply

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