Right now, for those of us who are informed about the state of our beautiful planet, is a time for mixed emotions: anger, sadness, grief and rage all seem logical responses to the environmental devastation being wreaked upon our beloved home in the name of obscene profits.

I feel all of this, on high rotation, on an almost daily basis. But, while i let myself be tossed upon waves of hopelessness and loss in the name of authenticity, i also always remember that we have to keep coming back to love: love of self, love for others and especially love for the earth. And there is one other thing that is so deeply coded into our biological and cultural DNA that reconnecting with it makes us much stronger for the struggles we have to face. This is the transformation of our consciousness. This is something we have done consistently, throughout our evolution, until the modern age saw us distanced from a culture of ceremonial rites, of initiation into the great mysteries, of psychological and spiritual growth as a core focus of our lives.

But we can get all this back; in fact, we must, unless we want to be passengers on our planet’s destruction, passive consumers allowing the destruction of our ecosystem to go on beneath our very eyes. Right now, we are like the butterfly, emerging: already transformed beyond what we were before, we have cracked the seal of our cocoon and are breaking free of old limits … but we haven’t yet built up the strength required to fly as free as people can be.

My metaphor for a process of immersive, experiential evolution is, as you have guessed, the butterfly. Let me take you on a brief journey through the metamorphosis promised by this spirit animal par excellence.

Caterpillar half way through creating its own cocoon for transformation into Monarch Butterfly

First, consider this simple fact: the caterpillar chooses to enclose itself within the cocoon. It is driven by its genetic code, but by contrast, we can choose to make this decision, to enter our own ecomythic underworld of darkness and mystery, to allow ourselves to be unravelled and dissolved, until we are ready to reappear afresh. Let’s underscore that point, because it reflects our modern relationship with ritual: we need to be unafraid of the darkness, of unknowing and letting go, of being torn asunder by grief and anger, of dissolving into our own goop in an act of faith that we will be reborn, reawakened for a new day.

Now to actually change from a caterpillar to a butterfly takes another thing altogether, and that is complete dissolution of our former being. This is what we require of society right now, in terms of dealing with the ecological crisis. And in order to be a functional part of this planetary transformation, we as individuals need to be true to our full emotional range without giving into the depths of despair or the peaks of rage we might feel when faced with the realities of ecosystemic destruction.

We need to feel everything, allow it to wash over us, and then be reawakened: to our power, to our love, and to our consciousness as it evolves into something entirely new … something planetary yet personal, ancient yet timely, informed yet passionate. Meditate on Butterfly Spirit and let it guide you, receive its spiritual sustenance as you come home to self, and return to society empowered and more capable of helping it to radically transform as we know it must.

“Choose Transformation, Create Cocoon, Allow Yourself to Dissolve into Deep Feelings, Wait, Crystallise, Reform, Grow Strength, Break Out of Former Limits, Fly Free. Repeat Daily.”

Geoff Berry, outlining the rites of the Butterfly: Adapt and Practice, Practice and Adapt.
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