Butterfly Maiden - American Indian Goddess
© Sharon George 2004
“Butterfly Maiden sees herself in the world.
She is aware of herself as a microcosm within the macrocosm.
She seeks her truth adorned with the vibrant colors of Gaia,
sharing her beauty with no conceit as she joyfully dances through the day.”
Shared with permission
This project is a reflection of what I have been going through in my life. Butterfly Maiden has fluttered into my life via gifts, visions and waking experiences. Close friends and family have presented me with many cards and gifts depicting the symbol of the butterfly showing me that they understand the changes that I am going through. When I completed Level I GrannyMoon presented me with a few small gifts and my initiation cord. One of these gifts was a tiny paper butterfly. I was profoundly touched by this gift, as it was recognition of the stage that I was in. My struggle with grief from the loss of my 16-year-old son and the flight of my two older children leaving home to create their own lives, brought me to the sudden ending of my day-to-day mothering role. I am also in the midst of perimenopause. At first Butterfly Maiden seemed to me a goddess for young womyn about to enter adulthood. I came to realize that this Goddess offers much more. In my journey I have found that to me she represents the triple Goddess and Spirit. She is the Egg ~ Maiden, Pupae ~ Mother, Cocoon~ Crone, and Butterfly ~ the synthesis of all three. In each of the three stages there is a period of pause when the change is upon us and we must allow the transformation and transmutation of our mind, body, and spirit occur before we can experience the great joy and freedom that we seek to experience. Sometimes these changes are emotionally difficult and layers of pain and memories must be reexamined and integrated into a new way of living. When we observe the butterfly we can see the process of evolution occur in one lifetime. How does a creeping larvae transform into an incredibly beautiful winged creature? This is the mystery and magic of the butterfly for all to see. Ultimately Butterfly Maiden brings us Light, Joy, and the Wisdom to enjoy each day no matter what has happened to us in our lives. I believe that Butterfly Maiden is a powerful Goddess to call upon for any kind of deep personal transformation or metamorphosis.
She comes to you unexpectedly with her wings of change…
Fluttering, coaxing, joyfully showing the way out of
the dark cocoon of introspection…
yes change is here
It is in my face
The lines of age telling their stories
Transmuting into the arms of the Goddess
Butterfly, flutter bye, my muse and role model
She dances and floats in the air
She persistently tells me that yes change is here to stay
Now is the time to allow the winds of change to carry me to where I need to go
Her power is with me now
It is time to let the light in
Butterfly Maiden Mandala
Created by Anita Endresse
“Butterflies are so symbolic, regenerative, and transformative, and of the earth and air.
They are "inward" at their pupa stage and "outward" at their butterfly stage.
Really marvelous creatures…”
Keywords: Hope, Taking Action, Self-transformation, Transmutation (to change into a higher form), Metamorphosis, Shape-shifter, Light, Joy, Renewal, Re-birth, Beauty, Sexuality, Understanding Change, Motion, Newness, Graceful, Emerging, Healer, Intelligent, Creative, Exotic, Visionary, Bridging, Magical, Dreaming, Spirit Guide, Communication with the dead…
Colors: All bright colors ~ Butterfly maiden reminds us to work with all of our Chakras for balance, healing, and clarity. Pay attention to the colors that you are drawn to as they may be exactly what you need.
Elements & Symbols: Butterflies, Soul, Sun, Children, Dreams, Dance of Joy, Abundance, A gift from spirit, Flight, Nature spirits, Lightness, Rain water, Rainbows, Brightly colored flowers, Green leaves, Spring, Mating, Sexuality, Conjugal Bliss, Wings, Flight, Doorway to the Unseen Realms, Butterflies are the first to leave a dying eco system.
In cultures around the world the butterfly is associated as follows:
Christianity ~ the soul
Celtic ~ nature spirits
China ~ conjugal bliss and joy
Shadow work: Earth, Darkness, Introspection, Rest, Rejuvenation, Cocooning, Depression, Grief, Death, Dying, Pain, Procrastination, Indecision, Abyss, Sexual Healing and Transformation, Regeneration, Evolution, Connecting to Goddess-spirit within
Hopi Butterfly Maiden Kachina
Butterfly Maiden’s story is woven intricately within the myths of the North American Peoples. Many tribes hold the butterfly as a special symbol. Sacred artists of the Hopi and Zuni people carved Kachinas that captured butterfly maiden’s spirit to share with their people. Selected Kachina men danced the sacred Butterfly dance and presented the carved Kachina to the women and children of the tribe to share the butterfly spirit. The Hopi believed the spirit of the butterfly taught the people about renewal, joy, abundance, fertility and springtime. Unmarried girls wore their hair in a special style in the shape of a butterfly.
The Navaho people also held the butterfly as sacred and have similar myths and symbolism around the butterfly. The Nez Pierce peoples said that their children could call butterflies to them with their joy reminding the adults to not take things too seriously. The Blackfoot tribe painted a symbol similar to the maltese cross on their dwellings representing the butterfly. They believed that the butterfly brought sleep and dreams. Blackfoot mothers would tie a piece of buckskin embroidered with a cross to represent the butterfly in their child’s hair to bring sleep and pleasant dreams.
To some of the South American people the butterfly and moth represent balance and sexuality. Many of us have gone through painful growth and change and sometimes that involves coming to terms with our own sexuality. Butterfly Maiden can help those going through these deeply personal turmoil’s.
The Aztec people believe that the butterfly is a departed loved one come to bring a message of eternal life and happiness.
© Tom Kidd
The Native People of the Pacific Northwest also hold the butterfly sacred. I have received permission to share the following story with you.
Johnny Moses is a Nootka/Spokane Indian from the remote village of Ohiat on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. He is a traditional storyteller and healer, who speaks eight Northwest Coast Indian languages. His Native name is Whis-stem-men-nee (Walking Medicine Robe).
Here is a condensed version of a story told in Skagit/Lushootseed and English by Johnny Moses at his Aunt Vi Hilbert's birthday party, January 20, 1996, at a gathering at Tulalip. Vi Hilbert is an instructor of Lushootseed at the University of Washington. Lushootseed was spoken from near Olympia, Washington, to just south of Bellingham, Washington, on Puget Sound.
The Butterfly Story
By Johnny Moses
A long time ago! There was an old lady and her granddaughter, Caterpillar Lady. She was told, "What is the matter with you, why don't you go and look for a man who will become your husband?!" So she crawled away--looking for a husband.<>She asked, "Grandmother, would you please give me that 'marriage medicine' that is called 'love potion'?" Grandmother made it and gave it to her granddaughter with proper instructions for its use. <>
Butterfly maiden crawled on in her search for a husband--saw a likely fellow, threw her love medicine over him--he fell in love with her--she kissed him--he died!
Butterfly maiden found four possible husband candidates, threw her potion, patiently made by Grandmother; she threw the powder over each man, kissed him and he died.
She was widowed four times and as she grieved, her sorrow and grief covered her with many layers of grief. She climbed high into the mountains, stood there and cried out her sorrow.
The compassionate Creator heard and saw her problem.
Creator touched her--suddenly the layers and layers of grief peeled away and out of this cocoon emerged the most beautiful of creatures we now call butterfly
Watercolor by Lavanee
You will need
Rain water, fresh flowers, colorful scarf or shawl, yellow candle, incense of a sweet flower scent such as jasmine or honeysuckle, journal, and an icon or symbol to represent the butterfly
Bring your journal and shawl with you and open your ritual space.
“Hail Butterfly Maiden
Bring me resolve
Bring me courage
Take me to my core
I accept the change that is in my life
I am patiently allowing my spirit to show me all that I can be in my dreams and visions”
I let go of all restrictions to my growth”
“I welcome the light of my renewed spirit”
Drop the shawl and dance clockwise until you feel grounded and joyful.
End the ritual by taking drops of rainwater to anoint each chakra from the crown to root whilst saying
“I accept my transmutation for the good of all”
Allow yourself time to write about your ritual in your journal before closing.
You have known may forms
Before you e’ere took flight”
(Medicine Cards by Jaime Sams & David Carson)
365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the Goddess by Patricia Telesco
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson