A New Take on Bugs: Adventures in Transformation


/ Photo by HaPe_Gera /

Although insects are some of smallest creatures on earth, they pack a big message. When I see a stick bug, I’m reminded to sit still. I recognize that I’m rushing around too much. Watch them: They are motionless, the great mimes of the insect world. They model to us being in the now and appreciating the present moment.

A honeybee greeting you suggests a period of high productivity. Sometimes their appearance could indicate sexual advances from a new suitor. I remember eating dinner with a friend and a honeybee stationed herself on the window next to our table during our whole meal. My friend said she recognized a man sitting in the restaurant. For several months, he pestered her to go out with him.

Different species of an insect family identify varied characteristics and meaning. For example, a swarm of wasps at your door could foretell a confrontation with someone who has an angry, stinging temperament. Honeybees produce a sacred, healing nectar, but the wasp does not – it’s more of a nuisance.

Butterflies are spiritually oriented bugs. Their beauty represents all the hard work that comes from the chrysalis stage of retreat, reexamination, and self-awareness. We feel awkward in this gestation period, rudderless, and often consumed with our life challenges. For a while, we feel permanently stuck in our caterpillar suits!

The internal transformation seems to take forever, but it does lead to a beautiful new self — a celebration and dance of the butterfly — the emergence of a new consciousness. Finally, a long awaited change arrives making us light on our feet.

Butterflies are not insects. They are self-propelled flowers.
~Robert A. Heinlein

On a Sunday afternoon in June, my husband and I encountered several butterflies on a dirt trail paralleling a stream in Nederland, Colorado.

When you see an insect, note the following details to discern the meaning:

  • What color are they? (Black and yellow with a turquoise and purple tail — Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.)
  • How many are there? (Four nestled together, and one on the side.)
  • What is their behavior? (On the ground in conference.)
  • Which direction are they facing? (Except for the fifth one, their heads were all meeting at one central point.)
  • Where did they show up? (On a trail next to a stream.)
  • What time is it? (12:45 pm.)

The butterflies looked like they were in a conference, putting their heads together. They weren’t in flight – they were on the ground – with their wings wide spread. Butterflies are naturally flighty, but this group is huddled together in a “thinking” formation. This sign could represent a well-thought-out decision between four-related individuals, an inspired and bold finale designated by the yellow and black tiger-like colors, and the turquoise tail. I’ll keep you posted.

Don’t be afraid of insects. They too have a story to tell. Listen to their story and you’ll find that you met an advisor, a mentor, a friend for the day.

What bug adventures would you like to share?

4 comments on “A New Take on Bugs: Adventures in Transformation

  1. Radha says:

    Welcome back Michele, welcome to these co-incidences (?!!) – only this morning I noticed a caterpillar crossing my path as i walked with my dog. I particularly noticed him because it is so very very early for its kind,completely unseasonal. I looked around and saw that he was the only one of his kind and wondered how he would fare. Every year we see them – they grow into beautiful blue shades of blue with black polka dots. I also wondered peripherally what it meant to see him – single mindedly crossing a very wet muddy stony path,whether he would survive this inhospitable weather. And then, lo! I come home to your blog and you’re talking caterpillars!!!
    The second or the first coincidence or synchronicity is the arrival of your blog. For the past few days I’ve been thinking about you, missing hearing from you … I am so happy you’re back.
    I will pray for you and Ivan. Know that we are all (your web family) with you… much love,Radha.

  2. Dear Radha,
    I’m happy to have you back and to see your lovely poetic responses! You have magical encounters with nature and I enjoy reading about them. The synchronicities show how we all are connected.
    Caterpillars have different larvae stages, from several weeks up to a year. Whenever the caterpillar is due to change into the butterfly marks a significant transformation in your own life. Check the caterpillar species to see when their “birthdate” is and then mark that date on your calendar.

    Thank you for your prayers! Blessings, Michele

  3. Jen says:

    Michelle a comment on transformtaion and butterflies, a few years ago, my partner of 02 years and myself were taking a country walk on a high ridge. Flying towards at waist height slowly was a very strange sight. It took us a while to realize that it was 2 large butterflies joined, 1 upside down, slowly dancing in flight. I was so amazed and I later made my partner a collage about his spirit flying free, with butterflies as the symbol, and then forgot it. 1 month later he unexpectedly walked out of my life. The transition I believe for both of us has been the hardest, most painful thing we’ve ever done, and yet now I can see it was necessary, as we both had obligations in different directions. I have certainly grown and transformed since then, but still have a long way to go, but kind of feel alive living on the edge. The butterfly event was indelibly marked on my psyche [butterfly!] and occureed a few days prior to the Harmonic Concordance! Jen

  4. Hi Jen,
    Thank you for all your comments! I love the lyrical, poetry-like details that you bring to your life stories. The butterfly dance gave you insight into your relationship. The butterflies were joined suggesting the profound connection the two of you have. Yet one was flying upside down hinting that one of you felt uncertain. You intuited this upcoming change with your collage. Butterflies bring transformative change — through these changes we shed an old skin and form a new self.

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