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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in butterfly

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Butterflies Guided My Path

When I set out to scatter my mom's ashes in a place with trees in June 2020, butterflies literally guided me to the right place. I was driving along Kyle Canyon Road on Mount Charleston, Nevada, when butterflies started appearing, one after another. A lot of them. So many butterflies! So I pulled off the road. More butterflies appeared after I got out of the car. Different kinds, different colors and sizes.

I looked around: both evergreen and deciduous trees, check. Was there water? I didn't see water, but I saw a line of blooming wildflowers, reds and whites and other colors. That was clearly a dry watercourse. It would be a small creek when it rained or during snowmelt in the spring. In my mind's eye, it was flowing down to the larger river across the other side of the road, through a culvert. The butterflies were all headed in the other direction, though. I followed the dry streambed up to its source. It ended at cliff. There were many interesting rock formations and gnarled tree roots, and more flowers. That was the place. I decided to climb the cliff and scatter the ashes down onto the stream source from the top. I didn't realize it was going to be quite so difficult when I started out; it was loose scree and it grew more vertical toward the top, but toward the top there were also big sturdy tree roots to grab, which would have been easier to manage if I hadn't been carrying a box of ashes, leaving only one hand free. I managed it, though. I looked around up there, waited for a hiker and his dog to pass by (OK I petted the dog,) realized there was an easier way down-- of course! but that was alright. There was a breeze flowing from one side, so I positioned myself carefully to make sure the ashes would float away from me, opened the box and cut up the plastic inside. I spoke some words-- not a formal ritual, nothing actually religious since mom was an atheist, and realized I was smiling as I spoke. I was filled with an odd kind of joy at how perfect everything was. I let the ashes go and they sailed out over the edge and settled on the steep slope of the cliff itself. I was filled with peace.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Shortly after my mom died, the goddess Sigyn told me our relationship would change soon. She did not elaborate, but I did not have long to wait.

(To recap: I became sworn to Freya in college, and Freya gave me to Sigyn a few years ago.) About a week or so after mom passed on, Sigyn told me I was free. She assured me that she would always be part of my life, and she would help me through my grief and would still send butterflies sometimes, but I no longer belong to her. I would never need her again the same way I needed her while caring for mom. This is a grief unlike any other. I would now grow closer to another goddess.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Earth Day is coming soon. Earth Day used to be Arbor Day, when people planted trees. Some modern Asatruars call it Yggdrasil Day, meaning day of the World-Tree. Although every day should be Earth Day for pagans and heathens, for those who are looking for a way to commemorate it, I have a suggestion: save the Monarch Butterfly. 

Butterflies symbolize many things across many cultures. Modern heathens and pagans have come to associate the butterfly with the goddess Sigyn. The process started with personal gnosis, became group gnosis, and eventually found some foundation in the lore, as I explore in my upcoming paper "Sigyn: Butterfly Goddess," scheduled to be published soon in Witches & Pagans Magazine.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree of Souls

Well, they're starting their annual journey to the Valley of Souls.

Black-and-orange, black-and-orange, black-and-orange.

Even as a kid, they struck me as foreshadowing, as little flecks of Samhain fluttering, by some act of temporal disturbance, into summer.

Danaus plexippus: known variously as the milkweed, tiger, or (for unclear reasons) the monarch butterfly.

When did butterflies first come to symbolize souls? Who can say? (They're not uncommon in Minoan glyptic art.) The reasons for the connection are certainly clear enough. Probably you could rattle off three or four, if you wanted to.

And—among other reasons—like souls, butterflies are migratory.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    We used to have a patch of Michel mass daisies; a kind of tall lavender aster, when I was a teenager. The Monarch butterflies wou

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Butterflies Across Nevada

The first time I traveled with Tom was October 2014, on our first trip to Front Sight. I saw tons of ravens and butterflies. One might not expect a gun club to double as a wildlife refuge, but it has a lot of open land, including large undeveloped areas where people aren’t allowed. The first day out in the open desert, I saw lots of ravens. One raven flew over the range with prey in its beak. And the butterflies! Yellow ones, white ones, blue ones, brown ones, two different kinds of orange ones, even a couple of Monarchs!

Butterflies are Sigyn’s animal messengers, just like ravens are Odin’s. I took both those signs as cosmic thumbs ups.

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  • katherine manaan
    katherine manaan says #
    this was wonderful. thank you.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome! Glad you liked it!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

It feels like spring has finally come to North Texas. The first of our famous wildflowers are finally starting to show in the grasses along the highways, and the sun is blessing us after an uncustomarily dark and cloudy February and March. I'm seeing the first butterflies of the season, too, as the trees and flowers begin to come back. But that fine mist of blue and orange which heralds the emergence of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush are what tells me that spring is finally here.

Along with the wildflowers and the butterflies, the Goddess Psyche has come fluttering into my life to remind me to seek the deepest truths of my soul this week. I've loved the myth of Psyche and Cupid since I took Greek Mythology in high school, but have never thought much about Her as a Goddess in her own right. Her message to allow love to transform me, and to seek my most fundamental truths, is a welcome one right now.

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